Shootings Stars 2019 / Ine Marie Wilmann (Norway) © Harald Fuhr / EFP

Ine Marie Wilmann

Ine Marie Wilmann trained at the Norwegian National Academy of Theatre, graduating in 2011, and has since excelled in theater, TV and film. She appeared in Joachim Trier’s award-winning feature film ”Reprise” in 2006, and in 2011 in ”I Travel Alone” by Stian Kristiansen. She also appeared in short films such as ”Lang vei hjem” (2011), ”Nothing Ever Really Ends” (2016) and ”Erica” (2016) as well as in the TV mini-series ”Størst av alt” (2007, NRK). Wilmann has an impressive list of stage credits including ”Anna Karenina” (Riksteatret, 2012), ”Lady from the Sea” (Riksteatret, 2012), ”Fedra” (2013) and ”Anne Frank” (2013). At the Oslo Nye Teater, she played in ”Fravær” (2015), the one person show, ”Og nå: Verden!” (2016), and ”The Wasp” (2017). Wilmann’s breakthrough on the big screen came in the highly acclaimed ”Homesick” (2015) by Anne Sewitsky. For her performance, Wilmann won an Amanda Award for Best Actress. The film screened at Sundance and was lauded at the Toronto International Film Festival, among others. In 2016, she garnered further critical acclaim for her performance in the highly popular TV thriller series ”The Third Eye” for which she won the Gullruten Award for Best Actress. In 2017, Wilmann starred in the comedy series ”ZombieLars” in the role of Erle. In 2018, she was reunited with director Anne Sewitsky for ”Sonja: The White Swan,” a stylish biopic about Sonja Henie, the famed and unconventional Norwegian Olympic ice skater who landed in Hollywood, seeking stardom.

Tara Karajica talks to Ine Marie Wilmann about being an actress, a Shooting Star, women in film and her next projects.




What made you want to become an actress?

Ine Marie Wilmann: I decided it when I was five years old, after doing a play in kindergarten. It felt like something magical had occurred.  You could lose yourself into another person or story and, at its best, it feels like there’s a little window in time.

You have previously worked with Anne Sewitsky in her film Homesick and are now starring in her upcoming film Sonja: The White Swan. Can you talk about that collaboration?

I.M.W.: I think we have a deep respect for each other’s work, and it’s a bonus that we sincerely like each other. Anne really has her own intuitive way of working and thinking, and even if I feel like she includes me, she doesn’t necessarily articulate her visions and ideas. So you kind of have to join the wild ride and trust her. And I do. I think she is smart, tough, original and extremely committed. She makes the project feel important and she makes me a better actress.

We will see you now as Sonja Henie, a fascinating woman who remains the most successful female athlete ever to cross over to the silver screen. How do you see her?

I.M.W.: As a hardworking, ambitious, accomplished and ahead of her time in everything she did. She was fun, difficult, radiant and dark – extraordinaire in all directions, in a way. I think she became characterized by a whole life as number one and the center of attention and, by the end, even her closest family weighed on her pay list – that’s never a good thing! I believe that she was very lonely, but did not have the tools to understand or deal with her own emotional wounds.

How have you prepared for this film? Did you do your own ice-skating stunts?

I.M.W.: It was a tough physical transformation to become a believable top athlete and figure skater, given I had never skated before. So I trained and dieted and skated and took ballet classes. I assumed that lifestyle would also affect the way I moved and carried my body, and as a bonus it became a kind of a method acting thing: living a version of Sonja’s life. The producers told me to calm down, and that I would get a stand in, but Anne [Sewitsky] said: “the better you get, the better the film”, so I didn’t have much choice. I was very proud that I ended up doing a lot of my own stunts and skating. But I’m not doing all the stunts – unfortunately, it’s not possible to become an actual world champion figure skater in a limited amount of time. But I got better than what they all expected, and I was able to forget that I had skates on and concentrate on the acting, and that was my ultimate goal. In addition to the physical work, I read and watched everything I could come across regarding Sonja, and tried to become an expert. Based on all of this, we had to make our own version of Sonja for this specific story.

You have starred on stage, on TV and in film. Which medium do you prefer? Why?

I.M.W.: Hmmm… that’s difficult. Theater was the love of my life for so many years, and it wasn’t until later that I “discovered” acting for film and fell in love with it. I feel like it inspires different aspects of my craft; in theater, I feel a bigger responsibility for the story and the greater lines, and it also gives me more room to be creative within different concepts. But in film, it’s a luxury to focus on the smallest of seconds in the character’s journey, to really go deep into another person’s life and be creative on a smaller scale.

How much of you is there in every character you play? Do you manage to dissociate yourself completely from your persona in order to play someone else?

I.M.W.: I always have to feel like I understand my character emotionally: why she is acting a certain way, what drives her… and try and find some kind of core. And in that sense, I always invest a lot of myself, and the character will come from within me. I still hope that if I have done that job well enough, I will still transform into someone else. There will be a change because what we bring with us and the way we see the world will separate us, and it will also mark the way we carry ourselves.

You have won several awards. What does being a Shooting Star mean to your career and how do you think it will impact it?

I.M.W.: I feel really honored that an international jury has considered my work and selected me as a Shooting Star. I hope to use the acknowledgement to feel more confident so that I can be braver and better at what I do. I also hope it will trigger people’s curiosity to go see the film. Besides this, I’m excited to meet the rest of the Shooting Stars and other international colleagues to get an impression of what’s moving outside Norway. It would be a bonus if this inspires new and different collaborations.

What does it take to be a star, according to you?

I.M.W.: Hard work and to be lucky enough to get to work with great people on great projects.

There has been a lot of talk about women in film this part year. What do you make of the situation of women in film? How is the situation in Norway?

I.M.W.: I feel so much more hopeful and inspired now than a couple of years ago. It really feels like we have all crossed a new barrier together, and I am so glad there is finally a real focus on the lack of diversity in the representation of gender, ethnicity and age. We have been missing out on so many great stories and important perspectives. I feel like things are starting to move in the right direction, but still a bit slowly, don’t you think?

Yes! On that note, who is your favorite female filmmaker? Is there one you would love to work with?

I.M.W.: I think I have to play it safe here… No one mentioned, no one forgotten! Hmmm… but, if I have to mention someone, I must say I would really love to work with Anne again, and also a Norwegian filmmaker called Mariken Halle, who has made artier projects up until now. And bigger names like Susanne Bier and Lisa Cholodenko, of course. But I am truly interested in how many new and exciting filmmakers we will be seeing in the years to come. I really hope to be working with a bunch of them!

What are your next projects?

I.M.W.: I have both theater and some other projects in my life, but I’m trying to force myself not to plan everything. It tends to trigger creativity to have some time to go with the flow as well.



Photo credits: © Harald Fuhr / EFP

Tara Karajica

Tara Karajica is a Belgrade-based film critic and journalist. Her writings have appeared in "Indiewire," "Screen International," "Variety," "Little White Lies" and "Film New Europe," among many other media outlets, including the European Film Academy’s online magazine, "Close-up" and Eurimages. She is a member of the European Film Academy, the Online Film Critics Society and the Alliance of Women Film Journalists as well as the recipient of the 2014 Best Critic Award at the Altcine Action! Film Festival. In September 2016, she founded "Yellow Bread," a magazine dedicated entirely to short films, ranked among the 25 Top Short Film Blogs and Websites on the Planet in 2017. In February 2018, she launched "Fade to Her," a magazine about successful women working in Film and TV and in 2019, she was a member of the Jury of the European Shooting Stars (European Film Promotion). She is currently a programmer for live action shorts at PÖFF Shorts, Head of the Short Film Program and Live Action Shorts programmer at SEEFest and Narrative Features Programmer at the Durban International Film Festival. Tara is a regular at film festivals as a film critic, moderator and/or jury member.

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