BY DONNA FREYDKIN
Watching the throne ain't easy. Just ask beleaguered rapper Kanye West. Or, in the case of the History Channel's "The Vikings," Travis Fimmel. He plays a fearsome, ambitious, ruthless warrior who ascends to become the king of Denmark, but whose life is filled with battles and bloodshed. He also sports a shaved head in the series, something that isn't quite as easy as it sounds.
"I've never mastered it. Every morning I make myself bleed. I use a skullcap sometimes to soak up the blood," he says, of his shaving ritual. "It's tricky and I have tattoos that are on my face. Without the shaved head, it's very hard to have tattoos. Getting the tattoos was a big mistake."
The series, which returns for a fourth season on Thursday, is shot in Ireland, something that hits home with Fimmel, an Aussie. He loves the people, and the vibe. "Have a couple of drinks but all in moderation," he quips.
Next up for Fimmel is this summer's "Warcraft," based on the beloved and addictive video game series, directed by Duncan Jones. "No, I'm not a gamer," says Fimmel. "It sounds pretty interesting, a lot of the players. It is an amazing game for people to get so attached. Attached is a good word. That's one of the big reasons I chose to do it. It's so popular."
The minute he wraps a project, Fimmel heads back to his roots; he grew up on a dairy farm in Lockington.. "I go home, back to Australia, to the farm and work there. I just got back," he says.
But there's no rest for the weary, Viking, or not. "I have to get a job again," he says, joking that he'd appreciate if someone Tweeted at Mel Gibson, since Fimmel would love to be directed by him.
Here's another show that you'll likely love, if you don't already.