Since this beauty just celebrated her 39th birthday this passed weekend, I thought I’d gather some facts in her honour. It goes without saying that she’s stunning, but there’s much more to her than that. Katheryn is incredibly strong, smart and talented. You may know her as the dauntless shieldmaiden Lagertha on Vikings, an empowering character that has contributed to helping the History Channel shift away from being a primarily male-dominated network.
Katheryn told News.com: “I fell in love with Lagertha’s character and she’s a strong person and I identify with her, so I’m not surprised other women identify with her too.”
Lagertha is definitely a force to be reckoned with, and a legendary figure in Viking history. As for her future on the show, it’s good to know that she won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, as Vikings creator Michael Hirst attests:
“She’s also gone on this amazing female journey in which she’s gone from farmer’s wife [who’s] happily married with kids, to being betrayed, to being in an abusive relationship, to having power, to having power taken away from her by men, to having to fight her way back, to having to lose her baby again,” “She is the soul of the show and I need her.”
I couldn’t think of anyone more suited to that role than her. In case it isn’t already obvious, I have a huge amount of admiration for this woman and as such, here are 11 must-know facts about Katheryn Winnick (or rather, reasons to love her).
1. She is Canadian! Hailing from Etobicoke, Ontario, Katheryn is a fellow Canuck.
2. Her first spoken language was Ukrainian…
3. …And she didn’t learn English until she was 8.
4. She now speaks 5 languages: Ukrainian, English, Russian, French, and Italian. Being on Vikings, she has learned to speak Old Norse as well.
5. At age 7 she began training in martial arts.
6. She earned her first Black Belt at age 13.
7. She opened her first martial arts school when she was just 16, and 2 more by the time she was 21.
8. She currently holds a 3rd-degree Black Belt in taekwondo, and a 2nd-degree Black Belt in Karate.
9. Prior to becoming an actress, she trained other actors and actresses in martial arts on movie sets.
10. She is a licensed bodyguard.
10. Ironically, her extensive training hasn’t been as useful as one might think on the set of Vikings, since the style of fighting in the Dark Ages was quite different. She had to learn how they fought as well as how to wield a sword.
Also check out this wicked Behind the Scenes video of on-set training!
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