Alexander Ludwig thought bear co-star might eat him
ZAP2IT – Watch out “The Revenant,” Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig) isn’t playing around when it comes to fighting bears. The latest episode of “Vikings,” “Mercy,” put Ragnar’s eldest son toe-to-toe with a bear, and according to Ludwig, it’s a situation that would horrify just about anyone.
“There’s a walkway for the bear, from its trailer where they hold it to the actual set, that’s surrounded by an electrical fence,” he tells Zap2it. “Where I was filming, where I was across from the bear, it wasn’t. It was just a clothesline, but the bear thought it was an electric fence.”
That’s putting a lot of faith in hoping the bear doesn’t figure out what’s really going on. “I kept saying to the producers, ‘I can’t wait for you guys to have to rewrite this ending of the bear fight, when the bear gets hungry and realizes there’s no electric fence,’” the actor remembers with a laugh.
Luckily, the bear was a true professional. “I will say the bear was a better actor than I was and it hit its mark,” Ludwig says. “I was a huge fan of it’s work, it was in ‘Anchorman.’”
For him though, the entire experience was less scary and more “surreal.”
“[Creator] Michael [Hirst] told me that he had these ideas of going places and you never really know if it’s going to come into fruition,” he says. “Then when I got the call I was beyond excited. Partly because I get to work with this incredible creature and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but also because I think it’s what the show needed.”
“You can’t fake landscapes like that,” he says of shooting the scenes on location in Canada. “You go out there and it just adds a validity to the show. This community had to survive terrible conditions and it’s nice to show a little bit of what it would take to do that.”