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Björk called The Northman’s Iceland “Ireland in drag”

When Björk first visited the quarry in Ireland that was standing in for Iceland in The Northman, she said that it worked because Iceland is "Ireland in drag"

Bjork The Northman

Robert Eggers has weaved movie magic in The Northman, in more ways than one. You have to cast a pretty powerful spell in order to bring what Eggers describes as the “pop shamanist for planet Earth” out of acting retirement after two decades. But Eggers could only imagine one person playing the mystical Seeress of the forest – and that, of course, is Björk.

After Björk delivered a critically-acclaimed central performance in Lars von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark in 2000, the avant-garde pop wizard vowed never to make another movie. She has pretty much kept her word, and only made a couple of brief appearances on film and TV since. Eggers only managed to connect with her by luckily hiring two people on The Northman (the writer and the score’s composer), who turned out to be close friends with the music legend.

Eggers somehow managed to recreate Iceland’s unique landscape mostly in a quarry in Ireland. “Björk visited set and I said, ‘What do you think? Does it look like Iceland?’ She’s like, ‘Yeah, it’s Ireland in drag,'” Eggers recalled to Entertainment Weekly with a laugh.

Alexander Skarsgård said; “knowing that this is the first time she stepped out of retirement after 17 years, it was truly an honour (to work with Björk).” Much like Björk herself seeming like an ancient being who seems like she has been part of Scandinavia forever, the Viking legend that inspired both Shakespeare’s Hamlet and The Northman stretches back hundreds of years. Find out more about the story The Northman is based on.

If you’ve seen The Northman, you may need the ending explained and we’ve got you covered there too.