Interviewed By Freja Baumann Nielsen
 
 
Karim Theilgaard is an international actor based in Copenhagen. He recently starred in the Danish indie feature film “Dream State” for which he was awarded Best International Actor at the 2019 London Renaissance Film Festival, thus coming full circle after having spent a large part of his youth and education in London.

In this interview, we will delve into who he is both in front
of and away from the camera.

 

When The Night Speaks to You

Dream State follows the photographer, Louis, as he navigates the late-night streets of Copenhagen in search of that one perfectly captured image. Having just lost his father with whom he never reconciled after a heated argument, Louis feels lost and struggles with what he wants in life. Chance encounters on his nightly excursions set him on a mission to discover his purpose.

However, this happens at the expense of his failing relationship with long-term girlfriend, Rosa, whom he barely sees and his best friend, Rasmus, who is headed into adult life with kids and a regular job.

What appealed to you about the character and story?

I think we all have a bit of “Louis” in us. He is a very passionate person, driven by idealism, yet he is incredibly flawed. He is consumed by his own drive to the point that he neglects everyone around him while stubbornly sticking to his convictions; both the admirable ones and the very selfish ones – yet at his core, he wants to find peace and to love. To do that he needs to discover more of himself and not live in the shadow of others’ expectations of him.

With the number of choices we can pursue in education and life being almost overwhelming, it’s a sign of these times that figuring out who we are and what we want is something we’re still doing in our 20’s and beyond. Call it millennial, but I think it’s something a lot of young and older people can very much relate to and – if being completely honest with ourselves – also the narcissistic tendencies that are so prevalent today on social media.

Louis is a very complex and conflicted character who’s far from a noble hero and very much the opposite in many instances. That’s a challenge that demands brutal honesty and the willingness to not judge your character in favour of vanity. The process of doing so helped me grow a lot as an actor and person.

Finding Dream State

In Denmark, most films are funded in whole or in part by a combination of the national film fund, the two-state broadcasting corporations and/or the various private broadcasters and Nordic film funds.

Indie films funded and produced entirely outside of the system are extremely rare. “Dream State” is one of those few that succeeded in doing just that.

How did taking on the lead role of “Louis” come to be?

I first met the director and writer Asger K. Bartels while shooting a short film back in 2016.

Later that year he contacted asking me if I would help him devise some scenes he was working on. We hung out, talking about music and film. He was just starting out in the industry then but wanted to write a feature. I helped him along the way with developing ideas from which he began the process of writing together with Nora Øland.
The work continued over the spring and summer until we had the first draft.

It was a very young team working on Dream State, how did that affect the production?

Asger and Nora were around 19 when we began and I think the average age was probably around 24 on the production. The team was pretty much evenly split between girls and guys. It gives a great dynamic feeling of “hell yeah we can do this!”

The inhibitions and cynicism that’s all too easy to build up when working in the film industry haven’t taken over to the same extent as one sees among older veterans. We very much had a rock n’ roll attitude towards wanting to find a way to make this happen one way or another. We knew we were on a deadline because the film needed to be shot during autumn before the colours changed to winter – and winter in Scandinavia can make shooting very difficult!

We also knew that having to postpone a year could mean the people we had assembled might very well not be available next year. So while we knew there were many aspects that easily could have benefited from more time and preparation it was a case of do or die – and we chose to do!

Dream State Trailer Here

IMDb: http://bit.ly/karimimdb

Facebook: @KarimTheilgaaardOfficial

Instagram: @KarimTheilgaard

Twitter: @KarimTheilgaard

UK Spotlight: @KarimSpot

Member of the British Actors Union: EQUITY

 

 
Learn more about Freja Baumann Nielsen
 

Currently studying B.A. Dramaturgy at the University of Aarhus, Denmark.

She conducted the interview with actor Karim Theilgaard

Instagram: @Freja.BN

 
 

 

— To be continued in our June 2020 Issue of Cut Frame Magazine. —

More about ‘Coming Full Circle’

Check out our 6th Issue of Cut Frame Magazine. To access it and all other content you can

read our magazine here

To read all of our back issues here

 
 

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Cut Frame Magazine is an online magazine Highlighting the Entertainment Industry from the Perspective of Filmmakers, Actors, Musicians, and Industry Professionals

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