Your new movie Rotten
Love - in a few words, what is it about?
After a hard day of work, a visibly stressed young man by the name of
Leo, heads home to find that something is disturbingly wrong.
the project fall together in the first place?
The original script written by Sarah Giercksky, who also plays Kat in
the film, was only 4 pages long and created initially for a Swedish screen
writing contest. It was rejected and then filed away in a folder somewhere
in Sarah's house. Sarah and I were discussing what to do next after completing the
shooting of our feature film Sargad and were going through her
scripts and ideas. Rotten
Love jumped out at me as a nice simple 2
character, 1 location short. I took the 4 page script, translated it to
English with help from our first AD and good friend Jasmine (Martinez) and
created a 13 page long breakdown with shotlist and began pre-production
you tell us about Rotten
Love's writer and co-star Sarah Giercksky, and what was your
collaboration with her like, both in front of and behind the camera?
work very well together creatively and during the filming of Sargad
so close that we actually ended up dating for just over a year before
deciding to keep our relationship purely professional. I currently
represent Sarah as her talent manager and our 2 companies Bloody Fierce
Productions (Sarah's) and Cuprite Productions (mine)
work very closley and
collaborate with several interesting new projects in the pipeline.
Love isn't the first movie you've made with Sarah Giercksky - so
do talk about your other collaborations for a bit, and how did you first
We met on the set of a short film called The Ego
Death directed by mutual friend Ludvig Gür where I had a cameo role and
Sarah was the assistant director. It was on this set she began discussing
her script for Sargad, which became the first project we created together
which is Sarah's debut feature film which she plays Elina in a I
Spit on Your Grave type rape-revenge film with me in a strong supporting role
and producer position. Following Sargad
we created a line of shorts
including Aren’t They Adorable, Mimes, Girl in the
Snow and of course Rotten
Do talk about Rotten
Love's approach to horror, and is that a genre at all dear to you?
is most definitely a question you should be asking Sarah. She is the horror nut. For me, as I come from a sales background and
have been running
my own record label for 5 years, I could see the incredible potential in
the passion of the horror community and with Sarah's amazing skills on
social media and in horror circles we made the perfect team to be able to
create our horror franchise, with Sarah focusing as the face outwards as a
people of the people in the horror world, and myself acting more as a
business liason guiding her and creating films I believe are marketable in
a wider sense.
can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at
For me I got such clear images in my head when I read the script and
started discussing the outline of the story with Sarah so it was just a
matter of communicating this to our team and then creating the characters
together with Sarah. We worked a lot on our characters and blocking so
that when we got on set we knew exactly how everything was meant to be
with our actions together with the camera movement , which was useful as I
was acting in the scenes myself as well as directing.
You also play the lead in Rotten
Love - so what did you draw upon to bring your character to life,
and how much Xander Turian do we find in Leo, honestly?
as you know Sarah and I were dating at the time and there is probably more
of her in Kat then there is of Xander in Leo. But we always bring small
elements of ourselves into any role. I did however gain a lot of weight
for the role and had a strange hair cut and beard/mustach combo due to a
play I was also doing parallel at the time, which added some interesting
dimensions to the character that I feel realy worked to the film's
of course also have to talk about your location for a bit, and what was it
like filming there?
We actually had a lot of issues with
the location(s). The main house where the majority of the film was shot
was originally meant to be available to us for 4 days, when we arrived
howver after shooting for 6 hours from 6am in the bathroom location we
found out that we had to be out by midday the following day giving us just
under 24 hours to set up, shoot, clean up and leave... which we did. We
also discovered that the grave that was meant to already be dug for us
was not, so we began by digging a grave in minus 5 degrees, which both Sarah and I lay in half
naked - we both got sick after the shoot!!
Do talk about the shoot as such, and
the on-set atmosphere?
Stressfull, as mentioned above we
had to solve a lot of issues, we lost members of the crew for various
reasons, one person's mother had to go to hospital, so he had to go, of
course, and there was just issue after issue which we just had to deal
with. But we pulled it off in the end!
The $64-question of course, where
can Rotten Love be
Right now Rotten Love
is available to watch at
various film festivals around the world with public screenings happening
regularily still a year after its world premier at the Allingsås Kultfilm
Festival. It is also available as a bonus feature on the Sargad
will have an online release later this year following the final festival
Anything you can tell us about audience and
critical reception of Rotten
It has been amazing, we have had over 50
official selections and nominations, over 20 awards for Best Film, Best
Horror, Best Thriller, Best Music, Best Sound, Best Editing and I myself
have won several awards for Best Director and Best Actor.
Any future projects you'd like to
Sarah has a short film she has written that I will
be directing called Brisé, think Black Swan meets Suspiria. We
also have the first sequel for Sargad, which is going to be a trilogy and I
have 2 of my own scripts that I am developing alongside my own acting and
my music where I have my band, Our Untold Story’s new album coming out
which I will be touring.
What got you into the filmworld in the first
place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
bagan my career in music, touring since I was 16. After the release of my
first record in 2012 we made our first music video which I produced
myself. The director and I decided I would act in it and it just took off
from there. I have attended theatre school in Stockholm and am now
about to graduate from Prague Film School's Acting for Film program
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Rotten
Prior to Rotten
Love I had made a few short
films, acted in a lot of student movies and worked a lot as an extra in
Swedish film and television as well as commercials. Rotten
gave my career the boost it needed to get to the next level for me.
Filmmakers, actors, whoever else who
Tarantino, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Meryl
Streep, Anthony Hopkins, Billy Joe Armstrong, Dave Grohl, Elon Musk,
Bernard Hiller, Tony Robbins... man the list goes on!!
Besides making movies you're also a
musician, right? So do talk about that aspect of your career, and your
musical influences and the like?
I am!! My band is called
Our Untold Story and our new album My Dreams, My Rules comes out
later this year. We have music featured in Sargad
among other movies, and I
produce and act in all of our music videos! My main influences are Green
Day, Foo Fighters, the Doors, the Hives, the Beatles and the Rolling
Your favourite movies?
Donnie Darko, The Matrix, The Doors with Val Kilmer,
Saw, the list goes
and of course, films you really deplore?
Anything with Dave
Franco... How can someone related to a genius like James Franco be so
awful... oh and anything with Anne Hathaway... ICK!
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
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movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
favourite colour is blue, my favourite food is chicken tikka masala and I
love yoga, cross fit and driving through the country side.
for the interview!
No, Thank You!