Katheryn Winnick is embarking on a whole new adventure after six seasons of starring in the History series “Vikings.” The actress is now co-leading the addictive new ABC mystery “Big Sky,” playing Jenny Hoyt, an ex-cop who investigates the disappearance of two teenage girls. Veteran TV writer David E. Kelley created the series, which Winnick admits was a big part of why she wanted to get involved. “When David E. Kelley comes calling and offers you a role, it’s one of those things that you pay attention to,” says Winnick in an exclusive new interview for Gold Derby. “You trust that it’s gonna be great and he’s gonna write you strong woman characters that are also flawed.” Watch the full interview above.
In the pilot episode, Jenny gets involved with the case when her ex-husband, Cody (Ryan Phillippe), reaches out for her help. There is major tension between Jenny and Cody’s business partner, Cassie (Kylie Bunbury), due to the latter’s romantic involvement with Cody. “Jenny is a little bit more impulsive, definitely one that wears her heart on the sleeve a little more and I would probably call her a woman unhinged,” admits Winnick. Yet, Jenny and Cassie are ultimately able to put aside their differences for the common good. “It’s really nice to see these two strong women that have that tension with the love triangle and being in love with the same guy but come together and help solve these cases.”
“Big Sky” has already become a success for ABC with viewership and Winnick is hopeful they are able to keep up the momentum moving forward. While the series has revolved entirely around this one case, the actress reveals that it will not even span the course of the entire season. The current storyline of the series is adapted from C. J. Box‘s novel “The Highway,” and the plan is to continue adapting Box’s novels for future storylines as the show continues onward. “Instead of taking a whole series or a whole season to have an open and end close of a case, we’re trying to do it in half that time, or a series of eight and then move onto the next book right after that,” explains Winnick.
Meanwhile, the actress is closing a big chapter of her life as “Vikings” is set to air its final episodes at the end of the month on Prime Video. Winnick just earned a nomination from the Critics’ Choice Super Awards for her performance as Lagertha on the series and the actress is grateful to have gotten the opportunity to play a role that has come to define her. “I felt so blessed to have gotten the opportunity to play Lagertha and to keep her on television for six seasons.”
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