How Henry Cavill Got His Abs to Pop for Those Shirtless Scenes in Netflix’s ‘The Witcher’

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Henry Cavill is no stranger to getting sculpted for his roles. Whether it’s adding pounds of muscle to play the Man of Steel in Batman v Superman or working on his fighting skills to play Agent August Walker in Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Cavill knows the focus and countless hours of work it takes to transform for a major blockbuster moment.

In Netflix’s new series The Witcher, Cavill is front and center as Geralt of Rivia—and, unsurprisingly, that meant he had to be shirtless. To prepare for those moments, Cavill had some classic bodybuilding techniques up his sleeve to make sure his muscles really popped. While appearing on the Graham Norton Show in December to promote the release of the show, Cavill spoke about his training for The Witcher, saying:

“The training for these kind of things, the most important thing is your own health. It’s so you can stay physically fit without injuries while doing all these crazy things—things like being thrown against pillars or jumping out of airplanes. That’s what it’s really for. Yes, you’re supposed to look a certain way aesthetically, especially when you’re taking your shirt off, but mostly it’s for staying healthy.”

When asked about his shirtless scenes, Cavill spoke about “dehydrating”—to make his abs pop.

“That’s the worst part of it,” Cavill said. “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. [Doing the dehydrating] makes your skin really thin, so sits on the muscles and they really show.”

“It’s not no water for three days—the first day you’ll have a liter and a half, second day half a liter, and third day no water, and you’ll shoot on the fourth,” Cavill added.

Cavill had one more tip about shooting those scenes: “I do [pushups] right before the scene.”

Here’s the interview with Cavill in full:

Here’s a look at the results of Cavill’s training for the series:


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For more coverage on Cavill’s transformations and The Witcher, follows along here:

The Witcher is now streaming on Netflix.