With the wonderfully violent and gritty BBC & Netflix Drama Series The Last Kingdom Season 2 heading to Blu-Ray and DVD this month, we caught up with the clever and humble Alexander Dreymon who plays the mildly enigmatic lead role and hero Uhtred in the critically acclaimed series.
Alexander Dreymon has worked alongside greats Jessica Lange, Emma Roberts and the amazing Jamie Brewer on American Horror Story Coven (Season 3). Alexander began garnering attention when starring alongside Matt Smith (Doctor Who) in the 2011 TV Movie Christopher and His Kind, a few movies more and now back to the Danes versus Saxons in The Last Kingdom, stepping into the feet of Uhtred.
So, glad to finally speak with you Alex, I wish I could have been there in person, how is the Sydney weather treating you and what have you gotten up to while you’ve been down under?
I love Sydney and it’s my first time in Australia, I already know I want to come back, it is such a cool place! I went to Manly and I walked from Bondi to Coogee, which was beautiful. I went swimming at the end of the day and the last two days were, pretty much, back to back interviews. But tomorrow, I am heading out to Palm Beach.
I got absolutely glued to The Last Kingdom thanks to it being on Netflix now and the ability to binge watch the show in a matter of days between work and family. Do you have any favourite shows you love to binge on at the moment or would love to when you have the time?
It is a time thing isn’t it, I haven’t got any at the moment. I haven’t been able to watch any TV for a while, but I binged Breaking Bad, I binged The OA, Arrested Development, I think those are kind of my favourites and House of Cards, I like quite a few different shows.
The Last Kingdom has a few different directors for each season, keeping the series fresh and exciting for the audience and for the cast and crew. Did you have a favourite director that stood out for you more than most while filming?
Yes, we have a new director every two episodes. What is interesting about this is every director is so different and you learn from every single one because when you work with somebody like Nick Murphy for example, he did the first two episodes of the first season, he shoots in an almost documentary style, lets you loose on the playground and follows you around with the camera and catches what he can and if he needs to adjust that stuff he can, you have complete freedom.
Then you have John East for example and he did the second block of the second season, he has got everything planned out. He has storyboards for each scene and he knows exactly what he wants, I love that as well and I learned so much from him as well. So, I can’t say I have a favourite but quite a few of them have become close friends too.
Emily Cox who plays Brida and yourself have such an amazing chemistry on screen, I am pretty sure I saw a behind the scenes shot of her kicking you in the ass as you walked past, are you good friends off-screen as well?
Yeah, we are good mates, she is great! Great fun, Emily is pretty cool.
I am not complaining because they are quality scenes, but I’ve always wanted to know, how awkward is it filming sex scenes, especially when there are so many of them in The Last Kingdom, does it get any easier?
I gotta say, sex scenes are always a little awkward, just because there are so many people involved. You have the whole crew standing around and I guess, how can I put this? It is really led by the women in the scene. My main focus as an actor, is to make her feel as comfortable as possible and if she is uncomfortable, then you just feel that and it transpires on screen, and *laughs* it makes you feel like a pervert.
I remember shooting a film in Italy and I had a sex scene in that, the girl was so uncomfortable with everybody in the room and I asked her if there was anything I could change or anything to make this better for you? “No, you’re good, you’re good”. But I just didn’t feel it ya know? I felt it was so forced, it was horrible and in-between shots the director would come up to me and say, (with an amazing Italian accent) “Alexandro, Passione! Passione!”
I have to say, with Emily (Cox) it was always so easy, just because she is so laid back and it was cool because she is a little bit of a tomboy, she just goes with it and she wasn’t pressured by it.
All this time filming The Last Kingdom, you must have gained some amazing friends and family, can you tell us a favourite of yours, someone you absolutely love joking around with or just being around the most with on set?
Oh, there was so many people. I made so many friends down in Hungary especially. With the crew that came back (for season two). One guy I had in lighting had a job on the new Blade Runner movie (Blade Runner 2049) that was shooting down there at the same time, he left it to come back to us. We are really blessed with the crew down there. I always love hanging out in the makeup trailer because Kate Benton, our lead makeup designer, she had assembled such a fabulous team. It is such a sanctuary, for everybody, to be in the makeup trailer. Then the stunt team as well, I could go on and on, I made a lot of friends I keep in contact with.
A little bit of fun now! The show has been given a lot of comparisons to Game of Thrones, in heart of that, let us say your character of Uhtred comes across a lady that can control dragons, a dwarf with a foul mouth and a drinking problem and an iron throne made of swords, how do you think he would he react?
*laughs* He would get her into bed I am pretty sure!
Maybe take some Dragon Eggs?
Hmm? Well, Uhtred is not really a thief, he wouldn’t steal any dragon eggs. But he’d make the most out of the situation.
You had a great, but short stint playing the character of Luke Ramsey in American Horror Story Coven, which everyone loved, the show brings a lot of characters and actors back, were you ever asked to come back for another season of the show?
No, that was just a one off on American Horror Story.
Can I ask what you love to do in your downtime, do you have any hobbies?
At the moment, I am going to school. I’m back at University studying directing, screen-writing and editing, I just enjoy trying to learn new stuff while I have time to do it.
Any favourite music?
My music taste is very, very varied. I am into Metallica and Daft Punk, lots of different classical music, I haven’t got one specific style. Music is so important for my work also, because it is such a fast way to get into a certain mood. I try to keep it as branched out as possible.
What do you have coming up on the agenda outside of The Last Kingdom? Anything we should keep an eye out for?
Well, as I said, I’m going to school right now, it kinda depends what comes up and we don’t know yet whether we have a Third Season (of The Last Kingdom), if we do have one it will probably go ahead in November. So hopefully I will have time to shoot something before that starts up.
The Last Kingdom Season 2 will be available in stores May 10th, 2017 on DVD and Blu-Ray, out now for Digitial.
The Last Kingdom Season 1 is also available on DVD and Blu-Ray.