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7 октября 2016 19:00

Soren Hellerup: "Never compromise ones own ethics"

Автор: Ревизор.ru
Photo: Soren Hellerup
Photo: Soren Hellerup
You were born in Denmark and graduated from National Drama School. Have you gone to America purposefully? Were you be afraid of difficulties or not?
Yes, it was with a very clear purpose I left for USA. I really did not feel I had leared enough, I was very insecure and was never happy with the work I was able to do after graduating. The fault was nothing but my own as I looked too much to what other people did instead of focusing on what was my own quality. I had gone to visit some friends in New York City and had the opportunity to audit some acting classes and got totally inspired. I then applied for some scholarship in and got enough money to study for a year in NYC. At the first class, I was very scared, but I remember the teacher had a t-shirt on witch read: GO FOR IT, LIFE IS NOT A DRESS REHEARSAL. And that became my motto. The last thing anyone should do is to have regrets. I do not want to sit when I am really old and think; WHAT ABOUT IF… I HAD DONE THIS OR THAT!! So from there on there was no more fear. For the first time in my life I went up on stage and did what I wanted to do, did what MY HEART told me to do, and everything changed.
Have you studied the Stanislavsky System? If so, what do you think about it? If not, on what school you were taught and how it helps you in your profession?
I was very lucky to have a wonderful teacher Marusia Berg who was Russian and an actual student of Stanislavsky. She was more a body teacher using the Alexander technique but it was my first, and only introduction to Stanislavsky. I have read his books, but his technic was never used a lot in Denmark at that time. As a matter of fact then the acting technic classes at the my school back in Denmark really lacked of quality at that time, with a lot of changing teachers and with my own insecurity I really never felt I learned a lot those year at the school in Copenhagen. I felt I learned more in 8 months at the school in NYC then 3 years in Denmark. But again, the fault was really my own lack of discipline and confidence.
Now you are working in Sao Paulo. As an actor, producer and director, please, tell us something about the media industry in Brazil and about your projects.
After 13 great years in New York City, and almost 14 years in Los Angeles, I needed a chance, but did not know what I really should do or wanted to do. Things were getting very complicated in Hollywood with the economical crises and budget cuts and actually only 50% of the productions done as 10 year earlier. So I lived a comfortable life, in a nice apartment and a beautiful street but was just not happy and felt I had no creativity going on. Then I received an invitation to go to Sao Paulo, and I was stunned to find this amazingly creative theater and art scene here. I could see the money was nothing like it was in USA, but I saw more happy people and most important, here one had conversations about art and culture and new ideas. The most of conversations in Hollywood ends up being about casting, and producers meetings and who knows who, and, for me, this become very tedious and not why I work in an artist and a creative world. So I was deeply inspired by this wonderful, but also very complicated world I found here in Sao Paulo. As I did not speak Portuguese, and still struggle with this complicated language, so I never really thought about acting again. Besides, after 30 years of work, I sort of also wanted a new challenge in my life. However it happened, I do not know, but maybe cause of the creative energy I found myself surrounded by in Sao Paulo, a lot of ideas suddenly came into my head. Not only as a director, but also as a set designer and a writer, which was totally new for me. What then came as another wonderful surprise was the people seems to like my ideas and wanted to work together. It can be very complicated and a long process to raise money for productions in Brazil, and with the current fragile political and economical situation Brazil is in, is this time even more difficult. However, one has to follow ones heart and we are, even slowly, then strongly moving forward with 8 theatre projects, stretching from Scandinavian writers as Strindberg and Ibsen, to 3 French plays by Genet, Sartre and Ionesco, to my own ‘The other side of love’ as well as a musical.
Another great things happened as I suddenly started to get acting work. This was REALLY a surprise, but there seemed to be quite a bit of work for ‘foreign’ actors here, and I have actually ended up doing more work here as an actor the last 2 years then I did the last 5 I lived in Los Angeles. To this I have to add, that , even the money is terrible here, compared to USA or Europe, then it is 10 times more fun working here. One get to have a say, one get to speak to the director, one feels like one IS a part of the creative process and the atmosphere is much more relaxed and enjoyable. Maybe it is not politically correct to say so, but at this point in my life, I rather work more, having more fun, even with lesser money, then the constant struggle with 400.000 other actors in Hollywood.
Would you like to work together with Russian colleagues in film or television project, if it was a film adaptation of Chekhov or Dostoevsky?
I think the international cooperation’s are essential. Our world is, in so many ways getting smaller and smaller, and we are all a part of a collective consciousness. To help create a better world, I can’t see any better form then working together with art and culture. Some of my producing jobs in Brazil has been to connect film and theatre in my native Denmark with stuff in Brazil. Having lived, and worked in 3 continents myself, I can see how much it helps to develop an open mind and create more tolerance when one learn to work together in spite of cultural differences.
I think the biggest gift we can give each other is to work across borders. A good example is the work that FIA is doing. United stand we strong, and we can be much closer to a peaceful world if we use the strength of each others culture and then able to create (hopefully) amazing and inspiring work together. Russia has a very deep history with amazing writers, just as well as Denmark, USA or Brazil. Why not combine our effort and make the lift together.
Wish something to young readers of our website, for those who want to become an actor, director or producer. What they need to do to be successful?
We are all different people, and as we all know, the ONLY rules there is, is that… there IS NO RULES! I think the most important thing is to really REALLY listen to what ones heart is telling one. And then work, work, work and TRUST! Never give up on the dreams if they feel true to oneself. Never compromise ones own ethics. It is not an easy business and the time we live in seems to be giving less and less to art and culture. Why it is also so important that we surround our self with strong and motivated people. Never listen to other peoples negativity, but learn to be strong, and do what is most important to you, no matter what other people may say or think.
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