The TV adaptation of Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski‘s fantasy series The Witcher quickly became one of Netflix’s most successful shows, breaking the record for the biggest TV series launch in Netflix history. Starring Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) as Geralt of Rivia, Joey Batey (Knightfall) as Jaskier, and Anya Chalotra (Wanderlust) as Yennefer of Vengerberg, The Witcher centers on Geralt, who is a witcher — a magic monster hunter.
Jaskier is a bard who accompanies Geralt on his adventures, usually getting himself into trouble more than he helps.
The second season of The Witcher was announced before the first even aired, generating tons of excitement for fans. The cast has done several interviews and press tours to garner even more enthusiasm for the show, and one of the standout stories is that of Batey’s improvisation. The actor behind the playful bard has confessed that he improvises in a lot of scenes, including an entire speech in one episode.
Jaskier goes berry hunting
The Witcher‘s series creator Lauren Schmidt Hissrich (Parenthood) recently took to Twitter to answer fan questions. User @rhiannon_writes asked if any of the dialogue in the show was improvised, adding that Jaskier seems ripe for it. Hissrich replied “Yes! The worst thing I can do is not leave room for breathing and adjusting in scenes.
The actors embody these characters for so long, and often have great pitches that strike a specific tone. Jaskier’s entire speech about berries in Ep 106 was on the fly.”
The speech in question happens when Geralt and Jaskier accompany a group of warriors on their hunt to slay a dragon. At one point, Jaskier walks off into some bushes to pick berries for two Zerrikanian women to impress them.
As he looks for berries, he mumbles to himself about how hungry he is, and the silly moment is a perfect example of the character’s personality — he always tries to impress the ladies, he often can’t keep his mouth shut, and his goofiness is a great balance to Geralt‘s seriousness.
Jaskier has a serious side
Though he’s known for his lighthearted character, Joey Batey recently spoke with Comicbook.com about his personal favorite moments in The Witcher, which tend to be more serious.
“In all honesty, my favorite scenes were the slightly more … the more down moments, definitely,” he explained. “The moments where we connect and kind of step away from all the nonsense and the improvisation, which there was a lot of, because I apparently just don’t say the script. There’s a really lovely arc to it in episode six, which I imagine you’ve not seen yet. But there’s a couple of moments in that where a lot of that frivolity and the comic nature of the relationship kind of gets put aside for a few moments, and they actually talk to each other as friends. […] And I think that for me was the most important thing to play, was grounding it in that loyalty and that friendship, and then the humor and all the goofing about, that’s just like a bonus. That’s the fun stuff.”
Fans can look forward to more witty banter from Geralt and Jaskier when season 2 premieres sometime in 2021.