Updated Sept. 5: New Actors Join “Vikings”

According to the Irish Film and Television Network (IFTN), three new actors have decided to become Vikings!

Irish actors David Pearse, John Kavanagh and Diarmaid Murtagh have joined the cast of ‘Vikings’, which is currently shooting at Ashford Studios in Co Wicklow…

A number of other Irish cast members are taking part in the production in minor roles. The 18-week shoot got underway on July 9 and is now in production on its second block of episodes with ‘The Tudors’ director Ciaran Donnelly at the helm. Swedish director Johan Renck (Breaking Bad) directed the first block of episodes, while Ken Girotti (Rescue Me) will take the reigns of the third block of episodes next month.

Production on the series, which has been created and written by Michael Hirst, is due to wrap in November.

David Pearse notes in a separate interview with IFTN:

Speaking of the international stage, you’ve landed a role in ‘Vikings’ – the huge international TV series currently filming in Co Wicklow. Can you tell us a bit about your character?

Sure, the character I’m playing is a character called Svein. The show chronicles the journey of a number of Vikings throughout Europe and looks at the internal community struggles within the group during that journey. My character Svein is a side-kick henchman. He’s not necessarily a warrior. He’s not quite an assassin, but I wouldn’t walk up a dark alleyway with him. He’s the side-kick to Gabriel Byrne’s character – Earl Haraldson. It’s been an absolute honour and a joy for me to work alongside Gabriel. It really has been a real privilege. It’s been such a learning curve to see him work. Also, he’s a sound, sound bloke. He really is such a nice bloke. Also the epic nature of the production has been a great experience for me. It really is a massive production and it’s really full and complete.

You mentioned the learning curve of working with people like Gabriel Byrne, what sort of things do you take from working with an actor of that stature on big productions such as ‘Vikings’?

Every production you go into you keep learning. I think ultimately, that’s the desire – that you keep learning. What’s great about our business – the acting world – is that you learn from everybody else and everyone has their own technique. So it’s just fascinating to see how somebody else behaves just before a scene and how they approach a scene; how they break it down; and just their manner on set and their sense of control leading up to the scene. You’re also looking at how they work things out on the ground. Again, Gabriel Byrne is such an extremely intelligent and passionate actor, and I think both those attributes are vital in acting. He’s pretty much a perfect master.

The “Vikings” set in County Wicklow, Ireland, courtesy of the Irish Examiner
Thanks to Debbie O’Donnell for this picture and to Clive Standen for re-tweeting it!

Updated July 23: “Vikings” Begins Production in Ireland

Here is a picture from the set. Many thanks to Doll Faced Liar for posting this on her Facebook page. She is, from what I can tell, an extra in the cast. What a lucky Viking!

Scruffy. Leather. Protecting the women and children.
Gabriel Byrne is the epitome of Vikingness!

July 9: Today is the day!

According to Irish Film and Television Network (IFTN), work on Vikings officially begins today, July 9, at the new Ashford Studios located just south of Dublin in County Wicklow. Filming of the nine episode series (it was 10 episodes last time I looked, but now we are down to 9, apparently) is scheduled to last 18 weeks and the series will air sometime in 2013.

Production has today got underway on Irish producer Morgan O’Sullivan’s €30m TV series ‘Vikings’ at Ashford Studios in Ballyhenry, Co Wicklow, with Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects) and Travis Fimmel (Tarzan) among the lead cast.

The History Channel series – which will shoot for 18 weeks in total – is the first production to use the newly-built €22m Ashford Studios, which opened its doors to ‘Vikings’ last April for pre-production.

The nine-part series will chronicle the world of the Norsemen during medieval times and has been created and written by Michael Hirst. Hirst has previously worked with O’Sullivan’s World 2000 productions on ‘Camelot’ and ‘The Tudors’, both of which were made at Wicklow’s Ardmore Studios.

Read the rest of the article and also check out the primary cast,  including a bunch of new Irish actors just added.

We cannot wait to Get Our Warrior On! This way, everyone!

Here is an interesting blog posting from Tom Dowling about the new studio and the effect of Vikings on the industry in Ireland and, I believe, a slideshow of Ashford Studios.

IFTN has done a fantastic job of keeping us informed about this new series!

The calm before the storm

Thanks to Deviantartists myp55 and dizziple for their artwork.


  1. Kariboo52

    I can not wait for the day when this starts. I hope this series brings him a great success for all of his hard work. I really wish they would do some filming here in Minnesota, we do have a real Viking ship in Duluth,MN.
    Take care,

  2. Must check if I am subscribed to the history channel!

  3. Clive Standen is tweeting about “Vikings”–today was his first day on the set. He is excited! You can follow him at https://twitter.com/CliveStanden#

  4. Kim Serrahn /Connell (@kimserrahn)

    Love the video. and what a beautiful longship

  5. What a nice Viking and a lucky lady!
    Nice video too.

  6. higgins family

    Last day Higgins were out for a picinic in wicklow and came across the vikings. It was a very foggy day but the set looked amazing from on high. Kids were delighted to hear only friendly vikings allowed in wicklow.stay warm and enjoy our beautiful country

    The Higgins family

    Paul vicky Luke Ella jack and Ted. Xxxxx

  7. I want a picture of Travis as Ragnar!!!!!When????I love Gabriel too,I adore him in “The man in the iron mask”so I cant wait to see this,

  8. I have a few photos of Travis that i can send?

  9. Please Herbie,you dont know how much I love Travis Fimmel,and I only have one picture of hem as Ragnar,so if you can send the pictures it will be so great….

  10. Marianne Hancock

    We were in Ireland / Wicklow area in Sept. We saw & got lovely photos of the filming of Vickings. Please post when the program will air on Discovery Channel. Beautiful area & can’t wait to see the film.

  11. I just saw the vikings trailer,and I almoust die….Oh God !!!! I cant wait to see this…Its gonna be great.

    p.d:sorry for my english,im from Argentina…

  12. this looks awsome cant wait for it to come out.
    It would be awsome playing as a viking sign me up haha

    • Sign me up, too! :-)

      I agree, Greg. This series does look awesome. I’m doing a big update over the weekend, so drop by next week to see more about VIKINGS, which starts on March 3–that is a week from Sunday!

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