Alexander Ludwig (born May 7, 1992) is a Canadian actor, singer and model. His notable film credits includeThe Seeker: The Dark Is Rising, Lone Survivor, Disney's Race to Witch Mountain, and The Hunger Games. He currently appears in the History Channel series Vikings.
Ludwig was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has three younger siblings: a sister and brother named Nicholas, who are twins, and a younger sister. His mother, Sharlene (née Martin), is a former actress, and his father, Harald Horst Ludwig, is a businessman and the co-chairman of the board for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. Ludwig was drawn to the profession, saying in an interview: "I have a big imagination. I love performing." Yet, despite his mother's early career as an actress, Ludwig had to convince his parents to support his desire to pursue a career as a child actor. His parents believed that child actors "can get sucked into a life that isn't reality." Ludwig is enrolled as a theatre major at the University of Southern California where he is in the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, and lives full-time in Los Angeles.
Ludwig began his career at the age of nine when he featured in a Harry Potter toy commercial, a job that enabled him to sign on with an agent and obtain more commercial work. Later he was cast in movies such as Air Bud World Pup(2000), MXP: Most Extreme Primate (2003), Scary Godmother: The Revenge Of Jimmy (2005), Eve and the Fire Horse(2005), The Sandlot: Heading Home (aka, The Sandlot 3) (2007). In addition to cinema, Ludwig has also worked in television. He has performed in movies made for television, such as A Little Thing Called Murder (2006), and television series such as The Dead Zone. Ludwig obtained his leading role in The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007) after a "gruelling audition process." By his count, he had 16 auditions before finally being cast.
Ludwig's next lead role came in the part of Seth – one half of a teenage, alien brother-sister duo – in the film production of Race to Witch Mountain (2009), also starringDwayne Johnson, the wrestler-turned-actor. Seth is the part originated by Ike Eisenmann in the 1975 original, Escape to Witch Mountain. The film opened at number one at the box office the weekend that it premiered, with receipts estimated at $25 million. Despite his early casting success with The Seeker, Ludwig indicated in an interview that it was his intention to attend university. In another interview, the actor said that the most challenging thing about filming The Seeker was trying "to juggle school while filming." He stated: "My school wasn't used to it, and I wasn't used to it. It was the most amazing experience, but it was really hard."
In the movie adaptation of The Hunger Games, Ludwig played Cato, the fierce male tribute from District 2, the primary threat to the protagonists' lives during the 74th Hunger Games. The film was released worldwide on March 23, 2012. Ludwig won the award for Best Fight on 2012 MTV Movie Awards along with Jennifer Lawrenceand Josh Hutcherson, as well as the award for Best Villain at the 2012 Teen Choice Awards. Ludwig released his first single "Liv It Up (Teenage Wasteland)" on March 1, 2012. In 2013, he co-starred in the films Lone Survivor and Grown Ups 2.