Anfi Interviews famous Norwegian Actor
05/02/2010 - Many famous people enjoy holidaying in Anfi - often coming to our island paradise to escape harsh winters and to recharge their batteries before their next big job.
Recently, Anfi played host to famous Norwegian actor, Sven Nordin and his wife Turid. The couple are frequent visitors to Anfi and this time, Sven kindly took a moment out of his holiday time to talk to us about his extensive career and the Norwegian film industry.
Anfi: I was reading a little bit about the Norwegian film industry and since the eighties it seems to be going through a bit of a revival.
Sven: We were lagging a little bit behind Sweden and Denmark, but the Norwegian film industry has grown a lot in the last ten years – and in 2001 we were nominated for an Oscar for a film in which I starred called “Elling”.
Anfi: And the audiences are not just Norwegian; they are actually from other Scandinavian countries?
Sven: Well, in the seventies and the eighties only the Norwegians watched Norwegian films, but today our films are quite popular within all Scandinavian countries.
Anfi: And how would you say the genres of films have developed? At the start they were more about social realism. How do you see that they have evolved?
Sven: Apart from films about social realism, we are now making more romantic comedies, horror movies, children’s movies and documentaries. The most popular film last year, Max Manus, was a war movie which was seen by more than a million Norwegian people.
Anfi: And how do you see the future of the Norwegian film industry? Conquering Hollywood - is that the challenge? Or are people just happy making good films?
Sven: I think it’s a challenge and a goal for Norwegian filmmakers to reach a more international audience and receive international recognition. Already directors from other European countries are coming to our country because they find Norwegian film interesting.
Anfi: And why do they think it is interesting?
Sven: The Norwegian culture is different from many other cultures. We have, for instance, the Lap people up in the North and they have their own language, culture and way of living. I think people from outside Norway find stories from earlier days and also from the Viking period in Norway interesting.
Anfi: You’re a film actor and television actor but also you really love theatre. Which do you prefer?
Sven: Well, I like TV and movies, but what I do most is stage acting from works by our most famous Norwegian writer, Henrik Ibsen. Usually I work a lot with the national theatre in Oslo, which is our main theatre at home. What made me well known in my own country was TV, because I was acting in many TV series in the 80’s and 90’s - when you do TV, you get to be famous all around the country!
Anfi: And what are your plans for the future? What other new projects do you have in the pipeline?
Sven: When I return from this beautiful holiday here in Anfi, I’m going back on tour with a show that’s been running for half a year in Norway with three of my best male friends. We are doing a comedy show based on music, sketches and humorous stuff. We’ll be on tour until Easter, then I start acting in a Norwegian movie based on a novel called “Theory and Practice”. At the end of August I’ll start a new TV detective series which is based on novels by famous Norwegian writer, Anne Holt.”
Anfi: It seems from what you are saying that there is enough work for you in Norway without going out of Norway and that the audiences in the cinema and the theatres have been increasing over the years.
Sven: Yes, that’s right, but at my age as a male actor it’s almost the best period in my whole career. There are so many parts in the history of drama that have been written for a man in his fifties, so I am very lucky because there is so much to choose from.
Anfi: Although Norway as a culture and country is not very well known outside of the Scandinavian society there still seems to be a lot of material for you to work from rather than have to leave and have to go to Hollywood.
Sven: Yes. What is difficult for a Norwegian actor is the language barrier. There are just a few people in the world that know Norwegian and as an actor you do your best work when you speak your own language. When I went to Hollywood with “Elling”, I was seeing some agents. They liked the movie very much, but when we were discussing parts in American or English films you go into the “drawer” for German submarine captains and soldiers or a Viking part because of your accent! So, the only thing I’ve done in English was a small part as a Norwegian whaling captain in a film with Kenneth Brannagh about Shackleton - the English explorer who went to Antarctica. Those are the kind of parts that you get outside your own country, so I think it is more convenient to go for a career in your own country and your own language.
Anfi: Does being stereotyped because of your accent feel frustrating for you or do you feel optimistic that Norwegian cinema will be able to be exported?
Sven: I’m not frustrated. I find it quite natural actually that it’s difficult to break through into international territory when you are born and raised in a small country like Norway. What we hope for is to make Norwegian film more popular abroad. The main goal is to make our own stories in our own language and to make them so popular that people outside Norway and Scandinavia want to see them.
Well, Sven has proved to be a great ambassador for the Norwegian film industry and has certainly encouraged all of us at Anfi to discover the wealth of fascinating Norwegian films!
Thanks very much to Sven and good luck for the future.