Netflix's live-action adaptation of The Witcher aired its second season in December 2021, picking up where Geralt of Rivia and company left off. Leading stars Henry Cavill, Freya Allan, and Anya Chalotra reprise their roles from Season 1 and the group finds an assembly of debuting fan favorites coming into play alongside them.
WARNING - The rest of this article contains spoilers from The Witcher Season 2.
Among those treasured newcomers is Lambert, portrayed by Paul Bullion; the character comes in as a fellow Witcher, and he's also a childhood friend of Cavill's Geralt. While the two are cut from the same cloth, Lambert and Geralt possess very different outlooks on where Witchers fit into the Continent.
The Witcher's Paul Bullion Discusses His Franchise Debut
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Direct's Liam Crowley, The Witcher star Paul Bullion shared that he has many proud moments from his inaugural run, but hearing the famous "that's a wrap" is at the top of his list.
"I think I have to say just just the moment we wrapped on the season as a whole. With the pandemic, everything was put in place to make sure that we could finish the series. To get those words, 'That's a wrap,' was beautiful. To be part of that and deliver that series is special."
Much of that relief is attributed to The Witcher's chaotic production schedule, which stretched for more than a calendar year. Production on Season 2 began in February 2020 and only filmed two weeks of content before the pandemic put everything on sabbatical.
The Witcher wasn't able to resume production until August 2020 and it would experience a couple more COVID-related delays until it was able to finally wrap this past April.
On-screen, Bullion portrays Lambert, a no-nonsense Witcher that doesn't take kindly to outsiders. Bullion noted he wanted to steer clear from doing an impersonation of past depictions of Lambert, which is why he took his biggest inspiration from "normal human behavior."
"I rooted him in normal human behavior in the sense of if someone's been wronged by life, they have trust issues. I think Lambert doesn't trust very easily because I don't think he chose to be a Witcher. He's good at it and he loves the people around him, but he didn't choose it. He's gone through these trials, all these really negative experiences. He's kind of like a veteran that come back from war. He has that 'I've seen some stuff, you don't know the half of it' mindset."
When he first auditioned for the series, Bullion was subject to the usual secrecy that surrounds big franchises as he was not notified of the role he was reading for until he was offered the part. For this reason, Bullion avoided the source material until after he had confirmed his casting.
"I didn't read the books until I got the part because I didn't want to interfere with whatever I was giving them in the audition room. It was working because they were recalling me. I had to I had to kind of take a bit of an educated guess as to who I was auditioning for, because everything was under wraps. Once I had the offer I delved into the books and the games to get a flavor of what was already out there. I wanted to make sure that I didn't play Lambert as an a--hole for the sake of it (laughs). I made sure I grounded it in a in a sense of insecurity."
Bullion's Experience Joining The Witcher
Season 2 is full of twists and turns, and not every decision has gone over well with the fans. One of The Witcher's most polarizing moments came in the new season's second episode when Basil Eidenbenz's Eskel was killed not long after he was introduced. Being one of the games' most popular characters, as well as an integral part of Ciri's training in the books, viewers were left shocked by Eskel's quick exit from the live-action series.
Bullion opened up about the controversial decision to kill off one of his few fellow Witchers. While he expected the backlash, Bullion emphasized his appreciation for The Witcher's writers being willing to "keep the audience guessing."
"I 100% knew that there'd be fans that wouldn't be happy about it. He's a fan favorite. You can see it all in the fan art and the fan fiction involving the Witchers: Eskel, Lambert, and Coen. I think any if you took any of those three Witchers away, excluding Geralt as he's the lead, it was going to be a shock factor. Me personally as a storyteller, I think if you're going to do a TV adaptation, I think it's good to keep the audience guessing. Even if you are a Witcher lore expert, I think it's great to throw a curveball. I found out when I read the scripts at the start, and I was going through like, are they going to bring him back magically somehow? I think it's necessary in TV adaptations to let the audience know that nobody can guess. I think even people that are fans of Eskel, to be affected by it whether you're filled with sadness or shock, isn't it great to watch something and be like, 'I did not see that coming'? If I'm watching something, I love it when something completely sideswipes me out of nowhere. I think it was a brave decision and I 100% back the writers in that."
In his past projects, Bullion has shared the screen with big names across Hollywood, and The Witcher was no different. Bullion praised leading man Henry Cavill's dedication to the series, noting his passion "[rubbed] off" on his co-stars.
"He's such a gentleman. He's very passionate about show, and he's very giving as an actor. He was always there for advice. He was always there to discuss details. He wouldn't just like turn up and film, he'd be there to discuss the scenes in detail before. He would really go above and beyond to create a camaraderie that were transferred to the screen. It's great to be around people like that, because it just rubs off on you. He leads from the front. I think it's great to have somebody like Henry that's so passionate about the show leading it."
Even with Season 2 now in the rearview mirror, Bullion stressed that he wants to be with The Witcher for the long haul.
"I'm committed to the Witcher on there as long as they want to use me. The Witcher is something that's a big part my life now because it is such a huge show. To film it through the pandemic, it's always going to be a special part of my life. I'm committed to it. I'm very proud of Lambert and I'm proud to play him."
The first two seasons of The Witcher are streaming in full on Netflix.