Love Is All You Need – Molly Blixt Egelind interview (exclusive)
Interview by Rob Carnevale
DANISH actress Molly Blixt Egelind talks about some of the challenges of making Love Is All You Need, including some of her character’s more emotional moments and working with director Susanne Bier.
She also talks about the pleasure of working in Sorrento, why she formerly had a crush on one co-star and got star-struck around another, and why a career in the movies was almost inevitable for her given her parents’ background.
Q. What appealed to you about the script when you first read it?
Molly Blixt Egelind: I really saw some nice challenges in the character of Astrid in regard to her development through the movie. I thought there were some really nice scenes with some real meat on them. Above all, it was a nice, heart-warming script. So, obviously when they approached me I was very interested.
Q. Does that mean you didn’t have to audition if you were approached?
Molly Blixt Egelind: I did but very quickly it got narrowed down to two girls. I had to come home from a holiday in Paris and audition. It was all very stressful and I convinced myself that I didn’t get the part because sometimes when you want something too much you’re completely sure you’re not going to get it. Fortunately, everything turned out in my favour.
Q. What was the biggest challenge of playing Astrid?
Molly Blixt Egelind: Well, of course there was the whole aspect of creating a believable relationship between Ida, the mother, and myself, which I think we managed quite well. And also Astrid is kind of a bubbly, fun-loving, very positive girl but I think it’s really nice to see in some scenes that she’s completely vulnerable with her mother. No matter how old you grow, you always tend to be five years again when you’re around your mother sometimes… that’s why I never call my mum when I’m in bed [laughs]! There were also some quite emotional scenes in the movie for me, which were nice to work with and challenging.
Q. How was working with writer-director Susanne Bier?
Molly Blixt Egelind: She has high expectations of her actors, which I find is wonderful because she helps you reach your maximum potential. She’s quite intense and keeps going until she gets what she wants but she’s really inspiring to work with because you want to do your best. She won’t stop until she knows you’ve reached your highest point and that’s a nice thing because it means you can completely trust her with everything because she has a great intuition about scenes. But she’s also a big joker as well as being intense and goal orientated. She loves teasing people and making jokes, which is fun. It lightens the mood sometimes.
Q. Did she try and play any jokes on you?
Molly Blixt Egelind: She tried to play a joke on me but I didn’t fall for it because she’d already done it with everyone else [laughs]. We were filming a scene on a roof in the middle of the afternoon and it was so hot and we couldn’t get it to work. And then she told me and Sebastian: “I thought you were real actors?” We were like: “Come on, are you being serious?” And she laughed: “No, I’m just trying to bully you into acting alright.” [Laughs]
Q. Talking of the locations… Sorrento provides a stunning backdrop…
Molly Blixt Egelind: Oh my God, the first day arriving there was like stepping into a postcard. It’s amazing. We got a lot from just being there and being able to experience the ambience of everything.
Q. Was it your first time in Italy?
Molly Blixt Egelind: It was my first time… and what a great bonus! So, not only did I have the pleasure of working with some great people but also going to Italy for five weeks.
Q. Did you manage to do any sight-seeing away from the set on down days?
Molly Blixt Egelind: I worked almost every day for five weeks except for weekends. But of course at the weekends we went off on little trips, boating and looking around the beautiful mountains. So, there was some tourism involved.
Q. I’d imagine that’s one of the great perks of your job – not only getting to meet some really interesting people but also to be able to shoot in some stunning locations?
Molly Blixt Egelind: Oh yes, definitely. It was my first time going to Italy, so landing in Sorrento I couldn’t have dreamed of a more perfect place to be. The food, the ocean… everything was just so romantic [laughs].
Q. Would you choose Italy as a place to get married yourself?
Molly Blixt Egelind: I think the movie proves don’t go to Italy to get married [laughs]! But seriously, no, I think I would opt for something a little more low-key.
Q. How was working with Sebastian Jessen, your fiancé in the film? Did you have long to work on the chemistry you clearly have early on?
Molly Blixt Egelind: Well, Sebastian and I went to school together, so we knew each other and I must admit I had a little bit of a crush on him in school, when we were 13-years-old or something! So, it wasn’t hard. It’s acting. We just connected on that level as well as him being him a super nice guy. We were the first two actors to arrive in Italy together and had the flight down together, we did the make-up tests together. So, we really developed a nice friendship as well, which is important. From the go-get, we had a professional trust in each other and I knew it would be okay.
Q. Did you admit to the crush?
Molly Blixt Egelind: No [Pauses]. But I think he knew.
Q. And of course, Pierce Brosnan. How was working with him?
Molly Blixt Egelind: It was a great pleasure. I have to admit I was a little star-struck when I met him at first because he is super charismatic and very good looking for a man his age. But he turned out to be this Irish brat [laughs]! He’s so fun loving and completely down to earth. He brought his mother along! He was just a super nice guy… very, very talented and warm and charming. A wonderful man.
Q. Did you detect any nerves when it came to approaching a Danish set and having to tackle some (a very little) Danish? He gets away with it…
Molly Blixt Egelind: Pierce can get away with almost anything. He has that twinkle in his eye. But I think it’s quite believable that he’s supposed to have been living in Denmark for quite a few years when we meet him but his character been way too busy to bother speaking it [laughs]. But he understands everything. Apart from that, half of the crew were Italian, we were Danish, he and his mother were speaking English and we had an Australian hairdresser, so it was really a multi-ethnic melting pot. So, it wasn’t like he felt frozen out because he didn’t talk the language. We also talked in English for a lot of the time.
Q. Did you quiz him for any James Bond or Mamma Mia! anecdotes?
Molly Blixt Egelind: [Laughs] No! I wouldn’t be that cruel! I think he has moved on from that. To most people and to me, he’ll always be James Bond. But I didn’t pressure him in that department.
Q. How was working with Trine Dyrholm, who plays your mother?
Molly Blixt Egelind: Trine was wonderful and very generous. It wasn’t hard connecting with her at all because she was always available and really open and a lot of fun. I remember there were a few scenes in the garden where Sebastian has a little toast and welcomes everyone… that was a long day with a lot of different set-ups, and we were beside each other the whole day through. And she spent most of it with one hand on my ass the whole time because she thought that would be fun [laughs]. But she’s very straight forward and very down to earth and very, very generous as an actor and as a friend.
Q. Given that your mother is an actress and your father a cinematographer, was it always inevitable that you’d follow in the family footsteps and be part of the industry?
Molly Blixt Egelind: In a sense it was inevitable, I just hadn’t discovered it! But as a kid I was always drifting off into fantasy worlds and playing dress up and I loved being the centre of attention and putting on little shows. I usually was dressing up as the Spice Girls. But there was a teenage rebel phase where I would not have anything to do with showbiz because, well, look at my parents – they were the biggest dweebs ever [laughs]! But when it came around to choosing what I wanted to do with my life when I was 18 or 19 and all my friends had it all figured out, acting just kept popping up again and again and I decided to go for it.
Q. And you’ve never looked back…
Molly Blixt Egelind: No! Now, I’m in the Academy of Dramatic Arts, in my second year, and this movie is coming out all across the world. So far, things are going really well.
Q. Do you think being a part of this film has already started to open a few more doors for you?
Molly Blixt Egelind: Not like overnight… but gradually I feel that there are more phone calls and emails and stuff like that… and interviews. So, I think it’s not something that’s going to happen from now until tomorrow. But I definitely feel that I’m getting nore attention than I was.
Q. What does it mean to be part of a film that is going to get a guaranteed international audience?
Molly Blixt Egelind: It’s a great privilege really and it’s Susanne’s first movie since she won her Oscar [for In A Better World]. So, it’s going to get an audience. It’s very exciting to see what doors it will open for me. Hopefully, some nice ones…
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