Alexander Ludwig opens up about joining the cast of 'Vikings,' being a positive influence and the importance of education

By Melissa Galevski

Following the success of his role as Cato in The Hunger Games, Alexander Ludwig’s star continues to rise as he signs on to multiple projects, including the sports drama When the Game Stands Tall, an upcoming film that casts him opposite Golden Globe winner Laura Dern.

Meanwhile, the small screen beckons. Alexander, 21, is joining the cast of TV hit Vikings, where he plays Bjorn, the courageous warrior son of Viking hero Ragnar. Ahead of his debut in the second season’s third episode (March 13, History), we catch up with the handsome Vancouver native to chat about filming in Ireland, using Twitter as a positive outlet and why he hopes to pursue a university degree.

What’s it like to film Vikings in Ireland?
It’s so beautiful there! But the people really rival its beauty. They are so exceptional and have the greatest hearts. On weekends, I get to travel Europe as well, so it’s really been an opportunity of a lifetime.

What do you admire most about your character, Bjorn?
His sincerity is something that I love about him and definitely something I can relate to. He is one of the few in the Vikings group who really holds his own and cares about his word – I think that goes a long way.

Your last name means “famous warrior” in German, and many of the characters you’ve played are warriors in their own right. Is it a coincidence that you’re attracted to these types of characters?
That is amazing! A lot of my characters have been warriors and the fact that they were involved in war is a byproduct of what I find interesting. I am attracted to that warrior quality within people because they never want to break under pressure and always go that extra mile. In a way, I try to approach my career like that.

Alexander Ludwig plays Bjorn on 'Vikings.' Photo: © History

If the warrior characters you’ve played were to take part in a Hunger Games -like battle: Who would win?

Bjorn, hands down! The guy is scared of nothing, and I think that’s one thing that made the Vikings so influential – they did not fear death.

You’ve talked about wanting to further your education. Why it that important to you?
Getting my degree has always been on the top of my list. I had always planned to go to USC and live in Los Angeles, but my career has been snowballing and I don’t want the momentum to stop. I absolutely want to go back and get my degree.

You’re very active on Twitter and post many inspirational messages. Where does that positive attitude come from?
I think it’s just trying to level out the negative or politically incorrect stuff I tweet. [ Laughs] I love social media; it’s something an actor can take advantage of. In the public eye, you have the opportunity to influence people in a positive way – if you don’t jump on that then you’re taking it for granted. Quotes uplift and inspire me and I want to do the same for my fans.

Are you a romantic or low-key kind of guy?
I’m definitely a romantic. I also love to do spontaneous things. Last Valentine’s Day, my girlfriend [Nicole Pedra] and I went skydiving and had a rock-climbing lesson – it was so cool!

Nicole Pedra and Alexander Ludwig. Photo: © Getty

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