EW – On the new season of Vikings, Alexander Ludwig’s Bjorn walks into the forest looking for trouble in an attempt to prove himself to his parents. “Both Ragnar and Lagertha, in their own way, had tried to keep Bjorn as a child, not respecting him as an equal,” Vikings creator/writer Michael Hirst tells EW. “So Bjorn takes off into the wilderness to prove, both to himself and Ragnar, that he can survive in the most extreme conditions. He’s in the interior of Norway, over a winter.”
Vikings usually shoots in Ireland, but Hirst wanted Bjorn’s journey to feel extra visceral. “We sent Alexander to Canada, in the winter. We made him jump into an ice hole in the lake. We tortured him! Which,” Hirst hastens to add, “he was delighted by.” Filming Bjorn’s Revenant moment actually required two different bear actors trading off scenes. (Think the Olsen Twins, but bears.) “They’ve got a very good union, I guess,” laughs Hirst. “When they rear up, they’re like nine feet tall. Alexander’s about 6’5”, and they made him look small!”
SOOTODAY – Loyal readers may recall that back in March 2015, Mr. Alexander Ludwig was spotted at the Sault Ste. Marie Airport.
He’s the fine young lad that portrays Bjorn Lothbrok on the History Channel’s popular drama Vikings.
Shortly following the Ludwig sighting, local wildlife photographer Ron Gallagher found in the Gros Cap area what he suspected was a set used for filming.
According to a recent news release issued by Shaw Media, last year’s local shoot was for the series’ fourth season and was a first in Vikings’ history.
“In an exciting first in the series’ history, the new season of Vikings will feature scenes filmed in Canada, on location in Sault Ste. Marie,” the release states.
This looks so intense! I’m ready for season 4 NOW!
It’s the Last Supper for Ragnar, and everyone might be Judas.
EW – History’s Vikings is returning Feb. 18, but for fans who can’t wait, EW is excited to share an exclusive look at the new season: A Last Supper-inspired piece of key art featuring the show’s cast. Vikingscreator/writer-of-every-episode Michael Hirst offers an in-depth look at the artwork. Click on the image above for a full-sized view, and read Hirst’s tantalizing teases for the season ahead, below:
A picture of the Last Supper portraying pagan Vikings in the role of Christ and his apostles may seem, to some, very controversial. But I would say, if nothing else, it emphasizes the centrality of belief systems and spirituality in the show. We are addressing that conflict between Christianity and paganism.
So many Renaissance artists painted a version of the Last Supper because of art starting to perform a new function. The depict human and emotional dilemmas using this motif, the image of prophesied betrayal. All the figures in these paintings are concentrated around the words: “One of you will betray me.” I think that’s the key to understanding this image that we have from the show. It’s exactly the same issue that’s being confronted.
NOVEMBER 5, 2014
As part of a special week long feature to coincide with the home entertainment release of Vikings series 2, Flickering Myth sits down in conversation with the cast and creator Michael Hirst to go behind the scenes of the critically acclaimed historical drama.
From the reflections of two onscreen brothers [Travis Fimmel and Clive Standen], Alexander Ludwig a.k.a. Bjorn reflects on joining the cast in series 2 and playing Ragnar’s son…
Paul Risker: Going into season two you are taking over a role that has been played by a younger actor (Nathan O’Toole). Did that present any challenges?
Alexander Ludwig: It has its challenges. I thought that Nathan did such a great job and I was obviously very happy to be a part of the show. But I also loved his character as a child and so it was bittersweet.
I definitely wanted to keep elements of the way he had played it, which I think was important especially in the transition stage, and especially in the third season. I have kind of veered away from that because when you grow up and you become a man there are elements that you always keep with you, but I’m not the same guy as I was yesterday, and I wanted to make sure I could show that he’s grown up.
Season two is definitely a coming of age season for Bjorn, and in season three he’s his own man. He’s a team with his father and he’s basically learning to lead, because historically that’s what will happen – Bjorn will have to step up and take over.
PR: What do you think Bjorn wants most of Ragnar – to be a good father or to be his equal?
AL: His respect – definitely. I don’t think he needs a father figure. Ragnar has always been a great father to him, and so what he really wants is his respect.
It’s so funny when you do historical shows because you realise that people in terms of being a human being, relationships with one another doesn’t really change over time at all. We still have the same problems nowadays that we did back then. I want my Dads respect in real life, and I want to prove to my father that I can make him proud and I can do better than him. I think that is also what Bjorn wants.
He’s intelligent and so he wants to learn everything he can from his father because he sees that he is a visionary. But at the same time he does want to do better, and he wants to go further. He wants to become even more legendary, and historically that is what happened. It is so cool to be on a show and to be able to start showing that.
One of the most powerful themes in narrative fiction is the idea that every generation wants to despite their respect for the previous generation to propel themselves further. This is a common conflict in narrative fiction.
It’s an interesting thing to dive into and explore, because when you’re living it rarely do you see it from the outside perspective. But when you’re playing a character that is going through that then you really sit back and think about it. You realise how hilarious it is that what everybody wants to do is to make sure they do a better job than the generation before them.
‘Vikings’ Season 3: Bjorn Looks To Rollo For Advice? Clive Standen Teases Uncle/Nephew Relationship
By Vanessa Frith, EnStars
on Oct 02, 2014
Bjorn will look to his uncle for advice during Vikings season 3.
Rollo (Clive Standen) may not be Ragnar’s (Travis Fimmel) favorite person following his questionable season 2 decisions, but the King’s brother will be able to teach his nephew a thing or to as the Vikings spread their raiding to Paris.
“Rollo & Bjorn can learn a lot from each other…and they will in season 3,” Standen tweeted in September.
Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) may need that extra advice as he starts to leave his childhood behind. Historically more powerful than his father, Bjorn will run into conflict with his father as he grows older.
“It’s definitely been a coming-of-age story,” Lugwig explained to Zap2It. “Historically, this character goes on to do some pretty incredible things, so I think we’re setting up him coming into his own and becoming a man.”
When season 3 does premiere, Standen promises “it’s going to blow your heathen mind!”
Find out more when Vikings returns to the History Channel in 2014. Click the video below to see a teaser for season 3.