One Big Worry Kathryn Winnick Had About Returning To Network TV After Vikings

Kathryn Winnick as Jenny Hoyt in Big Sky
(Image credit: ABC/Darko Sikman)

Big Sky actress Kathryn Winnick is no stranger to getting beat up on television, as she starred as the warrior queen Lagertha on History Channel’s Vikings for six seasons. Because of that long-running role, she found herself frequently covered in blood and with battle wounds. Winnick shared her worry for returning to network television, and it had plenty to do with the time she spent on her former hit.

Kathryn Winnick plays ex-cop Jenny Hoyt in the sophomore ABC crime drama Big Sky. Being an ex-cop or similar means that you may be getting into a decent amount of fights, and because it’s network TV, Winnick was afraid that that would mean having to look all "pretty and glossy" even right after her character had been in an altercation. Winnick talked to emmy magazine and referenced her 2007 guest-starring role on Fox's House, and how her character was recovering from rape and attempted suicide, but still had to wear lipstick in the hospital, and noted:

I had a hard time with that. It's the reality of a fight. Why wouldn't you have a black eye or a busted lip?

It’s not surprising to see that Kathryn Winnick would be a little reluctant to take another role on network TV after her character on House was shown looking fresh as a daisy after everything she'd been through. While it's not so bad, in theory, it's not too realistic to be getting punched in the face, but immediately after appear as though there was no fight at all.

Luckily, her character, Lagertha, on Vikings went through it all and more, and had plenty of blood, scars, and more to show for it. She was ultimately killed off in the final season, and while Winnick said her exit was harder than she thought it would be, it was still bittersweet.

Big Sky became Kathryn Winnick’s first post-Vikings series, meaning that she had a lot to worry about, considering how different the two shows are. However, Big Sky is not your typical network television show, as creator David E. Kelley, who is also behind shows such as Hulu’s Nine Perfect Strangers and HBO’s Big Little Lies, initially conceived the series as a cable show. Which also means it would likely be a lot less pretty. Plus, her experience on House was quite a while ago, and there seems to be less tendency now to keep female characters "glossy" no matter what abuse they've suffered.

Although Kathryn Winnick has seen some better days on Big Sky, they aren’t nearly as bad as her days on Vikings, meaning that so far, Jenny Hoyt seems to be doing okay. With the series revolving around the search for two sisters who are kidnapped by a truck driver and those not being the only girls missing, there is a lot of action and thrills. Jenny deals with multiple mysteries and cases, so she definitely deals with a lot.

Jenny did have a near-death experience when she got shot, so, fingers crossed, they go a little easy on her in the second season. Though, it does sound like Winnick wouldn't mind getting banged up even more, as long as it means actually showing off a couple of bruises or a busted lip.

Season 2 of Big Sky premieres on Thursday, September 30 on ABC!

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.