‘Ghosts’ Star Devan Chandler Long on Meeting Thorfinn’s ‘Baby Bjorn’
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Ghosts Season 2, Episode 6, “The Baby Bjorn.”]
It’s not every day you discover you’ve been living down the road from a long-lost relative without your knowledge, but that was exactly the case for Ghosts‘ resident Viking, Thorfinn (Devan Chandler Long) in the latest episode, “The Baby Bjorn.”
The installment offered new insight into the brawny figure’s past as a flashback revealed Thorfinn’s role as a father to baby Bjorn. In the years following his departure from Norway though, Bjorn (Christian Jadah) grew up and sought out his father in America only to perish on the land now belonging to the Farnsbys, Margaret (Kathryn Greenwood) and Henry (Mark Linn-Baker). “Two ship-lengths” away as the characters put it in the show.
“It’s kind of a big revelation,” Long tells TV Insider. “So it’s just a treat really, and also it’s like, ‘wait, hold on, I got a kid. That’s awesome!’ It’s doubly exciting.” As viewers will recall, Thorfinn perished on the patch of land that would one day belong to Hetty’s (Rebecca Wisocky) family and the site of Woodstone, after his crew left him behind.
All this time he thought he was alone, but Bjorn hasn’t been too far away for the past several hundred years. And rest assured, Bjorn’s still going to be a part of the show as Long teases, “I’m excited to see where this goes. Obviously, we’re not just gonna introduce you to Bjorn and ship him off right away.”
That means there’s sure to be more yelling, something that certainly had a major role in the episode as Sam (Rose McIver) did her best to connect Thorfinn with his son after meeting Bjorn at the Farnsbys’ yard sale. At the suggestion of Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar), Sam arranged for Bjorn and Thorfinn to communicate by yelling to each other from windows at their respective estates.
So, was Long any more strained by the extra yelling? “I think like my body’s acclimated to this new lifestyle,” the actor says with a laugh. I don’t even know what Thorfinn sounds like. Like a dragon made love to a grizzly bear and hooked up with a trucker?” he questions. “Like, what’s going on with this thing? But my body’s adapted.”
Filming the father-son reunion was just as separate as their onscreen lives as ghosts as Long reveals, “[I was yelling] at a tennis ball, pretending that’s my long lost son who I never saw. I didn’t even know how he looked so it’s really interesting.” Despite resembling each other greatly, Long reveals he hadn’t met Jadah until “after this whole entire episode shot.”
While Long acknowledges that the actor may have seen an episode or two of Ghosts before taking on the role of Bjorn, their similarities were just as apparent to him. The reunion almost didn’t happen onscreen though because of the Viking’s stubbornness upon discovering Bjorn married a Danish woman.
Thorfinn hates Danes, and he promises to instill that hatred before leaving a baby Bjorn behind on his fatal journey to America. Unsure if he’ll be able to get past it, Long believes Thorfinn’s prejudice runs deeper than the histories of warring Viking groups. “I think we’ll learn [more]. I’ve been playing like maybe Thorfinn’s dad was killed by Danes and that’s why he hates them.” Only time will tell for certain though.
Thankfully, Thorfinn’s fellow Woodstone ghosts get him to put his disappointment aside to speak with Bjorn across the divide of properties, showing off a more nurturing side of the brutish figure who is softened by hearing Bjorn utter the word “father.” “I connect with that side of Thorfinn,” Long says of his character’s wilder side. “I could also connect to the nurturing aspects,” he adds. “There’s a lot of Thorfinn that I have in myself. I come across as this big dude, but if you ask my wife, I’m a little teddy bear. I like to go to the grocery store [and] cook for my family.”
While we may not get to see that nurturing side at play up-close-and-personal with his son Bjorn, Long acknowledges that fans might see it come out in his interactions with Flower (Sheila Carrasco). The Viking’s crush on the spirited Hippie has been an ongoing thing since Season 1, and Long teases, “I think the fact that Flower’s even entertaining any aspect of Thorfinn’s advances is huge. He’s got an opportunity, he’s gonna take some swings and I think it’s funny to watch [him] try to win her over.”
Stay tuned to see how Thorfinn’s quickly-changing ghost life unfolds as Season 2 continues on CBS.
Ghosts, Season 2, Thursdays, 8:30/7:30c, CBS