Leo Suter on becoming on becoming a notorious Viking warrior
We’re no strangers to what happened in the year 1066, governed by our history textbooks during our formative years at school. But what do you know about the Viking age? Bringing the brutal battles overshadowed by history onto the screen this Spring, British actor Leo Suter revives the raucous conquest to Netflix, playing the role of the eponymous Harold Sigursson, or Harold Hardrada as you might know him. A tale of vengeance versus camaraderie, Suter shares light on his penchant for playing figures of the past, fortifying tales that are embedded in emotion and turmoil, and returning to his school books as he embarks on his biggest role yet.
On becoming a ruthless Viking leader…
Harold is a very fun part to play as an actor, he’s got great speeches. He's a bit of a hero. He's got romances, and in the battles, he's a badass. The other other fun thing is that I dug out one of my old history exercise books from when I was 10 years old, writing why he was a good candidate for the throne in 1066. I’ve known about Harold for a long time, so actually getting to play him and hold his sword and swing his axe is kind of cool.
On playing historical characters…
I’ve done a lot of period dramas, but this one? It’s so different. This one's like 1000 years ago, so it almost feels very otherworldly to the period drama, Victorian and regency work I’ve done. I read quite a lot of books on English history of this period, it's the precursor to 1066, which in English history is a big deal. But one of the cool things about Harold is that he travelled across Europe. As a young man and as a warrior he actually went down to Constantinople. But he went to places where there were books and people who wrote which wasn't the case in the Viking world, so people from the time wrote about him, meaning there are more records about Harold Hardrada, of the other Vikings.
Leo SuterPhotography by Bartek SzmigulskiFashion by Adele CanyWords by Scarlett BakerGrooming by David SesmeroEditorial Director Huw GwytherArt Director Jeffrey ThomsonProduction Director Morgane MillotFashion assistant Patricia HummProduction assistant Kai RobertsSpecial thanks to The Telephone Factory