Kristofer Hivju & Kim Bodnia Interview: The Witcher S2

While The Witcher will bring back plenty of familiar faces when it returns to Netflix on December 17, with the meeting of Geralt (Henry Cavill) and Ciri (Freya Allan) propelling various narratives forward, the series is also introducing new characters integral to the lore. Geralt's old mentor Vesemir and cursed friend Nivellen are especially important this season, played by Kim Bodnia and Kristofer Hivju respectively. 

Related: Every New & Returning Character In The Witcher Season 2

Bodnia and Hivju spoke to Screen Rant about entering the world of The Witcher and diving into each of their backstories.

Screen Rant: Can you talk to me about Vesemir, and how Geralt views him now that he's all grown up?

Kim Bodnia: I mean, he lives in nature. He is a nature guy, so that was very important for me to have that grounding from nature. When you are together with Vesemir, you need to have peacefulness, so you can look inside yourself and get some answers out of it. That was the ground element. Together with Henry, we are just trying to create that kind of emotional stuff, so he can feel free to show emotional stuff when he is together with his father figure. That was the ground base into everything.

Now, Kristofer, we meet your character for the first time this season, Nivellen. What can you tell us about Nivellen, and can you talk about getting into the mindset of playing a cursed man?

Kristofer Hivju: Well, he is a good friend of Geralt from 15 years ago and is somehow Nivellen's best friend. Geralt helped him out of some horrible stuff back in the day, so they had to have a strong connection.

I had to understand the depth of what they had done before I managed to play the guy. I really tried to figure it out, because it's difficult to hide something if you don't know what you're hiding. When I found that the shame and remorse and all that, everything that he's kind of hiding from, it sparked in his positivism, and like wish to forget everything, and just have fun and have a drink. Suddenly, he has visitors and he hasn't seen people for ages. I love to play with those two different sides of him.

We get introduced to Vesemir in the anime The Nightmare of the Wolf. Can you talk to me a little bit about how that comes into play in season two, and how that character's explored in there?

Kim Bodnia: I think when we were shooting the season, Lauren Schmidt Hissrich told me, "Hey, we're going to tell the story about Vesemir's background here, so the origins can learn a lot about him." It came out after we were done with season one, and I was so happy about it. It's so cool. I really didn't know that this man had so much fun. I mean, probably I knew, but I forgot about it. So I tell you, I was shocked when I saw it. It was so funny and cool, man.

One of the things that was lovely when we were shooting the season was that Lauren came and told me that that's what's going to happen. I was just proud of it when it came out. It was so awesome.

I'm always so impressed by the character designs of The Witcher. Can you talk to me about the makeup and the prosthetics that you had to wear for Nivellen, and how that helps you get into the character?

Kristofer Hivju: Well, they made a full-body sculpture of me, and they built the whole suit on that. It's heavy, huge. Every inch of me was emphasized with 30%, so it was nice to feel big for once. It was like playing a doll, playing like being a puppeteer and a doll at the same time. I lived in that suit for months, so it became me in the end.

Next: Geralt & Vesemir's Backstory & Relationship Explained

The Witcher season 2 will be available to stream on Netflix on December 17.

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