On Fox's Sleepy Hollow, it's not easy being Katrina Crane. The wife of main protagonist Ichabod was trapped in purgatory for the majority of Season 1, and now even in Season 2, reuniting with her husband hasn't felt so good.
Katrina has a lot going on. She has a complicated relationship with Ichabod, which includes still caring for her ex-fiance Abraham Van Brunt, the Horseman of Death, she has strong magical powers and sometimes feels like the third-wheel in her marriage. It's all of these factors that make Katrina such an an enigmatic and fascinating character to watch. Last Monday night's episode teased Katrina's full turn to the dark side. Will we soon see her go completely evil?
That's certainly a possibility, according to Katia Winter, the Swedish-born actress who plays Katrina. One way or the other, we should expect to see a stronger, more in control Katrina in the weeks ahead. Winter spoke with T-Lounge over the phone about Katrina's transformation, third-wheeling Ichabod and Abbie and improvising in Terrence Malick's upcoming film Knight of Cups.
We've seen Katrina go through a lot of changes from Season 1 to Season 2, particularly going from being stuck in purgatory to now being free and reunited with husband Ichabod. How do you think your character has changed or developed from Season 1 to Season 2?
Oh my God, yeah. Well lots has happened, I guess since she got out of purgatory. It's been really fun too, to have actual scenes with characters and not be sort of stuck in this horrible, like, hell under the spell of Moloch. So it's been kind of interesting to try and find her ground and, I guess, purpose in the show. It's been a hard character, I think, for people, and for the writers as well to write for. But I think since she wasn't that established in Season 1 and now she's all over Season 2, she finally finds herself and her purpose, because it's been a little hard. You know, she's thrown into this world, and her marriage and her husband aren't really the same, and things aren't really the same between the two of them, but they're trying. She obviously tries to help Headless, who she has a bit of a soft spot for, because she feels guilty that she's responsible for the way he turned out. Yeah, it's been a whirlwind. It's been so many things thrown at her, so I'm interested to see how it all wraps up at the end of Season 2.
What do you think makes Katrina a hard character to write for?
I don't know. Maybe that's the wrong choice of words. I think it's been hard to find her place in this world. I've struggled a little bit with some of the choices that were made, just in terms of her not being as strong as I think she should've been. She's been very much a damsel in distress, and I enjoy it so much when she uses her power, because she's the only witch on the show, so she should be doing a lot more magic. That's what I've been saying, at least from day one. And we talked a lot about it, and you know, we've discussed things back-and-forth. But it's so hard because you're so wrapped up in the show and everything moves on so quickly, and we don't get scripts more than a week ahead of time before we start shooting them, and then we're already shooting the script before that. So it's hard to kind of get a clear picture and a bigger arc of where the character is going. So I think maybe it was caught a little bit late in Season 2, but I think for sure it's going to be rectified by the end of the season.
In my head, I envision her as a very strong character and want a person that very much stands her own ground, you know, not so much the wife of Ichabod and the ex-fiance of Headless [the Horseman of Death]. She bounces back-and-forth a lot between the two of them. And I think maybe her as a character finds herself a little clueless or lost in this world, because Ichabod has a partner, you know, Abbie, and they already work great together. And I think she's a lot like the third wheel in that situation, you know? So I think it's been very important to find her own part, whether it is with or without Ichabod. But I think that's the goal.
A lot of fans have said they would love to see Katrina just embrace her dark side. Do you think that's something you'd like to see her do as well?
Oh, for sure. I would very much like to see that. There's a lot more power to explore in the dark side. It's also, you know, people that go to the dark side don't necessarily see it as the dark side. So, yeah, I would for sure love to see that as well.
In terms of approaching this character as an actress, Season 1 Katrina was in purgatory, and as you said, you're all alone. And then in this season, you're interacting more with other characters, playing off of other people. How has this been for you going into each episode? Have you had to change how you approach the character at all?
No, it's hard to sort of get a bigger picture because as I said everything's happening so quickly. You sort of have to kind of throw yourself at it really quickly and do the best you can with what you're given, because we're shooting an episode every eight days, and we overlap every time by two or three days. So it's a constant machine that goes on for like eight months. So it's hard to kind of stop. It's not like shooting a film where you have the whole script and you look at it and you're like, "Oh, wow. OK cool. This is the start, this is the middle and this is the end. And this is where we're going to take it. These are the ups and downs." With a TV show this big, you don't have that privilege and you don't have that time, so you're kind of just going with it and you try to do the best you can.
Sleepyheads are really passionate about the show. Have you had any really memorable fan encounters since being on Sleepy Hollow?
There's been a lot of amazing fan art floating around online, people tweeting pictures and stuff like that. There are some really talented people out there. And also, I remember this one time this woman tweeted me a picture of her little 7-year-old daughter dressed as Katrina. It was so cute, you know, stuff like that. It's really endearing, the support online. I sometimes see fans arguing, Abbie fans and Katrina fans arguing on my Twitter feed back-and-forth, and it's really sweet, my fans who defend my character. They start this whole argument, and it's really nice that they're so passionate about the show that they take such length.
I think a lot of people would love to see Abbie and Ichabod get together. What do you make of that? Playing Ichabod's wife on the show, how does that make you feel?
I think I can absolutely see why. [Abbie and Ichabod's] relationship was established in Season 1, you know. Their characters are written that way. They have such chemistry together. And it's, you know, I can't possibly compete with that. I don't know necessarily if they are or will ever get together, but just their banter back-and-forth is really endearing and cute, and they have each other's backs at all times. I think there is a lot of jealousy on the part of Katrina's character at first because he has another partner, in many ways better than her. But I think toward the end of the season, again, I think [Katrina's] really going to step up her game and not be the kind of weak damsel in distress that she's been the last two weeks, you know. So I think by then, it really doesn't matter anymore.
On your Instagram profile, you posted a video of you scaring your co-star Tom Mison, who plays Ichabod on the show. Is there a lot of that kind of scaring and pranking on set?
Yeah, I do a lot of that, because I get bored when it's long nights. It's so easy to scare people as well, because we're shooting at night and there's these dark locations and there's monsters running around on set, you know, lurking in dark corners. Poor Lyndie [Greenwood, who plays Jenny Mills], because we shared a house together, I scared her all the time. Yeah so it's fun.
A video posted by Katia Winter (@katiawinter) on Jan 26, 2015 at 7:57pm PST
Can you remember the craziest prank or scare that happened on set?
This wasn't me actually. I think it was one of the producers that put one of these headless creatures, I guess some corpse was lying around in the special effects trailer without a head. And they put it on Tom Mison's toilet in his trailer. It was just sort of sitting there. When he opened the door, it was really funny.
Because I wear a wig on the show, when I take the wig off, I look like a bald person because I have this wig cap on, and there's all sorts of short, long, weird-looking wigs, you know. This one wig I put on, it was really, really short gray hair, I looked like a completely different person. I'd be running around on set, and people wouldn't recognize me. I'd run up to the producers, and I'd be standing there looking like a weird stalker. They'd all turn around and go, "Who are you? Are you supposed to be here?" I'd put on a weird voice, and it'd take them like a couple of minutes. "Oh my God. Is that you?"
Yeah, I can imagine being on that set, just being kind of creeped out the whole time. There's so many scary-looking things around.
It's weird. You like walk past a tent, and there's like a bloody, weird, little stressed-out creature just standing there drinking tea, you know. It's a bizarre set to be on but fun.
You're in Terrence Malick's latest film Knight of Cups. Is there anything you can tell us about your role in that?
I don't really know, to be honest. We were just improvising a lot. I was working with Christian Bale and Joel Kinnaman. There was no script, so I didn't really know that much a part from Christian Bale plays a very depressed writer, and we were sort of just improvising all the time. So I have no idea. Terrence Malick was like, "You can do no wrong. I will just throw you into scenes. And try and make Christian mad. And run around in the fountain. And then read this poetry." It's very abstract, so I don't know. I haven't even seen it, so I don't know how much I'm going to be in the final cut, because [Malick] had a million actors working on this film, but it was so much fun to kind of be free in that sense and he made you feel so comfortable. I was really nervous at first. I'm like, "What do you mean do whatever you want? I don't know."
Have you ever improvised like that before for a project or was that something new for you?
Yeah, not since drama school, really, because you don't really get to do that at all while filming. They're very specific. You have to say this word, not that, you know. So it's usually word for word you have to get right, especially TV, not so much film, depending on who you work with, I suppose. This is completely different. But it was fun to think outside the box and be free and do whatever you want to do.
And you're also stepping into the role of producer on an upcoming film, Lost Inside. So what has that been like, taking on that new role?
It's been so much fun. I think it started about a year-and-a-half ago. I found this crazy-good novel written by a close friend of mine, and we spent a year making it into a screenplay, and it's fun. I never realized how creative producers can be and how, you know, you have much more control over a project. Because as an actress, especially on TV, you don't have any creative control over the story and whatever's being told. You're just given the script, and you do the best you can with it. But in this, it's, you know, you're involved from the start, and you get to make so many decisions and choices creatively. So it's been amazing, actually. I never realized, because I always pictured producers as being all about the money, and they don't really care about the creative side, you know. But it's been a really pleasant discovery.
We found this great director. It's a really intriguing, very unique story, because it's rare that you read something that hasn't really been done before. It's very dark, very twisted. I grew up in Scandinavia to Ingmar Bergman films and Lars von Trier films, so I like those really, really gritty, dark stories that move you into the core of your being, you know. So this story is definitely one of those. Visually, we're making it a little bit more commercial as well. So I think, you know, I'm very excited. And now especially wrapping the show, I can focus and really work on it full-time. I will for sure keep doing [producing] as well as acting, because it's equally fun, being behind and in front of the camera.
You're starring in Lost Inside also, in addition to producing. Is there anything you can tell us about your character in that?
Yeah, it's so much fun. I can't wait. The novel is called Hikikomori, which is essentially, a Japanese word for someone that locks themselves inside and never leaves the home. They estimate about a million people live like that in Asia at the moment. It's common, you know, when you can order food online, you don't ever need to leave the house. The main character locked himself away when his girlfriend was killed years ago, and he gradually became more and more insane. So you follow this one character in this kind of rotten apartment. And he has this girlfriend who sings, but she's imaginary, and she sort of changes, and she's very kooky and quirky. It's essentially a love story, a very tragic love story between him, his imaginary girlfriend and the ghost of his dead girlfriend that keeps haunting him and his past that keeps haunting him. So it's a psychological, very disturbing film. It sounds really crazy, but when you read it and see it, it makes so much sense. And to be able to play that kind of character, she's very much alive, even though she's imaginary. She sort of becomes real. She starts developing her own thoughts. Her own opinions on things, even though she is essentially a figment of his imagination. So yeah, it's going to be lots of fun to do that for sure.
Has it started filming yet?
No, we just got a director, and we have a couple of other roles to cast. We're sort of aiming to get it shot by the end of the year, so it's up and moving, but it's good.
This interview has been condensed and lightly edited for grammar and clarity.