ON SET WITH... Sofie Grabol

Daily Mail Weekend Magazine - - NEWS -

Dan­ish ac­tress Sofie, 48, who shot to fame here play­ing Sarah Lund in The killing, ap­pears as Gov­er­nor Hil­dur Ode­gard in Sky At­lantic's dark drama For­ti­tude. Here she takes us be­hind the scenes on se­ries two of the show, which is shot in Lon­don and Ice­land...



For­ti­tude is a fic­tional town in Arc­tic Nor­way where strange things go on, pri­mar­ily be­cause it sits on a pit of frozen pre­his­toric an­i­mals that’s slowly thaw­ing. I see Hil­dur as the mother of For­ti­tude – she cares for the com­mu­nity and comes to its aid. And there’s plenty of need for that in this new se­ries. It’s a very trou­bled town. To­day we’re by the wa­ter­side in east­ern Ice­land, which dou­bles for Nor­way, and Hil­dur has to sort out a prob­lem at the docks. I hardly need say it’s very cold and ther­mals are es­sen­tial.



For­ti­tude’s a gory show – you only have to sit in make-up each morn­ing to re­alise that. I get off rel­a­tively lightly but it’s amus­ing to ask peo­ple around me what they’re go­ing to be up to that day as the fake blood is be­ing ap­plied to their faces. To­day I’m sit­ting next to a guy who’s been do­ing some evil things in flash­backs. Maybe it’s my Dan­ish back­ground but the minu­tiae of the story re­ally ap­peals to me – I loved the killer wasps that emerged from a frozen mam­moth car­cass dur­ing the first se­ries.



It’s a joy in this new se­ries to be work­ing with Den­nis Quaid, who plays a fish­er­man called Michael Len­nox, an old flame of Hil­dur’s. I tend to be up­tight when I’m film­ing, but be­fore our scenes to­day [right] Den­nis chats and re­laxes, tells a few jokes, has a few laughs and eases his way into it.



To­day we have only half a day of film­ing, so there’s a chance to re­lax and learn lines at the ho­tel where all 25 of the main ac­tors are stay­ing. The ho­tel is in a very re­mote part of Ice­land and I can’t help think­ing this is a de­lib­er­ate ploy to get us to bond away from ev­ery­thing else. If it is, it’s def­i­nitely work­ing! We go for walks to­gether, eat to­gether and there’s lots of mu­sic too. Richard Dormer, who plays po­lice sher­iff Dan An­der­ssen, has brought his ukulele, and Den­nis joins in with his gui­tar. They make a very lively sound!



There’s lots of snow fall­ing to­day. Last year they had to im­port fake snow, as we had so lit­tle of it, but now we have too much. But it helps get us in the mood and it’s the kind of glis­ten­ing, frozen en­vi­ron­ment we want to see on screen. The set­ting is a huge char­ac­ter in the drama and I love it – but when we’re shoot­ing at the studios in Lon­don you have to re­ally stretch your imag­i­na­tion to en­vis­age it. To­day, to prove how in­ter­na­tional this show is, I have to speak some Rus­sian. So it’s a Dane, pre­tend­ing to be from Nor­way, speak­ing Rus­sian in a drama shot in Ice­land!

For­ti­tude, Thurs­day, 9pm, Sky At­lantic.

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