‘I took a shot and I didn’t stop’ Alexander Ludwig on chasing dreams

Alexander Ludwig's hasn't slept because of the Heels premiere

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Alexander Ludwig has become a global sensation following his role as Bjorn Ironside in the historical drama, Vikings. Since then he has landed a main role in the Starz series Heels and has taken time to pursue his dream of becoming a professional Country singer. He spoke to Express.co.uk about his latest music, TV opportunities and staying humble in the world of showbiz.

Actor and musician Alexander has recently spent time in the UK and Europe promoting his new album, Highway 99.

Performing an intimate gig in Soho, he described the opportunity as something out of this world.

But his dream does not stop there as he turns his attention to creating new works of art in both film and music.

“I feel like we live in a really exciting time for somebody like me who doesn’t want to be put in a box as just one thing,” he said.

“I have always loved this [music], I have always done this, so to have the opportunity to do it professionally is amazing.”

Striking the perfect balance between music and acting is something Alexander enjoys pursuing and he is as passionate about his film and TV roles as he is about his Country career.

Opening up on his current acting projects, he said: “We are waiting to hear about a third season [of Heels] but we haven’t heard when the second season is out yet.

“Potentially Bad Boys could come back, so that’s interesting, we will see what’s happening there.

“There’s a lot of things that are up in the air, I am going to Bulgaria to shoot a film… and then possibly doing a film in LA.

“I also try to create a lot of my own stuff, I think the really exciting thing is for me, music and acting have never been about just being famous, that’s not the goal. For me, the goal is being a storyteller and as you get more success in either industry, you have more freedom to do what it is that you want.”

One thing the star loves about music is even though he does not have control over how well something does, he does have more control over what he puts out as the writer and artist.

It was a risky decision to pursue music at this stage of his career, but he rightly stands by his choice to branch out.

“I realised life is risky, the biggest risk is not taking a risk,” he said.

“It’s a facade that we live in where we think that there’s any type of security, I could walk out of here and get hit by a bus tomorrow.

“I think that we are here to pursue the things that we love and I hope to break the barrier of the stereotype where people are like ‘Be that, stay in your lane’, I don’t think people are like that.

“Internally people are a lot of things and they should be free to express it however they want.”

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“We have one life and we just want to enjoy it,” he added. “I’m really proud of myself for taking those risks and everything I have ever gotten that has been positive is because I took a shot and I didn’t stop.”

The star vows it is not because he is “special”, reassuring his fans that “anybody can do it, it’s about taking that leap”. On what advice he would give anyone who is nervous to try something new, he said: “I would say the same thing that I would say to my children as I have thought about this a lot.

“I would say you have one life, you have to go after the things that fill your soul and if you don’t know what that is, that’s ok as well.

“Say yes to everything and then figure it out. If you are trying to figure out what it is you want to do ask yourself this, if money wasn’t an object what would you be doing? Do that, you will find a way to be successful at it.”

He is living proof that with some perseverance, hard work will pay off and dreams will come true.

One of his dreams was to hear his own songs being repeated back to him by a crowd of fans as passionate about Country music as he is.

On the difference between performing on stage and on screen, he said: “When I’m not on contract I skydive recreationally and I’m telling you it doesn’t even come close to playing a live performance, especially an intimate one.

“If you are playing for like 50 people and they see every mistake when they are watching you it’s the kind of rush I can never experience, there’s something so beautiful about music that is different from acting.

“Whereas if you are making a film or TV show, you bust your a** for months and it takes so much to make something at all, let alone something good, and then you have to wait another year before you even know if people enjoyed it.

“With music, if you are playing live, you have an immediate connection with those people who are watching something that you just sat in a room with a pen and wrote transcend into these other people in front of you, and that’s ridiculous.

“There really are no words to describe that kind of feeling, it’s really special and then if people know your stuff, if someone is singing the words to your song, that’s just wild.”

Alexander is still as dedicated to his TV work as he is to his music and he would love to bring the two together in the future.

He has even started making plans to create his own project, showcasing music on screen.

For many artists, showcasing their work on TV provides an opportunity to tell a certain story, and Alexander is passionate about bringing the true essence of Country to a wider audience.

He said: “Country music has always kept me grounded because you go back to the roots of what it is to be a human being, you know, it’s about family, it’s about hard work, it’s about love and loss, it’s about getting back up, it’s about those sad moments when you are in a bar and wondering what the hell you are doing with your life, and it’s about the wins.

“It’s not about driving a Ferarri, it’s about the real things we can connect to on a human level and I’m a fan of all music but to me, that’s why I have always connected to Country.

“I’m happiest when I’m outdoors, when I’m living a life that feels like we as humans were meant to live. The simplicity of it is really special.”

It may seem as though he is always looking for the next step up, but he realises it is equally as important to take a step back and look after yourself.

Reciting a poignant quote he said: “Desire is the contract we make with ourselves, that we are going to be unhappy until we get what we want.

“It’s OK to be ambitious, that’s a great thing. But also give yourself a break for a second because I, promise there’s somebody who has it worse off.”

Highway 99 is available to buy now and fans will see him in the upcoming second season of Heels on Starz.

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