Can you become friends with your worst enemy? That question is answered in “Into the White”.
Petter Næss’ new film “Into the White” is ready for Norwegian cinemas. We met the director and five of the actors from the film.
- The film is based on a real incident, but a lot has been made up. It is true that the planes were shot down and that they had to survive in a cabin together. When they met outside the cabin they toned down the fact that they had shot at each other. They had a civil tone towards each other, Næss says.
“Into the White” is about three German and two British soldiers during the Second World War. Their planes crash down into the Norwegian mountains and both parties seek shelter in a desolate hunting cabin. Here they realize that if they are going to survive they have to work together with their worst enemy.
Næss tells us that it’s true that the soldiers became friends.
- In reality, the weather was good and the cabin was located just near an abandoned mountain hotel. The Brits went there and took some food before they went back to the Germans. They shared everything in the cabin. The Germans had cigarettes while the Brits had biscuits which they shared, he says.
- They had to survive
Lachlan Nieboer – known from “Downtown Abbey” – plays the British Captain Charles P. Davenport. He understands why the soldiers became friends.
- It was a simple choice: They had to survive and they had to do it in the same room. Their friendship came about gradually; they felt threatened by each other to start with. They had to go through some challenges to become friends. But it helps with alcohol, he laughs.
Not black and white
German Florian Lukas and David Kross play Lieutenant Horst Schopis and Corporal Josef Schwarz respectively. The former is best known for the film “Good Bye Lenin!”, while Kross worked opposite Kate Winslet in “The Reader” and in Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse”. They are used to see German soldiers as the bad guys in war films, but they are portrayed differently here.
- It’s interesting that it’s not as black and white as in many war films. They just did their job, Kross says.
- They are professional soldiers on the wrong side – but they didn’t know that then. They are shown as people who want to survive. They are not monsters, they are people. They have the same problems as me, he says.
- Like a new planet
The film is full of scenes with a lot of wind and snow – and the cold weather is no film trick. Rupert Grint, best known as Ron in the “Harry Potter” films, play the British Private Robert Smith. He tells us that it was not all fun and games in the snow.
- It was like stepping onto a new planet, a tough environment. It was difficult – we couldn’t hear what the others were saying and you almost couldn’t hear yourself, he says.
But fortunately they were not that cold:
- We had on such warm clothes that we could just lie right down into the snow, Stig Henrik Hoff says, who plays German Sergeant Wolfgang Strunk.
- The clothes were original and they were very warm. There was no heat in the planes so the flight suits had to keep them warm because it became awfully cold on board, Lukas says.
Early start to the day
The actors actually remember back to the exterior scenes as the best during filming. These scenes were shot in Norway while the interior scenes were shot in Sweden.
- It was tiresome to act out the scenes outside, but it was much more fun than the interior scenes. At that time, we were locked inside a small room for three weeks. It was challenging, Lukas says.
Kross missed the mountain when they were in Sweden.
- Everybody kept thinking about the time we were in Norway, he laughs.
- And we had to start work at six in the morning! At one point, we had to dance at seven o’clock! It’s absolutely unbelievable, Lukas says.
- But we actually did it, Hoff laughs.
Translation by Malene.
Original article found here: side3.no | March 5, 2012