heat vis­its the set of bonkers arc­tic drama For­ti­tude

We chilled with the cast on the set of the Arc­tic drama

Heat (UK) - - NEWS -

It’s a cold and mis­er­able March day and heat is on a visit to For­ti­tude. Not the ac­tual tiny Arc­tic town the show is set in, you un­der­stand, as that’s way too cold (more on that later). We’re at the in­te­rior sets, which are in Bris­tol. When the show started in 2015, For­ti­tude, with its grand to­tal of 713 in­hab­i­tants and four po­lice of­fi­cers, was meant to be the safest place on Earth. But that all changed when the town had its first mur­der and, over the course of two se­ries, we’ve had plenty of death, not to men­tion par­a­sitic wasps, shamans, can­ni­bal­ism and, of course, the Sher­iff him­self re­spon­si­ble for a one-man crime­wave. With its breath­tak­ing scenery and se­ri­ously out-there plots, For­ti­tude of­fers a bril­liant twist on Scandi-noir, but with more than a touch of an Arc­tic Western about it, and there are seem­ingly no bound­aries that creator Si­mon Don­ald won’t cross. This is, af­ter all, the show that killed off Christo­pher Ec­cle­ston af­ter one episode, fol­lowed by act­ing roy­alty Stan­ley Tucci, Michael Gam­bon and Sofie Gråbøl over sub­se­quent weeks.

The sher­iff's in Town

Af­ter a quick tour of the cos­tume room (where we spot the gi­ant rab­bit head that fea­tures in episode one), we set­tle down to meet Richard Dormer, who plays lead char­ac­ter Sher­iff Dan An­der­ssen – also known to Game Of Thrones fans as Beric. It’s hard not to stare when he strides into the room, sport­ing what is un­doubt­edly the most mag­nif­i­cent beard on TV. Which, fa­cial-hair fact­fans, “takes two weeks to grow – you’ve got to get the tusks. But I have to keep it for Game Of Thrones, so I can’t shave it off”, ex­plains Richard. So, where is Dan’s head at the start of the new se­ries, see­ing as he was pretty de­mented in the last sea­son? “He’s a new hu­man be­ing. Or maybe not hu­man. He’s a de­mon,” says Rich. “As well as be­ing ad­dicted to ev­ery sub­stance on the planet, he’s also ad­dicted to mus­ci­mol juice, which is made of rein­deers’ pee – they’ve eaten funghi – and it gives you vi­sions of the af­ter­life. So now, Dan has one foot in this world and one in the af­ter­world, so he can com­mu­ni­cate with the peo­ple he’s killed.”

hasta la vista, for­ti­tude

So far, so For­ti­tude bonkers. But it’s not just the script that is un­usual – film­ing in the Arc­tic is a hugely chal­leng­ing, and very dan­ger­ous, un­der­tak­ing. The crew spent three weeks on lo­ca­tion for the out­door scenes, of­ten film­ing in brain-freez­ing tem­per­a­tures of -35˚C (thank good­ness we’re in Bris­tol), and not only did they have to wear five lay­ers of clothes, they were con­stantly pro­tected by armed guards to keep them safe from ma­raud­ing po­lar bears. “The land­scape is bru­tal – it will kill you in 15 min­utes if you’re not wear­ing the right clothes. It gave ev­ery­thing an ex­tra edge,” says Dormer.

Speak­ing of the right clothes, we’ve heard there’s a scene com­ing up this sea­son where Hol­ly­wood star Den­nis Quaid, who plays wid­ower Michael, is top­less in the snow. What’s it like work­ing with him? Dormer’s face breaks into a grin. “Den­nis is a dude,” he says. “On lo­ca­tion, we were like two big kids rac­ing each other on ski­doos at 90 miles an hour. He’s a great char­ac­ter. Ach, he’s Den­nis Quaid.”

So, with this sea­son be­ing the end of the line for For­ti­tude and de­scribed by writer Si­mon Don­ald as “very emo­tional”, how does Dormer feel? “It is very emo­tional,” he says, wip­ing a gen­uine tear from his eye. “Dan is def­i­nitely with­out doubt the best part I’ve ever played. I’m go­ing to miss him. I’m re­ally sad it’s com­ing to an end.” Us, too. n

Who called the cops? Richard Dormer and Den­nis Quaid: #lads

A ram­pant rab­bit

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.