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Will Be Shot Down Over Norway

Rupert Grint Press: Will Be Shot Down Over Norway

He is more of a rebel than me, Rupert Grint says about his role as the British flyer in Petter Næss’ “Comrade.”

“Comrade” did indeed not receive support from the Norwegian Film Institute, but the Norwegian film has attracted a star-studded cast of foreign big, young acting names.

Shot Each Other Down

The story from the Second World War is built on the accounts, by the German Officer and Pilot Horst Schopis and the English Captain Richard T. Partridges, about what happened when a British and a German plane shot each other down over the Strynefjellet on April 27 1940. For several days the enemies had to seek shelter in a cabin on the mountain together, and there a friendship arose which they would never forget.

When it comes to stardom, Rupert Grint is undoubtedly the biggest star as the soldier Robert Smith, but he is accompanied by the German David Kross, who played Kate Winslet’s young lover in “The Reader” and is soon to be seen in “The War Horse” directed by Steven Spielberg. Other parts like for example Captain Partridge, called Charles Davenport in the film, will be played by the “Torchwood” actor Lachlan Nieboer, and the part as Horst Schopis will be played by Florian Lukas known from “Goodbye Lenin.”

The last German on the team is Norwegian Stig Henrik Hoff, while Morten Faldaas, Knut Joner, Kim Haugen and Sondre Larsen will make up the gradual “enemy” of the boys, the Norwegian ski patrol.

Layer upon Layer

– This is going to be totally different, a completely different landscape quite literally. I will always be connected with Harry Potter and I am proud of that, but this is a way for me to stretch my wings, says Rupert Grint who assures us that he has packed “several layers of clothing.” It has been predicted that it is going to be minus 8 degrees on Grotli where the boys start filming on Monday.

Private Smith was killed only a few months after he left the cabin on Strynefjellet so Grint has little to base him on. But contrary to the feisty Smith who rages against the Norwegian nature and snow, Grint is looking forward to play around in the cold white element, at least until he has tried it.

– I have never played around in real snow, he laughs.

Besides Florian Henkel, who does have a living role model in an enthusiastic Horst, Lachlan Nieboer is the other person who plays a person who recently lived.

– It is important for me to find out who Partridge was since his son is still alive, Lachlan Nieboer says to Side2. However, both he and Grint agree that a detailed knowledge of the soldiers is important in order to understand the roles they are going to play.

– I had a granddad who was a part of the Royal Air Force during the war, I never talked to him directly about it though, but we talked a lot about that time in my family, Grint says to Side2.

Not “Traditional” Nazis
Both David Kross and Florian Lukas say to Side2 that they were attracted to the script and that they probably would have thought twice about it if they were going to play traditional Nazis.

– It is just like Arab actors who are always asked to play terrorists in international movies, we are getting offered roles as Nazis, Lukas says.

– My agent and I actually agreed to put away all scripts that said “Second World War” after “The Reader,” but then this came along, David Kross smiles.

On a Human Level
Petter Næss says that he does not look at the film as a traditional war film. It is inspired and based on what happened and they have taken liberties.

– But I think we have taken good care of the characters that were in the cabin, he believes. During the press conference on Friday at the Armed Forces aircraft collection at Gardermoen it was the first time many of the actors met each other – not least the 98 year old Horst Schopis, who is the reason why Petter Næss wanted to film the story.

– These men were far apart and they should be enemies, but when they had to seek shelter together and try to survive together you see them grow closer to each other. Eventually, you will see their flaws emerge. We have tried to boil this down to a personal level. For me it is a universal story about what happens when enemies meet and both parties need to be treated with respect and humanity, Petter Næss says.

“Comrade” has a budget of plus/minus 15 million. Filming time is approximately five weeks, three of them outdoors. Even though the film has not received money from the Film Institute, it has support from Eurimages, SVT and NRK to name a few. Producer Valerie Saunders says to Side2 that they experienced a great interest in the film from British and German acting agencies. They went for some of the actors, but only one was the one they both wanted.

– Both Petter and I had Stig Henrik Hoff as our first choice. Not least because it was also important that the actors worked together as a team, and Stig Henrik and Rupert have an amazingly good chemistry, she says.

Original article found here: | March 25, 2011| Translation by: Malene

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