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Jessalyn Gilsig On Viking Beliefs… And Viking Beards

Actress Jessalyn Gilsig talks about the reality of things like human sacrifice and destiny for the Vikings... and how the sight of a clean-shaven man can be very unsettling after spending weeks with Viking beards and long hair.

'Vikings' follows the bloodshed, warfare, religion, and family life that form part of the world of these historical warriors. It airs Sunday nights on the History Channel.

In this clip, Jessalyn talks about...

The approach of 'Vikings'

GS: I understand why people would draw comparisons of any show like this to Game of Thrones, cause it's so big. But it's not nearly as gratuitous, I don't find.

JG: Yeah, I think that's very deliberate. Well, I think the distinction is - I'm always a little protective of shows being compared, because, you know, there are multiple hospital shows, but that doesn't make them the same. I mean, we're in the business of story telling. And then we find a context. But what I like so much about what we're doing with the Vikings is it's not magic realism. It's their realism. They believed in human sacrifice. They believed in destiny. They believed in a seer. Just like some people believe in a virgin birth. You know, so for them it was their truth. It was their reality.

GS: I think most peoples' understandings of Vikings either come from credit card commercials like Capital One, or the Asterix and Obelix series.

JG: Well, that's it. You'll never see the horns on our show.

Viking hairstyles
GS: Yeah, there's none of that! In fact, there's super hipster haircuts in this, right? If you look at these haircuts in this series, you're like, my god, that's really modern! There will be a rock band from Portland that will rock that do.

JG: You know, I'm wondering - it's funny you say that, because I'm wondering with the guys, I got so used to beards and long hair and then I would sort of go out after work and I'd be like, a shaven man is a weird thing.


THE BIO: Jessalyn Gilsig