Robert Eggers, a writer/director who has only created two feature films, has already acquired a reputation for his powerful and visceral approach. Both The Witch and The Lighthouse are stunning films with stunning images that elicit long looks into macabre nightmares. There is no doubt that his next film, the Viking adventure The Northman, will deliver more of the same, but star Alexander Skarsgrd (who underwent an impressive physical transformation for the film) has now painted a pretty striking picture that suggests the work may be Eggers’ most nerve-wracking yet.
The Northman is just one month away from entering theaters in the United States, and Skarsgrd recently spoke with Empire about his experience working on the film. While he’s already spoken about the shoot’s craziness, he particularly mentioned one scene in the historical revenge thriller that required 30 takes to perfect, and he said it left him “really a wreck.” According to the actor,
It was the end of a very long, complex shot of the Viking berserkers raiding a Slav village. The choreography was so difficult, with all these elements, 50 people fighting simultaneously, the extras and the horses… making it look perfect was a real undertaking… That climax, where I rip a guy’s throat out and howl at the moon… it was primal. I just let it all out. I was exhausted, and I think you see it in the shot. I was a wreck. Truly a wreck.
My mind immediately goes to Patrick Swayze in Road House or Will Forte in the Macgruber series/movie when I think about neck ripping in movies, but it’s exciting to think that The Northman will challenge them for throat-ripping dominance in my head. That is a very vivid depiction of a scenario, and I am looking forward to seeing it on the big screen.
And in case you need an even better taste of what this cinematic experience is going to deliver, you can watch its debut trailer from last December below:
The Northman stars Alexander Skarsgrd as Amleth, a Viking prince born to Queen Gudrn (Nicole Kidman) and King Aurvandill, and is based on a medieval Scandinavian mythology (Ethan Hawke). When his father is murdered, he embarks on a journey to exact vengeance on the perpetrators, pushing himself to the limit in the process. Anya Taylor-Joy, Claes Bang, Björk, Ralph Ineson, and the incomparable Willem Dafoe round out the stellar group (who just worked with Robert Eggers on The Lighthouse).