Born Katerena Anna Vinitska, but known as Katheryn Winnick, she's a Canadian actress probably most recognizable for her role as Lagertha on The History Channel’s TV series “Vikings.” Most recently, she landed a guest-starring role on CBS’ “Person of Interest,” in which she’ll play a relentless bounty hunter.
Growing up, Katheryn Winnick was kicked out of summer camp for “reckless behavior” when she was 14. “I grew up being a bit of a tomboy, a big-time tomboy.”
Aside from acting, she is proficient in the martial arts and earned a Black Belt when she was 13. She said, “There were times I had to compete against boys and I’d show them right away I wasn’t someone to mess with.” She even competed in the Canadian Nationals and then opened several successful Tae Kwon Do schools around Toronto. “I started my own schools at 16. By the time I was 21, I had three different schools.”
Katheryn Winnick added, “It’s a passion of mine to see women transform their inner strength—to see them walk more confidently and be able to protect themselves. It’s really empowering.” She even trained to become a licensed bodyguard.
Her first television appearance was in "PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal," while her film debut was in "Biohazardous." She has also appeared on “Bones,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and “Nikita,” among many other projects.
Katheryn Winnick can also speak Ukrainian, as it’s her first language. She didn’t speak English until she was eight years old.
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Katheryn Winnick described herself in five words as “driven, caring, hardworking, fun and adventurous.” Her measurements are 34B-24-34.
As for her experience on “Vikings,” she said, ““You’re either training on a horse or stunt coordinating, or battle-training with sword and shield—it’s a very intense show for that. Then there’s the challenge of shooting in the weird weather of the mountains in Ireland. It can change on a dime, from sunny – to raining – to hailing – to freezing cold and windy – and back to sunny, and all within an hour and a half. It’s crazy. It’s tough shooting those battle sequences in the rain.”
And one day she'd love to visit outer space: “It sounds crazy, but I’ve been fascinated about space for a very long time. I know it’s the wave of the future and I’d love to be able to go up in space and see the world. I think that would be a magical moment.”
Katheryn Winnick is single and resides in Los Angeles, California.