Alexander Skarsgård was put in an ‘uncomfortable’ position on Lorraine when Ranvir Singh quizzed him about his physique in The Northman, with the presenter remarking how he’s ‘naked from the waist up’ for much of the movie.
The historical drama, directed by Robert Eggers, stars Alexander as Amleth, the Viking warrior prince, alongside Nicole Kidman as his mother Queen Gudrún, Ethan Hawke as his father King Aurvandill, Amleth’s father, Willem Dafoe as Heimir the Fool and Anya Taylor-Joy as Olga.
On Tuesday’s edition of Lorraine, Ranvir – who has been fronting the ITV programme while Lorraine Kelly is on her Easter holidays – spoke to Alexander and Anya about the film, which is also produced by the Big Little Lies star.
While chatting to the pair via video chat, Ranvir turned to Alexander, stating: ‘You are naked from the waist up almost all the entire time in there and your body looks very different to the way you look now. That in itself must have been quite a feat. What did you have to do to inhabit this huge Viking prince character? Because physically it’s different.’
Alexander, 45, appeared slightly taken aback by the line of questioning, remarking that Ranvir ‘sounded so disappointed’.
The Queen’s Gambit and Peaky Blinders star Anya, 25, stepped in to emphasise that ‘nobody works as hard as this man’.
‘I honestly can’t say enough about how much effort and love he poured into this role, and you can really see it. I mean dude, you filled the entire screen,’ she said, as Ranvir exclaimed: ‘Right!’
‘I’m blushing now guys. This is very uncomfortable for me,’ Alexander responded.
As he started to speak about the fitness routine he embarked on for the role, the actor admitted that ‘this is very uncomfortable’ while laughing nervously.
He explained that his character is a ‘berserker’, a type of Viking warrior that were described as fighting with a ‘trance-like fury’ and wore animal pelts rather than armour into battle, often from bears.
‘I don’t look exactly like a bear, but I wanted to,’ he said, crediting his trainer for helping him put on more weight to match the character’s description, as well as bulking up with ‘basically five meals for breakfast’.
The Northman sees Alexander reunite on-screen with Moulin Rouge star Nicole, having acted opposite her as her abusive husband in Big Little Lies.
Speaking about her in 2019, he said: ‘I love her on and off-set, she’s a wonderful human being and extraordinary actress.’
Lorraine airs weekdays from 9am on ITV.