Total Film - - Teasers -

Best known for his­tor­i­cal fan­tasy series Da Vinci’s Demons, 29-year-old Ice­landic ac­tress Hera Hilmar is about make a ma­jor splash on the big screen, star­ring along­side Ben Kings­ley in

An Or­di­nary Man and head­ing up the cast of Peter Jack­son-pro­duced post-apoc­a­lyp­tic sci-fi Mor­tal En­gines, as re­venge-fu­elled as­sas­sin Hester Shaw. “It’s like be­ing a big kid in a play­ground.”

Were you aware of Philip Reeve’s Mor­tal En­gines books be­fore sign­ing up?

I wasn’t. I was a bit like, “What is this? It sounds bonkers.” But if you know Peter Jack­son is mak­ing it, you go, “Well, it’s prob­a­bly go­ing to be good bonkers!” There are cities on wheels that hunt other cities, so they can get their food and met­als, and even peo­ple to use as slaves. So it’s like cap­i­tal­ism on wheels.

How would you de­scribe Hester?

Philip Reeve wrote her as the hero of the books, but she’s al­lowed to be fierce and flawed. I feel very priv­i­leged to play her, be­cause a lot of films have hero­ines that are sexy and cool, but Hester is just a nor­mal girl try­ing to fig­ure shit out. She’s re­ally dam­aged in the be­gin­ning and has to learn how to be­come hu­man again.

You come from a fam­ily of film­mak­ers. Did you al­ways want to be an ac­tor?

Yeah. That was the world I lived in. I think you can grow up and hate it, but I re­ally liked it. My dad would let me ap­pear in his films some­times, but they never put that pres­sure on me. When the time came, I did it on my own.

Will you al­ways re­turn to Ice­land be­tween Bri­tish/Amer­i­can projects?

Of course. That’s where I grew up, they’re my peo­ple, first and fore­most. It’s al­ways been im­por­tant to me to be part of that, and not just start there then leave. I couldn’t go through life with­out telling sto­ries from my home. JF


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