DATE : 19TH OF JANUARY 2021
Pilou Asbæk is the wonderful actor which we have seen in the likes of Ghost in the Shell and Game of Thrones as the villainous Euron Greyjoy.
He has quite a slew of movies slated for release this year and The Movie Culture was quick to get in touch with to talk about all of them as much as we could.
Also one major highlight when he spills the beans on working with Sylvester Stallone on an upcoming project. We are very happy to also talk to Pilou Asbæk about his early inspirations and how he stumbled upon acting.
Hi, It’s great to be talking to you about two films which you have upcoming in 2021. One is murderous Trance and the other is Outside the Wire. How are you?
Pilou Asbæk: I’m good. I’m good. I’m like the rest of the world. I’m stuck at home because of the covid.
Q. You have Murderous Trance up ahead. What can you tell us about that film, how you got involved with it?
Pilou Asbæk: Oh Murderous Trance. It’s very, very interesting, it’s actually a very old film. Yeah, it’s being released now. And it’s kind of weird that some of the things that you’ve done some years ago now gets the chance to be a re-brought and rereleased in America or in India or in China just because you’ve done something called Game of Thrones or you’ve done other movies like Ghost in the Shell and stuff like that is it’s like your whole back catalogue gets out there. So you have to talk about films you haven’t talked about for many years. But the very interesting part with Murderous Trance’s motorist’s France, the reason why I stumbled (on its title) is because we called it (something else) in Denmark. It had a different title called Guardian Angel, but some guy sat down and said that’s a bad title, it needs to be Murderous Trance, but the reason why I wanted to do that film is that when I met the director in Copenhagen, I lived in a different flat. I was staying in a different part of the city and he came up to my apartment and he was a little bit weird. And he’s from Finland. And you can say a lot about the Finnish people. They can be a little bit weird, but they’re very, very sweet and I love them. Some of my best friends are from Finland, and he was he was being a more oddball than the normal Finnish person. And I was like, well, Arto, that’s his name. What’s wrong? And he’s like, I don’t know what it is, but I think and then he points to a bank across the street because I live in a flat. He says, I think that’s where our story started. And I’m like, what do you mean? Our story starts? And he says, that’s where the guy who was hypnotized. And that’s what the movie is about. A person who has been hypnotized goes into a bank and starts shooting people. He kills two people. And I’m like, Are you kidding me? And he was like, no, I think that’s the bank. And that’s what the story is about. The story is about a person who spent four years in prison hypnotizing another man to commit crimes for him. And it’s based this is the most crazy thing, as you can hear, a true real events. And the guy Bjørn Schouw, who’s the villain of the story, beautifully played by Josh Lucas, and he’s the only person in history who has been convicted of a crime he personally did not commit. So he got a much harsher sentence than the guy he hypnotized. Bjørn Schouw was the puppeteer.
Q. As you mentioned, it’s a true story. And the director Arto Halonen; he has done a lot of documentaries. So how does his experience of making documentary movies involved in making of Murderous Trance?
Pilou Asbæk: First of all, the first film I ever did, no, not the first time that it was the first lead I ever did. And that was with a writer. It was with a writer who directed it and the documentaries. They were two directors in that film. So for me, it’s not very unconventional to work with the documentaries. I actually kind of appreciate it because there’s so thorough, they’re so into their material that they know what they want. They know they want to be so true and so close to reality as possible. Where and this is a very big generalization where some directors can be just like whatever. But for the documentarists, it’s got to be as real as possible; But of course, its in the fictional world
Q. As you said, you did this movie two years ago and it’s crazy talking about it. Let’s talk about something that you’ve done right now, which is Outside the Wire a Netflix movie which comes out January 15? What can you tell us about that movie and how you got involved with that?
Pilou Asbæk: How I got involved is very simple, a production company which is called Automatic. I just did a film with Automatic Blumhouse and that was a film called Run Sweetheart run by a female director called Shana Feste. And Shanna’s husband, Brian, he is one of the hit of automatic. So I just did this horror film called Run Sweetheart Run, which is going to be released this year as well on Amazon, I think. So I have like three or four films coming out. It’s crazy. I’ve been working too much. It’s good for the bank. It’s bad for my marriage. So I did that film with Shana and Brien and then Brian called me six months later and he said, hey, I have this Netflix film. You’re Russian. Can you speak Russian and I’m like, no, I’m Danish. That is so impolite for you as an American to think that everyone in Europe speaks Russian. What is this? And then he says, OK, so should I get a Russian for the role? I’m like, oh, no, I’m still a struggling actor. I’m going to do it. But just let me in my own term, OK? Please let me just misbehave in five minutes. And then he called me. Is that OK? Are you sure you want to do it? And I went like, Yeah, sure, I can speak Russian. Then I showed up on set. And it sounded gibberish, it was like it sounded like a cartoon and they were like, I don’t think that’s Russian Pilou and I’m like, I don’t think it’s Russian either, said, OK, we’re going to cut it and just speak with the British. I just did speak Russian with American and British accent. So that’s what I did.
Q. You mentioned the fun aspects of working with a Netflix blockbuster. So the question is, you are doing a movie like Murderous Trance and then you’re coming to a movie like outside the Wire. How different are the productions?
Pilou Asbæk: Its very different. One is a big budget Netflix film. And the other one was a small scramble of European funding, European money and, you know, on Murderous Trance, I would almost do my own makeup and wardrobe and we would be walking around the streets of Zagreb in Croatia and we would be working with people who were great at English and people who had some more difficulties. So that was that was a completely different challenge. And it was my first lead with an English speaking role. So I was extremely nervous and I kept on removing lines because I didn’t want to talk in any of the scenes. But at the end of the day, it was a very, very interesting experience because it’s a very interesting story. And check out the film because it’s just the whole theme of can you hypnotize people to commit a crime for you? Has something that a lot of entertainers have tried to do on YouTube or other social media in the past 20, 25 years. This guy did it 50 years ago, 60 years ago. And that makes it so much more interesting. And outside the wire, it’s just one it’s I actually think for an action film, it’s a great story, it’s a great cast. And it’s not fun as in high fun, but it’s some great action scenes. And, you know, it’s just it’s just Netflix. Netflix is just so good at entertaining people. You know, it’s just it’s like having your own cinema at home. You know, you just have to do some popcorn and then you’re entertained. I got to admit, past year with the Corona, I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix, so I can’t wait for this year where they’re going to release a new film every week.
Q. While Speaking about Netflix in India, Pilou Asbæk had these wonderful word to say about India and the time he has visted.
Pilou Asbæk: Oh, India, for sure. I want to do a Bollywood film. I want to go to film in India. No, I got to admit, I got to admit the few times I’ve been to India, actually just once, it was an incredible country. It is an incredible there’s a lot of conflicts and there’s a lot of trouble, as there is in every single country all over the world. But the food and the people and you can communicate with almost everyone. That’s a very big help.
Q. Alright, Entertain me this who was more difficult to fight, Jamie Lannister or the Dragon?
Pilou Asbæk: The dragon was pretty easy. The dragon was pretty easy, it was just like Boop. And it was actually a wonderful working with Nicolai. And the reason so is that and this is funny. How old am I? I’m thirty eight, so when I graduated from school, which is like 20 years ago and I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I worked as a nanny in a kindergarten and one of the kids were Nikolai’s kids. So I’ve been a nanny for Nikolai’s children 20 years ago. And how crazy is it that 20 years later, we’re standing on a scene on the biggest scene in the world, on the biggest show in the world, Game of Thrones, and get the chance to do some work together, so that was that was incredible and he’s a good friend of mine because he’s Danish and I’m Danish and it’s a very small country, especially compared to India, where, you know how many Danes there is in compared to India. Are you ready? Five point five million in total. I think that’s nothing. That’s nothing. But I love the fact that you said I killed Jaime Lannister. That makes me very happy because people say he was breaks, right.
Q. All right. Obviously, Game of Thrones is one of your career highlights. Can I just ask how was the before and after of doing Game of Thrones?
Pilou Asbæk: Game of Thrones was incredible. The reason why I got Game of Thrones was because I did a TV show called Borgen, it was a daily show about politics and a female prime minister, Dan and David, the two show runners and Game of Thrones had seen Borgen and were massive fans of it. And that’s the reason why my female colleague from Borgon, she did an episode of Game of Thrones. And then they brought me in as Euron Greyjoy on Game of Thrones. And I and I loved it. It was incredible. Just to give you an example, how big it is. I flew to Chile. To sign autographs just because of Game of Thrones problems and when I came to the airport, they shut down, cost them just so I could take photos with all of the policemen that were working in the airport. And I was like, holy. This is big, you know, when they shut down an airport just so you can take photos and I’m not even the lead. I’m just the baddie, you know? But that was that was I’ll be forever thankful for Game of Thrones.
Q. Any future upcoming exciting projects that you’d like to share with us?
Pilou Asbæk: Yeah, I just did. I just did an action film with Sylvester Stallone called The Samaritan. That’s going to come out. And I think it’s going to come out in June. And that’s called Samaritan. And that’s a superhero film. OK, and it’s a great story, it’s such a good story. It’s a story about a kid who finds a superhero who has been gone for 20 years and the world is sh*t. And he tries to tell this guy that you’ve got to fight the evil again and then you have to see the rest of the film to see what happens.
Q. Would you whisper in Stallone’s ear that I as in You; need to be on the Creed movies? Would you do something like that?
Pilou Asbæk: (Laughs) And the Creedmovies were incredible because it was kind of a reboot of Rocky and I love Rocky. Oh, my God. Rocky won. It’s movie history. You know, we have Godfather. We had Deer Hunter, we have opening night. We have Star Wars. Rocky is right up there, its top 10 best movie ever. And I got to admit, I’ve never been starstruck. I’ve been working with Jackie Chan, Morgan Freeman, Scarlett Johansson, Kirsten Dunst. I’ve met the biggest stars in Hollywood. And I got to admit. Sly; He’s movie star.
Q. And, you know, as an actor, which movie was it or an acting performance? What was it which made you fell in love with cinema?
Pilou Asbæk: I don’t know. I never knew acting was a job until. I was in my 20s, you know, and like I said, I worked for Kngwarreye as a nanny and I wanted to work with kids. I never had a dream of becoming an actor. Never and I still don’t. I still want to work with kids. I still want to be a nanny. Now, I got something else. I have now I have a dog. His name is Bongo. And I don’t have one specific moment where, you know, I have a private moment, but that’s me in a classroom quoting Shakespeare at a you know, when you graduate you can go to a high level of school OR You can go straight to the university, but you can also go like take a year where you go like, oh, I want to try out. I wanted to be a writer. I still want to write. I love writing. I’m not very good at it. My best friends are writers and my wife is a writer. And I’ve always admired people who can create everything out of nothing. I was raised in a gallery, so. You know, when you have a white painting and then out of this painting, something will blossom. And I always thought that was amazing when people did that with a blank piece of paper. So I wanted to write and but I wasn’t very good at it. So I went to the school out of the world where I had to learn how to write. And I came in late the first day, so all the classes were taken and the only place there was one open spot was in drama. So went to the drama class and they gave me a text. That I had to say out loud, I had to claim it, so I went on stage and I proclaimed it, and then the teacher looked at me and she said, you don’t know it yet, but you’re an actor and that’s what you’re going to spend the rest of your life doing. And I was like. No, I’m not, I’m a writer, and then I started to write and then they said, it sucks, stick to acting. And I was like, OK. That’s how it happened.
Q. Now that it’s an accident and you’ve been an actor for a lot of time now, would you like to answer the question regarding advice for aspiring talents?
Pilou Asbæk: Yeah, find a community where you guys can collaborate if you want to, right, find people who want to act, find people who want to do light by people who want to do sound. Find a group of people you like working together and try to create a family, a community where you support each other and you lift each other. Nothing good has ever come and nothing good has ever come out of fear or pressuring each other down, try to inspire and be most importantly, generous, generous, give, give, give, and that’s something that comes very natural to people from India, a very generous country. It’s in your DNA.
Q. Thank you for the comments. Well, thank you for doing this. Would you like to tell us where we can find your movies?
Pilou Asbæk: Murderous Trance I have no idea it’s going to be released in America. Do you might be able to catch it on some on demand service online? I have no idea. I know it’s going to come out. It’s going to be released in the cinemas. If they open up in the big cities. Outside the wire, that’s going to be all over Netflix for sure. And it’s going to be in two days on the 15th. It’s the 13th today. It’s going to be the 15th of January. And then Samaritan, which is going to be released later this year, that’s going to be worldwide and the cinemas all over the world. And Run, Sweetheart Run is going to come out on Amazon at one point during this year. So that’s four films, man..
Thank you. Thank you for doing this interview.
Pilou Asbæk: Thank you, man. Very grateful.
The Movie Culture Synopsis
What an extreme gentlemen, Pilou Asbæk is. As you can see from our Video Interview, he is nothing like the reel life personality he is known to be playing.
Pilou Asbæk love and admiration for India also stands out for us as well as the fact how his acting career was an acting career at the end. Giving us life lessons on how one finds what they are meant to do on this piece of land called Earth.
His movie Outside the wire is out on Netflix and you can check out our review for the film as well. Where as three films of his are still set throughout the upcoming 2021.