Nicole Kidman shone a light on the upcoming release of ‘The Northman’ as she turned out for the premiere in Hollywood on Monday. Set in 895 AD, the film stars Alexander Skarsgard as Viking prince Amleth who flees his home in the North Atlantic after his uncle (Claes Bang) brutally kills his father, King Aurvandil (Ethan Hawke).
Years later, Amleth, disguised as a slave, travels to Iceland where his uncle and mother, Queen Gudrun (Nicole Kidman) now live with their new family, to avenge his father’s murder and to rescue his mother. Along the way, he meets a mysterious woman, Olga (Anya Taylor-Joy), with whom he forms the first real human connection since his childhood.
For the film, director Robert Eggers tried to make everything as historically accurate as possible from the scenery to the language. Speaking at a distance at the premiere, Kidman told Reuters “It was extraordinary, I mean, the way Rob Eggers created this whole, really this whole world. It was really like stepping back into reality, the village, the research, all the work that he put into this and hopefully you can feel that jumping off the screen. I mean, it’s a crazy ride and it’s violent but it’s Vikings.”
The film came about from an introduction of the two writers, Eggers and Sjon, by Icelandic singer Bjork. Eggers was then approached by Alexander Skarsgard, who wanted to make a movie about Vikings.
Now, the reviews are in and critics officially love the film. Skarsgard said at the premiere “It’s been crazy, but super-exciting. It’s been a very long journey. To finally be here, to present it and to share it with the world is emotional and exciting and scary because I’ve never worked on a project that I’m more emotionally attached to. Again, it’s something that I’ve been part of since its genesis and that’s quite rare as an actor to have that privilege so it’s a big moment.”
His director, Eggers, said “I mean, it’s very relieving to have good reviews but of course, it’s humbling to feel understood because, you know, you’re putting yourself out there when you make a movie that you’ve co-written and directed. It comes from me, you know. It doesn’t come from anywhere else.”
The film sees the return of two of Eggers’ previous stars, Anya Taylor-Joy from ‘The Witch’ and Willem Dafoe from ‘The Lighthouse’.
Taylor-Joy said of Eggers “We have so much love for each other and I know that whenever we’re working together, we’re really going to really push each other and the shorthand that we have is just… I’m basically in his head the whole time and that’s a really cool place to be.”
‘The Northman’ goes on release in the United States on 22 April.