Your new film is called Tour
de Force. In a few words, what is it about?
think it lives up to its title, a hard working police man loses his son
in a tragic gunfire accident at home and his wife leaves him. He ends up
in a psychiatric hospital and loses his job. This is basicly where we meet
him, broken down and hating life, now working for the very people he used
to struggle to put in jail. He has lost all values in life and is basically
a very bitter man.
inspired you to write the film?
Well basically I wanted to make a trilogy about antiheroes, the first being my
first film Craig, so you if you know both films you will see several
silver lightings between them, but of course in the end they are two completely
different movies. Being an actor of origin I've always thought it is interesting
to explore a person right before, during and after a mental breakdown and I
guess that's with Craig from Craig
and Frank from Tour
de Force have in
common, in many ways. That and of course I have always had an admiration for both
horror and action films, and Craig being a horror serial killer combined with
drama film and Tour
de Force being what I prefer to call an action drama,
there are my shots at the genre, albeit with some twists. And it means a lot to
me that so many have taken them to heart so kindly.
Any directors whose
style influenced you while making Tour
de Force, and can you
think of any movies you would like your film to be likened to?
one, the answer here would probably both be none and all, a little cryptic
I can hear that, but I wanted to create something completely on my own but
you can't help being inspired by what you know I suppose. All I knew
was that I wanted to tell a story about a person who does right but due to
very unfair and tragic reasons starts to doubt himself and his values. He
loses his sanity but suddently one day wakes up and finds himself in the
middle of all he has been fighting to eliminate, so what does he do?
de Force is a cop movie. Do you have any special relationship to
that genre, and what are some of your favourite cop flicks?
Frank is an ex-cop, but I'd like to play a little wannabe intellectual
here and say it's a film about the choices we make in life when our minds
are completely blank, so I don't really see it as a typical cop film.
After all his cop career is in his past as we meet him and his collegues
hate him because he used to fight them. For some strange reason the
gangleader Holger likes him and keeps him on. It's a double thing
cause he knows how effective Frank is therefore Frank is an asset to have
to work for him, but it's also a bit of a sadomasochistic desire for
Holger to see Frank squirm because he has to carry out assignments he
truly doesn't wanna carry out. Holger is a mean, mean man, hehe.
You give a rather powerful
performance as the film's depressive, violent and essentially broken lead.
What did you draw upon to make your performance work, and how did you
prepare for your role?
Thank you. Hmm, it's a tough one. We all hear about actors who have to dig in
deep and find the inner pain, but to be honest in most cases I think it's just
people blowing smoke out of their ears in order to sound interesting when the
truth is that they don't really know how they found the character, haha. Seeing
as a invented the character myself I know him very well, and yes, there are
elements of myself in it, but what experiences I draw from are my own personal
secret. You see, that's the magic of it all. I'm a very intuitive actor, and it
seems to work well for me - Well, I chose to believe it does, anyway, haha.
Ross-Brown, who plays your wife in Tour
de Force, pops up time and again in your films. A few words about
She's pretty, talented and easy to work with, it's
always a pleasure.
Likewise, Alice Haaber, your prostitute girlfriend in Tour
de Force, is pretty much a regular in your films. What can you
tell us about her?
Well, Alice and I met on Craig
she was in as well, and well, we had a 2½ year relationship, but that is
not why I chose her for the film. I chose her cause she essentially IS the
film's Emily - obviously she isn't a prostitute for real, but Alice has all
the vulnerbilities and sensibilities I needed in the character, plus she
is a delight to work with and I'm so happy she and I are still as good
friends as we are, even if our personal relationship is no more. In
retrospect, and without me knowing, Emily is Frank's saviour in the film
and in real life in many ways she was my saviour, so I guess it's not
accidental. Yes yes, I know, I'm getting all touchy feely here, but you
asked so it's your own fault, haha.
Martial artist David Sakurai does not only play one of your main
adversaries in Tour
de Force, he also did the fight choreography. Why did you choose
him for the job, and what was your collaboration like?
Well that was an easy pick, David is bad ass at what he does and it's
just an extra plus that he is one of the nicest guys in the world as well.
The collaboration was awesome and I'm quite sure there'll always be a
place for him in my films, it's been really uncomplicated and constructive
and he would always have a few good ideas, which I love as a director - you
know, when an actor has some input, especially if it's good input. And
basically the fight sequence in Tour
de Force, I told him - give me a reason
to bleed... and he did! Haha.
A few words about Peter Ottesen - yet another familiar face from
your earlier films - and his role, crime kingpin Holger?
Again, Peter was also in Craig. Peter is one of those people with an
awesome face, which is great for film. He's a good actor and he
understands how his face works on the screen. He also has a great voice
which is a thing I envy him for, really deep and sympathetic but he can easily
and without big movements sound extremely menacing. Peter is definitely
one of those actors I hang on to as well, and I knew I wanted to work with
him ever since I saw him in David Noel Bourke's Last Exit [David
Noel Bourke interview - click here] where
he played a character much like Holger in Tour
Of the many supporting characters in the
film, the most amusing are probably Django and Skalde, as playd by
David Schack Trappaud and Lars Bjarke. How did you come up with these
characters, their dialogue, and a few words about the two actors?
their scene is in the beginning of the film and I needed the audience to
know a few things but I wanted a couple of completely deranged and comedic
characters. The dialogue basically tells you what you need to know plus
hopefully provide a few laughs because they are both clearly insane, well
probably mostly Django where Skalde acts a little more like a father
figure to him yet is constantly being asked by Django to shut up. I had a
fun time writing that. I chose David Trappaud for the role kind of in the
last minute as the actor I initially had on it, Rudi Köhnke, chose to
jump ship on me only a few days before shooting and I had to find a
replacement, so it was a bit of a coincident I found David who I had met
years earlier on another film, but never really kept in contact with, but
he did a great job and today I'm happy he joined us on the film.
can you tell us about the rest of the film's cast?
most of them are people I worked with before, but it was a privilege to
work with Slavko Labovic as most people know from the Pusher 1+3 films and
In China They Eat Dogs. From the first time I saw him in those films I've
been wanting to work with him and here was the chance. For anyone who have
seen any of those films you know what a menacing presense on sceen he has,
so I was quite anxious to meet him but he turned out to be a great guy
with a great sense of humor, very dark like my own, and as it is now, he
is slated to act in another project I'm currently wrapping up named Little Big
Boy. Ole Ernst who plays Peder in the film is one of Danish cinema's grand old men, it is always a privilege to work with him. He's been
in the industry for most of his life and is a huge part of the Danish film
treassure, he was in over half of the (in Denmark) legendary Olsen Gang
films and he works at the Royal Danish Theatre so it doesn't get a lot
more classy than that. Yes, he is really easy going and fun to work with
and always game for a laugh, so he was an easy pick for the role. In fact
I knew from the start the role was his or the character would be something
completely different. Then finally we have the actor/comedian Jonas
Schmidt who was fun to work with as well. He's had a comet career in Danish comedy over the last years but
is actually quite good at the more
dramatic stuff as well and I think he shows that quite well in Tour
de Force, he was kind of anti-cast for that film cause I always think it's
interesting to see people who often do a lot of comedy give it a shot at
roles with no emphasis on comedy. I would very much love to work with him
again on future things. And well, it's kinda unfair of me, Tour
de Force has a huge variety of talented actors doing great roles in it, so I'm just
thankful for anyone's participation and it's been a great experience
completely without problems from wannabe-starlets with egos that didn't
match their talent in any way that I had a few of when I did Craig, one
in particular almost drove me insane on that film, hehe...
films you direct yourself are always rather dark in theme and atmosphere.
Any explanation for that?
For me I suppose it goes with the
territory of the broken down poor man. Craig
was to me a desired venture
into the dark mind, I suppose Tour
de Force has elements of that too in
order to show the character's turmoil, but personally I think Tour
de Force is remarkably lighter. But of course, having seen both movies an
endless amount of times, you kinda lose the ability to see it as a new,
you know, hehe..
Would you ever consider to direct
something lighter, say a romandic comedy?
asked me years ago when I was acting in a lot of different things if I'd
ever direct myself and I clearly said no cause I thought it wasn't for me.
One thing I learned here was that you should always keep open to new opportunity and never say no
indefinitely, so sure, I'm open, although I'm
not very much into chick flicks. As an actor I'd love to do it, but as a
producer or director the project probably would need to have the most
emphasis on comedy then. In that genre I am actually currently working on
a script, but it's not very romantic. Also, don't forget, I did write the
action comedy Brutal Incasso that we released in 2005.
Your and your film's
website, MySpace, Facebook, whatever else?
and of course you can find me on said facebook.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Where is or will Tour
de Force be available from?
It was released on May
11 and is available from most big retailers on the net and so like amazon.com,
Barnes and Noble, Target etc.etc. If you're from Europe I'd recommend you order it at
axelmusic.com and if
you're from Denmark, imusic.dk
is selling it as well. There's gonna be a German release of the film later
this year as well, dubbed in german language, deal is in place already.
Probably also a Scandinavian release of it, but we'll see, currently I'm
quite busy writing on two new feature films with the English working
titles The Domino Effect and Vanished.
Any future projects you'd
like to talk about?
Third installment of The Horror Vault
is out on July 13, you can already now pre-order at amazon.com
and amazon.ca - so do it
and be the first to get it ;-)
Anything else you are dying to tell us and
I have just forgotten to ask?
Nah, think we covered most
Thanks for the interview!