Earlier this month Nicholas Winding Refn gave a lengthy new interview to Twitchfilm.net where the director spoke about working on "Valhalla Rising," filming in Scotland, and his main star Mads Mikkelsen. Mr. Refn also spoke a bit about Jamie Sives (Sigma films Hallam Foe, Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself) and had some really positive things to say about my favorite actor. Quotage about the two lead actors in the film from Refn:
TB: When you cast Jamie Sives for Valhalla … first of all, I was really, really happy to see him show up in a film again because it’s been way too long.
NWR: He’s a great actor.
TB: He’s fantastic. Did the fact that he and Mads had worked together before factor into that some?
NWR: What’s strange is that I actually met Jamie when I was casting Bronson. We looked at him not to play Charles Bronson but one of the other major characters in the movie. Bronson just didn’t work out with him but I kept him in mind and when we went on to do Valhalla, because I basically had to hire the same casting director to do Valhalla and Bronson so that I could cast the two movies at the same time, we just naturally went towards Jamie. Who I think is just a fucking brilliant actor. He looks like a movie star. I’m quite amazed that nobody’s picked up on him so far ... He’s very photogenic, which is important, and he’s just a really good actor.
TB: He’s incredible in Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself.
NWR: Yeah. And he’s a very pleasant guy, which is not always the case. And that’s the thing with Mads, too, he’s such a nice guy. And there’s no bullshit with Mads.
FUCKING BRILLIANT ACTOR. LETS REPEAT THAT LAST PART
yep ! (and err yea I totally agree with how photogenic, movie star good FREAKING HANDSOME HE IS part, just just ...*swoonage city*)
Anyway, back to reality, the interview likened Valhalla Rising to a type of prehistoric Pusher movie lol, and Nicholas Refn went on to discuss this and the process of filming in the highlands of Scotland.
Originally I sold it as that, that I was going to use that sort of approach. But then once I got to the first day of shooting – it was a nine week shoot, we had no money but that forces you to think creatively – I had found a mountain that took three hours to get to the top of. It was minus ten. It was freezing, freezing, freezing. I was standing up there thinking, “What the fuck have I got myself into?” And that’s when I said “This is not Pusher. I may have sold it as that, but this is something else.” It became a combination of a lot of things: the mythological heroes that I grew up fascinated with, having a family that was very much into the fine arts and cinema, growing up with American television and badly dubbed samurai movies and spaghetti westerns. Escape From New York was the biggest thing in my life when I was younger. It suddenly gravitated towards that. And because I shoot my films in chronological order they’re able to take on a life of their own and that’s what happened on Valhalla. It began to dictate its own approach to things, how it wanted to be told. And visually, you honestly can’t just shoot the way you would in an urban environment when you’re out in the middle of nowhere in the mountains because it just screams for something else. I always believe that if it feels right, go for it, and that just became the approach."
Excellent!! and props to Todd Brown of Twitch for asking about Jamie especially!
One related Valhalla Music note: It would seem that Magwai is NOT doing a piece for the score/soundtrack of VH. Scotland on Sunday ran a feature on the band recently and they mentioned their works for films. Quotage:
At the moment, touring has quelled the potential for anything else, he admits. "There have been vague things mentioned. There's a film being made in Scotland, I can't even remember the name, about Vikings (it's called Valhalla Rising, and stars Mads Mikkelsen] and we were in talks about that; it sounded pretty cool but we just aren't here at the right time." In the long term, though, he does admit he would love to work with David Lynch or Lars von Trier."
According to the Danish film Institute, VH has a release date of 14/08/2009