Actress Katia Winter can currently be seen looking into the paranormal in the creepy horror film THE BANSHEE CHAPTER as well as being sort of paranormal herself as Ichabod Crane's purgatory-confined wife in "Sleepy Hollow." Obviously, the beautiful Swede likes to get spooky, and is benefitting greatly from it. (THE BANSHEE CHAPTER is quite good, you should seek it out on VOD pronto - and no, I'm not just saying that to get Katia to like me.)
I recently talked to Katia, who is a complete doll, about her work in THE BANSHEE CHAPTER and "Sleepy Hollow," as well as her favorite Swedish dish, her fear of BANSHEE co-star Ted Levine, working with Samuel L. "Motherf*ckin' Jackson and the time she was told to make Christian Bale angry. Yikes!
I recently watched THE BANSHEE CHAPTER and I was impressed by how scary it is. Was it scary at all to shoot?
No, it never really is. (Laughs) I'm always surprised when people get scared, because it's so difficult to get frightened yourself when there's a film crew standing around. I glad people are getting scared, because that was the point of making the film.
Well there are a few sequences where it really seems like you're out in the desert. That looks scary.
Actually I remember now that when we were out there in the middle of nowhere it was a little frightening, especially when I'm driving and the film crew was very minimal. Everyone else was hiding and you start to hear things and you couldn't see anything and there were snakes around. Obviously with the nature of the film you start imagining things.
It looks like you spent a lot of time with Ted Levine, was that frightening?
(Laughs) He's really sweet. He has a bit of a temper, which is kind of entertaining, but he's such a sweet guy, very down to earth. A no bullshit kind of person, he's really not like a typical actor.
When does his temper come out, when things are slowing down or not going according to plan?
Yeah, or people aren't doing their jobs. He's a professional, he turns up and knows exactly what he's doing.
Do you believe in the paranormal or supernatural?
Yes and no. There's no way we can really know. I'd like to believe; I think it's ignorant to think we're the only creatures out there in this enormous universe.
You also experience a lot of supernatural occurrences in "Sleepy Hollow"; how has that experience been? The show is now a big hit.
You know, it's fun. What's fun about TV is that there's such a quick turnaround, you have an instant fanbase overnight, if it's successful. We're still shooting season one, we literally just wrapped two weeks ago the episode that aired yesterday. It feels like you're performing intimately for an audience, rather than a film which can take a year or two later. It's fun that it's coming out so quick.
You were also in "Dexter" last season. Are you enjoying television more than film right now?
It depends on the role. With TV you're stuck with it for a while if the show is successful. (Laughs) I like that it's something you come back to; you take a break for six months, then you come back to it. On a film you get attached to the people you're working with, they become your family, and then you break up and don't see each other. It's always sad. I remember the feeling on "Dexter", everyone was like a big family, I just came in and out of it. I remember thinking, Wow I wish I had that. Everything about this career is so unstable, so it's nice to have some stability.
What's the coolest place you've been to for a job?
I went to New Zealand for a screen test, I was there for a day and a half. I booked this other TV show a few years ago, it was such a cool show but it never got picked up. I flew out, right after I wrapped THE BANSHEE CHAPTER, I was on a plane from Albuquerque to New Zealand. It's like a 14 hour flight, for one day. It would have been amazing to spend 6 months working in New Zealand working on that show. Bah! (Laughs)
We like talking about food here too, and since you're from Sweden I wonder what must-have Swedish dish you can recommend.
I don't know if you'd like it, but Midsummer is a huge celebration in Scandinavia, it's the one day where the sun never sets, and a lot of food comes with the celebration. So there are these little potatoes and pickled herring. It sounds disgusting, but I grew up with it and I really like it. I'm not sure if you'd love it, but I think you should try. And you have a little Shnapps with it.
You were in a movie called ARENA with Samuel L. Jackson; have you any great Sam Jackson stories?
Sam was there for like a week, the rest of us were there for a month and a half, so I didn't spend that much time with him apart from the scenes we had together. He definitely swears a lot. (Laughs) He adds a "mother*cker" to every scene. When we were filming, he'd do the scene the way the director had intended for the first couple of takes, then on the last couple of takes he'd do something completely different. So when you're an actor you get used to a certain rhythm, but he would suddenly take it to a completely different level, which is fun.
What have you got coming up next that we can look forward to?
I did a small part in a Terrence Malick film that's coming out next year. That was fun, although I'm not sure how much I'm going to be in it at the end. I was shooting with Christian Bale and Joel Kinnaman, who is another Swedish actor. We hadn't met each other before, and Terrence didn't know we were Swedish when he cast us, but once he found out he said, "Oh you have to speak Swedish to each other!" And so we improvised this whole scene and no one knew what we were talking about. (Laughs)
Terrence is like a kid in a candy shop, he gets so excited about that kind of thing. It was fun, but there was no script. You get on set and he says "You can do no wrong, I'm just going to throw you into the scene and just go for it." My first scene was with Christian Bale, and Terrence said "Make Christian angry, provoke him somehow."
Oh boy, that's quite a request.
(Laughs) Yeah, it was fun though.
Who is your current, or all time, celebrity crush.
Hmm. How about Javier Bardem?
That's a good one. I thought you were going to say Ted Levine.
(Laughs) No, he scares me. I can't get that image out of my head from SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. When I first met him, that was all I could think about. I saw that film so long ago, but that image of him as that character is imprinted in my head.
That's a good note to end on! Thank you so much for your time!