The actor brings to life the protagonist of this epic adventure directed by Robert Eggers that you can find in theaters.
Alexander Skarsgård is, at 1.94m, quite a corpulent guy. He still had to gain almost 10 kilos of muscle to star the north man. “We wanted Alex to have a slightly thicker, slightly more Viking look,” says trainer Magnus Lygdbäck in Insider, “We needed it to look like a bear but move like a wolf.” Robert Eggers’ film was a very demanding challenge for its protagonist, who had to prepare hard to give life to Amleth, the dethroned prince seeking revenge.
Skarsgård had been trying to get the project off the ground for a long time and was incredibly excited to begin the journey, albeit a physically demanding one. “My character’s name, when he’s a warrior at the beginning of the movie, is ‘Bjorn Ulfur’, which means wolf bear. […] I’m a bit too skinny for that character, so it was important to have a bit more bulk and be a bit more bear-like in my posture and size.“, tells Empire. That’s how she got it.
Intense training without risk of injury
Skarsgård started working out with Lygbäck to gain muscle. how to pick up Insidertrained with heavy and light weights. They trained five days a week, being able to add an extra day to recover mobility. “It was about building that power and looking powerful,” says the coach, adding that they didn’t want him to look like the physique he had in the legend of tarzan.
At all times they took into account that the actor, no matter how much physical power he seems to have, has already turned 45 and there was a risk of injury, which would have greatly delayed the process. To prevent this from happening, they focused on working on mobility. At the same time, they lowered the intensity of the repetitions in the weightlifting so that Skarsgård would not injure himself. Although everything was going smoothly, they ran into a problem they hadn’t anticipated.
The protagonist of ‘The man from the North’ was handcuffed and dragged: “It was physically and mentally the most difficult job I’ve ever had”
Just as Lygdbäck designed a specific training plan, he took food into account. It was essential that the actor eat just what he needed. During the training period he ate a small amount of calories above what he used to eat normally. Three weeks before the shoot, he changed tactics and went into a slight caloric deficit. He didn’t have many restrictions on what he could eat, as long as he was more or less healthy, and on the weekends he indulged in a glass of wine with his trainer.
Stop in confinement to come back stronger
Lygdbäck and Skarsgård trained together for about three months before shooting began in March 2020. We all know what happened at that point: the coronavirus arrived, the film was suspended and the training had to be paused. This added a new challenge to Skarsgård’s preparation, as he had to struggle to maintain his physique during the lockdown. They returned to the charge in June and returned to training in August. Interestingly, this made the actor in better shape when filming started.
“When you’re an actor, you’re pampered. You have a lot of help. The studio will get you the best trainer and the best nutritionist and the best plan. They set everything up. So you don’t really have to do much. They tell you what to do and when to do it.” says the protagonist of the north man in an interview with Empire, “I was very excited to make the film after years of pre-production and planning, and talking to Rob [el director] about the character and the story. There are many months and years of talking hypothetically about the character. Then when you start training, that’s the first day you go into actual pre-production, at least for me as an actor.“.
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