Eighteen years since his breakthrough as Christian in the Dogma film Festen (The Celebration),
Denmark’s favourite Hollywood star returns home for another Thomas Vinterberg production.
Scan Magazine spoke to Ulrich Thomsen about playing crime lord Kai Proctor,
the directing learning curve, and what sausages can teach us about racism.
“It was with Thomas that it all started for me,”
says the now internationally celebrated Danish actor Ulrich Thomsen.
You may know him from the James Bond instalment
The World is Not Enough (1999), or Killing Me Softly (2002),
or perhaps as lead villain Kai Proctor from the Cinemax series Banshee.
But it was with director Thomas Vinterberg’s 1998 Dogma creation, Hollywood Dane coming home
Festen (The Celebration), that Thomsen got his breakthrough as Christian.
Thomsen’s character is a young man who attends his father’s 60th
birthday party only to publicly accuse him of sexually abusing him and his twin sister,
who has recently committed suicide.
The film won countless prestigious accolades, and Thomsen was named Best Actor in a Leading Role twice.
This year, Denmark gets a piece of its hero yet again, as Thomsen stars in Vinterberg’s latest film, Kollektivet (The Commune).
“This is the first thing we do together since Festen – and it’s been 18 years,”
says Thomsen. “But it felt like it was yesterday.
It was like returning home.” Kollektivet sees Thomsen play a man who, in the 1970s, inherits a house that his wife wants to turn into a commune.
Sceptical at first, he agrees to give it a shot.
“It’s about a family struggling to adapt to new times, and the pain of splitting up.
But it’s also about the idea of living together, caring for each other and letting each other in, Hollywood Dane coming home
which is something the world today needs to be reminded of,” says Thomsen,
adding: “I sincerely hope it doesn’t take another 18 years for us to work together again, because I think we’re good together.”
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