Anya Taylor-Joy Scene Rewritten Due to COVID-19


  • “The Northman” was filmed during the pandemic.
  • Director Robert Eggers told Insider that it forced him to rewrite a scene with Anya Taylor-Joy.
  • Originally, she was supposed to chew herbs and then put them in another actor’s mouth.

“The Northman” director Robert Eggers said there were many challenges to make his Viking epic in the middle of a pandemic. One was having to rewrite how he introduced one of his leads.

In the movie, Anya Taylor-Joy plays Olga, a sorceress who is also the love interest of the Viking prince Amleth (played by Alexander Skarsgård).

When we first meet her, she is consoling a villager following a brutal attack by the Viking warriors led by Amleth.

We see Olga calm the frantic person by giving them herbs and saying a spell.

But Eggers said that scene was originally written to show Taylor-Joy transferring the herbs in a more graphic way.

“Originally she was supposed to chew those herbs up in her own mouth and then take them out of her mouth and put it in the person’s mouth,” Eggers told Insider. “And that was how the folk magic was to work. But we weren’t allowed to do that due to the pandemic.”

Alexander Skarsgård and Anya Taylor-Joy on horses

“The Northman.”

Focus Features.


Eggers said he also wasn’t able to film in Ireland for as long as he wanted, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.But despite having to change some things around, Eggers, who is known for his gritty tales set in the rugged past, still delivered an authentic and graphic story set in the Viking era.

In fact, Eggers said one of his other stars, Ethan Hawke, had to remind him and Skarsgård at the movie’s premiere that making the movie wasn’t as challenging compared to other lines of work.

“Ethan came up to us and was like ‘Guys, guys, you got to stop bitching about how hard this movie was to shoot. You’re not fucking coal miners!'” Eggers said with a laugh.

Read our full Q&A with Robert Eggers here.

“The Northman” is currently playing in theaters.



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