One of the best new shows to hit genre television of late is ‘Sleepy Hollow,’ which closed out its first season in fabulous style across the pond and is due to air its final three episodes on Universal Channel here in the UK starting on Feb 5.
I was lucky enough to score a brief phone chat with Katia Winter, who plays the role of the powerful witch Katrina, who also happens to be the wife of the shows main lead Ichabod Crane, who is played by Tom Mison.
During our brief chat we touched a lot on Katrina’s character and the surprising amount of growth we’ve seen from her given that she hasn’t enjoyed as much screen time as the two main principals.
SFP: What was it that drew you to ‘Sleepy Hollow’ when you decided to audition for it. And was Katrina the role you actually auditioned for?
Katia Winter: Yes. I was actually the first person cast strangely enough!
I read it and was very intrigued because it was an absolutely bonkers script. I had no idea because it was so mad because they threw all these crazy creatures and Ichabod and me and travelling in time. I hadn’t really seen a show like that. So that was intriguing and I also loved the period outfit for my character.
Yes. I was so happy that they chose me to do the part.
SFP: In the series we learned about how Ichabod and Katrina got together and how that tied in with the horseman, which was a bit of a shock to us viewers. How blown away were you and the other cast members of the show by that revelation?
Katia Winter: I think there have been so many big reveals in this show., but we’ve all sort of come to expect it at this point. Are you asking how we as the cast reacted to that?
SFP: Yes because it was a bit of a shock to us viewers. Especially the general story point that the Horseman was Katrina’s fiancé before she became involved with Ichabod.
Katia Winter: Yes that was very shocking. I only found that out myself a couple of episodes before that when we got that script.
It was a genius idea and it was so nice to be able to put a face to the headless horseman and kind of get to know his back-story and get to know why he was doing the things that he was doing. It’s not just an evil headless guy running around. There’s a reason that he does what he does.
I think that was a really, really nice story actually, but I guess it was a little shocking for the audience.
SFP: As viewers we get to learn about Katrina in the now or through flashback sequences. One thing I’d like to ask is when I studied acting we were always encouraged to make notes in the margins of our scripts. Is that something that you do, and if so what kind of notes do you put down for your character?
Katia Winter: Yes absolutely I have. As to whether the writers agree with me or not is another matter.
?Its so different with Television and Film. In television its constantly changing. I mean especially with something like this because its tricky because they are always writing for the future and for the past at the same time.
Sometimes you might have imagined things to be one way and then the writers come up with a different story that kind of contradicts. So you have to be very open minded and just kind of focus on the core of what the character is like rather than any specific events that have happened in the characters life.
?What I gathered of Katrina is that her strength as a woman and position in life. Its not about her being a witch or being Ichabod Crane’s wife. She’s much more than that and she’s much more a woman of her own. So I think that’s the main thing I’ve been focusing on.
Obviously we have to embrace every episode that comes our way because we’re never sure of what is going to happen. We all know the main arc of our characters, but there’s always details that you find out about your own character as the show moves on. Its like a little present every time you open a new script.
SFP: Although we haven’t seen as much of Katrina than say Abbie. I’ve enjoyed watching how your character has developed over the series and would love to see more of her back-story. It be cool to see how she learned that she was a witch and how she dealt with that whole spiritual and emotional awakening aspect.
Katia Winter: I’d love to explore that as well and it is something I’ve discussed with the writers, but you could even go further back in time. It hasn’t really been established how long Katrina’s been alive. She could be a lot older because she’s a witch. She could have been around for a very long time.
I like that they can take it in so many different directions. There are so many avenues you can explore with a show like this.
SFP: A fun aspect of this show is Ichabod’s struggles with technology and am wondering how Katrina would deal with modern technology and 21st century living?
Katia Winter: I think she would cope a lot better than Ichabod. I mean obviously she’s used to magic and with that comes endless possibility.
Remember she’s been around for a few hundred years and awake while stuck in purgatory so she will be aware everything that’s been going on. Obviously it would be weird for her to have to adapt to modern day clothing and the way people live, but I don’t think it would be as much of a shock for her as it was for Ichabod.
Plus she could always use her magic.
SFP: What kind of developments would you like to see happen with Katrina as we move into the shows second season?
Katia Winter: Well I’d like us to see a lot more of her, which I know is going to happen. I’d also like to see her use her magic a little more as well. I mean we know she is a witch, but I don’t think we’ve seen her use her magic that much.
SFP: Do you think we’ll likely see some friction between Katrina and Abbie in the second season?
Katia Winter: Not yet because I think Katrina is quite thankful that Abbie has been such a support for Ichabod. So I don’t think there is any fiction yet. But obviously when they get together there could be. She wouldn’t want to piss of a witch is what I always say.
UK fans of ‘Sleepy Hollow’ can catch the final few episodes of this great series on the Universal Channel starting February 5 at 9PM.