OUT – The fearsome female ruler Lagertha will go to war with her nemesis when the History Channel’s Vikings returns for its midseason premiere next week, but actress Katheryn Winnick says that’s just the beginning of the changes for her character. After years of betrayal by the men in her life, Lagertha falls for a woman, the shield maiden Astrid (Josefin Asplund).
This sapphic switch sounds sudden considering Lagertha will battle Queen Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland), the woman who stole her first husband, Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel). But during a recent chat with reporters, Winnick explained how it isn’t that surprising—and that she doesn’t think Lagertha suddenly has become a lesbian.
How did this relationship with Astrid come about? Lagertha didn’t just wake up one day and decide to be a lesbian, did she?
Katheryn Winnick: Lagertha has been betrayed by so many men throughout her life. Obviously, Ragnar cheated on her and asked her to be a second wife. Her second husband was abusive. Then Kalf, who she groomed to be a leader, tried to usurp her own rule. She had to kill him on their wedding day. So her relationship with men [wasn’t great]. I’m not sure she will ever trust a man again.
So it did make sense that she would find comfort in another human being and that that human being happened to be a woman. I don’t feel that Lagertha necessarily is a lesbian; I never played it that way. But she did find a love with Astrid that men have never been able to give her.
MONSTERS AND CRITICS – History’s Vikings returns for the second half of Season 4 on November 30, and the “soul” of the show — as creator Michael Hirst described her to Monsters & Critics — is still Lagertha, played by Ukrainian-Canadian actor Katheryn Winnick.
Winnick is stunning and athletic, and gives her Norse shieldmaiden warrior an incredible presence on screen.
She’s also a fighter who began martial arts training as a young teen, and all that training is serving her well on the Vikings set where she says that the blood you see on camera is likely the actors’ own.
Yesterday Winnick spoke to reporters and answered questions that have all fans on the edge of their seats for the coming Season 4B.
One of the main ones involved a twist in her love life.
In Vikings, Winnick’s character is maternal, both to her children (her daughter Gyda died in Season 1) and to the people of Kattegat and Hedeby where she lives.
This proud mother said no to her husband Ragnar Lothbrook when he proposed she be a second wife to Aslaug, who in later seasons allowed Lagertha’s granddaughter Siggy to perish by drowning.
SHOWBIZ JUNKIES – History’s critically acclaimed Vikings will return for the second half of season four on November 30, 2016, and in support of the upcoming premiere Katheryn Winnick participated in a conference call to discuss what’s in store for her character, Lagertha. 99% of the conference call focused on Vikings, however Winnick was also asked a question about a project she managed to star in during her limited downtime from Vikings. Winnick has the much-anticipated The Dark Tower heading to theaters in 2017, and Sony just confirmed it’s now moved off of a February release date to July 28, 2017.
The cast is led by Idris Elba as Roland Deschain and includes Matthew McConaughey as Randall Flagg (aka The Man in Black), Tom Taylor as Jake Chambers, Abbey Lee as Tirana, and Fran Kranz as Pimli. Winnick’s character hasn’t been revealed, however during the conference call she came close to accidentally letting it slip.
“I play a character that’s in the novels as well,” offered Winnick. “I assume I’m not allowed to talk about who I play. (Laughing) I was this/close about giving it away! That was almost a massive slip-up. But I will say this, I have some great scenes with Matthew McConaughey who I love working with. I worked with him years and years ago on Failure to Launch – one of my very first movies. So, it was nice to reunite with him. He plays a very interesting character.”
There was just barely time to fit in the role after Vikings wrapped up, but Winnick managed to pull it off. The film was shot in Cape Town during her hiatus. “It was an amazing experience,” said Winnick. “I only had less than two months of a break in between so it just luckily worked out, in terms of scheduling. I went straight from the end of season four straight to Toronto to visit my family and two days later I was on a plane to Cape Town. So, it was really quick. I know that they’ve been trying to get this movie made for over eight years. Ron Howard’s producing it. Idris Elba is starring in it, and Matthew McConaughey also. We’ve got an incredible young cast as well.”
Winnick added, “We’ve got an incredible director (Nikolaj Arcel) who’s really hands on with the actors and really has his own vision, his voice behind the camera and how he wants the film to be really authentic and real even though it has more mystical elements. But I think fans are going to absolutely love it.”
Winnick is aware of discussions taking place about the future of The Dark Tower franchise, but she hasn’t heard anything definite. “I know that there are talks of doing a TV show now and possibly more movies. I know that I had an incredible experience working on it, and it’s just going to be amazing when it comes out. I believe the date now is in July. I’m excited to see it in theaters and I’m sure you guys will too.”
Before returning to all things Vikings, Winnick added one final The Dark Tower statement: “I play a character that’s extremely different than Lagertha – I will say that!”