Alexander Ludwig (born May 7, 1992) is a Canadian actor, singer and model. His notable film credits include The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising, Lone Survivor, Disney’s Race to Witch Mountain, and The Hunger Games. He currently appears in the History Channel series Vikings.
Ludwig was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has three younger siblings: a sister and brother named Nicholas and Natalie, who are twins, and a younger sister, Sophia. His mother, Sharlene (née Martin), is a former actress, and his father, Harald Horst Ludwig, is a businessman and the co-chairman of the board for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. Ludwig was drawn to the profession, saying in an interview: “I have a big imagination. I love performing.” Yet, despite his mother’s early career as an actress, Ludwig had to convince his parents to support his desire to pursue a career as a child actor. His parents believed that child actors “can get sucked into a life that isn’t reality.” Ludwig is enrolled as a theatre major at the University of Southern California where he is in the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, and lives full-time in Los Angeles.
Ludwig began his career at the age of nine when he featured in a Harry Potter toy commercial, a job that enabled him to sign on with an agent and obtain more commercial work. Later he was cast in movies such as Air Bud: World Pup (2000), MXP: Most Extreme Primate (2003), Scary Godmother: The Revenge of Jimmy (2005), Eve and the Fire Horse (2005), The Sandlot: Heading Home (also known as The Sandlot 3) (2007). In addition to cinema, Ludwig has also worked in television. He has performed in movies made for television, such as A Little Thing Called Murder (2006), and television series such as The Dead Zone. Ludwig obtained his leading role in The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007) after a “gruelling audition process.” By his count, he had 16 auditions before finally being cast.
Ludwig’s next lead role came in the part of Seth – one half of a teenage, alien brother-sister duo – in the film production of Race to Witch Mountain (2009), also starring Dwayne Johnson, the wrestler-turned-actor. Seth is the part originated by Ike Eisenmann in the 1975 original, Escape to Witch Mountain. The film opened at number one at the box office the weekend that it premiered, with receipts estimated at $25 million. Despite his early casting success with The Seeker, Ludwig indicated in an interview that it was his intention to attend university. In another interview, the actor said that the most challenging thing about filming The Seeker was trying “to juggle school while filming.” He stated: “My school wasn’t used to it, and I wasn’t used to it. It was the most amazing experience, but it was really hard.”
In the movie adaptation of The Hunger Games, Ludwig played Cato, the fierce male tribute from District 2, the primary threat to the protagonists’ lives during the 74th Hunger Games. The film was released worldwide on March 23, 2012. Ludwig won the award for Best Fight on 2012 MTV Movie Awards along with Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, as well as the award for Best Villain at the 2012 Teen Choice Awards. Ludwig released his first single “Liv It Up (Teenage Wasteland)” on March 1, 2012. In 2013, he co-starred in the films Lone Survivor and Grown Ups 2. In 2014, he is currently a part of the main cast of the TV series Vikings, playing the character of Björn Ironside, the son of Ragnar Lothbrok and Lagertha. He also appeared in The Band Perry’s music video for “Gentle on My Mind” alongside Teen Wolf actress Shelley Hennig.
2015 brought the young actor a lot of work, and what was even better, this work was diverse. In addition to continued filming of the Vikings, in which, according to the nature of his character, Alexander Ludwig played vividly and boldly, he starred in the thriller film Blackway. In this movie, he attempted to shine on the big screen not just as a mountain of muscles, and so he paid more attention to the fine details in the image of his character. The film told the story of a girl, who after graduating returned to her hometown, where a mentally unstable man starts stalking her. Along with two friends, she is forced to fight back the criminal. Together with Alexander Ludwig, in the film played Anthony Hopkins, Julia Stiles, and Ray Liotta.
The movie The Final Girls was a mix of comedy and thriller, and Ludwig on the verge of these different genres became a great partner of young actresses Taissa Farmiga and Nina Dobrev. And finally, in the film Final Girl with Abigail Breslin as the leading actress Alexander Ludwig played a classic villain, a charming psychopath, the leader of the gang which enjoys killing girls.
And yet today Vikings remains the main project for the actor. 2016 was devoted to filming the fifth season of this series. Alexander’s character grows up, becomes tougher and more ruthless. Now his character gets more screen time, especially since the number of episodes in this season of the TV series has doubled.