MetroUK: Vikings star Katheryn Winnick is making moves as she continues to work on top secret project post-season six. With the final season of Vikings on the way, Katheryn is looking to future and turning her hand to getting behind the camera.
The actress, who played Lagertha on the History Channel show, teased a production meeting on her social media, revealing to fans that she’s got something exciting in the works.
In a black and white video on her Instagram Stories, captioned Kat Scratch Inc, Katheryn filmed herself sat round a table with three men who were working away on computers.
As the short video ended, she zoomed in on a laptop screen which appeared to hint at what she is getting to work on. On the computer a title card for a project called Silent can be seen, which is ‘inspired by actual events’.
The star previously hinted at an amazing ending for Lagertha.
ExpressUK: Vikings viewers don’t have long to wait for the final season of the show later this year, but it looks like Lagertha actor Katheryn Winnick is gearing up to work on her follow-up show. Fans have a tough journey ahead of them this year.
While they are receiving another season of the show later this year, season six has been confirmed as the final outing for the show.
The Vikings story has certainly come a long way – beginning with Ragnar Lothbrok (played by Travis Fimmel) and now venturing into the battle between his sons. But although Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) and Ivar the Boneless (Alex Høgh Andersen) are to be the focus of the final season, Lagertha actor Katheryn Winnick may be gearing up to appear in the upcoming spin-off show.
The Vikings spin-off was announced last year when the news about season six being the show’s final appearance was revealed by History. But at the moment no details surrounding the spin-off have been revealed, nor has any news been reported on who will appear in it.
Katheryn recently spoke about the beginning of her character to Entertainment Tonight. She explained she asked Vikings showrunner Michael Hirst to make a character who would “challenge” her.
“Hirst wrote me, just recently, an email, and remembered that conversation, and it brought tears to my eyes. I’m just so blessed that I’ve had that opportunity to have a character that people worldwide recognise and look up to, especially right now, with everything that’s happening with the #MeToo movement and Time’s Up.”
ETOnline: For five seasons, Katheryn Winnick has starred as one of the most feminist characters on TV on History’s ‘Vikings’, inspiring women both on and off screen to have “courage and confidence.” As the Canadian actress tells ET, she saw an opportunity in her character from the beginning to make a statement about just how strong women can be. And years later, she proudly wears Lagertha’s struggles as a badge of honor.
“I did ask Michael one thing at the beginning of the pilot. I said, ‘Michael, write me a character that will challenge me. Throw me everything. I will promise you, I will prove to myself that I will be able to fulfill your wish, and I will make something special out of Lagertha” she recalls.
Winnick, who was already an accomplished martial artist before transitioning to acting, has definitely crafted Lagertha into something special. Over the years, fans have seen Lagertha through countless gruesome battles, her struggles as a mother, the loss of a child, the death of several lovers and an abusive relationship. It was the last on that long list that worried Winnick the most.
“I actually remember having that conversation with Michael. Like, ‘Michael, you can’t make me a battered housewife like this. It’s just not what I stand for. She’s a shieldmaiden! She’s done everything!'” Winnick shares, admitting she was “nervous” to play someone who had been abused. “He explained to me why he was going to do it, and it actually, I think, a lot of people resonated with her. A lot of relationships of domestic abuse, especially now with the #MeToo movement, you see a lot of it coming forward,” she notes. “These women are strong. They’re just put in a situation where it’s unfortunately based on power, and that’s usually what any kind of sexual or physical abuse is. It’s really a domination of power, and for Lagertha, she always does come out stronger at the end.”
Doing research and learning about the statistics surrounding women affected by abuse helped Winnick get on board with the choice for her character.
“I think a lot of girls and women around the world can relate to being in a situation where their voices are not as strong,” she says. “But hopefully they will have the courage and the confidence to be able to get out of the situation, and become even stronger, just as Lagertha did.”
The 41-year-old actress is also helping to empower women in a more tangible way.
“I have a strong need to teach women self-defense,” she declares, explaining how she’s used her martial arts background to support women. Since Vikings’ first season in 2013, she’s taught women on set a “crash course on self-defense.”
The actress, who, at the age of 16 established WIN KAI Martial Arts Schools in Toronto, now runs Winnick Self Defense with her brother, Adam.
“I want to give women all the tools they need, based on knowledge, to get out of situations,” she expresses.
And as Vikings wraps up – the History hit is set to air its sixth and final season later this year – Winnick has set her sights on expanding women’s presence in entertainment. She recently directed an episode of season six, which she tells ET was “one of the most challenging yet most rewarding experiences of my life.”
“For me, it was important to creatively test my skills outside of being in front of the camera… I’ve always had a desire to try to get behind the camera, and now we need more women filmmakers. I couldn’t be more proud of my episode… It took a lot of time to earn the confidence from the powers at be to let me behind the camera, but I know I was the only cast member that has had that chance, and I’m grateful for that.”
Onscreen, Winnick says fans can expect a great ending to Lagertha’s dynamic story in season six of Vikings.
“Michael Hirst wrote me, just recently, an email, and remembered that conversation from the pilot, and it brought tears to my eyes. I’m just so blessed that I’ve had that opportunity to have a character that people worldwide recognize and look up to, especially right now, with everything that’s happening with the #MeToo movement and Time’s Up. I think right now, we need more role models like Lagertha. We need more women who speak out, and characters on TV that people look up to… someone that has substance, somebody that has true value, somebody that young girls can try to relate to and aspire to be. I’m blessed and honored to say that I believe Lagertha has had that influence, and we need more of her out there, or characters like her out there.”
Winnick notes a recent study concluding that women action heroes do actually draw viewers.
“I think now it’s changing with women being in front of the camera and behind the camera and more women directors, more women writers, more women producers. When I read that study, I was like, ‘Yes, finally, there’s proof that we can draw an audience!'”
EW – Warning: This article contains spoilers for Wednesday’s episode of Vikings, “Moments of Vision.”
Vikings has always been a violent show, and past seasons of History’s epic have featured massive battle scenes full of character fatalities. But Wednesday’s midseason finale, “Moments of Vision,” takes an unexpected approach to the climactic showdown between the forces of Ivar (Alex Hogh) and Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick). The episode tracks multiple characters in a nonlinear fashion, cutting from the fighting to preparations for the battle. There are flashbacks, and sequences that could either be spiritual visions or dying hallucinations. “I was quite determined that we would just do a unique thing,” says Vikings creator Michael Hirst, who wrote this episode (and all the others.) “A battle scene told from different points of view, including points of view of people who died.”
EW talked to Hirst about the bloody, poignant episode, and what it means for the show going forward.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: “Moments of Vision” saw a lot of long-running characters die, including Jasper Pääkkönen’s Halfdan and Josefin Asplund’s Astrid. How much did you plan out these character exits before working on the episode? In the writing process, did you save some characters, or write deaths you weren’t expecting?
MICHAEL HIRST: At one stage, I was sure that a son of Ragnar would kill another son of Ragnar. So that would probably be between Hvitserk and Ubbe. And I went into that final scene thinking that that was gonna happen. And then it didn’t happen, which was mildly surprising to me. A mirror image of that was Harald and Halfdan, and I wasn’t sure what was gonna happen, but then [Harald] killed him. I knew that Astrid was going to die, even though I didn’t want her to die! I loved her.
What I want to show, as well as cool action, is psychological damage. A bigv thing is to try to humanize the Vikings, try to show they were just like you and me. They’re fighting battles every other year, or whatever it is. And it’s gonna wear them down. With Lagertha, I wanted to start showing the psychological impact of continuously being between life and death.
There were interesting moments near the end of Ragnar’s time on the show, when he would have visions of his past life or younger days on the farm. It felt like a lot of characters had moments like that in this episode.
I had a lot of friends who were gay who died in the early AIDS epidemic of the ’80s and ’90s. They died in their 30s, essentially. That is the typical lifespan of a Viking. They didn’t live for very long. So Halfdan’s death, and the death of Torvi’s first son in the battle, and Astrid’s very young. Young people dying is a very powerful part of that episode.
CARTERMATT – As we start to look ahead towards Vikings season 5 episode 11, it seems as though it’s going to be an interesting, emotional time for Katheryn Winnick’s character of Lagertha. She just lost one of the people she cared about the most in Astrid, and to go along with that she has to face the other side of a battle that she thought at one point would kill her. She’s a survivor, but is there a sense of survivor’s guilt that goes along with that? There could be different, interesting dimensions coming for this character in the season half of season 5 and CarterMatt is very interested in diving into some of that.
So how will Lagertha recover — or will she ever recover? This is something that show boss Michael Hirst details to TV Guide in the aftermath of the big midseason finale:
“I think it’s hard and in the long term, she suffers for what happened in that battle. Without giving anything away, it’s not as though she just takes it in her stride and it’s another battle. It’s been a life change, basically. [She killed] someone she loves and it won’t be long before you see how deeply and how profoundly that’s affected her.”
What is so important about this story is the concept of breaking down the walls and understanding a little bit more of what lies underneath. We know Lagertha to be a powerful, imposing figure; yet, she feels jsut like anyone else. One of the interesting elements to her story moving forward now is seeing if there are ways that she can be vulnerable. Part of her challenge with this, in turn, could be finding a way to channel this vulnerability. When you are someone in her position, how do you channel this? How can you illuminate this struggle? Is there a way in which to make that happen? This is a challenging story that is coming up for Lagertha but, for Winnick, we imagine that it has to be appreciated. It’s a chance to play another different dimension of an extraordinary character.
Of course, in the midst of her grief more problems will come Lagertha’s way. This is Vikings, and this is not the sort of world where characters often have a moment to breathe – especially with Ivar’s army pushing forward towards Kattegat.
TV GUIDE – Since Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) and Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) split, the Queen of Kattegatt has had her share of romantic troubles. There was her abusive second husband Sigvard (Morten Sasse Suurballe), whom she was forced to kill; her manipulative fiancé Kalf (Ben Robson), whom she was forced to kill on her wedding day, and then Astrid (Josefin Asplund), her trusted advisor who married one of her greatest enemies and whom she may just be forced to kill if they come face-to-face in Wednesday’s season finale.
So overall, not a great track record for Lagertha over the years, but that doesn’t mean she should stop searching for love, by any means. However, it does mean that we’re fairly skeptical her latest relationship — an unexpected and impulsive coupling with the Christian warrior bishop Heahmund (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) that began in this week’s episode — is going to end with a happily ever after, something Vikings creator Michael Hirst all but confirmed to us.