Travis Fimmel for Flaunt Magazine

Written by E. Ryan Ellis
Photographed by Tony Duran

“It’s bloody cold,” he says in a relaxed Australian drawl. Of course it is. Fimmel grew up helping out on the family farm in a small town on the fork of two rivers in the middle of the sunburnt Australia.

He’s currently in the benumbed west Canadian port city filming Duncan Jones’ Warcraft: a film of epic proportion and expectation. But despite the video game-based film, one gets the feeling Fimmel is the kind of lad that would much rather be chopping wood than mashing plastic buttons on a gaming controller. “I’d never heard of it,” he freely admits.

When I ask about his early foray into Australian-rules football, he concedes what stymied the course, “Yeah but I sucked at it, man, I was very bad.” And thus he skipped the sporting life and tried college, “I didn’t pass any classes because I didn’t end up showing up—I was doing project managing for construction, like a foreman. Architecture and commerce [was the] main part of the course, I didn’t really want to go to college, I was just trying to fill in time… but then I ended up going overseas.”

“Wound up in L.A., got into an acting class and then that’s where I started acting. I had no idea, never wanted to do this stuff, still don’t really want to do it, mate,” he admits. Fimmel is even-keeled, he exudes a thoughtless vibe, and as much as Fimmel plays it all down, one even has to question how hard he worked to get to his current status. Sometimes his nonchalant nature can come off as arrogant, and it’s easy to imagine he’s often misunderstood, but could care less; he’s just riding the wave. And it may have stuttered a bit in the beginning, Fimmel took jobs everyone in Hollywood thought would pay dividends but floundered [see: WB’s Tarzan] until he grew a beard and started swinging an axe. Ah, the farm boy swinging the axe again.

It’s in History Channel’s Vikings that Fimmel has found his niche, receiving acclaim for his portrayal of the contemplative but merciless, Ragnar Lothbrok, a deep-thinking maniac from Viking Age Europe. There is a swagger to his character that is maintained somewhere within Fimmel.

When I ask about his association with Ragnar, he states, “Every guy that I know that fights is always the quietest guy in the room; I just try to think more than talk. You’ll always learn more by listening rather than being the loudest guy in the room. And whatever you do, you do because you enjoy it, so I try to make my character enjoy fighting.”

And so we find ourselves back in that Vancouver hotel room, freezing our balls off with Fimmel, as he’s in the midst of shooting the biggest film of his career. With all the aloofness Fimmel radiates, it piques one’s interest to know what he really is passionate about, “Farming mate, that’s what I want to do. I love the country. It’s hard to explain. When you grow up in the country you just enjoy it so much. I love animals and I love trees and anything country.” (Bless.)

And, lastly, that beard that’s quickly becoming his trademark: “It just grew I guess, I couldn’t for ages. I would have loved to grow one when I was a kid, I would have loved to have gone to prom and school and shit with a beard.”

Nothing to do with shedding the barefaced image of your Calvin Klein days?

“[Audibly scoffs] shit. I couldn’t grow one then otherwise I would have had one.”

That would have been a different path.

Full interview and all of the photos at Source.