September 2015 - by Carl Marsh
would it be fair to say that Poldark has been your breakthrough career moment?
In some ways I guess. If not, then at least a great stepping stone towards that moment.
With your character Elizabeth, can you personally relate to her at all, and is there any of Heida Reed in her?
I can relate to the fact that she's a bit of a slave to her own conscience. She seems to feel like she always has to do the right thing even though that might not necessarily be what's in her heart. Not that I don't follow my own heart. I just think a lot of her choices come down to the time she lives in. It was very different. Especially for women.
You were born and grew up in Iceland but have lived in the UK for a few years now, are there any similarities between the two?
No. None. Maybe the weather sometimes. There's a very different mentality and manner in British and Icelandic people. Brits are in general quite traditional and extremely polite, and Icelandic people can be incredibly fiery and blunt, and they don't know how to queue!
Stage or screen, which one gives you the biggest rush?
The two are so different it's impossible to compare. But there's nothing like being on stage and connecting with the audience and your fellow actors in the moment.
Poldark is a massive success around the world, did you expect that it would become such a hit whilst filming it, or was it a total surprise once it aired on the TV?
Well, we knew we had definitely filmed something special. And there was a certain anticipation of it being a hit because of the previous adaptation in the 70's. But no one really dared let their imagination take them too far before it came out. But personally, it managed to live up to mine, so I'm incredibly grateful.
Series 2 is now filming, you must be excited about this?
Yes very. We're on our second week now. I'm down in Cornwall at the moment. It is beautiful.
What made you want to become an actress in the first place when you were growing up in Iceland?
Telling stories. Captivating an audience. It is truly all about the audience. I just felt euphoric whenever I went to the theatre. I wanted to be able to make someone feel the same one day, if possible.
Reading books is important to me, is it something that you are passionate about too?
Absolutely. I do read more plays and scripts, I have to admit. But I always have a book with me. Although I can be a little slow to get through it sometimes.
People should really read more books shouldn't they?
It is so important. It quiets the mind and gives you a break from your own world, and then transports you into someone else's for a while.
What is your favourite book?
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I don't really know why. It's just stayed with me ever since I read it. It's still very vivid in my mind.
You have had some highs and lows on your journey as an actress, what always motivated you to carry on?
The love of the work. The self-belief that you possess the talent needed, and that you deserve your place in this industry. The success of your peers, and stories from colleagues who have struggled for years before they found their place. All of these things and more keep you going. But mostly it's faith. Faith in yourself.
With my hearing that, what advice can you offer to anyone struggling currently as an actor or actress?
First of all be honest with yourself. You have to recognise your own skill. Then you have to listen to the professionals around you. If they recognise it too, you are on the right path. After that, it comes down to how much you want it. If this is all you see yourself doing, you will prevail. In the meantime, remember why you got into it in the first place. Because you love it. Read, write, take classes, and not for any benefit other than the joy of doing what you love.
Is there anything about the acting world that you don't like?
Yes. I don't like learning lines. I'm quite fast at it but I still don't like it, and I put it off sometimes for way too long. I wish I just knew them all.
In life and in general, what annoys the hell out of you?
That screeching sound a knife and fork make on a plate, when people play stuff on their gadgets out loud on public transport, and when people walk to close to you on the sidewalk.
Flipping that question, what puts a smile on your face?
Train journey's where I see lots of cows and sheep on the way. Floating on a blow up ‘mattress’ in the sea, nature, my friends, my dog, dancing, red wine, a nice bath, my duvet, Tina Fey and Mac&Cheese. And Pizza! To name a few!
Do you have any regrets with anything that you have done, or are you the sort of person that thrives on learning from your mistakes, and that everything you do is for a reason?
I never regret the things I've done. Only the things I didn't do. But mostly, I've done them all exactly because I know I'd regret it if I didn't. No matter how it turns out, you will always learn from it in the end and you'll never be plagued with the thought of 'What If'. I don't know if 'Everything' we do is for a reason, sometimes it's just an impulse, but then I guess that's reason enough.
Please don't say a puffin to this question but, if you were an animal, what would it be and why?
I was going to say an elephant, but I think I'd like to be a cat actually. They just give zero fucks and do whatever they want, whenever they want. They are truly their own boss.