Jessalyn Gilsig and ‘Vikings’ From a Woman’s Perspective

jilsigWith History’s new “Vikings”series freshly launched, Jessalyn Gilsig says she’d love to go back to her medieval Norsewoman garb – and do a Season 2. That’s because, she says, her troubled Viking queen character Siggy, “would rise again, and that would be a fantastic story opportunity to play.”

Certainly the series, which stars Travis Fimmel as the legendary Viking leader Ragnar Lothbrok, depicts the murderous raiders of the North in all their bloody ingloriousness as a male-dominated society. However, to the surprise of many, “shield maidens” — women in battle – are not just a conceit for the drama, but a standardpart of Viking lore. Gilsig notes, “The role of women in Viking society showed in that there is evidence that they participated in battle and were trained in sword fighting, that they could rule, that they had rights, that they could literally divorce their husbands.”

The actress, who rose to fame with“Boston Public,” “Nip/Tuck” and “Glee,” notes that yes, the Viking women are “reallyfascinating, but I think women have always been interesting. It’s just that the telling of telling ofhistory is different – it’s only been comparatively recently that we’ve shown an interest in them.”

Playingthe wife of Gabriel Byrne’s Viking chieftain character in the nine-hour, $40 million production, Gilsig got used to wearing clothing “with not a lot of structure, a little bit primitive…I wish everyone could see these clothes close up, the handwork, the detail,” she adds. “I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. Without exception, every article of clothing had a reason.”

Shooting took place mostly in Ireland, mostly in authentically dirty and cold environments, and Gilsig acknowledges that it took a while to “get the grime off” once production wrapped. But she felt it was worth the discomfort. “We’re all very proud of it. I just hope we get an audience.”

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This entry was posted in The Hollywood Exclusive by Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and tagged , , on by .

About Stacy Jenel Smith

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley when it was a kids' Shangri La in the 60s and we had Fabulous Eddie's miniature golf and trampolines on Ventura Boulevard. My big brother frequented The Third Eye psychedelic shop back in the day, but he wound up turning out anyway. Dad was an NBC video man who worked on "Laugh-In," Dean Martin's show, and specials by everyone from Sinatra to Fred Astaire. Mom was a first class home maker and PTA and GCA volunteer. They're still doing great. Anxious to get going in life, I quit college and jumped into journalism when I was still a teenager, and was writing for the New York Times syndicate and People magazine before turning 20. But that was a long time, many adventures, lots of traveling around the world and thousands of interviews ago. I go back to the very last days of hot type and getting to talk to Henry Fonda and Bette Davis, and Sammy Davis at the old Brown Derby...What a ride. That's in no small part thanks to my amazing writing partner, Marilyn Beck, one of the grand old-school Hollywood columnist stars -- a true star -- who knows how to do it right. I'm lucky, for sure. Now is fun, too. I love going out to events with my 17-year-old daughter (Jonas Brothers!). Seeing everything fresh through her eyes renews my excitement about the game. In-between I went back and finished school -- University of Redlands -- married, divorced, and at long last found my true love. My favorite things outside of the show business realm are being with my family, my faith and spiritual growth, learning new things (from doing Qigong to uploading stuff on Facebook), and running. See you on the trail.

One thought on “Jessalyn Gilsig and ‘Vikings’ From a Woman’s Perspective

  1. James H. Hall

    I am very happy for you all. I have Irish Ancestry so this is exciting. I have worked on NCIS, Mike and Miolly, NewsRom TV/HBO, SCANDAL and my wife having worked in the FILM Publicity arena for 27 years has helped me to understand the TV and FILM world. I helped her on several films, ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, Million Dollar Baby, The Ides of March, The Fighter and more….it was fun and exciting! Learning this business from the inside out!

    I wish you ALL the best. I grew up in Malibu, California and knew the Martin Sheens, Lee Marvin, and others like Sandi Kofax who was our next door neighbor and these people always helped others when they could. We need to do more of this today VS being competitive and keeping it all. Bless you, James

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