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.”

1 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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