Admiring Katheryn Winnick

Homepage // Press // 2010: Jim Halterman

Title: There’s something about HANNAH. Katheryn Winnick speaks!
Author: Jim Halterman
Date: September 29, 2010

Ever since it was announced that there would be a new love interest for FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) on the new season of Bones, the diehard fans have been lighting Twitter and message boards ablaze with a range of elation at the narrative complications and bitter hatred (more of the latter, it would seem from my Twitter feed) before the character of Hannah (played by Katheryn Winnick) has ever appeared.

As Hannah is set to appear (finally!) in this week’s episode, how will she stand in the way of what fans really want – Booth and Temperance “Bones” Brennan together? How long will Hannah be around? Is she aware of the sexual tension that has helped drive the Fox crime drama since day one? On a press call this morning with Winnick, journalists asked the actress these questions and more and I was there to field a few myself.

I talked to Hart and Emily about this and the fans are already in a little bit of an uproar. Have you gotten a whiff of that?
[laughs] I heard. I heard that I may be causing an uproar but I’m excited about it. I think people will be excited about my character and I hope that they will welcome me.

Can you talk a little bit about who you’re interacting with on the show? We know how you come into the show but who have most of your scenes been with at this point?
Sure, I play Hannah Burley, a war correspondent who met Booth in Afghanistan and I actually move in…or come back to Washington to be with him. Most of my scenes have been with Booth but a lot of the time I’m with Brennan as well and get a chance to know her and befriend her and we have a lot in common so we get a chance to know each other on a personal level.

I wonder if you can elaborate on what Hannah and Brennan have in common, why they get along so well?
I really feel that Hannah and Brennan are similar in a lot of ways, specifically that they’re both driven by facts, they’re both very motivated, intelligent, adventurous women and I really feel that I respect Brennan’s character and hopefully she does the same with me so there’s not any major tension right away…but we both have a similar path and a similar motivation to really get what we want out of life. I feel that that is one of the reasons we really bond together.

Can you tell us about how many episodes we have you around for?
As far as I know I’m in a handful of episodes. I am super excited to be here and I love the show and I get the chance to know the characters on a personal level, which is fun for me.

How much does Hannah actually know about Booth and Brennan’s relationship?
That’s a good question and I asked myself that several times. I know she definitely knows about Brennan and that they have some kind of history and that there are very tight but I don’t know that she knows the details of their relationship and what happened last season. I think it’d be more interesting to explore that but I don’t feel that she’s threatened by Brennan. I feel like my character, Hannah, is strong, independent and motivated in her own personal journey of working for the press corp so I don’t feel that she’s threatened by Brennan’s relationship with Booth and that’s what makes her really fun to dive into.

Were you a fan of the series before you joined?
I got a chance to watch it as I was getting involved in shooting it. Little snippets of it but I’d heard a lot about it and I do love the show and have had a chance to watch a few seasons.

Is it an easy acting challenge for you to pretend to be in love with David Boreanaz?
Ya know, what I found really interesting about their dynamic is our characters have a very easy, comfortable chemistry…it’s very fun and playful. He makes me laugh on and off screen and I think that our dynamic is definitely really special in a lot of ways. To answer your question, yes, it is easy. I don’t mind it at all. I respect him and his acting and his work.

Have you happened to have a ‘body day’ as Emily calls it and, if so, is that hard to take?
I believe a ‘body day’ is when they’re working with cadavers and dead bodies. I have not had that experience yet but now I’m curious to find out what a ‘body day’ is all about. I’ll be back to you on that!

Things get serious between Hannah and Booth. How far do you see this role going? Do you think she’ll become a series regular?
I don’t know! For me I’m just lucky to have a great time on set and have a character that I love working with and really sink my teeth into. I’m enjoying each episode that I’m in and getting a chance to really find out more about Hannah and what makes her tick. All I know is that I’m in a handful of episodes and I’m glad to be there.

In your words, why should audiences give Hannah a shot? What do you think they’ll find appealing about this character?
I hope the audience will give Hannah’s character a chance and realize that she’s not there to be part of a love triangle or to create a big catfight or high school drama. She’s there because she truly does love Booth and she’s there to explore a different part of her life and start a life with him. I think that people – the audience – will hopefully respect her strong character, her strong will, her motivation and drive to work…she’s not there to be his girlfriend. She’s there for her own purpose and her own path. I hope that the audience will give that character a shot and fall in love with her because I’ve fallen in love with Hannah.

Are there any particular personality quirks or traits that you contribute to your character as Hannah?
I’m very similar to her in a lot of ways. Being work driven, being ambitious, being always wanting more out of life and finding out the facts, and not one to sit around and let things happen to me, but really making things happen. I’ve had that experience in my past of really starting my own martial arts school at the age of 16 and opening up 3 by the time I’m 21. I had a very big career and a passion before I got involved in acting. So, when I look at my character, when I was doing my research on Hannah and who she is and why I like her, I really feel that she’s someone that I respect and I’m wanting a lot out of life. So, I do feel that we are similar in a lot of ways.

Is there any particular scene that you think really stands out that shows your character?
I do, actually. Even in the first scene, or the first episode, I feel that there’s a scene that after I’m in bed with Booth—I don’t know how to say that in a nice way—but after we get a chance to connect and have some fun, one of the first things that I mention is his connection with Brennan…that his relationship with Brennan is really unique and they’re very close. So, in other words, I feel that Hannah’s character is very intuitive. She reads people very well. She reads Brennan and tries to get to know who she is outside of just seeing what she sees and little does she know…and I feel that that’s a really good example when she just got there and just spent some time and she really kind of understands, or at least wanting to know more about the characters.

You mentioned that Hannah and Brennan are getting along now. If things turn for the worst, could you see Hannah employing your martial arts background to take her out?
We haven’t written Hannah this large life, but she did go to Afghanistan, so I would think she had some kind of training. It’s funny; also one of the first questions I asked Emily was if her character does martial arts. She told me that there have been scenes in the past where she has trained in self-defense and her character does know some martial arts. In our first episode, we’re laughing, all about us sitting at the table at the bar and it would be interesting to have both go into—not a cat fight—but go into this, I guess, showdown. But, I feel that my character, yes would love to be able to get a chance to kick some butt on screen. I think it would be fun. Hannah could definitely hold her own and take care of herself. But, I wonder with who?

Obviously, the producers are going to keep Booth and Brennan apart for as long as they can. If this proves to be something that’s popular, that resonates with fans, if they come and have the conversation with you, would you be interested in doing this for longer than just what you said was a handful of episodes?
I will be definitely open for that conversation. I love the show. I’m having a blast working with David and Emily, and Michaela as well. I think everybody as actors are fantastic on this show. I respect the writing. I’m having a great time.

One blogger referred to you as the Bones bombshell. Do you feel that you’re the Bones bombshell?
Wow. I guess I don’t see myself that way. That’s very flattering. Thanks, I’m pleased. But, I feel like my character is strong and driven by work, so that’s kind of how I’m seeing it. I’m flattered with the compliment.

How were you received by the cast?
The first day on set, Emily and David were fantastic, so warm and friendly. It’s always tricky going into a TV show, especially if it’s been around for so many seasons, and being the new girl. That’s always a little awkward at the beginning in general, but for me it was such a warm and welcoming experience that I felt very lucky. They welcomed me with big hugs, “Oh, you’re the new girl”. We got to know each other and talk about decorating with Emily and got to know each other on a personal level…on self-defense, we had many conversations maybe doing something for the Bones cast and kind of giving back and teaching them self-defense. For me, I felt at home from the beginning. I couldn’t be more thankful and lucky to have such a warm experience.

Will we see any catfight or tension between you and Brennan?
I feel like Brennan’s character can’t help but probably feel a little bit tension of who’s this new girl. I think she said she didn’t even know if she is at all jealous, but she may be not even admitting to herself or her character is. It would be interesting to see how the story and the arc plays out, if she discovers something within herself. I don’t know. I feel like there’s definitely with my character, with Hannah, of being the new girl, of being the new girl that moves in with him and knowing that they have a strong bond, work related or not, there’s always a part of me that has one eye open and making sure that that relationship is what it is and nothing more. But, no, I don’t think there’s a catfight. I enjoy them. I enjoy their experience, of getting to know Emily.

Will we be seeing more on how Hannah and Booth met, maybe some flashbacks?
I don’t know if we’re going to see some flashbacks. I know in the first episode that I explain how we met. I don’t know if it’s safe to say that we met in Afghanistan and he actually saved my life. So, I feel that we had a strong bond from the very beginning, which was nice. We had fun under a fig tree, if you can say that. But, I feel that it would be interesting to see if Hart ends up doing some flashbacks. I think it would be very interesting. I’m not sure how it ends up, but we’ll see.

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