One of the things that strikes me most about Henry Cavill’s performance in The Witcher is the way he captures the essence of Geralt’s voice as we got to know and love her for a few hundred hours of video games. It's not a copy of voice actor Doug Cockle's work, but it's "clearly inspired" and works.
In an interview during today's WitcherCon, Cavill said that the on-screen voice was almost non-existent. During the auditions, she asked showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich if she should put some Geralt-like brush on her voice, but Hissrich told her to stick with her own natural voice. "It was like, okay. Okay, great," Cavill said.
But while filming a scene between Geralt and King Foltest in the third episode of the show, Cavill apparently only forgot about it.
"I didn't do it on purpose. This happened by accident," he explained during the interview. "And then I said, 'Oh my God, I just performed an entire scene in the wrong voice.'
Later, however, Cavill decided that he really preferred to adopt Geralt's speech, saying that "it made a lot of things better when it came to delivering certain lines and delivering certain dialogues."
"I know it's very similar to Doug Cockle's amazing work," Cavill said. "It was definitely a concern. I don't want to sound like I'm plagiarizing the extraordinary work of another professional. I looked at it, listened to it and thought they were actually quite different. It's clearly inspired by, but I did mine, and then I talked to Alec and I talked to Lauren, and they both said, "Okay, in fact, if you want to do that, we can go with that and we'll redo the rest."
Cavill said the production team ended up doing quite a few rehearsals anyway, so Geralt's "natural" voice throughout the season wasn't a big deal.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXhXigdm-xM [/ embed]
Interestingly, he also said that it is not at all difficult to maintain this gravel speech style. "It sounds like yes, but it's just about finding it; in the first season I was still trying to find it, and you can definitely know when I have it," he said. "But in the second season, it's not at all difficult to do. Actually, it's pretty easy."
Season 2 of Witcher will premiere on Netflix on December 17th. Here is the full trailer.