We’re talking important secret stuff, like who takes the most selfies on set.
Ahead of the launch of Vikings‘s third season on History, three of the show’s stars sat down with BuzzFeed in Los Angeles (on a red bench, with a floral curtain backdrop, as Vikings tend to do) to chat about some behind-the-scenes secrets.
Below, see what Travis Fimmel (Ragnar Lothbrok), Clive Standen (Rollo), and Alexander Ludwig (Bjorn Lothbrok) had to say about what’s coming this season, who’s the biggest flirt on set, who looks best without a shirt, and much more.
1. Who has the hardest time growing a beard?
Alexander Ludwig: Ah fuck, you guys.
Clive Standen: Katheryn [Winnick, who plays Lagertha] grows them better than you.
2. Who takes the most time getting their hair done on set?
CS: You can just see by the picture, it’s Travis. It’s true — with all the tattoos!
AL: Travis gets all the tattoos all over his head.
3. Who’s the best at fighting in a battle scene?
AL: I am. I’m totally kidding. It’s Clive. Clive does all the good fighting stuff.
CS: It’s a tough one to call though, anyway, because we all have different weapons and I’ve got a sledgehammer.
Travis Fimmel: Clive can do tricks with his swords too, but he doesn’t fight with swords [on the show].
4. Who has the most injuries on set?
CS: That’d be me.
AL: Yeah, that’s Clive as well.
CS Yeah, I’m always getting stabbed with either other people’s weapons or my own weapon. I’ve been known to smack myself in the face with my own axe.
5. Who’s the biggest flirt on set?
AL: That’s a tough one too.
CS: It’s gotta be between Jefferson Hall [Torstein] and Travis. When they’re together…
AL: They flirt with each other.
6. Who gives the best advice on set?
AL: Linus Roache [King Ecbert], or Philip O’Sullivan, who plays the Bishop.
CS: Philip, yeah. He can hold court, that man. He gives advice about life in general, just boy-meets-girl stuff.
7. Who’s the most fearless when it comes to stunt work?
CS: I think you’d be really stupid if you didn’t have a little bit of fear in you when you’re doing it. It keeps you on your toes. I actually think when you have butterflies in your stomach, it’s your body’s way of dealing with it.
TF: She didn’t say fearful, she said fearless.
CS: But I think when you have butterflies in your stomach, it’s your body’s way of getting you ready for action.
8. Who has the most badass tattoo on set?
CS: Some of the tattoos are really hard to describe, because what’s great is that Tom McInerney, our makeup designer, he researches the tattoos from original Scandinavian and norse artifacts, or actual runic scribe. It’s very hard to point out what they mean — they have depictions of some of the gods, or depictions of an episode of the saga… Some of these things are really complicated to piece out, but they come from real designs.
AL: Clive’s body one is awesome, and then Travis, I love the ones on your head.
CS: The tattoos I have on my arms are all connected with Fenrir the wolf. Then there’s the two wolves that the Vikings believed were the reasons why the sun and the moon changed from night to day — they believed that they were being chased by two ravenous wolves.
9. Who’s been pranked the most by Travis?
AL: Yeah, George Blagden [Athelstan] has gotta take the cake for that.
TF: Just because he’s bigger.
10. Who’s most likely to break in the middle of a scene?
TF: What? I break you every time.
AL: Yeah, that’s the point: You’ve already broken because you’re trying to break me.
TF: No, I stay in character.
11. Who would you be afraid to meet on the battlefield in real life?
AL: Katheryn. I’m afraid to meet her in person (laughs).
CS: Pretty much all of them. All of the characters. I wouldn’t want to meet them on a battlefield.
12. Who’s the funniest person on set?
CS: George Blagden is pretty funny.
AL: George is very funny. Oh, Jefferson Hall is absolutely hysterical.
13. Who has the best Vikings hair?
CS: Well, Travis did.
AL: But they ruined it. I think George’s was the best, in the first season.
TF: Yeah, yours was great in the first season. First two.
AL: Oh, you mean when I cut the back of my head?
CS: Yeah, actually, that was something.
AL: George’s was great though, with the monk head. We cut out just the top here.
14. Who’s most likely to take a selfie on set?
CS & AL: Katheryn.
CS: And she does. A lot.
15. Who are the best buds on set?
AL: Well, we’re all pretty tight.
TF: I know the boys are really tight, and the girls.
AL: Everybody is super close.
CS: We’re just such an eclectic bunch of people. It just works.
AL: Maude Hirst [Helga] and Alyssa Sutherland [Princess Aslaug] have a really cool relationship too.
TF: Yeah, they took it to the next level, didn’t they?
CS: They live together, go on holiday together…
16. Who’s the most Viking-like IRL?
CS: Bizarrely, I’d say Ivan Kaye, who plays King Aelle, and he doesn’t even play a Viking. He’s got Viking in him, though. He’s an ox.
17. Who looks best without a shirt on?
TF: Oh, one of these two!
AL: Definitely Travis.
CS: Oh, it’s Alex. He’s 23, strapping — even my wife gets excited to be near him.
AL: Honestly, I think Katheryn. Katheryn definitely looks best without a shirt on.
18. What are you most excited for in Season 3?
CS: Paris is something we’ve not done before — it’s as new to the Vikings as much as it’s new to us. The city of Paris is very different to what we think of Paris now.
TF: We don’t know what it looks like either — it’s all CGI. So I’m very intrigued to see what’s coming.
AL: I’m excited for the finale — the very last episode. So much stuff is going to happen. There are a lot of character dynamics that are about to unfold.
CS: And a lot of good twists as well. It’s really clever, and well thought out twists from our writers as well. There are things, when you’re reading the scripts, you’re like, how is this going to make sense? And then, the next script comes out and you’re like, woah, OK! It’s really a cleverly woven script.