We were at the recent Scandinavia Show in Earl’s Court in London, and we had the huge honour of meeting and interviewing Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, the actress who plays the determined yet endearing television journalist Katrine Fønsmark in Borgen, the Danish smash hit political TV drama made popular in the UK thanks to the endeavours of BBC4. Nordic Noir, a sub-label of Arrow Films, were present as part of the weekend’s events; they’re one of the UK’s foremost DVD, Blu-ray and digital platform distributors of renowned Scandi TV hits (including Borgen and The Killing), and they managed to have Birgitte on hand for the weekend to meet all Borgen enthusiasts and attendees, Worldly Scandifriend included. We thank them both for their co-operation on this occasion.
WS: How did you get the part in Borgen?
BHS: I got the job after being asked to audition over a period of three months. In this time I had to audition with three different Kaspers!
WS: Surely one Kasper is enough for anyone! What did you do career-wise prior to being in Borgen?
BHS: I was in various musicals, including Chicago in London’s West End in 2008. I also appeared in films and theatre in Denmark…
WS: Has it been a surprise for you that Borgen has proved so popular in the UK?
BHS: Yes! It was a shock that it was so popular, but I’m thrilled and surprised that audiences have taken to it!
WS: The newsroom scenes in Borgen come across as very authentic. Does a lot of research go into this part of the show?
BHS: I’m glad you think that! Yes a lot of research goes into them and we have consultants in the writing department (who provide input). I spent four days within an actual newsroom trying to get a sense of the feeling of what they were actually like..
WS: What’s it like to work with Søren Malling (who plays the boss of Katrine Fonsmark in Borgen, also renowned for his role in the first series of The Killing and for being a favourite of the Worldly Scandifriend blog)?
BHS: It’s an absolute delight! He sometimes makes up lines of dialogue, but when you look into his eyes a scene takes off!
WS: I think it’s a breath of fresh air for British audiences to witness strong yet empathetic female characters in programmes such as Borgen and The Killing…
BHS: Yes, I wasn’t aware of this at first…this trend in Danish programmes goes back to Unit One, which was first broadcast in Denmark about twelve years ago and which started off the whole wave…(also due out on the Nordic Noir label soon, according to the promotional leaflet they distributed at the Scandi Show – WS)
WS: Are we due a third series of Borgen..?
BHS: Yes, we’re filming it at the moment and will be finishing in January. It’s the final series…
WS: And what will you do then?
BHS: I’m hoping to work abroad and get myself internationally established. After three years of being in Denmark, I’ll be free to travel!
We wish her well!