‘Vikings’ Star Katheryn Winnick Talks Season Four & What It’s Like Cutting Off A Man’s…Er …
DECIDER – For the past four years, Katheryn Winnick has dazzled us as the steely-eyed shield maiden Lagertha on History’s Vikings. Lagertha began her journey on the show as an ambitious young Viking’s feisty wife and now is a powerful Earl and insightful warlord. This season, she has to face the uneasy balance of sharing power with one of her former lieutenants, Kalf. She groomed the warrior to be her right-hand man, but then he betrayed her, and then he seduced her, and now he claims that they can rule together.
“I feel like she has a special in her heart for him but does she really truly trust him? That’s debateable,” Winnick teased. “It’s tricky because Michael Hirst — who is the creator and writer of the show — he’s always putting me as Lagertha in the same situation where she’s been betrayed so many different times by so many men! First her first husband, Ragnar, and then her second husband, and now here’s someone she trusted fully has also betrayed her.”
Winnick is also set to go toe-to-toe this season with Vikings‘ other reigning queen, Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland). The two women are both powerful women, but take starkly different approaches to consolidating their power. While Lagertha often relies on her prowess as a fighter, Aslaug uses cunning and magic to achieve her ends.
We asked Winnick if she ever got jealous of Sutherland’s “cushier” role. “Are you kidding? I love my role!” Winnick said. “No, I get the chance to fight and be a mom and be a powerful leader and you know kick ass at the same time with cool braids and chain mail. No, but we’re [both] strong women characters. I think Lagartha’s relationship with Aslaug in season four, she she’s her differently than she did at the end of season three, which brings great storytelling and great drama.”
Season four is set to find the world of Vikings in more upheaval than ever, but Winnick’s favorite scene to shoot was a very bloody one that’s teased in the season four trailers. Lagertha pulls down a male adversary’s pants down and proceeds to…have fun. “She has him up on a post,” Winnick said, laughing at the memory, “and there’s blood and there’s definitely some chopping.”
“We ended up having five different prosthetics that day to play around with — if you know what I mean,” she said giddily. “It was a lot of fun shooting that day because it was hard to keep a straight face.”
Even though History has a reputation for being a more “dude-centric” channel, Winnick’s character has emerged as a fan favorite. Winnick said that she knows about fans who have Lagertha tattoos and has received letters from fathers who send their daughters to the dojo instead of ballet class.
“People are waking up that you can be strong and beautiful at the same time,” Winnick explained. She got her first black belt at thirteen and opened her first martial arts school three years later.
“I was always raised [thinking that] protecting yourself, defending yourself, and being strong is sexy and beautiful. I think now a lot of people look up to that and you can be strong and not lose your femininity. You can have both and why shouldn’t you?”