Alexander Skarsgard initially felt conflicted with the thoroughness of Robert Eggers’ filming plans for The Northman.
Before principal photography begins, The Witch director and his cinematographer Jarin Blaschke like to create precise, detailed storyboards so they know exactly what every frame in the film should look like.
Skarsgard, who is directing their new film The Northman, admitted he was not used to having so little freedom of movement and room for spontaneity when making a film.
“I’m not used to working this way,” he told The New Yorker. “There was a time when I was, like, ‘I could either freak out the f**k…’ because you feel like, Well, there’s no space for me to explore my character. I’m a robot. (But) you play with it, and then little details will open up, like a flood of inspiration, and suddenly you’ll be in it.”
Meanwhile, his co-star Anya Taylor-Joy, who landed her first film role in Eggers’ The Witch, was well aware of the director’s storyboard process when she joined The Northman and loved having a vision too. clear for each scene.
“If you come across a movie that’s already been scripted…and you know that’s what the movie is going to be like, I find that incredibly liberating,” she said. “I can do my own version of this dance within the parameters that have been set. And I’ll end up with something more interesting than if you show up and it’s, like, ‘Oh, we could have the camera here. We could have the camera here.””
The Northman, also starring Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang and Ethan Hawke, is in theaters now.