Henry Cavill Addresses "Toxic Fandom"

Henry Cavill is certainly no stranger to taking on beloved properties and characters, ranging from The Man From U.N.C.L.E. to playing Superman in the DC Extended Universe. Later this month, audiences will get to see a whole new side of Cavill with Netflix's The Witcher, an adaptation of the iconic book and video game series of the same name. As with the actor's other times entering fan-favorite franchises, The Witcher has courted a wide array of reactions from fans almost as soon as Cavill was cast as Geralt. In a new interview with Jake Hamilton, Cavill addressed the topic of a potentially "toxic" fandom and argued that the situation is actually much more nuanced than that.

"I understand what you’re saying, but when it comes to fans, it is a fan’s right to have whatever opinion they want to have," Cavill explained. "And people are going to be upset, especially when you’re talking about books or games, because you’re never going to be the exact person who they had in their head, or who they played on The Witcher 3, for example. I don’t necessarily consider that toxic, I just consider that passionate. And it’s something which I have obviously had to come to terms with over the years."

Cavill then spoke about how that passion - and that sense of potentially-unrealistic expectations - has played an interesting role in how The Witcher came together.

"And for me, the comparison is not like that, with Geralt walking into a bar," Cavill continued. "The comparison is more meta, it’s more to do with xenophobia and sexism and colonialism and all those effects that that has on people. And then who they divert their fear and energy towards, and that tends to be Geralt because he’s a guy who exists outside of society. He’s not part of a group when he walks into town, and he looks so different from everyone else, and no one can control him. He is faster, stronger, better at swords, and apparently can do magic as well. So the last thing you want to do is — you can’t control him. And you fear him. And therefore, all of your energy, especially in a crowd of people, will be diverted at him, because of everything that’s happening above you in the world."

The Witcher will also star Anya Chalotra as Yennefer and Freya Allan as Ciri, with Lauren S. Hissrich serving as showrunner.

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The first season of The Witcher will debut on Netflix on December 20th.