Talking Greyzone with Walter and Birgitte.

A couple of weeks ago now I wrote a bit about my trip to the Danish Embassy where Walter Iuzzolino introduced us to three exciting new Danish dramas that were coming to Walter Presents and talked to some of the creators behind and stars of those shows. The first article concentrated primarily on Ride Upon the Storm which premiered a few weeks ago: I’ve now seen all 10 episodes and can confirm that it fully lives up to the promise of the first couple of episodes. Now though it’s time to talk about the second new drama to be showcased at the event as Greyzone is due to premiere on Channel 4 on Wednesday night at 10.45pm.

Walter Iuzzolino and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen. Picture credit to the folks at the Danish Embassy.

Walter talked to the star of the series, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen who in real life has recently become a mother for the first time. In the series she plays
Victoria Rahbek, a drone engineer who is taken hostage. Victoria is also a mother who at the start of the series is recently divorced and as Birgitte herself put it is “trying to juggle a single mum/working lifestyle”. Victoria’s captor is part of a terror cell planning an attack and Victoria has been targetted because she has access, through the company she works for, to components they need to carry out the attack.

To prepare for her role Birgitte did a lot of research into what happens when you’re held hostage. We’ll avoid talking about any more specific plot details here but the nature of the set up means that much of the acting she has to do in the show is internalised and she has to repress her feelings. She referred to “small stuff with the eyes” as being very important.

More generally she talked about the democracy of the creative process in Denmark – how much the actors are involved and consulted. Amidst some banter with Adam Price, who was still in the room, she talked about knowing Katrine Fønsmark better than some of the writers on Borgen by the later series. There was an interesting comparison to how things work elsewhere and a story about a request she made whilst working on the HBO series Vinyl about a costume change for her character which went through “20 Executive Producers” before they eventually came back with a “no”.

A novice in the crowd also asked Birgitte if she had a view on the best way to watch the series: weekly as it aired on TV2 in Denmark or as a binge watch as it will be released here and presumably would have been by co-producers C More in Sweden. In general terms Birgitte admitted she has a soft spot for the weekly unspooling of episodes but having seen the first two episodes I can safely say I’m with Walter on this one and this series is highly bingeworthy and I’d hate to have to wait a week between episodes. I’ve been wrong before and will be again but if this series isn’t a popular hit for Walter Presents I’ll be very surprised.


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