Episode 18 of the fourth season of Vikings aired on January 18, 2017. Toronto sports fans might find this one particularly interesting, as Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson was a guest star. He played Hoskuld, described as “a Viking warrior with great skill.”
Some might expect Donaldson to have been shaky in his debut, as he has no previous acting experience. But as many baseball fans already know, the Blue Jays all-star thrives under pressure.
Although his role is quite minor, with only one line and an extended greeting with another character, Donaldson gives the impression of a calm veteran. He nails his role, apart from some laughter bursting out towards the end of the scene.
In a behind-the-scenes video, Donaldson can be seen joking and laughing with members of the cast. He appears to be very excited to be a part of the show. He even explains how “[acting] is something that I’ve always wanted to do.”
It’s no secret that athletic careers do not last very long; many players retire before the age of 40. Although many professional athletes don’t need the extra cash, they may still show interest in acting careers after retirement, as it keeps them engaged with the community and their fans.
Players like Lebron James, Ray Allen, Terry Crews, and Rick Fox have all had major roles in movies or TV shows. Films like He Got Game even feature multiple athletes.
Bob Uecker played in Major League Baseball for six years, from 1962–1967, and then continued to star in projects including the show Mr. Belvedere.
Now that the Blue Jays third baseman has tried out acting, it’ll be no surprise if, like many athletes before him, he continues it later on in his life.
Vikings will continue to broadcast new episodes every Wednesday at 9:00 pm EST on the History Channel — who knows if Donaldson will make another appearance.