Left to right: Alexander, me, some rando
This is shaping up to be a big season for Bjorn, as he becomes a man in his own right and steps out from the shadow of his father, Ragnar. Alexander talked about the development of his character, his life on and off the set and so much more. And I got to ask him my most burning questions about the show and Comic Con!!!
Hahahahaha! *wipes tear*
Here are some highlights of Alexander’s conversation with us:
Can you talk a bit about the crazy bear fight? How much of it was CGI and what was the most challenging part about the whole filming process?
Alexander Ludwig: I think the most challenging part was definitely the conditions. The weather was pretty rough and pretty cold but in terms of the bear, most of it is real. We don’t have a budget like The Revenant so we can’t make a CGI bear so in a really exciting way, we got to use a real one and it was a very, very incredible experience to work with such a beautiful and amazing animal.
You’ve done several movies in the past but this is really your first television series. Can you tell us what drew you to the character and the role, and what, if anything, is different in how you approach doing something like this from some of the other movies that you’ve done?
Alexander Ludwig: I never saw myself doing a TV show ever. That was never my passion. I’ve been kind of too ADD to just stay on one character for so long but as we’ve all seen, it’s been such an amazing change in the industry in terms of stories. I mean, the storylines on television have just been so exceptional, and when Vikings came along I was very reluctant to take the role at the beginning . . . but it’s been nothing short of the best decision I’ve ever made and the greatest experience. This is kind of Bjorn’s big season with Ragnar, and you’re going to see a huge shift in color and it’s pretty amazing that I had the opportunity to be able to show such growth, and I really feel like I myself grew as well on the show.
In the premiere we saw Bjorn studying a map taken from Paris where we get a glimpse of Italy and Rome on the map. Is that possibly foreshadowing for Bjorn’s own future conquest?
Alexander Ludwig: 100% yes. And that’s something we’ve known about since the beginning, the beginning of the show. So, it’s a very, very cool little addition and I’m really excited for you guys to see where it goes.
You’re filming in Ireland. Can you tell us a little bit about what it’s like to film there and kind of what you’re able to do during your off-time to kind of break up the monotony of filming?
Alexander Ludwig: Yes, I always think it’s important to never let your work justify your life, but the thing is I love what I do so much and it’s hard not to, but when I’m not working I’ve been taking music production classes in Dublin, and I’ve also been getting my pilot’s license in Wicklow. So, it’s very exciting up until now though because the weather’s been so bad that I can’t go. I can’t continue until hopefully we end up coming back next year.
I asked Alexander about Bjorn’s relationship with the supernatural in the upcoming season:
I’m wondering what you guys do for fun on the set to try to lighten up on the monotony of it.
Alexander Ludwig: It depends – I guess it will depend on where we are as well. Like when we’re on the boats we’re kind of limited to a very, very small area walking around. Usually it will just involve finding the nearest bit of fruit or something you can throw at one of the crew members, the cast members. Really, it’s basically a food fight every day.
I don’t believe you, this crew looks like no fun at all
Bjorn comes into his own this season, and you were in the spotlight and had so much screen time. What did you do to prepare for that, or was there any particular cast or crew member that helped you get where you needed to be?
Alexander Ludwig: Travis above all. He’s been my champion, he’s one of my best friends and he’s just completely – he’s been amazing, amazing, just working with him and learning as much as I can. We both worked with an acting coach with named Evonne Travis who’s incredible. So just consistently working on the scripts and whatnot are really important, and also I would say Michael Hirst has been amazing because it’s so rare that you find a writer on especially on a television show that’s so open to collaboration. It’s so great that he is and it really has been a dream come true.
Fangirling your bromance right now!
Do you think Ragnar’s womanizing had any effect on Bjorn’s past, his relationships and how he treats women this year, or does he continue to kind of hold his high bar for women and how he should treat women?
Alexander Ludwig: I think it’s a mix of both really, but I will say that you will see that Ragnar, Ragnar his personality has definitely kind of made its way into Bjorn. It’s like father like son, that somehow I worked a lot on with Travis just to show that. So you will see that he’s – but also I think it’s such important to remember it’s something that I always have to remind myself is that of course you got – you’re caught womanizing or whatever but at the end of the day, back then in their culture it wasn’t seen as that. I mean of course with Lagertha and Ragnar, they had their own rules that they lived by, that was just between them.
Wah, I miss Ragertha rules
Best part of the interview? I got lasties!!!!! And I, of course, asked him about pranking Travis at Comic Con 2015!
Alexander was just so sweet, and so stressed out about being late for the call (Note to Alex: press stuff always starts late. Don’t sweat it!). I’d like to give a YUGE thanks to the Vikings crew for being so accessible to their fans! We will bring you more interviews with cast members as they happen.
Tune into the History Channel Thursday at 10/9c for a new episode of Vikings!
All Vikings images are courtesy of the History Channel.