Interview with Ola G. Furuseth (Supporting Actor)
How did you prepare for your character?
It’s hard to answer that question without revealing too much. First of all, I really had to consider whether to take the part or not because the theme is so sensitive and I knew from the beginning that I wanted to understand it as well as possible. So that actually meant reading material from several cases here in Scandinavia. That was quite a dark reading . . . apart from that the sort of middle class life is all around me, so that was just about digging into my own life.
This is a comedy about a sensitive issue in Europe, migration. How did you and the cast managed to address it without offending immigrants?
First of all, none of us were trying to play this as a comedy. We wanted to create the universe and the people in it as believable and real as possible. I think that gave it more depth and made it funnier. We wanted to tell stories about people in big personal struggles. And especially emphasise the huge contrasts between the small middle-class life trouble and people with deep and profound challenges in their lives.
What did you find the most interesting about this series during the entire season one?
For me, seeing all the lives of these middle-class people unfold. With their very privileged lives and the sort of problems they create for themselves. Just seeing the tip of their noses, which becomes a very small world when you see the other characters living in a basement, not being sure whether they have work or somewhere to live the next day.
How challenging did you find to do a comedy about migration?
Sometimes, comedy is the best way to tell a story about a serious problem. It gives the right distance. I felt sure that this series would kick in the right direction. But I wasn't fully prepared for all the discussions it leads to. Then again that’s the point of telling stories in the first place ― that we also have to reflect ― not only consume.
Why shouldn’t people miss any episode of the series?
Because it is a TV series unlike anything you have seen before. It is about a very important theme told in a way that makes you laugh, and hopefully reflect on one of the biggest challenges we have ― differences between people and the difference between big and small problems.
Are you working on any projects at the moment? Can you tell us something about them?
I'm doing a play called Incognito in a theatre here in Norway, playing the character of Dr. Thomas Harvey ― a true story about the pathologist who took out Einstein’s brain during an autopsy and kept it for 40 years trying to do examinations on it. Unfortunately, his work wasn't going in any direction and he returned the brain without any big discoveries. Later, new scientists found out that Einstein’s brain wasn't very different from the brains of people with normal intelligence.
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