When fans of the History Channel series last left Kattegat in the midseason finale, Bjorn (played by Alexander Ludwig) had been dealt a fatal blow by the Rus invasion. While Vikings launched the actor to stardom, he revealed it hasn’t been easy to land roles outside the show.
Throughout the last two decades, television has rivalled movies in terms of popularity, and TV stars have become household names as much as blockbuster heroes.
However, due to television series’ demanding filming schedules, lead stars of series like Vikings often find it difficult to land more acting jobs around their packed filming slate.
Alexander Ludwig has been a key player in the Vikings cast since season two, but took over as the series’ star after the death of Bjorn’s father, Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel).
During the lengthy wait for the second half of season six, Alexander has most recently featured in highly anticipated action sequel Bad Boys For Life.
Although his role as Dorn made a positive impression on moviegoers, the role marks a rare appearance from Alexander outside of Vikings.
The star recently revealed how his demanding Vikings calendar makes it difficult to land additional roles in film and television projects.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Alexander said: “When I signed on to the show, I originally expected it to be a 10-episode cable drama series.
“That meant I would’ve had work for four or five months out of the year, and then I’d be able to do a movie like a Bad Boys or something like that.”
Many prestige drama series originally start out with fewer episodes, but a positive reaction from their home network can secure an extended season order.
In the case of Vikings, the season was doubled from ten episodes to twenty, meaning Alexander suddenly found himself much busier than anticipated.
The star continued: “Because I don’t think anybody expected Vikings to have the global success that it did, they upped it to a 20-episode series, which meant that I was completely plucked out of any other opportunities.”
Despite the lengthier production causing Alexander’s career to take a slight hit, the star still has plenty of great memories from filming and doesn’t regret signing on to the acclaimed series.
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He added: “That being said, I’m so grateful for the job; it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life.
“But it definitely made it difficult to do anything close to this magnitude, because a role like this requires a lot of time and attention.”
Alexander featuring alongside Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys For Life marks his first appearance in a major studio film since his role as Cato in The Hunger Games.
A similar fate also befell co-star Travis Fimmell, whose film credits include the disappointing Warcraft and independent film Lean on Pete.
Thankfully, since his departure from Vikings, Travis has secured roles in Ridley Scott’s science fiction series Raised by Wolves for HBO Max and Charlie Day’s upcoming comedy El Tonto.
After his impressive turn in Bad Boys For Life, Vikings devotees are hoping Alexander can find similar success once the History series has concluded.
With Bjorn set to face off against his rival Ivar the Boneless (Alex Høgh Andersen), the sixth and final season of Vikings promises to be the most shocking instalment in the show’s history.
Vikings season 6 is available to stream on Amazon Prime.