The young man who started his career as an underwear model for Calvin Klein has finally come full circle. Currently starring in a hit TV series on the History Channel, this Australian actor also plays the lead character in Warcraft: The Beginning, which is currently showing in cinemas. Here is an inside look on Vikings Star Travis Fimmel.
Born in Echuca, Victoria, Fimmel started his modeling career back in 2002, when he found himself with no money. According to NEWS.com.au, the actor was barefoot as he walked inside a modeling agency in Los Angeles. Not long after, his larger-than-life Calvin Klein underwear-clad image was pasted on billboards.
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A year later, Fimmel found himself on television in the short lived Tarzan series. He bagged another TV show in 2009, this time with the late Patrick Swayze in The Beast. Four years later, he was cast as Ragnar Lothbrok, a Nordic king on the TV show Vikings.
While Vikings star Travis Fimmel would rather not dig too much into his days as a model, he cannot stop talking about his experiences in Warcraft: The Beginning.
“It’s a whole different experience doing so much motion-capture and special effects and getting pushed around with broomsticks and tennis balls thrown at you,” he said.
The actor readily admitted that he probably was not the ideal actor for the character, but he was happy to have been chosen.
Fimmel got the role after director Duncan Jones saw him on Vikings. His character’s toughness, combined with some vulnerability and cheekiness, was what attracted the director. The Australian actor co-stars with Paula Patton, who plays a character painted in green and sporting small tusks. Despite this, though, Daily Mail said that Fimmel found it easy to like Robin Thicke’s ex-wife.
The actor also believes there is a spark between Lothar and Garona, Patton’s character. “There’s certainly a love interest with Garona. We’re always on the precipice of trusting each other, but we never fully do.”
Vikings star Travis Fimmel will next be seen in the independent film Maggie’s Plan. The actor will be playing the role of a hipster and potential sperm donor in the romantic comedy set to hit cinemas next month.
Australian actor Travis Fimmel is no stranger to playing a warrior – he portrays the fearsome Ragnar in the TV series Vikings.
Now, he gets to extend that physicality on the big screen with Warcraft: The Beginning – a fantasy adventure which has the hunk tackling the role of Anduin Lothar, a commander of the human army. Warcraft is based on the popular online game (World Of Warcraft) and it sees the human realm of Azeroth threatened when Orcs show up as they flee their dying planet. Although loyal to his king to a fault, Anduin discovers that not all Orcs are bad.
In an interview transcript provided by UIP Malaysia, the 37-year-old Fimmel shared that he was still on the set of Vikings when he made the audition tape for Warcraft. Although he didn’t borrow any armour from the Vikings set, Fimmel did use one of the show’s sets to film the audition.
As for whether he was aware of the game at all, Fimmel said: “I’d heard of it, but never played it. I’d seen pictures, and now I’ve watched people play, like (co-star) Rob Kazinsky … I’d go and ask him how to say certain words or the meaning of these World Of Warcraft words. But the studio is so respectful to the game, especially with the look of it and everything. The armour that we had to wear was so cumbersome, I’d have to go sideways. But visually, I think it looks fantastic. Some of the renders that I saw, with the Orcs and the definition on the faces was just unreal. You really see the human eyes behind them and really feel the emotion.”
Fimmel threw himself into the role, especially the action sequences. However, something unexpected happened on set. “I love horses … (but) I fell off. It was pretty embarrassing. I grew up riding horses, so I was pretty red-faced. It’s a long story, I’ll take the blame, I was just dumb, but the crew went pretty quiet… Turns out they were worried. About the horse!” – Mumtaj Begum
True to the saying “you can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy” Aussie actor Travis Fimmel admits his end goal is to return to the land.
But Fimmel, who was raised on a dairy farm in rural Victoria, isn’t likely to be leaving Hollywood any time soon after firmly cementing himself as a leading man in film and television. Not bad for a guy who says he went to LA to try his luck at acting so he could “try and avoid a real job”.
The 36-year-old, who got his big break starring opposite Patrick Swayze in 2009 TV series The Beast, currently stars in the fantasy, action-adventure Warcraft: The Beginning, based on the popular franchise of video games and novels.
Fimmel admits he is not a gamer and was not familiar with the world of Warcraft before signing on to play fearless knight Anduin Lothar.
“I wanted to work with Duncan Jones,” Fimmel says by phone from New York about the film’s director, the son of David Bowie, whose credits include Moon and Source Code.
“He’s done a couple of great films and he’s really passionate about the game and he convinced me to do it.”
The CGI spectacular sees a formidable race of orcs flee their dying home through a portal connecting two worlds. They invade the peaceful realm of Azeroth and so ensues a mighty battle to decide the fate of families and their homeland.
No stranger to action roles, the fighting skills Fimmel honed playing Nordic warrior and king Ragnar Lothbrok on four seasons of the popular TV series Vikings were advantageous for his latest role.
“I’d just come straight from Vikings, I didn’t have much time to do much training but there were some great choreographers on set,” he explains.
“It’s movie making, they really do make you look a lot better than what you are.”
Fimmel likes to attempt whatever stunts production allows but admits it doesn’t always go to plan.
“It’s pretty embarrassing, I’m the only one that actually owned a horse and was the one that fell off the horse in front of everybody on set,” he confesses.
His humiliation becomes clearer when he explains his history of horsemanship goes back to his childhood.
“I had a little pony, my old man always had a horse.
“Didn’t do it (ride) for a while but I’ve got one in the States, I’ve had it for about seven years.”
At home in the saddle, Fimmel says rumours about his other sporting prowess are just that — rumours.
“I actually can’t surf for s…,” he admits before adding “I was no good at football. I haven’t played footy since I was 17 or 18.”
Fans will have the opportunity to ask Fimmel more about the true facts of his life when he arrives in Perth for Supanova next weekend.
“I look forward to getting there, I love these events,” says Fimmel who has also attended fan show Comic-Con for Warcraft and Vikings.
“It’s always interesting characters that partake in it and I look forward to seeing those interesting characters.”
But not all of his encounters with fans have been fun, with a few over-exuberant enthusiasts taking their admiration for him a little too far when he was returning home from the set of Vikings.
“In Ireland one time, I walked home and there was three people sitting on my patio having beers waiting for me to get home from work. That was kind of weird,” he admits.
Fans keen to see more of Fimmel on the small screen will be happy to know the star believes the next 10 episodes of Vikings, due to return to SBS later in the year, are “the best we’ve done”.
“There’s some great stuff in the next episodes and I think it will be the best 10 that Vikings have ever accomplished,” he explains. “The kids go on and do a lot better stuff than Ragnar does.
“The audience will get to see those three boys grown up more…and they really start to accomplish their own things and make a name for themselves.”
Both Fimmel’s characters in Warcraft and Vikings are family men struggling to be fathers. But in real life family is definitely where the heart is for the star.
He has previously come to WA to visit his two brothers who work in Karratha and Newman and is looking forward to catching up with the rest of his family when he returns to Australia.
“I live a long way away from them at the moment but I look forward to getting home and seeing my brothers and nephews and nieces and parents and grandma,” he says.
Surprisingly the former model with the cheeky grin and piercing blue eye says: “I don’t have any sons, I’d love to have them. I’m looking for a woman that will put up with me.”
Fimmel admits he’d love to return home permanently. “I want to try and make some money and get out of it,” he explains.
But there is more he would like to do before he leaves the entertainment industry, citing a desire to work with Daniel Day-Lewis and Joaquin Phoenix as well as fellow Aussie Ben Mendelsohn.
Fimmel has no preference for working in TV or film. “Wherever the writing is better. The great thing about movies is you move on and do something different the next time,” he says.
“With TV you get stuck doing the same thing for a fair few years but I’m easy. Wherever the better quality is and I need a job — whoever hires me.”
Fimmel will be returning to the big screen, filming Inversion later this year. This time he’ll be working with director Peter Segal (50 First Dates, Anger Management) in a sci-fi movie where the Earth gradually loses gravity.
Supanova Pop Culture Expo is at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre June 25-26. Tickets via supanova.com.au. Warcraft: The Beginning is now screening.
Fans of History’s Vikings can officially get excited about Season 5 after Katheryn Winnick posted a video to Instagram about the new season. It seems Ragnar will also be present. However, the character of Rollo will be absent for at least part of the Season 5.
SPOILER ALERT: This article contains information and speculation about Season 4 and 5 of History Channel’s Vikings. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers.
Vikings Season 4 is currently on hiatus until later in the year after History decided to issue double the episodes this season and split the season over 2016 into two, 10-episode segments. History has not released when the second half of Season 4 of Vikings will return; however, Katheryn Winnick (who plays main character, Lagertha), has excited fans by releasing a short new video to her Instagram account announcing that filming has begun on Season 5 of Vikings.
But what can fans expect to see in Season 5 of Vikings? Will Ragnar, Lagertha, and the rest of the original cast still be present?
Considering Katheryn Winnick posted the Season 5 announcement video, it seems likely she will be present for at least part of Season 5 of Vikings. This means that Lagertha must survive the wounds inflicted on her in Episode 10 of Season 4 of Vikings.
And, if an interview Travis Fimmel (who plays main character, Ragnar Lothbrok) did recently with News.com.au is correct, it seems Ragnar will also be present for Season 5 of Vikings. Neala Johnson from the News Corp Australia Network asked Fimmel about being a “hipster” in his upcoming movie, Maggie’s Plan. At first, when he realized there was this whole culture surrounding beards, he wanted to shave it off. But, as he pointed out, filming prevents that at the moment.
“I’ve got it back now, ‘cos I have to,” Travis Fimmel revealed.
One character, however, who will be spending quite a bit of time absent from Season 5 of Vikings is Rollo, played by Clive Standen. Earlier this year, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Clive Standen would be joining the cast of NBC’s Taken. Standen will play the main role of Bryan Mills, a character made famous by Liam Neeson in the movie of the same name. In NBC’s version, the Taken series will follow a much younger version of Bryan Mills and is considered a prequel to the 2008 movie.
Many Vikings fans assumed that by taking on this new role, Rollo would die when he fought his brother in the Season 4 mid-season finale of Vikings. But that never happened. Historically, Duke Rollo is a figure who went on to become the first ruler of Normandy, a region of France. So far in Vikings, fans have seen Rollo marry into French royalty, but he has not yet taken over Normandy. So, will this happen at all in Vikings?
Recently, Clive Standen did an interview with Digital Spy stating that he will indeed return for Season 5 of Vikings, even though he has taken on another role.
“I’ve got a happy problem at the moment where I’m in two shows,” he said. “I’m going to be doing Taken until October time and I’m going to pick up and re-join the Vikings team later on in season five. I’m going straight from Toronto back to Dublin, so it’s a good problem to have!”
As a result of his delayed start on Vikings, it seems likely Rollo will be absent for a least a few episodes of Season 5.
However, while it can be assumed Ragnar, Lagertha and Rollo will return in Season 5 of Vikings, it is just as likely they will appear in flashback episodes, maintaining current storylines, much in the way Athelstan (George Blagden) makes the occasional appearance still. Only by tuning into Season 5 of Vikings will all be revealed.
The second half of Season 4 of Vikings will return to History Channel later in 2016. The show has also been renewed for Season 5 in 2017.
Some are dubbing him the new Chris Hemsworth, but who is Travis Fimmel? Let’s find out.
It would seem that there’s been an Australian hunk in Hollywood right under our noses this whole time!
You may recognise Travis Fimmel from his pivotal role as Ragnar in the Canadian-Irish drama series Vikings, if not, there is a very good chance you’ve already seen him before – sans clothes.
With just $60 in his pocket, the Aussie hunk got his start at a LA Models agency… and he was barefoot!
“He had a beautiful face, a very funny personality it all clicked,” his agent Paul Nelson recalled.
“We helped him out with money and a place to stay. We believed in him from the beginning.”
Travis came from humble beginnings, growing up on a 5,000 acre cattle farm in Lockington, Victoria. As the youngest of three brothers, the rising star spent his time playing chase around the farm.
Like many true blue Aussie blokes, Travis wanted to be a footy player but a broken leg put an end to his sporting career.
But alas, it all worked out for the best after he was scouted by Chadwicks modelling agency.
From his move to the big smoke in LA, Travis’ career took off.
When he wasn’t starring in music videos alongside Janet Jackson and Jennifer Lopez, he was modelling as a regular for Calvin Klein.
In fact, Travis became the first male model in the world to secure a six-figure deal to model exclusively for the luxury label for a year.
He was dubbed one of the world’s sexiest bachelors by People in 2002, and it has even been suggested that Sex and the City’s heartthrob Smith Jerrod was based off Travis himself!
After his name made waves, Travis began to hone in on his acting career. Modelling cheques paid his way through acting classes, and soon the hunk was able to acquire supporting roles in both TV and film productions.
Now, the 36-year-old, who stars as Ragnar in the gory series Vikings, has just landed himself the lead role in the film adaption of the popular video game of the same name.
Speaking of how a big screen production differs from the small screen scale he’s used to, the star quipped, “It was a whole different experience doing so much motion-capture and special effects and getting pushed around with broomsticks and tennis balls thrown at you.”
“It reminded me of home — my brothers throwing stuff at me and hitting me with broomsticks,” he says.
So, how does this Victoria-born beau size up to our beloved Chris Hemsworth?
We think we will need his brothers to join him in Hollywood to be able to make that decision…
TRAVIS Fimmel cuts a striking figure marauding his way through TV series Vikings, a warrior with piercing blue eyes and long beard, covered in mud and the blood of his enemies, with his hair shaved on both sides to reveal fearful tattoos.
It’s a long way from the swishy blond locks and perfect abs that first turned eyes Fimmel’s way as a 22-year-old Calvin Klein underwear model. Such a long way, in fact, that the Fimmel of then and the Fimmel of now — the 36-year-old who’s finally struck his sword into the heart of a dynamic acting career — are barely recognisable as the same person.
The mud, however, always sticks. That’s what Fimmel grew up with as the youngest of three boys on a dairy farm outside Echuca in northern Victoria. And it’s where he’d like to be right now, if only it wasn’t so damn tough to make a living as a farmer.
Yet Fimmel can find reminders of home in the strangest places — as happened on the set of the biggest film of his career so far, Warcraft: The Beginning.
Based on the popular online role-playing game World Of Warcraft and directed by English filmmaker Duncan Jones (Moon, SourceCode), the movie tells the story of a battle between orcs and humans for the planet they both consider home. Its production was a green-screen, motion-capture spectacular, with huge sets built indoors.
“You’d walk into a shed and there’d be this big forest and all day you’d just ride horses through a forest and try to look like you know what you’re doing,” recalls Fimmel.
Though he swears any and all acting is out of his comfort zone — “I don’t like to be the only person talking in a room” — Warcraft took it to the next level.
“It was a whole different experience doing so much motion-capture and special effects and getting pushed around with broomsticks and tennis balls thrown at you.”
And yet … “It reminded me of home — my brothers throwing stuff at me and hitting me with broomsticks,” he says.
Fimmel’s imagination didn’t extend into sci-fi or fantasy when he was a kid. The closest thing he comes to is seeing the movie NeverEnding Story with “that big white dog-looking thing”. He never played World Of Warcraft, either. He’s equal parts intrigued and scared by the obsession people had with it: “It feels like people get so obsessed with the game they lose their jobs and stuff like that.”
So why was he the right guy to play Warcraft’s human hero, Lothar?
I have added over 300 HQ photos to the gallery, thanks to my friend Ali, of Travis attending promotional events for his new film ‘Warcraft’. You can check them out in the gallery. And if you havent seen the film yet, go see it.