‘Big Sky’s Katheryn Winnick Previews the ABC Thriller’s Love Triangle & Mystery

Katheryn Winnick Big Sky Jenny
ABC/Darko Sikman

The clock is ticking in the atmospheric new thriller Big Sky. Two sisters have just been kidnapped by a truck driver on an isolated Montana highway. Complicating the crucial early days of the search, the key investigators are caught in a love triangle: Private detectives Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury, When They See Us) and Cody Hoyt (Shooter‘s Ryan Phillippe) must work with his estranged wife, ex-cop Jenny Hoyt (Katheryn Winnick, above), who, like Cody, has a personal connection to the case.

“Jenny and Cassie are in love with the same guy, but they put their personal feelings aside to focus on [the crime],” says Winnick. “They discover they’re very similar in a lot of ways. They’re both determined, strong-willed women who have a mission and their own personal journeys to overcome to be able to solve the case and find peace within themselves.”

They have their differences too, of course. Winnick describes Jenny as “unhinged and unpredictable.” Early on — in a move reminiscent of Winnick’s six-season stint as Norse warrior Lagertha on Vikings — Jenny even slugs her rival!

Cassie, on the other hand, is more coolly intuitive. She instantly distrusts an oafish state highway patrolman (John Carroll Lynch), just one of the suspicious locals we’ll meet. “We’ve got some bad seeds and really weird characters,” Winnick teases. “It’s a show that will throw you, shock you, make you laugh, make you cry.”

What the fast-paced drama from executive producer David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies) won’t do is force viewers to wait all season for a resolution. This case — which the trio soon realize may be related to 12 other disappearances near truck stops and linked to human trafficking — is solved in the first five episodes. Then what? “I have a feeling [Jenny is] going to stick around and solve more cases,” Winnick says jokingly.

The actress herself is enjoying her time shooting and living in the wilds of Vancouver, which subs for Big Sky Country. “Funny enough, my entire garbage got attacked by a family of bears yesterday,” she reports. “I’m definitely in what could be the mountains of Montana.”

Big Sky, Series Premiere, Tuesday, November 17, 10/9c, ABC