16 Jan 2019 AT 12:22 PM

Katheryn Winnick talks Vikings

As Vikings returns, the star lets us in on role models, black belts and social media safety
16 Jan 2019 AT 12:22 PM

We’re excited for Vikings season 5B. What can we expect?
This season you will see the characters in different lights with several new challenges and conflicts. Not only do we have some epic battles but wrenching drama as well. There are a few major surprises and deaths thrown in too.

Where we do we find Lagertha in the latest season?
At the beginning of the season, Lagertha had lost everything- her kingdom, her power, her home. She went into shock when her hair turned grey and she now has to reevaluate her next move and make a decision for the family. She’s always been a survivor, however, and this situation is no exception. She’s trying to figure out who she should trust – should she trust Rollo or Bishop Heckman? Or would it be better to stay where she is and get hunted by Ivar?

Do you feel it’s important for Lagertha to be role model?
Absolutely! Lagertha has taught me a lot about having a strong will, never giving up on what you believe in and fighting for your family. Playing her for seven years has been the most rewarding experience of my career and I’m in constant awe and gratitude when I see fans around the world look up to her.

You earned your first martial black belt at age 13: do you think this has helped with Lagertha?
It helped shape me into the woman I am today. I find a lot of similarities between Lagertha and I. I’ve been training in martial arts and started my own school at 16. Not only do I always do my own stunts, but Lagertha is similar to the discipline I experienced as a child.

How do you decide how much of yourself you allow fans to see through social media?
I’m a very private person and it’s something that I struggle with because I want to reach out and engage with my fans but I also enjoy my privacy and safety, so I’m constantly trying to find a balance. But, I do love hearing from them. It warms my heart
to know that Lagertha has inspired so many bright young women.

How does spending three hours in make-up affect your at-home beauty routine?
Transforming into Lagertha is a very different process than getting ready to go out, obviously. The braids are so complex and tell a story within itself. The clothes all help slow down time and transform me back to the dark ages every day, too. In season five, you’ll see Lagertha age as the season progresses, so instead of make-up, I’m in prosthetics which is a very time consuming, gruelling and often a painful process when you have sensitive skin.

Finally, what do you think are the reasons behind the huge success of the show?
There is a little bit of Vikings in all of us, and the history books were all so wrong about them, so it’s interesting to tell this story. This is a story from their prospective and I think people are captivated by that. Michael Hirst, our creator, has given the world the real story. All of the people we portray on the show were real and it adds to the fascination of the story.
Vikings Season 5B is streaming on Starz Play now.