Family life has changed WWE Hall of Famer Edge, and that’s a good thing for Adam Copeland.
Currently, this family man will make his series debut as Kjetill Flatnose on History’s hit drama series “Vikings,” airing Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on History channel.
Edge and his wife, Beth Phoenix, also a WWE Hall of Famer, have two children. She was 33 when they had their first child in 2013; he was 40. Last year they had their second child.
“With WWE, that’s really a job where it is all about you,” he said. “It’s you and the company first. It’s the job first. It’s go, go, go, go, go, go, go. I know people do it with families, and they’re able to manage it and all of those things, and that brings home a paycheck...but for me with how intensive I was and how my mindset was toward that, it would have been really difficult to balance family. That’s just me. That’s my makeup.
“Having had the girls now, me is way down on the list. It’s girls first, then it’s Beth, the family...and then it’s job, and the job in turn helps with the family, and then you kind of throw yourself somewhere under those three things [chuckle], and that’s a good thing.
“There’s only so long you can be that -- so wrapped up in your job and yourself -- I would think hopefully you would have to change at some point. Now, I didn’t start having kids until I was 40. So I felt, in terms of maturity, I was much more prepared than I would have been even at 30. That’s just the way it worked out for me and Beth. We waited until we retired from that to have kids.
“It definitely changed me, for sure. I have bigger bags under my eyes now, but the other stuff is just amazing.”
A proud dad, he is now home with the kids as Beth works on her master’s degree in clinical psychology.
An improving actor, Edge continues the acting career, when family time permits.
From 2011-15, he grew his character on the hit show “Haven,” an American-Canadian supernatural drama television series loosely based on the Stephen King novel The Colorado Kid. In 2015, he became Atom Smasher on the hit superhero TV series ‘The Flash” on the CW.
Dwight Hendrickson in “Haven” is quite different from Atom Smasher, and Kjetill Flatnose is different from those two.
“Way different, so different,” he noted. “’The Flash’ was closer to what I did in wrestling, because it’s more over the top. In ‘The Flash,’ I played a character that grew to 15 feet tall. It’ stupidly fun, so much fun to recreate and do stuff like that. It’s so fantastical, and that’s why I relate it to wrestling. In wrestling, you’re putting on this costume to be this larger than life character, and it’s colorful, and it’s all of these things, and I have to translate...It’s just bigger in terms of performance.
“’Vikings’ has been so many different challenges, and some of that is, at times, you have to be big and imposing and violent and vicious, and then you have be pulled back and withdrawn and just more layers and more time to portray those layers, too. You are playing this historical figure, and let alone the physical challenges, there’s the dialect and getting this accent right...Because it’s drama, it is a different beast I guess than anything else I’d ever done.
“The fact that I can look back and say, ‘I was a super villain in a DC show, and now I get to play this historical Viking,’ it’s really cool.
“In six years, since I’ve been retired from wrestling, I’ve done 42 episodes of this show where I played an Army ranger who attracts bullets and becomes the chief of police of the town to playing this Atom Smasher who grows to 15 feet tall to playing Kjetill Flatnose, who was this king among Vikings...It’s just crazy to me.”
Family time played a role in him landing a role in “Vikings,” something he aspired to do.
“Beth was pregnant with our second daughter, Ruby, and I kind of took myself off the [movie, TV show] docket in terms of reading for anything,” he explained. “I just wanted to be home and be a partner and make sure everything was ok. It was six weeks after we had Ruby that Beth said, ‘Ya know. We’re ok, if you want to start reading for stuff again, and I said, ‘All right, if you’re sure.
“Sure enough the first thing that came through was ‘Vikings.’ I had told my team, ‘Here’s a list of shows that I want to go for,’ and ‘Vikings’ was on the list. So when I got the audition, I was like, ‘OK, this is what I want [chuckle]. I really want this show,’ and I feel like I could be a really good fit for it, too. I did some dialect coaching and tried to at least get in the wheelhouse of what the show was in terms of accent, and I tread for it...and that was kind of it.”
The waiting was easier than the scheduling.
“About a week later, they said, ‘OK, you got the part. We need you in Ireland in five days [chuckles].’ I realized pretty much all forms of entertainment happens that fast -- whether it’s WWE or whether it’s a huge production like this.”
For Season 5 of “Vikings,” he appears in 12 episodes as Kjetill Flatnose.
“One of the things I really liked about this character is that he’s not would you would expect right out of the gate,” Edge said. “When I had heard I was getting this job, I really did assume it would be a fight scene every other scene, but this character is not that -- not to say that it won’t be that or it doesn’t get to be that. He’s more layered than that. He’s not just a Viking warrior. He’s trying to be something else.
“Now in trying to be something else, he is trying to help start a settlement and all of the work that goes into that. When we’re on set, if you see us in a scene, it’s us doing it. We were lifting these things. We were rowing that boat. We’re chopping that wood. Whatever it is, it’s a tough group of people who perform on this show.
“In terms of storyline, because of trying to settle Iceland, I took it upon myself to think that this guy shouldn’t be eating a lot; so I dropped 20 pounds. I got down to a weight that I hadn’t been since I was 17-years-old. I came home, and Beth was like, ‘Woe, are you OK? [chuckle]. I just thought it would fit, and that was another challenge I wanted to take on.
“This guy wouldn’t be taking enough calories to feed his body; so he’s going to start wasting away a little bit. That was another fun challenge to throw on top of all the other challenges of the show, this drama, it’s a historical piece. I’m playing a guy who actually lived. The accent, let alone the physical aspects that we’re trying to recreate, and in trying to recreate that, there are some really tough physical things that you have to do. So by the end of some days you’re just exhausted. You get back, and you crash on your couch. Your knuckles are all cut up. Your hands are all beat up. Your sore. Your back is sore. Sometimes you walk out there feeling like you were in a wrestling match.”
Even with those physical pains, the toughest part was emotionally, being away from family.
“That’s the most difficult part. If you got to look at a list of pros and cons of doing this, that’s the only con, the separation from the girls,” he said. “Beth is currently in school, getting her master’s degree; so that meant she couldn’t bring the girls to Ireland for six months. Thankfully, it worked out that I would have a month off here and be gone for two months. So those two months are long, but I balance it with the fact that between seasons you have five months, and you don’t read for anything, if you don’t want to, and you can be home and be there for go to beds and all the wake-ups in the middle of the night and be there for all of those things.
“Do you work 9-5 every day and get home and have an hour with the kids, before you put them to bed, and you’re exhausted, or I’m gone for two months, and then I could be home for five months. That’s the tough balance that I’ve found, and that’s the only challenge so far, just being a part from them.”
Edge in “Vikings”
WWE Hall of Famer and actor Adam “Edge” Copeland will make his series debut as Kjetill Flatnose on History’s hit drama series “Vikings,” airing Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on History channel.
As a massive fan of “Vikings” and looking to venture into other areas outside of his two decade long pro wrestling career, Copeland grew out his beard and wore period-appropriate attire in filming episode 505 titled “The Prisoner.” In this episode, Ivar meets his match in Bishop Heahmund, while Floki returns to Kattegat, and Bjorn receives a lavish welcome in North Africa.
Copeland’s character Kjetill is a solid family man who remains level-headed in the face of challenges. When Kjetill’s character is put to the test by a series of provocations, then hidden complexities and ambitions are revealed.
Copeland will also appear in “Vikings” episodes 505 through the mid-season finale of 510 airing on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Edge Twitter: https://twitter.com/EdgeRatedR
Vikings Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistoryVikings?lang=en
History Channel Twitter: https://twitter.com/HISTORY
“Vikings” is the critically acclaimed series from creator and sole writer Michael Hirst (Academy Award winning film “Elizabeth” and the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated series “The Tudors”) and is a family saga that tells the remarkable tales of the lives and epic adventures of the raiders and explorers of the Dark Ages.
There are six more episodes remaining in season five, with the mid-season finale airing Jan. 24 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HISTORY. Season six of “Vikings” is currently in production in Ireland.
History channel, now reaching more than 96 million homes, is the leading destination for award-winning series and specials that connect viewers with history in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across all platforms.
The network’s all-original programming slate features a roster of signature series including “Pawn Stars,” “American Pickers,” “Swamp People,” “Alone” as well as the hit drama series “Vikings.”
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Vikings For A Day
When asked who in WWE, past and present, would make a good Viking -- and that The Beserker John Nord was not an option nor best friend and WWE alum Christian -- WWE Hall of Famer Adam “Edge” Copeland of History channel’s hit drama series “Vikings” answered Scott Norton and Braun Strowman.
Two good choices.
I mentioned Brock Lesnar.
Edge replied: “Lesnar obviously. Look at that head. I mean he’s got a Viking helmet for a head. He would be great. As for Strowman, he’d be great, too. It’s just that accent. We just got to get that Tennessee out of there.”
Christian appeared in Syfy’s supernatural TV drama series “Haven” with Edge. Could we a see the two reunite in “Vikings?”
“He can grow a helluva beard,” Edge said. “That’s the first [chuckle] battle. He can pull off the physical element. We work on that accent, you never know.
“I will add that my character would probably kill him within one scene, though.”
Edge will make his series debut as Kjetill Flatnose on History’s hit drama series “Vikings,” airing Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on History channel.
Who else did or would make a good Viking
Ludvig Borga (Tony Halme)
The Beserker with Mr. Fuji