Newstalk
Newstalk

15.57 6 Jun 2013


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Last summer, History Channel docu-drama Vikings rolled into Dublin looking for an army of extras for the 10-episode production.

Starring Gabriel Byrne, the Irish-Canadian co-production is back for a second series and after auditioning 1,000 extras in Wicklow Town yesterday, the producers are at Filmbase in Dublin today and tomorrow to recruit 5,000 more to the cause, before filming starts on Irish soil at the end of this month.

They are looking for all ages, genders and ethnicities to go berserk in the background of scenes.

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But what makes a great Norse warrior or citizen and what do they expect you to do on set?

Keith Anderson, lead singer and bassist of Dublin metal band Wolf Regime was one of last year's successful auditionees and will give it a go again this year.

"It's an open casting," says Keith. "You queue up, fill in a form and then they take your photograph and your measurements.

"It helps if you have long hair and a beard but they also ask you if you have a special talent, like if you're a musician or if you have training in combat."

From there, Keith got a call back within a week for a fitting in order to see how he looks in full Viking garb, clothes which are not as uncomfortable as they look, as they are made of fake fur and natural materials which look authentic. 

And then a couple of days later, he was on set for shooting most of which took place in a specially constructed Great Hall and fishing village.

Of course the lot of the film extra involves a lot of standing around but Keith says the experience was enjoyable and depending on your experience you can be given more exciting tasks.

"There is a lot of standing around but it's good craic between scenes. And depending on the company you can get more involved in the re-enactments. I was also an extra on The Tudors and because I had put horseriding down as one of my skills, I was able to ride a horse on set."

Keith was one of the extras in the background for a dueling scene in the Great Hall, but most of the work involves depicting tradespeople and villagers.

The pay was also good for last year's series. For a 10 hour shift, you are paid minimum wage. But usually time on set exceeds 10 hours which means most successful auditionees will be on time and a half. 


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