Anya Taylor-Joy on filming her first intimate scenes with Alexander Skarsgard

Anya Taylor-Joy said Alexander Skarsgard was the “perfect person” to shoot her first intimate scenes on screen while filming her new movie The Northman as she felt he was taking care of her.

The Queen’s Gambit actress plays Olga of Birchwood in the new epic Viking saga, who forms a romantic relationship with Skarsgard’s character Amleth, a young Viking prince seeking revenge for his father’s murder.

Director Robert Eggers’ revenge thriller, which also stars Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe and singer Björk, is slated to hit theaters April 15.


This is Anya Taylor-Joy’s second film with director Robert Eggers (Ian West/PA)

Speaking on the white carpet at a special screening of The Northman in Leicester Square in London, Taylor-Joy, 25, told the PA news agency how she developed a close bond with Skarsgard, 45, during the film.

She said: “We’re so lucky because we have a really close brother-sister bond.

“And that’s, as strange as it might sound in terms of a romantic relationship, that’s the kind of energy you want, because you know the other person has your back and will take care of you.”

“And he was the perfect person for my first intimate scenes.”

The Viking epic also sees the actress reuniting with Eggers for the first time since her breakthrough role in his 2015 supernatural horror film The Witch.

Taylor-Joy explained that working with the director again was her motivation to join the project.

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“I was waiting to get back to him and he called me and said, ‘Hey, I have this crazy script and I wrote a part for you, are you going to come and do it?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll definitely be there,'” she said.

Reflecting on his time with Taylor-Joy during the film, Skarsgard told PA he thought she was a “remarkable person” and an “incredibly talented actress” from whom he learned a lot.

He said: “Anya had worked with Rob before, so she had that experience and for me, although I developed the project with Rob, I’d never been on set with him, Anya had, so that was tremendously helpful.

“His working style is very unique, almost all of the scenes are one long, continuous take that was meticulously planned, a way of working I’m not used to, so I was very grateful to Anya to guide me through it.”

Skarsgard added that his first day on set for the film was “emotional” having developed the project alongside Eggers from the start.

The Swedish actor said: “It was a dream of mine to do a big, epic Viking adventure, but something based on the old Icelandic Sagas… to capture the essence of it, but also on a grand scale and scale.

“And for the fact that I met Rob five years ago, I’m eternally grateful for that meeting because that’s how this journey began.


Director Robert Eggers, Anya Taylor-Joy, Alexander Skarsgard and writer Sigurjon Birgir Sigurdsson at a special screening of The Northman in London (Ian West/PA)

“He was in Iceland and I told Rob I had this idea, this dream, of doing a historically accurate Viking depiction and he was excited and wanted to do it together and that’s how this adventure began.

“And then five years later standing in the mud on a mountaintop in Ireland with what I believe to be one of the greatest filmmakers of our time and this amazing cast and it was just such an emotional moment.”

The action film is set in 10th-century Iceland and was set to be shot in locations around the world.

However, with the UK going into lockdown days before principal photography began, the team had to recreate the film’s Scandinavian feel in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, as well as rethink filming locations and set construction.

The Northman hits cinemas in the UK and Ireland on April 15. Anya Taylor-Joy on filming her first intimate scenes with Alexander Skarsgard

Fry Electronics Team

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