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HFPA in Conversation: Acting Combines Everything Thomas Levin Loves

Danish actor Thomas Levin’s life changed when he saw Al Pacino’s semi-documentary Looking for Richard. He realized acting was the most interesting job in the world. He tells HFPA journalist Tina Jøhnk Christensen that it combines everything he loves. “It has a physical element, it has an analytical element, it has an emotional element, it has a very creative element, you read, you analyze, you play, you perform, you express.”

Back then Levin decided to pursue a career as an actor. He is currently playing a teacher who is wrongfully accused of child abuse on the Irish crime show Smother. He tried to portray the heavy subject in a nuanced and truthful way.

“It was really nice to know that he was not guilty and then at the same time, you have to because the audience, they have to be endowed, there has to be ambiguity to his guilt. So you give enough so that people could believe that you are actually guilty while knowing that you are not, which is always interesting. But that’s what you always do basically as an actor, you know a little bit more than the audience knows and you are leading them in different directions.”

The Irish wilderness added layers to the story. “It adds a sense of destiny or something larger than the individuals moving around in a story. It’s a pretty intense environment basically, the landscape is just rough and it’s beautiful and it’s poetic and hopefully creates a dynamic, sometimes a contrast and sometimes just plays very well with whatever is going on. It makes you feel humble in those kinds of surroundings compared to a city which is so much about men.”

Listen to the podcast and hear how he describes his first days on filming SmotherAlex Rider and whether  he read the books before shooting the TV show; why playing a villain is juicy; what kind of advice Levin got from a Danish director when he was twelve; what was his parents’ reaction when Levin told he will be an actor; where he studied acting, and how he became a writer and director; what kind of interaction he had with a soldier when he was preparing to the stage play Hjem kære hjemBorgenBadehotellet resonated with him; and how he balances his career and family life.