Before signing up to star in "Vikings," Alexander Ludwig became fascinated by the historical aspects of the series. That love of history and true-life stories also got him interested in the film "Lone Survivor."
"Those are the kinds of movies I love doing because they tell a great story," he said of the film, which came in December. "The fact that it's a true story only made it better. It was an unbelievably phenomenal experience."
The film, adapted by writer-director Peter Berg from now-retired Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell's account, starred Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster and others as members of a doomed 2005 military mission in Afghanistan that claimed the lives of 19 U.S. soldiers. Ludwig plays Shane Patton, one of the SEALs who dies on the ill-fated mission.
"Working on a movie that has so much heart is just what I love to do. I like making stories that move people and that make people think," Ludwig said. "And I think that's exactly what 'Lone Survivor' accomplished."
Like his experience on "Vikings," the actor said he learned a lot working with "that caliber of actors," some of whom he said have became mentors.
"One thing I realized when I was filming was that success does not happen by accident. And if it does, it definitely doesn't last. All these guys worked hard to be there and I definitely learned a lot from just being on that set," he said. "We got along great."
The actors got along so well Wahlberg and others took the hazing Ludwig's character deals with off camera. Here's Ludwig's retelling of his "initiation:"
I go on set one day and Mark's like, "Hey Alexander, I've got this great idea for you. I want to add some more hazing scenes, you know, to really show what it's like in the community of the Navy SEALs."
And I was like, "Well yeah, [this story] actually happened. So absolutely, I would love to do that."
Like an idiot I listened to Mark and he said, "OK, let's go talk to Pete." So I was like, "Yo, Pete." He's like, "How's it going Alexander?" And Mark's like, "Yeah, we got [this idea]. We want to add some more hazing." Pete said, "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Did you talk to Alexander about this?" And I was like, "Yeah, Mark just told me." [He said,] "OK, come with me."
So Mark took me to this--the only way I can describe it is like this storage locker where you put all your bags, but it looks like a coffin. And you open it up and he says, "OK, so go in here and then when you come out we'll rehearse one of our scenes." I was like, "OK, perfect."
So I went into this thing and they closed the door and it's pitch black. I mean I can't even sit up it's so tight. And then I hear a lock and I'm like, "Oh my God. Those mother fuckers."
I started banging on the door, I was like, "Mark, you let me out. I'm gonna kick your ass." And I was freaking out because I'm claustrophobic. By no means--my God--should I be locked in small spaces. I love air. But I started freaking out and finally after like five minutes they let me out. ... I grabbed Mark and started hitting him and the whole crew is out there filming it and laughing.
That was my first hazing experience on "Lone Survivor" and it was great. It brought us all closer and it was awesome.
MORE: Alexander Ludwig talks wrestling on 'Vikings.'
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