Henry Cavill goes to great lengths to ensure his shirtless close-ups are just right.
In his new Netflix series The Witcher, the 36-year-old actor has more than a few scenes that require him to disrobe. To pull off his onscreen nudity, Cavill says he curbed his water intake to reduce his water weight and accent his muscle-bound physique for the camera.
The multi-day process gradually reduces his allotted drinks, completely disallowing any water the day before and the day of filming the shirtless sequences.
“That’s the worst part of it,” Cavill said during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show on Friday. “Like, diet is difficult, and you’re hungry, but when you are dehydrating for three days, you get to the point on the last day where you can smell water nearby.”
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Coupled with some last-minute push-ups just before the cameras roll, the forced dehydration, Cavill said, makes his skin thin so that it “sits on the muscles,” even if he admitted the extensive measures can sometimes make him the “most miserable person on the planet.”
Being a gritty action series, The Witcher demands its star to be in tip-top shape. Cavill said his fitness is first and foremost for his health in performing those feats — the eye candy is just a secondary bonus.
“The training for these kind of things, the most important thing is your health so you can stay physically fit without injuries while doing all these crazy things,” he said. “… That’s what it really is for.”
Cavill added: “I mean, yes, you’re supposed to look a certain way aesthetically — especially getting your shirt off — but it’s mostly for just staying healthy.”
The actor took additional measures to manipulate his appearance for the series. Not only does Cavill rock long, blonde hair to play the lead role of Geralt, but he also wore yellow contacts in his eyes — which he says he liked, even if he “couldn’t see much.”
The Witcher is now available to stream on Netflix.