This season, fans will be introduced to Yidu, a new character played by Abbotsford, B.C.-born Dianne Doan. When audiences first meet Yidu, she’s a slave purchased by Queen Aslaug. Over time, she becomes Ragnar’s (Travis Fimmel) new love interest; without spoiling anything, things get hot and heavy as the two get to know each other.
Global News sat down with Doan to talk about her character, Fimmel’s intoxicating blue eyes, and how she’s going to deal with all the Ragnar fans insanely jealous of her “closeness” to him.
Global News: Were you a fan of the show before you signed on for this season?
Dianne Doan: I watched a few episodes here and there, but if I’m going to be honest, it was too gruesome for me. When I heard about the role, I obviously caught up on everything. I was so stoked they were adding a character with a different background, and it seemed like such a great opportunity for me.
What can you reveal about your character, without spoiling anything?
I [join the program] really early on. She’s another strong female character on the show, which is why Ragnar gravitates toward her. You’ll find out more about my history later on in the season, but there’s a reason why a slave (Yidu) would stand up to a king and talk to him. In Vikings‘ time, kings just speak into the air, not to people.
Does your character have any internal conflict with being a slave and wanting more, like freedom?
You learn more about that later, yes. But even as early as Episode 4, you can see that I’m a really shi**y slave. There’s a reason for that.
What about her personality? What is Yidu like?
I did a lot of research into that, into China and the dynasty at that time, and how women behaved. Luckily, in that specific dynasty, women were allowed an education, which I would say is very different from Kattegat. We had the right to choose our marriage and occupation, and my history will explain that much more. But I had a voice, essentially, and I wanted to make sure Yidu kept that voice in Kattegat, even though, in these circumstances, she’s forced into being a slave.
So I hope you’re prepared for every Ragnar-obsessed Vikings fan to hate you…
I heard about that! [Laughs] I don’t know how I feel. That’s mean, that’s not going to happen, right? Everybody is going to love each other, and there will be rainbows everywhere.
But you get to look directly into his dreamy blue eyes.
His eyes are a little intense. I’m not kidding, sometimes I couldn’t look at him because I felt like he was shooting daggers at me through his eyes. [Laughs] I would literally be like, “You need to go away now, please. Thank you.”
What would you like to say to the Vikings fans?
Vikings fans are unbelievable. I’m coming off of a Disney film, so that’s a whole other genre of fan. The Vikings fans are so dedicated, and I’ve seen countless pictures of tattoos of Kathryn [Winnick]’s face, Travis’s eyes or whatever. Even on my Instagram feeds, people are commenting and they don’t know me or my character yet! I’m excited to see their reaction, because it’s going to be such a change. I hope they love it!
‘Vikings’ Season 4 premieres on Feb. 18 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on History.
This interview has been edited and condensed.Follow @CJancelewicz
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