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Alexander Skarsgård goes primal in the new movie 'The Northman'

He put on pounds for his new Viking vengeance film. #k5evening

SEATTLE — Set in 895 AD, "The Northman" is a tale that follows a Nordic prince who seeks revenge against the man who kills his father and takes his rightful crown.

The young prince escapes his father’s fate and grows into a fearsome warrior played by actor Alexander Skarsgård. But the road to revenge is never smooth. And his path is paved with brutal clashes and hard truths.

Evening’s Jim Dever spoke with Skarsgard about his Viking vengeance film over Zoom.

“Watching this movie, it was so incredibly physical. Like, by the end, I felt like I had to get into a bathrobe and drop into a sauna. It looked like it could have been incredibly uncomfortable at times. Was it?” Jim asked.

"Yeah, that's how I felt after the seven months on that mountaintop. Basically, just wanted to, for three months stay in that bathrobe, and sleep and stay warm,” Skarsgard said. "We shot it in some remote locations. And we were crawling around in the mud for seven months, basically. So, there wasn't much time to just shoot the #$@% in a green room or in a comfortable trailer where you're out there and the elements."

Also braving the elements were stars like Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe, and Skarsgard's on-screen love interest, Anya Taylor-Joy.

"We wanted it to be a very immersive experience for the audience. And it helps when you see the actors actually on a mountaintop and fighting the wind and the rain and everything, but to do that together with Anya, the other cast members, and this incredible crew we had was definitely a very bonding experience."

"Do you have to do anything to prepare for something like that? Beyond the normal acting preparation? Do you have any sort of physical preparation for a role?" Jim asked

"On top of the normal preparation of getting into the kind of the headspace and mindset of a Viking and understanding who he was and the mental aspect of it, I had to get a bit bigger, put on some weight, become more of a bear, more of a Bear Wolf," Skarsgard replied. "Just more of a bear-like on frame."

Buff, brutal, and bold. "The Northman" is as epic as the people it portrays.

"The Northman" opens in theaters April 22

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