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The Witcher: Kristofer Hivju reveals details of his ‘epic transformation’ into Nivellen

Kristofer Hivju stars as Nivellen in Season 2 of Netflix's The Witcher
Kristofer Hivju stars as Nivellen in Season 2 of The Witcher. Pic credit: Netflix

Fans of Game of Thrones were eager to tune into Season 2 of The Witcher in order to check out Kristofer Hivju, who starred as Tormund Giantsbane in HBO’s epic fantasy series.

However, the actor looked a little different from the wilding that won hearts in Game of Thrones.

And, by a little bit, I mean that it was hard to recognize the actor who portrayed Nivellen, who was cursed to look like a man-boar beast after he raped a priestess.

As to be expected with such a change in appearance, there was a lot of work that went in behind the scenes to alter the way Kristofer looked — as well as post-production to make sure that the character looked realistic.

New clip reveals Nivellen transformation

Netflix has recently shared a clip to their official Twitter account for The Witcher that details Kristofer’s transformation.

In the video, the actor explained the long and detailed process that turned him from a human in Nivellen.

Kristofer opened up by declaring that he had never played a part in full prosthetics prior to starring in the Season 2 premiere episode of The Witcher.

As he speaks, visuals of the costume — including a headpiece — are shown as the actor prepared to play the part.

A full-body suit was designed that was molded from the actor’s body and then transformed the cast into the suit that Kristofer would wear.

A movement coach was also employed to help the actor prepare for the role.

“We studied boars and bears and tried to figure out like how do they move,” Kristofer revealed in the clip.

They also tried to maintain a balance between the animalistic side of Nivellen along with his “gentlemanish” mannerisms.

Kristofer Hivju as Nivellen, as seen in Season 2 of Netflix's The Witcher
Kristofer Hivju as Nivellen, as seen in Season 2 of The Witcher. Pic credit: Netflix

CGI was only used on Nivellen’s face

While a costume may have been used to create the boarish appearance, Kristofer explained that CGI was used — but only on his face.

A hole was left for Kristofer’s face to poke out from, and a special metal bar ran over that so that the CGI artists could use it as a guide when creating their onscreen magic.

“The only thing that is CGI is the face because I didn’t manage to make my face look like a boar. I tried though,” the actor joked.

The metal bar actually contained a camera that helped to capture his facial expressions and this was then used to create the CGI over the top that really brought the character to life.

Season 2 of The Witcher is currently available to stream on Netflix.

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