Behind-the-scenes, it's all about the attention to detail that Vikings so magical. On a recent TV panel that included creator Michael Hirst, and actors Katheryn Winnick, Jessalyn Gilsig, Clive Standon, George Blagden, Gustaf Skarsguard, Alyssa Sutherland and Donal Logue, shared how the cast braves stormy weather, long make-up rituals, a lack of trailers, and brutal film scenes to create the imaginative Vikings world. "No complaining" here.
"It's the amount of imagination that's gone into this show and the evolution of the costumes," said creator Hirst. "So as the Vikings, as Ragnar's gang, gets more successful, the raids produce more goods, you see the clothes transforming, the environment transforming - it's a very thoughtful process," reported Variety on Mary 14.
Actors dish how fabrics are sourced from all over the world as market research was done in Scandinavia.
"[Bergin] realized it's a lot to do with textures," said Hirst. "A lot of it is handmade and hand-woven to reflect what was actually happening at the time."
When it comes to hair and make-up "time kind of slows down," said Winnick, who plays Earl Lagertha. The ritual helps her transform into her brave braided beauty. As for Gilsig, who plays Siggy, "hair really means they are sticking in really nasty, messy hair and with makeup it's actually more dirt and sunspots."
When it comes to portraying difficult scenes, Blagden, who plays the torn monk Athlestan, says his crucifixion scene was "the most emotionally and physically challenging" day of his career so far.
As for the show's star, Ragnar (Travis Fimmel), the actor was absent from the panel due to filming but the other actors had nothing but praise for him. Skarsgard, who plays eccentric shipbuilder Floki, said that Fimmel is the biggest prankster on set. He's an inspiration on set.
As for special treatment? Don't expect on the Vikings set. The cast has no trailers, no honey wagons. Once in full Viking garb, actors head to the mountains in Ireland to brave hail and rain. King Horik (Donal Logue) rose from the dead to share with the audience that, "No one b----es or whines... It's a country of people who go hard."
"You only see what the camera focuses on, but all behind there are literally hundreds of people who are being exposed to the same experiences," Gilsig added. "There is no complaining in Vikings."