'Glee's' Jessalyn Gilsig to Co-Star in History Channel's 'Vikings' Drama (Exclusive)

Jessalyn Gilsig Headshot - P 2012

Jessalyn Gilsig Headshot - P 2012

Glee's Jessalyn Gilsig has boarded History Channel's Viking ship.

The actress, who played Will Schuester's manipulative ex-wife on the Fox musical drama, has boarded the network's first scripted drama, Vikings, playing Gabriel Byrne's spouse, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.

The series, described as a look at Viking culture from within as well as an adventure and family saga, has also added Travis Fimmel (The Beast), Gustaf Skarsgard (The Way Back), Clive Standen (Camelot) and Katheryn Winnick (Bones) to its cast.

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The scripted drama, which is being written by The Tudors' Michael Hirst, revolves around the Norsemen who raided, traded and explored during medieval times and follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok as he rises to become king of the Viking tribes.

Byrne (In Treatment) will play Earl Haraldson, a former warrior and the most important ruler in Ragnar's district who clashes with the king. Gilsig (Nip/Tuck) will play his enigmatic wife, Siggy, who may not be completely loyal to her husband.

Fimmel (Baytown Outlaws) will star as Ragnar, the first great Viking leader who is frustrated by the unadventurous policies of his local chieftan, Earl.

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Skarsgard, brother to True Blood's Alexander Skarsgard and son of Stellan Skarsgard, will play Floki, a close friend of Ragnar's who's described as being an eccentric jokester but creative boat-builder. The character is based partly on the Norse god, Loki.

Standen will play Rollo, Ragnar's excessive and cruel cousin who was one of his closest friends and involved in his early raids but became jealous of the new leader's fame and success.

Winnick will play Lagertha, Ragnar's first wife who frequently fights alongside her husband.

Additionally, Johan Renck (Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead) and Ken Girotti (Rescue Me) have been tapped to direct multiple episodes of the series, an Irish/Canadian co-production being filmed in Ireland. 

Fimmel repped by Paradigm, Management 360 and Sloan Offer. Winnick is with Gersh, Alchemy Entertainment and Jeff Bernstein. Standen is with Gersh and Independent Talent Group. Gilsig is repped by Paradigm, Untitled Entertainment and Ziffren Brittenham.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit