Ingvar Sigurdsson is Grendel

The heart of the saga of Beowulf and Grendel is Grendel himself. Played by Ingvar Sigurdsson, a quiet, remarkably retiring actor who had almost an intuitive connection with his character. “Grendel is quite a lonely guy. Physically he is not like the typical human being; he seems to be an outcast or from a banished tribe. Yet even if he is not a man, not a Homo Sapiens, he is very similar to one.”

Building the persona of Grendel began quite literally with his physicality because Gunnarsson was adamant that Beowulf and Grendel be a CGI-free film, To this end, prosthetics specialist Nick Dudman came on board and between Dudman, Gunnarsson and Sigurdsson, they built the monster from outside in and inside out.

“Grendel is quite human,” Sigurdsson continues. “From there, I found the character within myself. By that I mean I’d consider how a human animal like me might move and then I started to move. Sometimes it came very spontaneously. I then made up some primitive language based on Icelandic. In the end, I believe my Grendel creates an even balance with Beowulf.”

“Everything Ingvar does is a surprise,” says Gunnarsson. “And it’s all a beautiful surprise. He’s easily one of the most powerful actors I have ever worked with. He doesn’t have a single line of dialogue  —  for him to take a character like that and make him as accessible as he does is a tremendous feat.”

Ingvar SIGURDSSON Iceland’s leading actor, was named as one of European films ‘Shooting Stars’ in 1999 by the European Film Promotion organization. Sigurðsson starred as Gunnar in Stormy Weather, and as Franz in the television production of Second Nature. In 2002, he played Gorelov in K-19: The Widowmaker, and Dr. Svendsen in Hal Hartley’s No Such Thing. He starred in Friðrik Þór Friðriksson’s Fálkar and in Kaldaljós for which his performance earned him the Best Actor Award at the 2004 Festróia – Tróia International Film Festival as well as a nomination for Best Actor at the 2004 European Film Awards where he did win the Best Actor Award in 2000 for Englar alheimsins.