Katheryn Winnick: A Modern Vixen – BELLO Entertainment Cover

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Katheryn Winnick: A Modern Vixen

The Hollywood vixen has been immortalized by names like Monroe and Bardot. With all the makings of a future Bond girl, Katheryn Winnick sets a whole new standard for the title. Complete with the red-carpet-ready body and the cover-worthy face, the Toronto native speaks Ukrainian as a second language and has been training in martial arts since she was seven years old.

Featured in BELLO mag April 2015 issue #69.

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Her fans know her as Lagertha, a warrior and queen on the History Channel’s Vikings. It’s a role that requires a capacity for strength, both emotionally and physically. For Winnick, that’s her favorite part.

“This is my favorite role to date, because I love being raw and dirty,” she said. “There’s a lot of fun to that for me because it’s stepping out of my own comfort zone.”

Although much of the character is a product of Winnick’s method, she attributes Lagertha’s strength to the show’s writer, Michael Hirst. With much less knowledge of Lagertha than has become available since the show’s success, Winnick saw the strong women of Hirst’s family in his writing.

As for the physical strength, Winnick takes pride in doing as many of her own stunts as the production’s insurance will allow. Having gotten her start as a stunt double, this part of the job comes as second nature to her.

It wasn’t until swinging off one building on a metal chain through the window of another building during a treacherous Toronto winter that she decided it was time for a career change. After transitioning from stunt double to on-set martial arts instructor, she went to New York to train as an actress.
“I always had a passion for it, I just didn’t have a way in,” Winnick said.

Who would have guessed that the stunt-doubling martial artist behind the Viking queen would have found her passion for acting through Annie? During her strict upbringing, she was only allowed to watch television on Saturdays, when she found solace in the little orphan ginger and the singing, dancing fantasy of rags to riches.

Unfortunately, the musical part of her career didn’t come as naturally as her physical prowess. As a student of St. Demetrius Catholic School in Toronto, her musical dreams were shattered when she had to sit and watch her classmates record a Christmas album as a punishment for her tone deafness.

In 2012, she was redeemed when she starred in Roman Coppola’s A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III. While acting alongside Bill Murray and Patricia Arquette, the role called for singing a duet in Portuguese with Charlie Sheen, a feat for which she studied strenuously.

“It was on my bucket list to record a song. I can actually say that my song’s now on iTunes.”

Although she may not be known for “Aguas de Marco,” Winnick has definitely acquired a devoted fan base. Social media keeps her updated on the frequent Katheryn Winnick/Lagertha tattoos. It’s a flattering gesture that she’s happy to acknowledge.

“I just hope we don’t get cancelled because they’re stuck with me for life,” she said with a laugh.
It’s no surprise that such a progressive generation identifies with such a strong female lead. For many, seeing a woman of centuries past lead an army, rule a nation, and divorce her husband resonates on a personal level. Perhaps it puts today’s struggles into perspective.

Many have regarded Lagertha as a feminist icon. Winnick was ambivalent to embrace a term associated with such negative connotations. She googled “feminist” to debunk the stereotypes.

“A feminist advocate is “someone who supports the rights and equality of women.” That is the definition according to Wikipedia,” she said. “So yes, I would consider myself someone who supports the rights and equality of women.”

As an official self-proclaimed feminist, Winnick is in the process of expanding her martial arts brand, Win Kai, to include self-defense. Having started a martial arts school when she was 16 and acquiring two more by 21, she’s focusing on adding a division devoted to women. Martial arts was created by and for men, but this eight-hour course will focus on providing women with the basics and knowledge needed to defend themselves.

“It’s just a passion of mine,” Winnick explained. “If you can protect yourself, you could be empowered to overcome any circumstance in your life. But you have to start with yourself.”

With season three of Vikings underway, Winnick is enjoying some much-needed time with her family before the filming of season four begins.

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photographer JOSH REED www.joshreed.com
words by GLENN GARNER
stylist TIFFANI CHYNEL www.tiffanichynel.com
makeup KINDRA MANN at The Wall Group
hair DAVE STANWELL at Solo Artists
nails BLONDIE for Exclusive Artists Mgmt using Smith and Cult
video ARNO DIEM
host JAMES MCCOURT

Katheryn Winnick For BELLO mag Entertainment April 2015

About The Author

Stephane Marquet
Creative Director

First of all, excuse my French! … I was born in the South of France. Lived in Paris for 10 years and travelled the world until I moved to Los Angeles in 2008, because obviously recession was a great time to move to a new country! I also arrived around Halloween and was greeted at the Social Security offices by a nurse who directed to the window Number 6 so a witch could hand me my social security number. Welcome to America. I am a painter, a photographer and the creative director of BELLO mag.

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