In case the first trailer for Robert Eggers’ 10th century viking epic “The Northman” didn’t make it clear enough, Alexander Skarsgard has undergone one serious transformation to play a prince seeking revenge for the murder of his father. Skarsgard is known for his muscular physique, but he’s taken things to a new level with his hulking beast of an appearance in “The Northman.” According to Eggers, the actor “transformed his body more wildly” for “The Northman” than he did to play Tarzan in the 2016 adventure movie “The Legend of Tarzan.”
“I was utterly terrified, but it’s a major privilege to be able to do something like this,” Eggers recently told Total Film magazine about his new film. “It’s been exciting. The studio let me use all my head of departments from my last two films, and I was able to work with the top viking historians in the world, which was incredible.”
“The amount of discipline that Alex put into this role is crazy,” Eggers added. “He transformed his body more wildly than he did in Tarzan.”
Skarsgard stars in “The Northman” as Viking prince Amleth, who was a child when his father, King Horvendill (Ethan Hawke), was murdered. Years later, Amleth vows to avenge his father’s death and save his mother, Queen Gudrun (Nicole Kidman), from the clutches of his father’s killer, Fjölnir (Claes Bang). The supporting cast also includes Anya Taylor-Joy, Bjork, Ralph Ineson and Willem Dafoe.
Speaking to NME last year, Ineson called Skarsgard “an absolute beast” in the movie. The actor added, “[There’s] a scene where he beats this guy in a battle; bends down and rips his throat out with his teeth, screams to the gods and he’s got his shirt off — and you think: ‘My god, that’s not a bodybuilder doing a scene, that’s like a proper serious actor!’
“He’s made himself look like some kind of monster for the part, the dedication’s incredible,” Ineson added of Skarsgard. “I think it will be a bit of a masterpiece, to be honest.”
Focus Features is set to open “The Northman” in theaters April 22.