The actor Alexander Ludwig embodied the leading role of the Viking Bjorn Lothbrok in the series “Vikings”. In addition, he acted in various films such as “Hunger Games – The Hunger Games”. Now Ludwig begins a whole new chapter and starts a career as a country musician.
In the FOCUS online interview, Alexander Ludwig provides insights into the shooting and reveals the advice he received from Will Smith and Anthony Hopkins. He also gives tips on how to deal with stage fright.
In the series “Vikings” you play the main role of the Viking Bjorn Lothbrok. How did you get this role?
Alexander Ludwig: Someone saw me in Hunger Games and thought I would be a good fit. So I just got lucky.
What was your craziest behind-the-scenes experience on Vikings?
Ludwig: Always the fight scenes. You can’t prepare for five hundred people on horses running at you. It always gets out of control! But it was a great time.
What parallels do you see between yourself and the Viking character Bjorn Lothbrok?
Ludwig: Above all, his ambition and drive.
Describe a typical working day during filming.
Ludwig: You go to the set early in the morning. Even before the sun rises, go for hair styling and make-up. You then put on your wardrobe and go through your work for the day. Then it’s time to get to work on the set. Non-stop until the end.
Are there any techniques that will help you to memorize even very long texts? How do you work?
Ludwig: There is always a meaning behind everything I say on screen. This meaning is always something personal for me because I can identify with this moment. So I find it much easier to remember lyrics when I’ve broken this down at least a week before. Preparation is the key!
You starred alongside Will Smith in the film Bad Boys For Life. How did you experience him as a person? Did you learn anything from him?
Ludwig: I know Will Smith as a great person and professional actor. We had a great time and hope to work together again soon. Most importantly, I learned that I was already on the right path and we had a lot in common in terms of work ethic. One thing that blew me away was how well read he is. He encouraged me to do the same and to find books that really spoke to me.
How important is networking in the film industry?
Ludwig: Of course it’s always great to know people. But I’ve found that, for example, “networking events” are of little use. However, if you meet someone on a film set and then that person has seen your work and appreciates you, it can always lead to more!
They are now also performing as country musicians. How did this jump from the acting business to the music business come about?
Ludwig: I grew up with Conutry music. So I just had to follow my heart!
What advice do you have for our readers who are also considering a change to a new professional field? What do you have to pay attention to?
Ludwig: What you pay attention to is just as important as what you don’t pay attention to. Just focus on your personal growth and become the best version of yourself through it. The rest will fall into place. And yes, sometimes you have to block out all the noise around you.
What does country music mean to you personally? Where do you get the inspiration for your songs from?
Ludwig: It’s a way of life that reminds me how I want to live. Even when I’m surrounded by all the craziness of my acting job, country music always keeps me grounded. I really get my inspiration from everywhere.
So you work as an actor and a musician. What is the common thread in your life?
Ludwig: Chasing dreams, being fearless, never giving up and always moving forward! At the same time, never forget to enjoy this trip.
Do you have stage fright when performing in front of an audience?
Ludwig: Yes, especially with a smaller audience.
What are your tips for dealing professionally with stage fright?
Ludwig: Breathe and remember that preparation is freedom. If you’ve practiced what you’re doing long enough, that’s exactly the preparation you can fall back on when you get nervous.
What was the best piece of advice you received in your life?
Ludwig: My mother always pushed me! She has often told me never to give up and always believe in myself. She also taught me that I have to trust that there are things I can never control. Looking back, I got a lot of great advice from different people. But it was always this consistent push from my mother that will always be important to me.
Anthony Hopkins once told me, “Act as if you could never fail.” And that’s exactly the advice I’ve always taken to heart!
In conclusion, I would say that comparison is always a theft of joy! Just focus on always being the best version of yourself! Life is not a competition and never will be.