Check out 10 things you may not know about the show’s stars. (IMDB Story)
The odds were almost in his favor
Alexander Ludwig (Bjorn Ironside) was a top contender for the role of Peeta Malark in The Hunger Games. Although the role eventually went to Josh Hutcherson, director Gary Ross offered Ludwig the role of District 2 challenger and villain Cato. Ludwig told ET in an interview, “I’m really, really happy that it turned out the way it did. When I got ‘Vikings,’ I realized how much more I had to learn. It just feels like being on this show now, everything kind of just happened for a reason, and I really had to learn what it takes to be great.”
Katheryn Winnick could take you in a fight
Before Katheryn Winnick (Lagertha) started acting, she was already an accomplished martial artist, owning 3 martial arts schools by the time she was 21. As she told IMDb, “Lagertha is a character that I always wanted to play, in the sense where I get a chance to use my background and my history of martial arts. I studied taekwondo since the age of 7. I got my first black belt at the age of 13. I’m a third degree black belt in taekwondo, second in karate, and was teaching actors martial arts on movie sets.”
All in the family
Gustaf Skarsgård (Floki) is definitely not the only actor in the family. His father Stellan, probably the most famous of the Skarsgårds, has been acting since 1968, starring in films such as The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Good Will Hunting, and Thor. Gustaf’s older brother Alexander is best known for his role as the Norse vampire Eric Northman in “True Blood,” while younger brothers Bill can be seen on the Netflix horror series “Hemlock Grove” and Valter has had roles on TV series in Denmark and Sweden.
From Calvin Klein model to Viking
After being discovered by a modeling talent scout at a Melbourne gym, then signed to the LA Models agency in 2002, Travis Fimmel (Ragnar Lothbrok) became the first male model to land a six-figure deal with Calvin Klein; he was the face (and body) of both the fragrance CK’s Crave and Calvin Klein Underwear.
His dream role would be to play Errol Flynn
Clive Standen (Rollo) has played his share of swashbuckling characters over the years, from Gawain on “Camelot” to the villainous Archer on “Robin Hood.” But he’s revealed in interviews that his dream role would be to play one of Hollywood’s most famous swashbucklers, Errol Flynn. “My two idols are Elvis Presley and Errol Flynn. But, a bit of a dream of mine is to be in an Errol Flynn biopic. I would love to do a biopic. And if I was to choose one, I would love it to be my hero. I’d love to play Errol Flynn before I get too old.”
6 degrees of Michael Hirst
Series creator Michael Hirst has previously worked with many of his “Vikings” cast. Clive Standen (Rollo) played King Arthur’s knight Gawain on “Camelot.” Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who joins “Vikings” in Season 5 as the warrior Bishop Heahmund, John Kavanagh (The Seer) and Maude Hirst (Helga) also worked with Hirst on “The Tudors.”
Lumberjack of all trades
In the ’80s Donal Logue (King Horik) was the road manager for alternative bands Bullet LaVolta and the Lemonheads. He also co-owns a trucking company (Aisling Trucking) and a lumber and custom furniture company, Frison Logue Hardwoods.
He wasn’t planning to be “Boneless”
Alex Høgh Andersen initially auditioned for the roles of Ragnar’s sons Ubbe, Hvitserk, and Sigurd, but not Ivar the Boneless. He told Variety, “Something about the way I played the other sons made them ask me to read for Ivar. I didn’t know any of his scenes at all. So, I was sitting there sweating. I’m trying to read the scene and remember it, and half an hour later Jordan [Patrick Smith], who got Ubbe, and I did our scene together, and we nailed it. Then, of course, when they turn on the camera, that red light goes on, and you start forgetting everything. The third time was the lucky one.”