Sign up FAST! Login

Icelandic Strongman Does Heavy Lifting on a Second Career as an Actor

Stashed in: Game of Thrones!, Awesome, Heart, Iceland, Nordic!, empathy, The Mountain

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

It's not easy being The Mountain. That fight scene hurt him more than it hurt you.

Wow, I love this guy! Great article on him.

He's so sensitive.

Still, he knows his acting skills are far from perfect. As an Icelandic strongman best known for lifting cars or tugging trucks or throwing barrels, Bjornsson had no particular inclination toward movies or TV. He didn’t even reply to the first email he received from a “Game of Thrones” producer because he thought the message was a joke.

But when the producers finally reached him and said they were seriously looking for another person to play the role of the Mountain (Bjornsson is the third behemoth to do so), he was intrigued.

His role is not heavy with dialogue. Swordplay is important, though, and Bjornsson spent weeks working on the choreography of a sequence that even the most casual fans of the HBO show will remember: Near the end of an epic duel, the Mountain takes a spear to the belly but then, miraculously, recovers and methodically crushes his foe’s face with his bare hands.

The crushing is brutal and raw, the sort of act that makes you immediately cover your eyes only to quickly peek through your fingers.

Doing the scene “felt strange for me,” Bjornsson, generally a peaceful sort, says. He looks away. “Maybe people don’t think this, but it actually made my heart hurt.”

As an actor, though, he quickly realized he needed to be more dispassionate. “I think it went pretty well considering that these things were new to me,” he says after a moment of consideration. “I did not have experience with acting, and I did not have experience with crushing a man’s face with my hands.”

wow.  pretending to crush a man's head made his heart hurt.

that's a good man right there.

He does seem like a great guy. Big man with a big heart!

You May Also Like: