Henry Cavill undertook a special training regime because he knew he had to take his clothes off for his starring role in Netflix’s The Witcher.
British actor Cavill, best known for playing Superman, portrays Geralt of Rivia in the fantasy series, which is due to arrive on the streaming service this month.
Speaking at the show’s red carpet premiere in London, the 36-year-old said he had trained in the gym with the “dance of fighting” in mind.
He told the PA news agency: “As always with any of these physical roles – or any of these roles that require me to take my clothes of at one stage or another – there is a diet, there is a physical regime.
“For this one in particular though, (Hollywood trainer) Dave Rienzi worked with me to make sure my training was supplemental to the work that I was doing on set.
“It was definitely designed around it.
“Any sort of explosive movement which we could get with the dance of fighting was encouraged and enhanced by the work I was doing in the gym.”
Asked how he had dealt with the show’s violence, he said: “You start with the story, every time.
“I like to reference the fight at the end of episode one when we have Geralt expressing various sides of his character and the whole thing is designed around storytelling.
“It just happens that it is a dance and if you put a sword in someone’s hand it becomes a deadly one.”
Cavill became intent on starring in The Witcher after playing the video game adaptations of the Polish books that the TV series is based on.
He said he was so keen to play Geralt, a travelling monster hunter for hire, that he had his agent repeatedly call Netflix about the part.
He said: “I personally wasn’t ringing them as I didn’t have their phone number – but that is what agents were for. They had the number of Netflix. They were calling all the necessary people.
“Whatever they were saying, how ever much they were calling, it eventually worked. I got in the room with (showrunner) Lauren (Schmidt Hissrich) before she could do her casting process.”
“I have been a fan of the fantasy drama since I was a boy. I was a PC gamer as well, and The Witcher 3 was a game that I absolutely loved. I did not know the books.
“The games were based on the books. But after meeting Lauren I did. It was an opportunity to live a dream really.”
The Witcher also stars Anya Chalotra as Yennefer and Freya Allan as Princess Ciri.
The Witcher airs on Netflix from December 20.