20 years ago, Björk gave an enormously affecting lead performance as Selma, the protagonist of Lars Von Trier’s gut-ripping film Dancer In The Dark. The shoot was famously awful, and Björk hasn’t taken a major film role since. In fact, unless you count her own usually-brilliant music videos, Björk has done very little acting since her Sugarcubes days — a starring role in the 1990 Icelandic fairy-tale fantasy The Juniper Tree, an uncredited cameo in Robert Altman’s Ready To Wear, a role in her ex-partner Matthew Barney’s 2005 art film Drawing Restraint 9, and that’s basically it. So it’s exciting to learn that Björk will soon return to the screen in a big viking movie.
The director Robert Eggers has made two films, 2015’s The Witch and 2019’s The Lighthouse. Both of them are atmospheric, psychedelic, incredibly unsettling chamber pieces. Eggers’ next movie is The Northman, and it’ll reportedly be a viking revenge story. Eggers co-wrote the movie with the Icelandic writer Sjón. The cast will include The Witch’s Anya Taylor-Joy and The Lighthouse’s Willem Defoe, as well as Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgård, and Claes Bang. And now it looks like Björk will be in there, too.
We probably weren’t supposed to know about this. The Playlist reports that “an overseas actor/trainer” bragged on social media about working on the movie and, in the process, revealed that Björk is playing the role of “the Slav Witch.” We don’t know anything more right now, but it’s genuinely impossible to imagine anyone who would be better suited for the role of “the Slav Witch,” whatever that might mean. The movie recently resumed production after a pandemic-related delay.