In breaking from the narrative professed by an anonymous group of the series’ production team, former Netflix’s The Witcher director Marc Jobst has offered public praise for the sheer level of dedication former Geralt actor Henry Cavill gave to the role.
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Jobst, who directed the Season 1 episodes Before a Fall and Much More, spoke to his admiration for Cavill’s love of The Witcher and desire for its success while giving an interview to Screenrant centered on his latest project, Netflix’s live-action adaptation of One Piece.
At one point taking a slight detour from the main topic of the Straw Hat Pirates’ upcoming adventure, Screenrant’s Grant Herman asked the director if he had any thoughts on Cavill’s sudden-but-understandable departure from The Witcher.
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“Well, look, Henry has done three series, these are demanding shows to make, you know, they are huge,” Jobst replied. “Henry does every single beat of his stunts, he won’t even allow a hand, if you’re doing a close up of a hand grabbing a sword, it has to be his hand. So, normally, what you do is you bring in a double, Henry will go off and shoot some other scene in which he’s in somewhere else, and you get somebody else into the hand, so that you don’t have to bother your number one.”
“Henry won’t do that, and as a result of that, the results are extraordinary,” he then declared. “You’re working with an incredible athlete, first and foremost, who works out hours before, and hours after, you’ve been shooting for 12 hours, and who cares deeply about the work that he does.”
Turning to provide insight into the heavy workload Cavill undertook during his time on the series, the former Marvel’s Daredevil, Luke Cage, Runaways, and The Punisher director detailed, “Doing three seasons, I came in on the first season, we were shooting in, I don’t know, four different countries, that’s taking the whole entourage into different places, learning the stunts, rehearsing the stunts. When we were shooting the swordfight, for example, in the pilot, that’s a big one-shot sequence, and they’re heavy swords. They’re not sharp, but they’re heavy, so if you get them wrong, you can seriously damage somebody.”
“We had a camera operator come in to the show, and I think he was rehearsing that fight sequence for four weeks,” added Jobst. “Just the camera operator working, learning the dance of the fight, so that he can make sure the camera’s in the right place in order to land the hit without having to make a cut.”
“And then, of course, moving into the second part of that sword fight, which is Renfri, where we stopped the fight from time to time to get the eye contact between the two of them, to get the sense of whether they’re going to kiss or they’re going to kill,” he further recalled. “That’s draining on your number one, so after three series, I feel, “Okay, he’s brought the show into being, and if he feels like he’s done what he can, I trust him.”
Concluding his thoughts on Cavill’s performance, Jobst ultimately praised, “That focus that he has, that desire to get it right, is a gift to work with, because it elevates everybody to say, “Good enough isn’t good enough. It’s got to be fantastic.” We all want to work like that, we all don’t wanna make something that’s good, we want to make something incredible.”
As noted above, Jobst’s rave review of not just Cavill’s professionalism, but also his overall character, stands in stark contrast to the disingenuous attempt made by a number of unidentified The Witcher production team members to paint the actor’s respect for himself and the source material as “disrespectful and toxic“.
“He would rewrite scenes without even alerting the other actors in the scenes until it was time to shoot. He decided that he didn’t want any romantic scenes at all,” read one portion of the group’s complaint. “No kissing, no shirtless scenes, etc. He wanted complete control of storylines, but really had no idea of the limitations of TV, structure, budget, etc.”
“He formed a weird alliance with one writer who was also a gamer, who eventually got fired after multiple HR complaints were made,” it adds. “And after that writer left, Henry did anything he could to hold up production and cause problems.”
NEXT: Netflix’s ‘The Witcher’ EP Tomek Bagiński Says Series Made “Simplifications” To The Source Material Primarily Because American Audiences Would Not Grasp A “Higher Level Of Nuance And Complexity”