KATHERYN WINNICK

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KATHERYN WINNICK

INTERVIEW & PHOTOGRAPHY BY: MICHAEL WILLIAMS
STORY BY: MICHAEL CORCORAN

Here is a sneak peek of our cover story with Katheryn Winnick! For the full interview order our print issue here.

Tae Kwon Do instructor. Viking Shield Maiden. Struggling young mother—all very different roles and not the typical career trajectory for a young actor but Katheryn Winnick has come a long way from the days when she couldn’t afford headshots. The Viking star talks with Imagista about how she transitioned from training actors in martial arts to being in front of the camera herself, her upcoming directorial debut and her role in the long-awaited Stephen King movie The Dark Tower.

Imagista: You grew up in Toronto correct? How did you first get into acting?

Katheryn Winnick: Yes, born and raised in Toronto. I have always loved story telling. At a young age I was heavily involved in martial arts. I thought that my career would be more in the field of fitness industry rather than in front of the camera. I started teaching actors martial arts on film sets before I was an actress. I worked on a movie with David Cronenberg in Toronto and I used to teach his family tae kwon do. It was really interesting being on set all day, I remember my eyes were so wide and to see everyday as be completely new day, with new possibilities and new ways of telling the story, it was just so fascinating to me. I have never been one to be bored on set I have always just loved learning and seeing how things evolve in the film business. For me, it was more getting the chance to be on set and having that challenge to be able to connect to the audience. That is what drove me on to want to pursue acting. I remember that very early on I could not even afford my own head shots because I was still a student, trying to make ends meet. Going to university, teaching martial arts, opening schools and at the same time I was on set and ended up convincing a photographer to take my head shots. It was nice to be able to get a chance to be on set everyday and see what it was all about. From there I moved to New York and taught actors on movie sets and broadway, I also did films in Africa, I got to travel with them. To continue my studies, I wanted to take acting seriously and not just say “oh I am an actor”, to me it was about owning my craft and having that experience to be able to say “I am what I do”. I studied in New York for many years, I was bi-coastal for many years between LA and NYC all at the same time trying to manage three martial art schools in Toronto. It was not until I began filming Vikings that I felt I could explore both my loves of story-telling and playing a role that is both strong and feminine and fierce all at the same time.

 Katheryn‘s new movie The Dark Tower is out now in theatres. Order our print issue for the full story.

Gown: Galvin Collection

TEAM CREDITS

Katheryn Winnick

Photography by Michael Williams
Styled by Christina Pacelli
Hair Stylist: David Stanwell
 Makeup Artist: Jenna Kristina