History Channel’s Vikings is a unique television series not only because of the content it covers but because the period of time depicted is so vast. Now, two Vikings cast members have revealed what it is like to play characters that have aged over the span of five seasons.
According to Cinema Blend, Clive Standen, who plays Duke Rollo, and Katheryn Winnick, who plays the iconic shield-maiden, Lagertha, revealed what they think about their characters now that they are aging.
When the Viking Rollo was introduced in Season 1 of Vikings, Standen estimates he was about 32-years-old. However, with his return in the mid-season finale of Vikings Season 5, Duke Rollo is now much older. While in other television series, actors are quite often switched out for age-appropriate actors as characters age, History Channel has decided, in the most part, to age their actors using makeup rather than re-cast them.
As a result of this, it leads to the actors able to participate in massive character arcs, according to Clive Standen.
“When I first came into the show Rollo was 32, something like that and by the end of it he’s in his 60s,” Standen revealed at San Diego Comic-Con. “So, you’re getting to play a character over such a massive character arc.”
“It’s such an amazing challenge and such a journey to go on rather than handing the reins off to another actor,” Standen elaborated further during the Q&A panel at San Diego Comic-Con.
As well as Standen, Katheryn Winnick also decided to discuss her character, Lagertha, at the San Diego Comic-Con.
While many fans have complained that Lagertha hasn’t appeared to age at all over the entirety of Vikings, with the mid-season finale, there was the drastic change to her character when her village of Kattegat was taken over by her stepson, Ivar the Boneless (Alex Hogh). It was revealed in this episode that Lagertha had changed, almost instantly, from a vibrant shield-maiden into an old woman with grey hair.
Katheryn Winnick revealed that Lagertha will not only change physically now, but Vikings fans will also get to see her change mentally as the season progresses.
“Obviously she started as a young farmer to queen to where she’s at now,” Winnick revealed at San Diego Comic-Con. “And as the seasons continue to grow you will see a physical change from her. Not only physically, mentally, you will see that she’s in a different place.”
However, for Winnick, while it is rewarding to play a character through such a long span of their life, it is also challenging for a female actor to let herself be transformed like that since beauty and youth are considered the standard in Hollywood for women.
“As an actress, I’ll be honest with you… it’s slightly challenging to let go and allow yourself to play older, unfortunately, because you have that fear sometimes that you always look good as a female actress.”
Season 5 of Vikings will return to History Channel on Friday, November 28, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.