The Viking GIRL

The Viking GIRL

Risn Murphy, the Irish actress is donning the role of Princess Elsewith in the series Vikings The show, a historical drama, is created and written by...

Róisín Murphy, the Irish actress is donning the role of Princess Elsewith in the series ‘Vikings’. The show, a historical drama, is created and written by Michael Hirst for the History channel.

Before Vikings, Róisín had a recurring role in the thriller ‘100 Code’ and in 2006, she was in ‘The Clinic’. She's also active in the theatre. She also trained for seven years at the ‘The Gaiety School of Acting’ in Dublin and has already been recognised for her work. Murphy was also nominated for an Irish Film and Television Award for her role in the 2012 movie ‘What Richard Did’. ‘Vikings’ airs on AXN every Monday at 10 pm. In a freewheeling chat, the actress talks about the show, her role and the cast.

Excerpts from an interview:

How does Elsewith get along with Judith?
From the beginning, Judith and Elsewith really click. I think Judith can see a lot of herself in Elsewith. She is a little bit overwhelmed with having to come in and take on such a prominent role within the royal family. Judith really helps guide her and takes her under her wing. She invests a lot in Elsewith. Elsewith knows eventually she is going to be at Alfred's side for the rest of their lives, so she needs to be really strong. Judith helps sculpt Elsewith’s role within the royal family. They become very close through this.

What does Elsewith think of the Vikings?
She's definitely intrigued by the Vikings in the beginning. She has heard so many stories about how vicious they are, but she's still very curious. She's also taken with how different and wild they are - they follow their own rules. Elsewith was brought up as a good Christian. When she’s confronted with people so completely different than her, it really intriguing.

Does she get to meet the Vikings?
Yes. They're at the court when she arrives. A few of them are around Lagertha and Bjorn. She's quite taken with them and with all of the stories she's heard.

How did it feel coming into the show with an already tight-knit group?
Everyone was really lovely. It's a huge production, and it's been going on for so long. It runs so smoothly. Everybody knows each other well and is very welcoming. I have to say it's been a really easy transition for me.

After seeing the show on TV, did you ever think you would be a part of it?
For sure. I think every Irish actor hopes to be on a show like this. I had taped for it a few times before for different characters so I was hopeful that I would eventually become part of the cast. Elsewith is a great character to play because her storyline goes far, and she is a very interesting person.

Was it daunting coming to set on your first day?
I suppose in a way. I think it's more daunting before you get to set because you're wondering what it's going to be like since the show has been running for five years already. You don't know until you walk on set, but the minute you get there, it's like, "Oh yeah. I'm home." You get into the swing of it pretty easily.

Do you hope that Elsewith can become more rebellious?
Oh, for sure. I also hope that she will learn to speak up and not be afraid. She definitely likes to be heard and I hope to see more of that.

Michael writes characters who have a lot of insight. What are your thoughts on his writing style?

Michael writes such amazing, strong women, it's brilliant. Especially, for period pieces like this, it is nice to work with a writer who values the female voice. There are so many amazing things that women get to do in Vikings that you don't even have to be a Viking to get to do them.

How long does it take you to get into costume, hair, and makeup?
Hair takes 45 minutes. And makeup is very quick since it's minimal. The costumes are beautiful. You can work your whole life and never get into costumes as we wear on this series. It's amazing to work. They custom fit the costumes to your measurements, so it always looks amazing.

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