Exclusive: Marco Ilsø (Hvitserk) promises “very satisfying” ending to Vikings


Vikings star Marco Ilsø looks back on his time playing Hvisterk and forward to the final episodes. “I did scenes…that I will be proud of my whole life.”

The final episodes of Vikings are right around the corner, and we’re chatting with the cast before it all ends.

This time we speak with Marco Ilsø, who plays Ragnar’s most troubled son Hvitserk. Being the most troubled son in a group that includes the sociopathic Ivar the Boneless is quite the accomplishment, and Ilsø revealed that playing him took a toll on him emotionally.

WINTER IS COMING: Would you have preferred to play a more straightforward hero?

MARCO ILSØ: “Personally, I would love to play that underdog hero that doesn’t shine through at first, but when it happens, you really enjoy it because you didn’t see it coming. There are a lot of heroes in the show, so I feel like there have to be characters that aren’t as heroic. I enjoy playing the underdog hero, but it has been challenging though. Sometimes you don’t get the big scenes, you don’t get all the big stuff you dream of, but when it suddenly happens you really put your heart into it.

WIC: Hvisterk suffered from drug and alcohol abuse in the first half of season 6. Were those scenes difficult to film?

MI: “They were hard to shoot. I was in bits and pieces. I went on set on those days when I had to do all those crazy things, and when I got home I was absolutely wrecked. It takes a lot out of you. When you go to set around four in the morning, and you cry your eyes out through the whole day, give it your all, when you get home you’re just a mess. It took a big hit on me. Personally, when you’re acting 14 hours a day, being a drug addict, being an alcoholic like Hvitserk, you go through most of your day being that person. I really enjoyed it, but the days on set were rough.

“One of the scenes, when I was outside with Lagertha, it was pouring rain, and my body temperature dropped so low that the medic told me it wasn’t healthy to continue, and that I should call it off. It was getting to a point where my temperature was way below what was allowed. So yeah, it was rough, but I absolutely loved it. That’s really what it’s about as an actor, to get those scenes where you just let your heart out to get those things.”

Image: Vikings/History

WIC: Hvitserk and Ivar have a complicated relationship. What do you think holds the brothers together after all they’ve done to one another?

MI: “You know, Hvitserk and Ivar, their relationship is weird. It’s this love/hate relationship between brothers. Going into the last episodes, they hate each other, and they love each other in the same way. It’s a very fine balance between them to sort out, between Alex and I.

“I don’t know why Hvitserk stays with Ivar. Hvitserk is just so tormented by the stuff Ivar has done to him, but being away from him and going through Hvitserk’s drug abuse and PTSD, when Hvitserk sobers up, he sort of thinks, ‘He’s still my brother.’ Hvitserk is just conflicted, he doesn’t know what to do. He’s not a leader, he stays in the shadows and follows the leader. He’ll do anything for that person, whether that’s Ivar, or Ubbe or Bjorn. After all of it, they are brothers.”

WIC: Hvisterk walks the line between hero and villain. Does Hvitserk need redemption after killing Lagertha in a drug-induced episode?

MI: “To be completely honest, he’s been in the whole PTSD hole, so I hope he gets that personal redemption, where he accomplishes something to make up for that.”

Image: Vikings/History

WIC: Looking back, what were your favorite scenes? What were your most hated?

MI: “I loved the scenes out in the rain with Lagertha. I hated them on the day. My costume designer had left a wetsuit in my dressing room, but I thought, ‘Maybe it would look more intense if I didn’t wear it.’ So I went out in the pouring rain, and I was absolutely dying [laughs]. But those were fun, I loved playing the drug/PTSD scenes.

“The scene I’m probably most proud of is going to be in one of the episodes coming up. On the other hand, the scenes where I was into the Buddha thing, I don’t think I played those quite right. Those are probably my least favorite.”

WIC: Any other characters on the show you wished you’d played?

MI: “I wish I could, but I wouldn’t be able to play the character how the original actor played them. For example, King Ecbert: phenomenal character, such a cool character, I would have loved to play him, but I would not have been able to do the same job. I feel very comfortable with Hvitserk. If I had to choose another though, I’d probably say Ubbe. Ragnar of course! But I wouldn’t be able to replace the other actors because they do their jobs so well. I think Ubbe is an interesting character; I feel like it was a bit of a shame, I thought his character was going to be incredible and massive.

“I would still choose Hvitserk any day. He goes through the whole thing, the warrior, the drug thing, there are so many aspects to him. Hvitserk is not just one thing.”

WIC: Are you happy with how Hvitserk’s journey ends?

MI: “Yes. I was pretty satisfied with how his journey ended. I wish though, that Hvitserk would have been more present in the first few episodes in Russia. Hvitserk doesn’t really do much at the start, he’s just sort of following Ivar around in the shadows again. So yeah, I wish the character would have done a bit more in Russia, maybe have his own side story line.

“I can’t stress it enough, I was very satisfied with the ending. It’s such a good ending. I did scenes, the last couple of episodes that I will be proud of my whole life.”

We look forward to watching those scenes soon! The final 10 episodes of Vikings are drop on Amazon Prime Video. After that, they’ll be released weekly on History.

Next. Georgia Hirst (Torvi): Final Vikings episodes are a “completely different show”. dark

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