Captain Sig Hansen (left) and his brother Edgar have become reality cult heroes for their tough, take-no-prisoners fishing style while out on Alaska’s Bering Sea on the hit Discovery show The Deadliest Catch. The siblings, known for their hard work, thick skin and on-deck pranks, spend more than half the year away from their families, battling freezing conditions and some of the roughest seas on earth to nab their portion of the lucrative crab fishing market. World’s away from the harsh Alaskan landscape where they make their living, the brothers sat down with PEOPLE at the posh Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood to reveal some surprising facts about these rough and tumble men. The fourth season of The Deadliest Catch premieres April 15. –Marla Lehner
• Captain Sig is hooked on Dancing with the Stars and Desperate Housewives. “His wife calls in updates to him over the satellite phone,” teases Edgar.
• Even captains get star struck. Sig once got jelly-legged over DTWS pro Julianne Hough, who he describes as “cute as a button. “I saw her and was going to get her autograph — and I’m not afraid of anything — but when she came out, I turned around and went the other way,” says Sig. “I froze. I chickened out.”
• Edgar has a secret reality TV past: He was on Trading Spaces before The Deadliest Catch. “My wife’s identical twin sister lives directly across the street, so we were pretty much a shoo-in for the show — you know a couple of blonde-haired, blue-eyed Norwegians.” So how’d it end up? “My house turned out really nice.” As for theirs … “We wrecked their house! We put awnings and shutters inside the dining room to make it look like an Italian Bistro,” Edgar laughs. “It was god awful.”
• Making the transition from sea to shore can be rougher than a rogue wave. At home with his wife and two daughters, “the foul language has to stop and the attitude has to stop, all that has to stop,” says Sig, known for his surly behavior at sea. For Edgar, after months of snatching only a few hours sleep at a time, “If I sleep for nine hours, it takes me like a day to recuperate. I’ve got more energy if I’m living on four hours.”
• The Hansen brothers think they’re tougher than the family of beefy, tattooed custom motorcycle-builders on American Chopper. Asked which reality land-lovers they’d like to bring aboard the Northwestern, Edgar says: “Mikey, the big son from American Choppers — just because I want to watch him cry. Adds Sig: “I betcha I’d get the dad Paul Teutul to cry too.” Courtesy Discovery Channel