How The Northman Made Sure No One's 'Bits' Got Chopped Off During That Fight Scene

Alexander Skarsgard charging and screaming in The Northman
(Image credit: Focus Features)

Robert Eggers’ The Northman dropped to theaters over this past weekend, and it brought a very shirtless Alexander Skarsgård towering on the big screen. Skarsgård is completely ripped in the film, and we see quite a lot of him as he plays the vengeful Viking prince Amleth. Now Eggers has explained just how production made sure no one’s “bits” got “chopped off” during a certain naked fight scene that is featured in The Northman.

It's not like we haven’t seen Alexander Skarsgård shirtless before. In fact, he’s kind of been typecasted as the “dude who takes his shirt off.” He even appeared pantless at the MTV Awards one time (peep his IMDB photo - you’re welcome). However, Skarsgård is obviously more ripped in The Northman, which makes a particular nude fight scene extra savage, especially when you consider that they are fighting on a freaking volcano, so their “bits” would have been vulnerable to both sword and magma. 

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, director Robert Eggers made it clear that no one’s junk was ever in any danger. To ensure the safety of some precious packages, actors had to wear thongs instead of actually going nude for the scene. This admission came after being asked if production had to digitally edit genitals out, the truth being that they actually had to digitally add them in. Here it is in Eggers' own words:

We actually had to add things digitally because they were wearing thongs [instead of being naked] because no one wanted to get their bits chopped off. So, we actually had to add some CG genitals for certain shots so that they didn’t look too Ken doll-ish. You’ve got to make it look real, so I’m sure we did some full-body scans of Alex. They’re out there.

Let those last three words haunt your dreams. If you look hard enough, somewhere, on some corner of the internet or on some production assistant’s computer, there are Alexander Skarsgård nudes. 

All jokes aside, Alexander Skarsgård has seemingly always been pretty open about his body and nudity. Much like the Viking culture he portrays in The Northman, he doesn’t seem to approach nudity with any sense of shame or taboo, and has no problem with doing nude scenes. You won’t have to look further than his full frontal scene in Big Little Lies or his time on HBO’s True Blood for evidence of his comfort in that type of scene.

If two vikings fighting naked on a volcano (don’t worry, the “bits” were safe) sounds up your alley, it would just take a trip to the theaters to see it on the big screen. The Northman is the latest 2022 new release to exclusively go to theaters, but it would make sense for the Focus Features/Universal film to release for streaming for all those with a Peacock subscription once its theatrical window is over.

Carlie Hoke
Content Writer

Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside.  While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.