Henry Cavill Talks Training and Recovering From ‘The Witcher’ Injury
Whether it’s saving the world as Superman or slaying monsters for coin on The Witcher, Henry Cavill is no stranger to physical roles. Good thing the star is dedicated to staying in shape and enjoys a good workout. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle became even more of a priority for him in the last year amid a global pandemic, and he’s hoping to lead by example to help others do the same.
That’s why Cavill linked up with MuscleTech, a sports nutrition brand, where he currently serves as the chief creative director and ambassador. After wrapping his second season playing Geralt of Rivia on Witcher, the beefy Brit shot his first commercial campaign for the company from his Fort Lauderdale home. Fans will be able to catch the content across social media, digital platforms, and other viewing avenues beginning September 1.
Here, Cavill checks in from the U.K. to talk about his latest business venture, training, recovering from an injury sustained on The Witcher set, and more. Consider this your dose of Witcher content to tide you over until the December premiere (in addition to the new prequel Nightmare of the Wolf, of course!).
What made MuscleTech a good fit for you?
Harry Cavill: Why I enjoy being in business with them so much is [their] slogan, “Strength Redefined.” They are talking about strength being more than muscle — strength is all about what we find inside ourselves and what we do with that. We all have the capacity for perseverance and dedication and resilience … with MuscleTech, I can use my platforms to continue to preach the message. MuscleTech is the perfect partner, especially considering how much of my career requires physicality, as well.
Tell me about the importance of spotlighting first responders and the everyday person in your first commercial campaign.
[This year especially], we’ve really seen the work the first responders do … Those people who are on the frontlines in the fight against COVID and were exposing themselves to risk, that does take strength. Also, it takes strength for the people who are staying at home… a parent, a child… all required inner strength.
When the world shut down, how did it affect your training regimen?
It’s all about finding that balance. Initially, when the first lockdown happened here in the U.K., I used it as an opportunity to actually take my foot off the gas a bit. For me, I’ve been working incredibly hard up to that point. I just for about a month took my foot off the gas, and [then I] got right back into it. I was doing a lot of running training. I had a few weights that were available to me at the place I was staying during my lockdown. So it was helpful to have those, and I was still training. And thank goodness too because I went straight back into shooting The Witcher as soon as lockdown finished.
Speaking of The Witcher, you had that injury while shooting Season 2. What was recovery like?
I can probably say this was the worst injury I’ve had on set. I’ve had a partial tear of my LCL before, but the grade 2 tear of my hamstring was pretty serious. That could have been a career changer. Netflix looked after me, they had a [physical therapist] by the name of Freddie Murray who looked after me and has looked after some top athletes in his time. It was all about finding that balance between making sure recovery was happening efficiently and also that I was able to shoot and do what I needed to do. Yes, I wasn’t sprinting for a while, I wasn’t running, [but] once we got off those crutches, it was about finding a balance between walking and that all the right fuel was going in. There was a deadline. There is a show I had to finish and participate in.
The first WitcherCon was held in July. How would you compare the Witcher fandom with the DC comic fandom?
They are very similar. It’s people who are dedicated and passionate. I have a foot in both of those fanbases because I’m a fan of those things too. It’s all people who are very passionate. WitcherCon was a slightly different experience because it was remote and I’m used to the [in-person] Comic-Con style stuff, but you can definitely feel the passion. I really believe they did a great job to bring WitcherCon to the fans.
Seeing how Geralt and Cirilla have finally connected in the first season, how was it sharing more scenes with Freya Allan?
Frey was absolutely fantastic. It was a real privilege to work with her a lot more … almost all of my stuff was shooting was Freya. She is a really good actress. She worked incredibly hard to bring a lot of really good performance to this material. I was very impressed and I think that’s really an actress to watch for the future.
You’re a leading man always in the gym, and you can build a PC. How important is it for you to show different sides of yourself to the public?
We don’t need to pigeonhole ourselves so much. We don’t need to say, “Yes, I go to the gym, and I take supplements. I care about the supplement going into my body. But also I’m actually a nerd and built my own computer. I play Warhammer. I do all of that stuff.” For me, it was a real pleasure finding that within myself, finding that stage where I say, “It’s OK to share this stuff. Why not?” If you are someone who uses the gym a lot, that doesn’t mean you cast disdain on people who build computers and play Warhammer. And vice versa.
You talk about finding the balance. What’s a cheat meal for you?
I will have a cheat meal once a week … a pizza is always a safe bet. I do like curry, or if I’m in the U.K., a Sunday roast. It all depends on what I’m feeling or if I have guests over or going out to a restaurant and what everyone else wants. I try to keep my weekends as much toward [normal] life as possible because it is important to have that balance.
What’s the future of MuscleTech? What are some of the goals you have?
It’s difficult to have an entry into training hard. I know what it’s like. I have been through plenty of peaks and drops in physical fitness for a variety of reasons — most recently with a fairly serious injury. It’s difficult to recover one’s body. You do feel uninspired to get back into it because you lost so much. It can be quite intimidating to go to a gym and quite intimidating to decide on what products to put in your body. I really want to make training and supplements available for everyone — not just the people who are spending seven days a week training and have been doing it most of their life.
The Witcher, Season 2 Premiere, Friday, December 17, Netflix