NOVEMBER 3, 2014
BY GARY COLLINSON
Paul Risker chats with Vikings star Travis Fimmel…
In 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. First up leading man Travis Fimmel a.k.a. Ragnar Lothbrok reflects on the journey so far…
Paul Risker: Ragnar’s arc in season one is a fascinating one. He grows from explorer to having something of a swagger or arrogance about him. How does it feel playing a character with that kind of arc?
Travis Fimmel: I don’t know whether its arrogance or he just likes women. In season two he still feels righteous about what he does. He wants to help his people out, and he certainly wants to be a guy that’s known for exploring, and being the first Scandinavian to have been certain places. I think his heart is in the right place, and he’ll do anything for the people around him.
He doesn’t have many people that he can seek advice from, and so sometimes he has to say, “No, we are doing it my way.” Otherwise if he’d listen to some of the other ideas that were thrown in they wouldn’t get anywhere. A lot of the time successful people who achieve their goals sacrifice a lot of human things – family and such. There are a lot of rich people that aren’t very happy because they get rich by sacrificing a load of things, and it’s that old saying that “Money doesn’t make you happy.”
PR: So he’s a noble man, but with a brutal edge?
TF: [Laughs] Yeah I like that!
PR: I have to ask about the Blood Eagle episode which is horrific, absolutely horrific. What was your reaction when Michael told you that’s the way the story line was going to play out?
TF: Oh I loved it, and it was shot so well by Kari Skogland – beautifully shot and beautifully written. Thorbjørn Harr is such a great actor, and it’s stuff like that makes our show a bit different. We can’t show everything that happens, and so they need to be clever how they shoot things. You can’t show cutting lungs out and such, but it’s amazing how they can portray that by being smart about it.
PR: The first season is focused on introducing the characters and the world to the audience. At the end of the first and on into the second season you don’t have to play it safe, and you are able to play around with things a little more. Is there a feeling of liberation when making that transition from the first to the second season?
TF: Well every actor hates exposition, and some actors really like lines. So it’s much easier the more seasons you do because everybody knows the characters, which makes it so much more enjoyable; more relationship driven. You don’t have to explain everything, and the audience are smarter than any of us. There is stuff that the audience pick up in a show that we miss. But exposition comes from way above the people here and production. There are people that think, oh the audience don’t get this, but the audience get it better than anybody – it comes from higher up.
PR: Do you ever think of the audience when you are on set?