Admiring Katheryn Winnick
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07/17/2013  •  Posted By Holly  •  0 Comment(s)

Katheryn Winnick has alighted upon what she calls her ideal role: an eighth-century warrior queen in the making. In Vikings, the History Channel drama that has caused a splash in the US and lands on these shores next month, the 35-year-old Canadian-Ukrainian plays Lagertha, a figure of legend with diverse talents. One minute she’s waging war alongside husband Ragnar (Travis Fimmel), the next she’s trying to entice a monk into an intermarital threesome.

Winnick shares Lagertha’s fighting spirit. Besides being sewn into her costume every day (“They didn’t have zippers back then”), she was “the only girl on set, surrounded by 6ft 3in Viking men”. Not that it bothered her. “It brought me back to my roots!”

A black belt in taekwondo and karate, and – cue Whitney Houston – a licensed bodyguard, Winnick “grew up in a martial arts dojo”, teaching self-defence to actors before stepping in front of the camera herself, most notably as Ashton Kutcher’s “badass” secretary in 2010’s assassin comedy Killers.

This month sees her squaring up to childhood idols Al Pacino and Christopher Walken in con-man caper Stand Up Guys. So Winnick can clearly hold her own with Hollywood heavyweights and hirsute warriors, but how do potential boyfriends react to her ass-kicking credentials? “They know that they can’t get away with anything,” she says, “but it’s never been a problem.” Really? “Maybe at the beginning they’re intimidated…”

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