mine: winnick

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Katheryn Winnick photographed by Miko Lim for The Red Bulletin, July 2017

When I’m confident about who I am and what I want, then I feel that is the most powerful version of myself. I think a lot of people misinterpret the word “strong.” That you need to have this wall up or have a defense mechanism. There’s a lot of strength in being soft, and being a woman, and being clear in what you want and what you don’t want. There’s power in self-confidence and having femininity and not being shy about it.

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Lagertha was a Viking shieldmaiden and ruler from what is now Norway, and the onetime wife of the famous Viking Ragnar Lothbrok. Lagertha’s career as a warrior began when Frø, king of Sweden, invaded Norway and killed the Norwegian king Siward. Frø put the women of the dead king’s family into a brothel for public humiliation. Hearing of this, Ragnar Lodbrok came with an army to avenge his grandfather Siward. Many of the women Frø had ordered abused dressed themselves in men’s clothing and fought on Ragnar’s side. Chief among them, and key to Ragnar’s victory, was Lagertha. Impressed with her courage, Ragnar courted her from afar. Lagertha feigned interest and Ragnar arrived to seek her hand, bidding his companions wait in the Gaular valley. He was set upon by a bear and a great hound which Lagertha had guarding her home, but killed the bear with his spear and choked the hound to death. Thus he won the hand of Lagertha in marriage. According to Saxo, Ragnar had a son with her, Fridleif, as well as two daughters, whose names are not recorded.

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“What drives me as an actor is the challenge of being true to yourself and staying grounded in different circumstances. Acting, when it’s done right, can open you up to different versions of yourself, and you also open up to different connections with your co-stars’ and their performances. If that connection is true then people watching it on the big screen will walk away feeling like you’ve touched their soul. There’s nothing more powerful I can think of than that.”

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I don’t feel that pressure, maybe because I have always been a firm believer that you create your own reality. No one gave me the acting job. I had to go out and learn my craft and audition and fight for it. It’s the same way with anything I spend time on and try to learn. When I realize the amount of opportunities out there, I sometimes get so excited that I can’t sleep at night. You just have to see those opportunities and reach for them. My dad instilled in me at a young age that your dreams are only as big as your vision, so why not shoot for being the best version of yourself, the highest potential you can possibly get to? Even if you don’t get there, I believe you’ll get very close.