Seasons change. And so, it seems, does Katia Winter. The star of Sleepy Hollow went to military school to study crime psychology, was a successful model who came ‘this close’ to joining the police academy, and now’s on the verge of producing her first feature film. She shares with our STEPHEN CHRISTOPHER about her obsession with power tools, painting abstracts, and how when it comes to cheesy movies, she cries like a baby.
Katia Winter arrives at the Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive’s restaurant wearing a kimono-style Helmut Lang top over a soft black t-shirt, some Black Denim jeans, and a pair of Vince sandals. Her layered blonde hair is parted in the middle and scrapes gently across her shoulders. She has a flawless porcelain complexion and her smile is perfect, though it wasn’t always so. “I used to have a big gap in my teeth. It was right here,” she says, placing her fingernail where the hole once was. “I was teased about it until I was 15 and would never smile.”
The 31-year-old Swedish actress, who spent her younger years in London, orders an English muffin and some coffee, black, and describes herself using these five words: Crafty. Artsy. Traveler. Kind. Emotional. Of the latter, she admits to crying at the drop of a hat—especially when it comes to movies. In her very proper British accent, she sums it up: “I feel a lot of things. I’m really moved easily. I see a documentary and two minutes later I’m sobbing. The film that moved me the most is Dancer in the Dark starring Björk. It’s so gut-wrenching sad. I felt destroyed on the inside for two weeks. It was such a tragic and emotional film. Needless to say, I have to be careful with the films I choose to watch.”
Katia’s artsy side is in the abstract paintings she creates, and her crafty aspect is fed through her obsession with hammers, nails and woodworking. She’s built a lot of her own furniture including some farmhouse benches for her kitchen and a reclaimed wood bed frame. “There’s something so therapeutic about working with my hands. I love power tools and have a set by Bosch—my favorite is a drill that transforms into an electric screwdriver. It’s so easy and satisfying to drive in screws,” she says, adding the proper onomatopoeia, “Szzzswip, szzzswip.”
Katia speaks in a disarmingly gentle tone and smiles after each remark. Her kind and compassionate side keeps up with human-rights efforts around the world, and especially gender equality. She’s passionate about the work of Amnesty International, and her other charity projects include devoting time to her love for animals.
Katia’s original life plan didn’t include modeling or acting. She was a tomboy as a teen, and her heart was focused on being a crime investigator. So she went to a military school to study crime psychology. She was about to attend a police
academy when her good looks and thin 5-foot-9-inch frame steered her toward a modeling career. The money poured in and the career as a crime investigator went out the window. Soon acting came calling, and over the last few years, Katia has starred on Fox’s Sleepy Hollow, playing Katrina Crane, wife of Ichabod Crane. Currently, Katia’s producing her first feature film.
Our conversation moves to growing older and understanding that chasing material possessions will rarely make one happy. On that note, she picks up her phone to share some music she’s been listening to. A soothing melody and calming voice pours out. “It’s Snatam Kaur,” she says, holding it up to my ear. “I find myself listening to a lot of journey music. It’s a sort of music that takes you away from all of your thoughts and takes you to another space. I’ve never been able to meditate before. Now, finally, I can take a deep breath and appreciate the things I have, rather than focus on the things I don’t."
Art Direction: Stephen Kamifuji
Photographer: Tracey Morris / TraceyMorris.com
Stylist: Lisa Cera / TheRexAgency.comMakeup: Alexis Ellen / TheRexAgency.com
Hair: Marina Migliaccio / TheRexAgency.com
Manicure: Denise Bourne / TheRexAgency.com
Digital Tech: Robert Morris
Assistant to the Stylist: Melissa Imperial
Photo Assistant: Isaiah Howard