Morgane is the daughter of filmmaker Roman Polanski, and joined the cast of HISTORY’s Vikings at the tail end of season 3, when Ragnar and his warriors laid siege to PAris.  Morgane’s character, Princess Gisla, rallied the troops to defend against the Vikings when her father the King could NOT.  This season, she is the Frankian Princess who marries  Rollo in order to secure some semblance of peace for Paris.

Morgane was kind enough to take time out from her busy shooting schedule to do some interviews:


Question: Your character is amazing and you are just on fire on the screen, and especially the premier. I saw this like a week ago and it was just -oh, it was incredible. So, just a fabulous job, but was it difficult for you to film that scene, like your wedding scene.

Morgane Polanski: Thank you so much. Things that are difficult, what do you mean by
difficult? In what way?

Q: Was it hard to get emotionally in that and just how did you get yourself ramped up for that? I mean, you were just literally like, you know. Between the two of you, each of you is so equally stubborn, your characters, how was that?

MPYes, thank you so much. Yes, it was hard. I mean, every emotional scene,especially emotional scenes when like 300, 400 people are watching you and she was being emotional in public. So that’s even harder because I feel like you try to find the balance between your emotion that you kind of hide yet you’re in public. So, that was hard but I just, yes, trained myself before to get there,yes, to get there. But definitely emotional scenes are harder when you’re in the public space rather than intimate.

QYes. So to follow-up with that, can you, without spoiling anything, can you tell us if the two of you were going to kind of – how was it going to be your relationship moving forward? 

MPThat’s hard to say without spoiling. Let’s just say that there’s a journey going and ups and downs and yes, there’s some – let’s just say that stubborn people don’t stay stubborn forever. There’s stuff going, happening, going back and forth, so yes.

QWell, if you stood up, Gisla stood up to her father, I believe that Rollo is more of a challenge and it’s going to be exciting to see what happens, so thank you.

MPYes, like he definitely will have….He definitely will have to work hard I think with how stubborn she is.

Q:  So we got to see the first four episodes, can you talk a bit about the relationship about Rollo and the Princess – her going from being completely disgusted by him to like, I don’t know if she’s completely accepted him or trusting him, but can you just talk a bit about the whole transformation?


MPSo, yes, in season three we sort of left it where her father after Gisla’s been defending Paris and basically saving her – doing what her father was supposed to do, he is behind it, accepted without even asking it to her for her to marry Rollo in order for him to defend Paris if his brother attacks. So I think for her like that was the biggest slap in the face, that was humiliating just because he even accepted without consenting of her or asking to her. So I think, yes, so that was her ego it seems is completely smashed. So in season four, we pick up at this wedding which she doesn’t want to, buthas to happen, and then they’re going to go on a journey from there. Stuff isgoing to change, twists and turns and ups and downs. And yes, there’s been really cool stuff to discover so I’m really excited for you guys to see it.

Q: Do you have a favorite scene or episode so 

MP:  The wedding scene was pretty epic to shoot just because like – first of all, I never went to a wedding so that was my first ever wedding.  And like the veil, the whole thing, I mean, yes, that must be to look at. There’s some really amazing stuff I’ve shot after that, but that must have been – and especially the – I mean, I’ve never met anyone that will go in a wedding like sobbing, like they’re walking to the death chamber or something. Yes, that was  pretty epic. That was my favorite I think.

 Q:  Last season you had that wonderful speech last season rallying the troops and then the premier, you guys have already talked about it, Gisla stood up to Rollo. Tell us about playing a strong female character in this, what has historically was not really a world friendly to women, or to strong women I guess.


MPWell, I mean, I think with Michael Hirst, we’re pretty lucky to have – he likes to write for strong female characters. And I mean, it’s so exciting for me as an actor because although you think you have the fairy tale of the princess she is, she basically does the job her dad is supposed to do and it’s so brave and ballsy and will not – she has so much it seems and she’s so humble that she just won’t allow people to walk on her, yet she has to be the face of the people. Especially this season, my character goes through such a journey and going from adult to a woman and taking a completely different direction and it’s just so interesting as an actor to have that sort of material to bite on and especially as a woman, it’s really exciting.

Q: Rollo doesn’t know much about the political maneuverings within the French court but Gisla probably does, so I was wondering if you could…

MPYes. Behind every strong man stands a stronger woman.  So I think she’s smart and she knows if she doesn’t [contradict] for her father, she’ll do it through Rollo.

Q: Okay and so she’s going to be the one sort of pulling the strings do you think? Or I guess you can’t really tell us that.

MP:  No, she takes her title – she will defend her county until the death. Like if she could be on battle, she would but she can’t. But she would – so she will defend this country until she dies, so.

Q:  Alright. And then last question: did you feel any extra pressure playing this historical French figure from maybe your French history teachers in the past? Did you say, “I want to make sure I do everything right by them,” or anything?

MPOf course the pressure is definitely not from my French history teachers. No, obviously it’s always pressure playing someone that existed, but I think there’s so little on that time and I think Michael really appreciates like him giving up us the script and us taking the freedom to just do it as we would do it. At first I really, you know, but then I took ownership of it and, yes; there’s so much you can do, you know?

Q: So, can you talk a little bit about how you’re shooting your scenes? Like are you guys shooting kind of apart from the rest of the cast and how is to work with Clive Standen?

MPIt’s not that the shoot apart, it’s just a lot is on location and a lot is in the studio in Ireland. So the studio where France is, is not in the same set ofVikings so I get to see them a lot but not just work with them a lot. Andworking with Clive is absolutely amazing. He is so easy to work with, we getalong really well. He’s a very good friend and it’s very easy. Yes, really, really cool.

QDo you think at this point that Gisla is underestimating how ruthless Rollo canbe or do you think she understands who he is at this point?

MPI think it’s hard for her to understand without them speaking the same – like before they start speaking the same language. I think she’s definitely fascinated by those Vikings and what they are and what they represent and sheI think is sort of in her deeper, inner soul, she feels  close to them yet completely doesn’t understand them.

Q:  I love that Rollo has finally met his match. Your character has been quite disgusted with him, but I was wondering if her feelings will change when he does turn his back on the Vikings or does she think that he has other motives other than trying to win her over?

MPI definitely think he will have to work – I mean, always inside her there will be that, “Does he really mean it? Will he turn on me?” It’s not even to trust the [blood]. So I think that always will be, but I think he will have to, depending on his actions and how hard he works and how much he proves, I think she’ll, you know. You sometimes you try to fight it but you just allow the benefit I think.

Yes. It kind of sounds like that. We’re going to see your character become a little more vulnerable than we’ve ever seen her in season four? 

MPYes. Well, she’s going to put the guards down a little bit. Or, well, it’s just that you will get to see her – as you just think about it in season three you mainly see her in public or rarely see her in an intimate space or somewhere where people aren’t looking, so you will get to definitely see her surrendering. 

Q: Will we see Rollo learn how to play the court alittle bit?

MPHe can lead because she can play the card, but I just think in every – opposites attract and I think that’s what’s so brilliant when you’re opposite someone that’s so different than you. I think if you’re both open to just learning, you can both take from each other and just sort of meet in the middle. Yes.

 QIs there any character on Vikings that you haven’t had a scene with but maybe would like to work with, is there anybody in the cast that you would really enjoy working with that would be interesting for you?

MPI mean, it’s been an amazing experience. It’s been so good to be just able – I think you only get to do this on the TV shows, to just have the same character go through so much different emotional journeys. So that’s been amazing, and as a character, to go from a girl to a woman and to just explore the different aspects of her and like not in public spaces and to just see how she would be behind closed doors. What I’ve learned is I mean working, it’s just I’ve learned is it’s just very quick how you work for TV. So, it’s been the best training and just to have amazing costumes and those sets and Ireland is the most – I mean, I’ve never been to Ireland before and I had the most amazing time there and everyone works so hard and they’re on it, so it’s really been lovely. Really, really been lovely. 

Q: If there’s any character on Vikings that you haven’t had a scene with but maybe would like to work with, is there anybody in the cast that you would really enjoy working with that would be interesting for you?


MPAs characters, I always would think that Gisla and Lagertha should meet.
I think she just doesn’t imagine that women like these are allowed to be like this but wishes that, so I think it’s, yes.I’m so happy Morgane took the time out to speak to us, Princess Gisla is in for a ride this season.  Did you miss the s4 premiere?  GOOD NEWS, you can watch it here (for free) on HISTORY’s website. Make sure you tune in to HISTORY on Thursdays to watch season 4 of Vikings.


ABOUT >> Mary Anne Butler
  • BIO >> Mary Anne Butler (Mab) is a reporter and photographer from San Francisco California. She is a lifelong geek, huge music nerd, occasionally cosplays at conventions, does Renaissance Faires, and in general lives the life of a True Believer. She may be short, but she makes up for it with a loud voice.
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