The Last Kingdom’s Aldhelm star opens up on ‘sensitive’ Alexander Dreymon
29th April 2022

Alexander Dreymon thanks fans as The Last Kingdom wraps

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Netflix’s highly acclaimed historical series, The Last Kingdom came to an end last month with its fifth and final season, after it first premiered in 2015. Ahead of its release Aldhelm star James Northcote opened up about working alongside Alexander Dreymon, who directed an episode in the final season.

Aldhelm made his first appearance in the series in season two to help guide Lord Ceowulf (played by David Grant) on his journey to meet King Alfred (David Dawson).

Alfred wanted to discuss Mercia’s need for more warriors as the Danes were moving in and beginning their raid.

Aldhelm was a strategic adviser and right-hand man to Aethelred but in the end, he believed Aethelflaed would be a better ruler of Mercia.

Following Aethelred’s death in season four, he continued to support and guide Aethelflaed during her rule.

The Last Kingdom is the onscreen adaptation of a novel series written by Bernard Cornwell titled The Saxon Stories, with season five taking inspiration from books nine and 10.

Although Aldhelm is only a supporting character in The Saxon Stories, it was noted how he played a pivotal role in the TV show.

Aldhelm also appeared in the instalments second episode, which Uhtred of Bebbanburg star Alexander Dreymon directed.

In an interview, actor Northcote shared what it was like working with Dreymon on his directorial debut.

He stated: “I loved working with Alex as a director.

“Everyone was really excited from the moment that he stepped on set and took on that role, because watching him work as an actor you know that he has this incredible holistic view of the show, and the world, and his character, who is so central to the story.”

The actor continued: “So knowing that he was going to bring all of that to this season and to his episode meant that it was really exciting to get to be a part of that.

“For me personally, I just had such a great experience of being on set with him.”

Reflecting on the episode, Northcote shared: “He was so sensitive to performance, so playful, so willing to adjust and find the most exciting version of the scene and for me that was just a joy to get to work with.

“It was really a pleasure to get to work with him as director and as an actor.

“And to be honest, the moment that you watch him step on set as Uhtred in a scene that he’s directing, your mind does slightly explode.

“Probably not as much as his does, but it’s a real kind of magic moment,” the actor concluded.

Before season five returned, Dreymon shared his own experience behind the scenes and expressed his gratitude.

“First of all, I’m just hugely grateful to Carnival for giving me that opportunity and for placing their trust in me.

“It’s a huge production with a lot of moving parts, very technical aspects and I spent as much time in front of the camera as I did behind the camera, so I was definitely thrown in at the deep end but I’m completely in love with it.

“I’m just so grateful to have been able to do it, there’s just no way of knowing the breadth of the director’s responsibilities and what it means to carry the weight of that unless you do it and I thought I knew, but I really had no idea.

“It gave me even more honour and respect for that part of our world. It made me want to help the directors that I’m working with even more than before.”

The Last Kingdom is available on Netflix.

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