at home with eili

February 22, 2018

You have spoken previously about the role of ‘strong female characters’. Why was your performance in Thelma where you portrayed such a character important to you?

 

I feel a responsibility as a young actress, to be able to portray strong, female characters, no matter if it’s a lead or a supporting part. The character of Thelma is very complex emotionally and she is strong in her vulnerability, and not a victim to her circumstances.

 

You have been asked a number of times in previous interviews about "love", "lesbian love" and "portraying a lesbian" to which you have replied "love is love". I was just curious as to whether your opinions on what is love became stronger since the filming of Thelma and receiving these type of questions?

 

Yes, I get really, really upset when I get asked questions about «how it was to portray lesbian love». What the journalist doesn’t seem to realise is that it’s very prejudice behavior and simply a result of ignorance. First of all, the journalist knows nothing of my personal sexuality and secondly, it doesn’t fucking matter. I always answer that I hope someday, in the future, an actor or actress doesn’t have to justify a portrayal of a specific sexuality or relationship, and that it’s rather «just» a love story. That’s what I mean when I state «love is love». 

 

Historically there has been a lack of strong female leads in film, compared to literature, why do you feel this is?

 

That’s a good question. I think it’s obvious that the role of the woman both historically and culturally has been weak compared to a man’s, but luckily, it’s about to change and I think film as a visual medium can have a strong impact on people’s perception about the portrayal of a female character. 

 

A lot of your inspiration in acting has come from your education in English literature and the texts themselves, has there also been any Norwegian texts that have inspired you?

 

I think I meant to say that literature in general inspires me, as much as art and music. Right now, I’m really enjoying Agnes Ravatn and Kjell Askildsen.

 

 What do you feel it is like being an actress in Norway compared to other places? 

 

I don’t feel like I can comment on that, since I haven’t worked on any international projects yet in that sense. All I can say is that it’s a very small industry in Norway. That is an advantage in the way that it’s more personal, but also it is a disadvantage because it can be difficult to try to make a living out of being in actor. That’s also why I’ve chosen to study. It definitely challenges me, but I hope it grounds me at the same time. I am very happy about the free education system here!

 

Being an active consumer and student of music, theatre, literature and now art, you must have experienced a number of viewpoints on the topic of creativity. How has this exploration into different aspects of creativity affected your opinion on the importance of ‘culture’ to a society?

 

It’s linked to our cultural heritage in the way we are able to express our emotions and to communicate it. This is what shapes our country’s identity. 

 

In saying this what do you feel the industrial bodies / government of Norway can do to help aid development of creative culture in Norway?

 

We are lucky in Norway because we have state financed means, but unfortunately, our current government doesn’t seem to see that much value in art. This is obvious in the way that they have cut the budget for culture. Research shows that creative subjects in school can help improve the knowledge in other subjects, like science and math. Creative thinking and problem solving is a wonderful trait to have and sought after, not matter what you plan to do with your life. 

 All photography by Marthe Thu

 

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