Travis Fimmel: Man on a Mission
At 36, Travis Fimmel, who grew up with his parents and two older brothers on a 5,500-acre dairy farm in small-town Lockington, Australia, is trying something that’s well out of his comfort zone. This June, the former Calvin Klein underwear model, who had a mixed bag of TV and film roles before coming into his own as the lead on Vikings in 2013, is breaking into the world of big-budget summer blockbusters with Warcraft.
He stars in the CGI-heavy fantasy epic, which is based on the wildly popular video game franchise that boasted 12 million subscribers worldwide at its height and over 100 million accounts during the life of its most successful game, 2004’s World of Warcraft.
Fimmel is not a gamer nor had he heard of Warcraft prior to coming onboard for the film adaptation. But he has a simple explanation for his interest in the pressurized project, which tells the origin story of conflict between human and orc warriors: “I needed a job,” he says with a laugh.
“To be honest, I had no idea what I was getting myself into,” Fimmel says of the green screen experience. “It is such a different way of acting, not talking to someone sometimes. You’re actually talking to air. It’s hard. I bloody suck at it.”
Self-deprecation is a recurring theme with Fimmel, who pushes any praise for himself onto his co-stars, directors and showrunners. But it also lays bare the pressure of fashioning a career arc in the movie business. In this sense, he’s no different from all the others out there. Only he’s got a plan to go with that humility: work harder than anyone else and keep his eye on the long game—and his return to cattle farming.
Fimmel always contributed by choice, milking cows before and after school, working on weekends after he’d played his sports. Though the chores were neverending, it was satisfying to complete them, and life in the wide-open country was adventurous.
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