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Kath­eryn Winnick is in her el­e­ment as sword-swing­ing shield maiden Lagertha in drama se­ries Vik­ings (2013-cur­rent). She’s a for­mer stunt­woman, has been train­ing in mar­tial art forms tae kwon do and karate since she was eight and the 38-year-old is dead se­ri­ous when she says that “I’m a li­censed body­guard – peo­ple don’t mess with me”.

What she will joke about is that 1

“dy­na­mite comes in small pack­ages – I’m proof”. The Cana­dian is 1.68m tall, which she says is “miles shorter than Clive [Standen]”, who plays Rolo. It’s only 20cm though – he’s 1.88m tall.

Her birth­name is Kater­ena Anna 2

Vinit­ska and she’s of Ukrainian de­scent. Kath­eryn spoke only Ukrainian un­til she was eight, then she started to learn English and French.

While she says that “it’s sweet” 3

that some fans call her “sexy” and “pretty”, Kath­eryn says that she sees her­self as her character. “I fell in love with Lagertha be­cause she’s strong and I re­ally iden­tify with that fight­ing spirit.”

While Vik­ings was on pro­duc­tion 4

break in May 2016, Kath­eryn was in Cape Town to film western sci-fi movie The Dark Tower, due for re­lease in July 2017. It’s based on hor­ror writer Stephen King’s Dark Tower nov­els (19982004) and stars Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey – Kath­eryn plays Lau­rie.

Know­ing mar­tial arts didn’t re­ally 5

help her as Lagertha be­cause “the Vik­ing way is swing­ing a sword. That is very dif­fer­ent to a round­house kick. But we have fun with the train­ing”, she says.

As for her love life, she’s de­nied 6

dat­ing banker Nick Loeb de­spite be­ing seen with him in Los An­ge­les. He was en­gaged to Sofía Ver­gara (Glo­ria in sit­com Modern Fam­ily, 2009-cur­rent) un­til 2014.

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