The Northman: Alexander Skarsgård talks about an intense shoot


Over the last few years, Robert Eggers has carved out a privileged place for himself in cinema. His vision of witchcraft at the beginning of the colonization of America and his ideas about the legends of sailors have captivated cinephiles. Now with The Northman embarks on the Viking world and Alexander Skarsgård seems to be his perfect accomplice.

With the premiere of the film getting closer, new details come to light. But none more interesting than those that the protagonist of the film has to share. According to Alexander Skarsgård, this is a masterpiece and the reason is none other than extreme perfectionism, of which Stanley Kubrick would be proud.

«[Robert Eggers] He is absolutely a perfectionist,” Skarsgård said. “The Northman was the first time I had worked on something that was so meticulously stylized. You almost had to see it as a dance between the camera and the actors, because the camera is constantly moving, and so are we. If the timing was a bit off, then we’d have to do it again. I have never been more tired than after those six months.”

It is important not to confuse the actor’s words with being fed up. He himself explained to Kirsten Dunst during an exercise an interview, about «the pleasures of pain». And it is that the film includes very long shots and without cuts, where 40 doubles of horses and more than 200 extras, must work with the precision of a clock so that the director of The witch be satisfied.

“Shooting it all in one take means you do this four-minute take, and then a horse in the background looks the wrong way and you have to do it all over again,” Skarsgård said. “You are so tired that you want to cry. You feel like you finally got all the fight choreography done, but then you have to go over and over and over again. There’s always something in the background that wasn’t quite right. The other side of the coin is that when you finally get it, it feels like winning gold at the Olympics.”

Previously, another of the film’s actors, Ralph Ineson, he claimed that working with Skarsgård on the film has been amazing. His transformation into a savage Viking warrior is something that will be as impressive to watch on screen as it was to see on set.

“There’s a scene where he beats this guy in a battle; he bends down and rips his throat out with his teeth, he screams at the gods and he takes his shirt off, and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, that’s not a bodybuilder doing a scene, this is a real serious actor!’” he shared. Ineson. “He made himself look like some kind of monster for the role, the dedication is incredible. I think it will be a bit of a masterpiece, to be honest.”

The dedication put into the film is so precise that every element of the prop and every thread of the costume must be precise. Accurate to the directions and wishes of the director, as well as historically accurate. Skarsgård assured that I read the script every day before starting to film to feel prepared and that with each reading he discovered new details of his character.

“I discover new things with each reading. I come up with a thousand different ideas and then I delete them,” said Skarsgård. “Once we get into the shoot, it’s about finding that sweet spot between being prepared, but also open to what happens when you’re with the other actors. It’s being alive and playful and open to discovering things in front of the camera. If I’m not prepared at all, I get nervous.”

He added: “The most rewarding days were when I came prepared with a vague idea of ​​how I wanted to play the scene, but was still open enough to be surprised. And together with the director and the other actors, we discovered something that was not planned and that surprised and moved us all… Everything is carefully planned. Because it’s mostly a single camera, single take.”

The other actors accompanying Alexander Skarsgård in The Northman They are none other than Anya Taylor Joy, Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawk, Willem Dafoe, the aforementioned Ralph Ineson and Björk. This last one by the way, returning to the cinema from her role in Dancing in the Dark (2000) for which he won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Festival.

The Northman It will hit theaters in the United States on April 22. For their part, Mexican movie theaters will receive it a day before, in obedience to the traditional Thursday of premieres.

The entry The Northman: Alexander Skarsgård talks about an intense shoot was first published in Cine PREMIERE.


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