Interview with Bartek Kaminski (Series’ protagonist)
How did you get involved in the project and how did you get the leading role?
I was contacted by the producers casting agent at first, where I first was told about the project. After several meetings with both the casting agent and the director, I got the part. I had previously worked with the director so she knew me and my work.
How did you prepare for the character?
My preparations for the main role was, in addition to the "normal psychological work" an actor does, mostly working with the language. Tomasz is a polish linguist, and comes to Norway to find his father. His stay becomes prolonged, and he learns to speak Norwegian. So my work as an actor demanded that I needed to brush up on my polish- which was hard because I have not lived in Poland for 30 years. And also create a development in Tomasz´s new language. From very bad to quite fluent Norwegian at the end of the series.
What can viewers expect of Tomasz and the series in this first season?
I think viewers can expect a somewhat different main character than they are used to. Often we see main characters as dynamic, strong willed and versatile people in a narrated universe that somehow challenges them. And then the challenges must be overcome by the character in order for him/her to reach his/hers goal. Tomasz is not like that. The writers described him early on to me, as a man that is like a leaf in the wind. He is gentle. Kind. Unsure and curious. He has a searching soul but does not quite know what he is searching for. Therefore he winds up in weird situations.
What is your perspective on migration in Europe? Did it change somehow after starring the series?
This series was made when the migration from Poland to Norway peaked. In very few years thousands of polish workers came to Norway to work wherever they were needed. This I think created a curiosity towards the newcomers- who they are, what do they think of us and so on. My thoughts about the Polish people are I think a bit more nuanced than the Norwegian point of view, simply because I know more about the Polish society and culture than they do.
However- I realized that even I don’t know my old country and countrymen as I thought. Naturally because I don’t live there, and haven’t lived there since I was a child. So for me, working with polish actors, was a fantastic time. I could get a new glimpse into what it means to be polish today, the society and all the small details that I´ve missed out on- because I am more Norwegian now than Polish. We filmed mostly in Norway, but we also shot in Poland, in Warsaw. This was a profound experience to me, because I felt my life had, in a sense, come full circle.
How would you describe the evolution of your character, starting as an immigrant looking for his father, to the end of season one?
The evolution of Tomasz in season one, was for me a journey of a man who doesn´t know what he wants, to a man that really doesn't know what he wants and even who he is. He experiences the strangest, funniest, saddest and painful moments because he is just not sure of what is the right thing to do.
If you had the chance to adjust something of Tomasz, what would you change of him?
I wouldn’t change a thing about Tomasz. He would not be Tomasz if I did.
Are you working on any projects at the moment? Can you tell us something about them?
At the moment I work both with theatre and a TV series. I’ll be rehearsing a new play in a few weeks, and I´m really looking forward to it. It’s called The Play That Goes Wrong, a huge success in London now, and is about an amateur theatre group and their catastrophic opening night. One of the funniest things I´ve read. Nothing beats playing a bad actor!
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