Moving from war drama in Norway to Eddie ”The Eagle”

Harry Potter star Rupert Grint received useful skiing lessons on Grotli through the Norwegian film Into the White. This will come in handy when he will be playing the ski jumping legend Eddie “The Eagle” later this year.

One of the trickiest things with this film was the skiing scenes. I had barely used skis before when I had to ski down the hills in the beautiful winter landscape with Stig Henrik Hoff. It was something that far exceeded my abilities and at times I simply had to stand on a box and pretend to be skiing, Rupert Grint laughs.

The 23-year-old became an international star as Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter films and after the last film in the series was finished two years ago, he has been looking for new roles.

Thus, he was not hard to convince when the Norwegian director Petter Næss approached him with the script for Into the White.

Three weeks in a freezer

- It was interesting and different to make a film here in Norway. It was a tough job just dealing with the difficult weather situations. We also spend several weeks in a freezer in Sweden where our cabin was built. All the interior scenes were shot there, he explains.

In the film Grint and costar Lachlan Nieboer (known from Torchwood and Downtown Abbey) play to British soldiers who are shot down over Norway in the Second World War.

Before they crash into the inhospitable Norwegian wintry mountain they have shot down a German plane as well.

They then meet later in a tiny hunting cabin and they have to learn to accept and work together with their German enemies, played by German Florian Lukas (Lieutenant Horst Schopis) and David Kross (Corporal Josef Schwarz) as well as the Norwegian actor Stig Henrik Hoff (Sergeant Wolfgang Strunk).

Based on a true story

The film is partly based on a true story, described in the book by German Horst Schopis, who moved back to Germany after many years of war captivity in Canada.

- I met Schopis before we startet filming and it was a powerful experience. For my part, it added an extra layer of authenticity and depth to the story. But of course the film is quite different than his story, Florian Lukas who plays the Lieutenant says. The exterior scenes were filmed right next to Grotli Høyfjellshotel in Skjåk county, right by the place where the war drama really happened.

Liverpool accent

Another major challenge for Grint was to keep his accent up during filming. Robert Smith is in fact a rough-talking and tough Private from the streets of Liverpool, and presents himself with a very thick Scouse accent.

- People, and myself included, probably had difficulty understanding some of the things I said when the film premiered at Filmfest Oslo on Sunday. It moves very fast and unperturbed. But it was fun to play someone who is so different from myself, he laughs.

The Harry Potter star was Sunday night greeted with screaming girls in front of the Folketeatret, and after the film’s showing the audience broke into a long and warm applause.

Playing a British ski jumper

- What new film projects will you be tackling after this?

- It’s been a kind of weird period after we finished the last Harry Potter film. After we finished filming Into the White I was involved with a lot of promotion of the 6th Harry Potter film. It took a lot of my time. The first thing I am doing is actually another skiing role. It is a film about the British ski jumper Eddie “The Eagle” where I play the lead.

- That is a film a lot of people here in Norway will find interesting. Are you aware that Eddie “The Eagle” is somewhat of a legend in this country?

- Of course it is a fantastically good story. I remember my dad paying a lot of attention to him and he told me a lot about Eddie “The Eagle”. People laughed at him a lot but what he did in terms of ski jumping was quite remarkable. You have to remember that he was extremely nearsighted and wore very thick glasses, yeah, he was almost blind. And he tackled major ski slopes with practically no training, and actually landed. He was a pretty brave guy, I must say.

- Have your skiing abilities become so good that you’ll tackle the ski jumps yourself?

- Hehe. I really hope I don’t have to do it.

Promises to run naked down Karl Johan

Into the White is produced by Peter Aalbæk Jensen in the Norwegian branch of the Danish production company Zentropa. The total budget was 23 million kroner and the film was financed without production support from the Norwegian Film Institute.

- We’ve sold the film to 22 countries already, including the film rights to most countries in Europe. We expect new sales to Asia and North America at the film festival in Cannes in May, Aalbæk Jensen says. He has added expectations that the film will do well in Denmark where The Headhunters was seen by nearly 200.000 last year.

- How many must see the film in Norway before you’re satisfied?

- Look, it’s an open question. But I promise to run naked up Karl Johan street if more than 100.000 Norwegians watch it in theaters, the Danish producer grins.

Translation by Malene.


Original article found here: aftenposten.no | March 5, 2012

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