Vikings Valhalla: Do Sam Corlett and Leo Suter Have Tattoos in Real Life?

Image Credit: Bernard Walsh/Netflix

Being a Viking is no easy feat, and getting into the skin of a Viking character requires as much physicality as it does the emotional and mental state of the characters. In Netflix’s ‘Vikings: Valhalla,’ actors Leo Suter and Sam Corlett, who play Harald and Leif, respectively, found themselves completely transforming for the role. Leif and Harald are introduced to each other when the former journeys to Kattegat with revenge on his mind while the latter prepares for the siege of London.

Over the course of their journey, they become brothers in arms and, by the second season, embark on a journey that takes them to countries far and wide. The passing of time and the evolution of their characters is evident from their looks. The third season, especially, leans into the physical aspects of the characters, with their tattoos becoming a more prominent part to signify how far they have come. How many of those tattoos do the actors have in real life?

Leo Suter and Sam Corlett Spent Hours Getting the Fake Tattoos

As Viking warriors, Harald and Leif go through quite a journey, which is reflected in their tattoos. The tattoos are supposed to be unique to them and their character, focusing on the things that have impacted them. Both characters flaunt intensive tattoos all over their body, especially in Season 3, as they go to Constantinople and experience a whole new world. The actors, however, don’t have any of these tattoos in real life. The tattoos are a part of the makeup and take hours, combined with other details of the characters, to be applied.

Having played Harald and Leif for over three years, Suter and Corlett intimately understand their journeys and motivations. So, when it came to designing the tattoos, the actors collaborated with the makeup team and the designers to create the tattoos that would best represent their characters’ heritage and roots. Corlett, whose character has had tattoos since the first season, revealed that the show’s creators were very open with the actors about pitching their own ideas, including but not limited to the tattoos.

Corlett was excited about helping build Leif’s characters and shared multiple ideas with the team. He revealed that one of his inspirations was a Rumi quote that says, “Seek the path that demands of your whole being,” which encapsulates Leif’s journey rather well. At one point, Corlett had become so invested in the tattoos that he started drawing his designs for the team, and some of his ideas were eventually featured in the show. Similarly, Suter took Harald’s tattoos very seriously, most of which feature on his arms and back. However, he has decided to keep the meaning of these tattoos a secret, adding an air of mystery to Harald’s journey over the course of the third season.

The Actors Invested in the Physicality of the Role

Image Credits: Bernard Walsh/Netflix

While the tattoos play an important role in showing how far Harald and Leif have come over the course of three seasons, they are just one part of the physicality that their role truly demands of them. Both actors grew their hair and beard to suit the part, with Suter reflecting that this was more demanding because there was nothing they could do to make the hair grow faster.

The actors also went through rigorous training rounds to prepare for the action sequences, a lot of which they performed themselves. Their role demanded them to be physically ripped. Suter especially wanted to look at the part where Harald is described as a kind of beast in history books. His physical size adds to his fighting prowess, making him quite intimidating. He and Corlett were also involved in finessing the nuances of their characters and adding unique fighting traits and habits that set them apart. All of this shows how much they were invested in developing the characters of Leif and Harald beyond the page and bringing them to life on the screen.

Read More: Is Vikings: Valhalla’s Leif Erikson Based on a Real Person?