The Harry Potter effect

The red-haired ”Harry Potter” star Rupert Grint has made Norwegian teens scream over a chamber play about soldiers during the Second World War.

The red carpet in front of Folketeatret was teeming with young girls when the Norwegian film “Into the White” premiered Sunday night. It was only when “Harry Potter” star Rupert Grint walked the carpet that the screams were heard and camera flashes began in earnest.

- Do you understand how much attention you can create for a film?

- I only get it when I see the fans on the red carpet. It’s scary to make a completely different film after ten years of Harry Potter and it’s wonderful that they keep supporting me, Grint says to Dagsavisen.

He will stay in Norway until Wednesday and is so far very pleased with his stay. According to himself, the premiere party was “incredibly good”. Theirs is another gala screening of “Into the White” at Colosseum.

- Why did you pick this particular film?

- I’ve always been interested in the war and I think this was a very different kind of war film. In addition, I wanted to do something completely new, like filming in Norway under such extreme conditions. I expected it to be cold, but it was impossible to prepare yourself for weather which meant you couldn’t see or hear your costars, he says.

Took care of the humor
The film is loosely based in a true story which deals with the crew on a German and a British fighter plane that shoot each other down over the Norwegian wilderness. Randomness leads to the survivors seeking shelter in the same cabin. The small room forces the five soldiers to see the people behind the enemy uniform. Grint plays the street-smart and foulmouthed Private Robert Smith who is responsible for most of the humorous moments in the film.

- So you still play the “sidekick” just like in Harry Potter?

- When I read the script I didn’t think the role would be this funny. He’s frustrated about the situation, and his silly comments are his way of getting through it. He doesn’t have any desire to be stuck in this cabin, Grint says.

- And I wouldn’t say Rupert is a “sidekick”. Everybody ends up as equal, regardless of rank and nationality. They are forced to work together, his British costar Lachlan Nieboer interjects.

- There are no heroes. It’s just about men who are trying to survive. It becomes greater than the war, Hitler and Churchill, he adds.

Younger audience
“Into the White” has already been sold to 22 countries. Director Petter Næss believes that the story stands well on its own, but does not deny that it helps to have big names on the cast list.

- I want the film I make to be seen, so I won’t pretend that the attention surrounding Rupert isn’t nice. However, it is a bit strange when a group of such good actors are put on the sideline as soon as he shows up, Næss says to Dagsavisen.

He has never seen an entire “Harry Potter” film and didn’t realize how big a star he had snatched up before blogs in Asia and America started to write about the Norwegian film plans.

- It may sound naïve, but it has taken some time to understand how big this is. Rupert is very talented and I always believed that “Into the White” has the potential to draw a younger crowd. That’s another reason why it’s great to have him on the team, Næss says.

No stereotypes
Even though the “Potter” star has taken up much of the attention, there are several other actors on the cast list with an impressive résumé. The three German soldiers are portrayed by Norwegian Stig Henrik Hoff who has been a part of several Norwegian productions and the Hollywood film “The Thing”. The German David Kross, who worked opposite Kate Winslet in the Oscar-winning film “The Reader”. And last but not least, the German Florian Lukas who became a superstar in his home country after his role in the film “Good Bye Lenin!”. As an internationally famous German actor he has had his share of offers to play a Nazi in films. This is the first time he has accepted.

- Every time they need a German in foreign productions, he’s a Nazi. I won’t do that. This film is different because we play soldiers, not Nazis. It’s about human destinies, Lukas says.

He portrays Lieutenant Horst Schopis. Lukas had the pleasure of meeting the man he was portraying before he passed away.

- He was incredibly open. He told me about his thoughts on Hitler and how he eventually realized that he had been fighting on the wrong side. Schopis was just a soldier fighting for his country. He hated the war, Lukas says.

Translation by Malene.


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

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