Tommi Eronen • Actor
by Annika Pham
19/01/2007 - A regular to TV viewers in Finland since 1994, Tommi Eronen made his big screen debut in 1999 in the critically acclaimed The Ambush. The following year, he made another film with director Olli Saarela, Bad Luck Love for which he won a Jussi Award (local Oscar) as Best Supporting Actor. He then teamed up with Aleksi Salmenpärä on his short film Ferry Go Round and on his directorial debut Producing Adults, winner of a FIPRESCI Award in 2004. Last year, Eronen had one of the title roles in the epic film Jade Warrior [trailer] for which he garnered very positive reviews.
Cineuropa: Is being a screen actor a dream come true?
Tommi Eronen: It is a bit of a coincidence. I did a theatre school in Helsinki when I was 20-21, spent two years in theatre, did a few TV productions and finally ended up playing inThe Ambush because I knew the director Olli Saarela. For me, acting is a way to learn things from myself and other people and you have a good chance to have a full life.
Last year you had your international breakthrough in Jade Warrior, playing both the Chinese warrior Sintai and the Finnish blacksmith Kai. How did you train for the part?
We trained a few months with director AJ Annila, choreographer You Yan Kai and our Chinese teacher Lei Chang before shooting. During rehearsals, we decided that the two characters I was playing would be the same person in two time levels, so it wasn’t two totally different characters. Then the film was shot in Finland, in Estonia and in China. I had never filmed abroad before. Only the director and DoP remained the same and all other crew members changed, so it was a really exciting experience. For me, the most difficult part was to learn speaking Chinese with its wholly different intonation.
How was it to film in China?
The cultural difference is actually not so big and in many ways, China has a lot of similarities with us in Finland. Chinese people are kind, peaceful; they work hard, have high moral values but also reticent behaviour.
What does it mean for you to be part of the EFP Shooting stars?
It is a great honour and it is noticed here in Finland.