How The Witcher season 2 star Freya Allan 'built trust' with Henry Cavill

As Princess Cirilla, British actor Freya Allan spent most of the first season of Netflix's epic fantasy series, The Witcher alone and running for her life as various foe nipped at her heels.

But season two had something very different in store for both Ciri and Freya. After uniting with her 'destiny' in the form of Henry Cavill's Geralt of Rivia, Ciri is finally able to stop, take a breath and slowly let down her guard.

Freya Allan wears a black sparkly dress with pink and blue detailing on the red carpet at The Witcher season two world premiere in London on December 1st 2021
The Witcher star Freya Allan walked the red carpet at the season two world premiere in London on December 1st. Photo: Getty Images.

Freya Allan on co-star Henry Cavill

Geralt, the monster hunter or 'Witcher' of the show's title, takes the young princess under his wing and begins teaching her how to fight the bloodthirsty beasts (and humans) that roam the mythical lands.

For Geralt and Ciri, two strangers brought together by fate, a lot of that training is also spent sizing one another up and testing each other's limits before the pair develop a father-daughter-style bond.

It was a similar story off-screen for 20-year-old Freya, who went from having barely any scenes with leading man Henry, 38, in season one, to having barely any without him in the follow-up.

"I felt like we really parallel what our characters were going through because our characters build a real trust in one another and I feel like we found our kind of rhythm with one another as well," Freya tells Yahoo Lifestyle in an exclusive chat.


Freya Allan as Ciri and Henry Cavill as Geralt in a scene from The Witcher season two. Photo: Netflix/Jay Maidment (supplied).
Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) shows Ciri (Freya Allan) the ropes in a scene from The Witcher season two. Photo: Netflix/Jay Maidment (supplied).

With 18 years between them, Henry was well-placed to offer advice and guidance regarding the often perilous world of showbiz to newcomer Freya, whose first major job was on The Witcher.

"There's this extra world outside of the acting that you sort of need to navigate at the same time," she explains.

"[Henry's] very good at talking through that kind of world. We've had a few conversations about that, which is nice. He's got a lot of experience obviously so it's handy to have that person to go to," she adds.

Just as the ancient Geralt saves a precocious Ciri from certain death on numerous occasions, so too did Henry look out for his younger co-star — minus the monsters, magic and swords, of course.

"He just provided me with a comforting kind of..." she pauses to think. "When I was going on to set every day I knew what I was getting. Do you know what I mean? There weren't going to be any surprises, there was a kind of security that he brought which was similar to Geralt."

Anya Chalotra, Henry Cavill and Freya Allan hug on the red carpet at the World Premiere of Netflix's
The Witcher co-stars Henry, Freya and Anya Chalotra share a hug at the season one premiere in 2019. Photo: Getty Images.

'I was so into it'

Freya freely admits to being just as precocious as her character when it came to her fighting training in the month leading up to The Witcher shoot.

Just like Ciri, no sooner had Freya started the basic swordwork than she was ready and raring to progress to the complex choreography.

"I was so into it, I'm exactly the same as Ciri in that regard. I just want to be the best I can be, I want to do more than I'm given.

"We have that similarity which made it very easy to play those scenes where she's wanting to go further through the training process."

While the same can't be said for Ciri, Freya didn't suffer any injuries while filming — "It's just boring to say, there's no cool story with that," she laments.

She did, however, gain a rather impressive party trick that she busted out to great success after filming for The Witcher wrapped back in April.

"Over the summer I woke up and I said to my friends, 'Why on earth are there marks on my hands?' It was very similar to when I've been sword fighting and then they reminded me, and I did remember, that I had been doing pull-ups on these wooden beams at this house.

"I'd been competing against everyone at the party and apparently I beat them all!"

Freya Allan as Ciri in a scene from The Witcher season two. Photo: Netflix/Jay Maidment (supplied).
Freya loved her sword fighting training just as much as her character, Ciri. Photo: Netflix/Jay Maidment (supplied).

The Witcher Season 2 premiers on Netflix on Friday, December 17.

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