You Won’t Believe How Insane Alexander Skarsgard’s Training For ‘Tarzan’ Role Was

The Legend of Tarzan, Alexander Skarsgard
Warner Bros.

Alexander Skarsgard had “no fun for eight months” while shooting The Legend of Tarzan.

The 39-year-old actor takes on the title role in the upcoming adventure movie, and spends a lot of the film with his shirt off. He had to work incredibly hard to get shredded for the part, and enlisted the help of “7ft 4” Swedish trainer Magnus Lygdback to whip him into shape.

The majority of the time Alexander stuck to a very strict diet and exercise plan. So when he had the chance to have a “cheat day”, it was all the more enjoyable.

“It was on a Sunday – we shot the movie in London and we were at the gym lifting weights and I guess he just saw that my will to live was fading,” he laughed during an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Monday night (20Jun16). “It had been five months of broccoli, chicken breasts and that kind of stuff.”


Taking him to an Italian restaurant, Magnus told Alexander he could choose whatever he wanted from the menu, with the actor smiling as he remembered: “I got to eat pizza, pasta, tiramisu. I get emotional just talking about it!”

Alexander discussed his training regime, which he was forced to stick to, to get ready to play the King of the Jungle.

“We did it in phases,” Alexander explained. “The first phase was 7,000 calories a day and lots of weight lifting to get bigger and then phase two is less exciting because that’s when they cut down the meals to this size (gestures a tiny portion), and six meals a day and more cardio to get rid of the fat. And no fun for eight months.”

When Stephen asked if he still has the much-desired triangle muscle at his groin, Alexander laughed: “No! The day we wrapped the movie I just fell off the wagon hard.”