NatGeo’s scripted thriller Barkskins premiered on Memorial Day, and it turns out that making it was almost as exciting as the action TV viewers saw unfold on screen!

Nerdophiles recently spoke to several cast members from the drama, which follows the exploits of settlers in 1690’s New France as they attempt to tame a brave new world – but everyone is out for their own and no one is safe in the wilderness. It’s not just a case of who will succeed, but who will survive on the new frontier.

Christian Cooke (who stars as Rene Sel), David Wilmot (Bouchard), Lily Sullivan (Delphine), Kaniehtiio Horn (Mari), James Bloor (Charles Duquet) and Thomas M. Wright (Elisha Cooke) joined us for a pair of video interviews to discuss filming in the Canadian wilderness, their highlights and biggest challenges in their respective roles, and if they had the chance to read Annie Proulx’s book Barkskins before or after shooting.

The series is National Geographic’s first fully scripted project, so it’s an adventure for the network as well. The source material is over 700 pages long and spans more than 400 years. It was up to showrunner Elwood Reid (The Bridge) to condense that into an eight-episode saga, bringing it to life with an extensive cast of talented actors who truly stepped back in time to tell this intense, often violent, sometimes emotional story.

Check out what the cast had to say by playing the videos below; if you missed the first two episodes, they’re now available on Hulu and are worth the watch. Even if you’re not into historical drama, the level of detail that has gone into bringing the 1690’s to the small screen and the performances will keep you interested.

The next two episodes of Barkskins air Monday, June 1 starting at 9:00 p.m. on National Geographic.

Barkskins airs Mondays at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on National Geographic. For more video interviews, visit the Nerdophiles YouTube channel.

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