The Last Kingdom’s Sigtryggr star ‘shunned’ cast during filming ‘Don’t want to be friends’

Alexander Dreymon thanks fans as The Last Kingdom wraps

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Viking warlord Sigtryggr (played by Eysteinn Sigurðarson) stunned fans with his debut in The Last Kingdom’s fourth season, especially when he finally came face-to-face with Saxon hero Uhtred of Bebbanburg (Alexander Dreymon). Although he has since become a fan-favourite, the Netflix drama’s Icelandic star has recently revealed he was rather overwhelmed when he first signed on to the role.

Eysteinn admitted it took him some time to work up the courage to meet his castmates when he first debuted as Sigtryggr.

Following the release of The Last Kingdom’s fifth and final season, the main cast member recalled his challenging first scene opposite lead actor Alexander.

“I’m from Iceland, and we were filming in Budapest,” he explained.

“Season four, in the middle of the summer. I was always way too hot, sweating my balls off.”

The heat of the shoot had already gotten Eysteinn’s experience with the series off to a bad start after growing up in the chilly Iceland climate.

To make things more challenging, the Sigtryggr star hadn’t properly introduced himself to his co-stars until the time came to shoot some of season four’s most vital scenes.

Eysteinn told the Screen Chronicles podcast: “And also, it was just a big experience for me. My first, kind of, really big job, and I was shy!

“I was really shy. I didn’t really meet anyone in the cast for a while.”

The Last Kingdom newcomer originally tried to convince himself his nerves were actually part of his approach to the character.

Actors, particularly those playing villains or unlikable roles, often distance themselves from the rest of the cast to create a hostile atmosphere between them and the other characters.

“I was telling myself, like, ‘This is method acting. I don’t want to meet anyone until I see them on set,’” Eysteinn explained.

“‘And then I can actually really intimidate them. I don’t want to be friends with these guys. Certainly not the Saxons.’”

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However, he eventually realised his isolation was self-inflicted, and went on to form strong friendships with Alexander and his other co-stars.

“In all honesty, I was just shy,” Eysteinn conceded. “Shy to meet all these people.”

After being built up as an intimidating Viking rival for Uhtred, Sigtryggr actually turned the tables by attempting to negotiate with his Saxon enemy after a brief clash.

Although it didn’t help his nerves, Eysteinn inadvertently created even more tension between the two warriors by distancing himself from the cast up to this point.

“I think that was literally the first time I had met Alex,” he remembered of their crucial first meeting. “So I was pretty starstruck.

“I meet him right away and I start swinging and he dodges everything, because he’s Uhtred.”

“Sigtryggr is quite taken aback by this guy. ‘You’re the warrior, I’ve heard a lot… your daughter’s told me a lot about you.’”

Unfortunately, Sigtryggr’s story came to a sad yet triumphant end when Uhtred killed him to secure his passage to Valhalla, so the two unlikely allies probably won’t be reuniting in the upcoming film, Seven Kings Must Die, which will cap off the series next year.

The Last Kingdom seasons 1-5 are available to stream on Netflix. Seven Kings Must Die will be released in 2023.

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