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Gísli Örn Gardarsson • Actor

Shooting Star 2007 - Iceland


Gísli Örn Gardarsson • Actor

Gísli Örn Gardarsson is an actor, producer and writer. He founded the inventive young theatre company Vesturport, considered to be Iceland's most innovative company of theatre artists. In 2006 he played the lead in Children [+see also:
film review
film profile
, the first part of twin features by Ragnar Bragason and Vesturport exploring the roles of children and parents.

Cineuropa: What inspired you to start a film career as an actor, writer and producer?
Gísli Örn Gardarsson: Well, I guess as an actor one is always interested in being involved in both films and theatre. To me, it is always a question of, first of all, what you want to do and then how you want to do it. As a result, I will have a story that makes a better film than a theatre production. So I guess there are no limitations to what we do in Vesturport. Theatre is easier for us on a practical level, because we have done a lot of it. The film industry is new to us, but nonetheless just as exciting. And having done two films last year we have the urge to do even more. If I have a story to tell I will write it and produce as well. I guess it goes with my nature to juggle the disciplines. It gives me a very satisfying freedom.

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What does the term European cinema mean to you personally?
Funny question, because I have worked a lot in the theatre in the UK, where they refer a lot to European theatre as something that is not in the UK. European cinema is a big word and of course it has everything in it. But, nonetheless, I would say that many of the films have a personal attachment to the people making them. I find that truly inspiring.

How would you describe the Icelandic film industry to an outsider?
Low budget. Determination. On a path to somewhere.

Could you talk a little bit about your upcoming projects?
Vesturport has a film in development called Surf, in which I will co-star, based on a play we once did about Icelandic fishermen stuck on a small boat in the middle of nowhere. It will go into production in late 2007.

What do you expect to get out of the Shooting Stars experience?
Well, my life has gone down some pretty unexpected roads in the past years, so I tend not to think too much about what comes out of what. Things have a natural way of exposing themselves and I try to spend my life doing projects that appeal to me for different reasons. I expect to meet a lot of interesting people I guess.

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