Victoria Carmen Sonne graduated from The Danish National School of Theatre in 2016. She was immediately cast in Rasmus Heisterberg’s “In the Blood” and won her first Bodil, the Danish Critics’ Award. In 2017, she starred in Hlynur Palmason’s festival darling, “Winter Brothers,” and won the Robert Award for her performance. With her breakout role in Isabella Eklöf’s “Holiday” that premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, Victoria won her second Bodil Award. Recently, she can be seen in leading roles in Marie Grahtø’s “Psychosia” that screened at the 2019 Venice Film Festival and in “Miss Osaka” by Daniel Dencik.
Tara Karajica talks to Victoria Carmen Sonne about being an actress, a European Shooting Star, women in film and her next projects.
What made you want to become an actress?
Victoria Carmen Sonne: When I was 14 years old, I was working in a video rental store – playtimevideo, the discount version of Blockbuster. We barely had any costumers, so I got to watch so many films behind the counter during my shifts. I randomly found this one Danish director whose films I really liked. I watched all the films he had made by then at the store. About one week after the marathon with that director’s films, I stumbled upon an ad in a free newspaper that I found on the bus, on my way to school. It said: “AUDITION” and then, the name of that director. He was looking for young people for his next feature. I showed up at the address for the audition after school and ended up getting the part in the film. That’s when I tried acting for the first time and fell in love with the filmmaking and character work. I’ve been doing it ever since.
Your breakout role was in Isabella Eklöf’s Holiday as Sascha, a trophy girlfriend in an abusive relationship. It’s a very controversial and daring film. Can you elaborate on that from the point of view of your character?
V.C.S.: I mean, Sascha’s view might be that Michael is the trophy. She’s suppressed, for sure. But she’s also choosing herself to be in that brutal relationship. She learns herself the dynamics in that environment and she fights for her place in the group. I think Sascha is more in charge of her fate than we could think, but her decisions – that she makes herself – are probably something most people will see as morally wrong decisions.
Can you talk about Sascha? How do you see her?
V.C.S.: She’s a woman searching for love, admiration and a place to belong. Somehow, Michael and his gangster group/family can provide her with that. She feels seen and powerful. And that’s exactly what she’s dreaming of. She’s greedy and lonely with a great sense of humor, warmth and a curiosity that brings her in certain situations where the consequences are something she couldn’t predict.
Sascha is far away from today’s Danish beauty standards. How have you prepared for this role?
V.C.S.: Haha! I’m not sure what you mean about the Danish beauty standards. Of course, if you look at the Nordic chic, more good quality basic clothes and a natural look, I guess Sascha is a bit different, but it really depends on where you’re looking. There is also other “Saschas” in the landscape. She’s brave in her way of dressing, but she might tone it down a bit when she’s not on vacation. I bet many of us dare to dress better and wilder when we’re on holiday.
How do you pick a role? Which one is your favorite, if any?
V.C.S.: I love all my roles. Every time I get introduced to a new character, I start a relationship with that role. It’s a bit like falling in love, I feel. I try to get to know them very well and we somehow meld a bit together, get inspired by each other and develop and learn from each other. Yeah, a bit like being in love, I guess. I feel that I choose the project as much as the role. I don’t just look at the specific role, but at the story, the script, the director, etc. And if I feel that there’s something I can connect to, I’m in and a hundred percent devoted.
You have received many awards for your acting, but what does being a European Shooting Star mean for your career and how do you think it will impact it?
V.C.S.: I’m not sure yet. But I’m very honored and excited to get the chance to experience this.
What does it take to be a star, according to you?
V.C.S.: You need to be able to fly, very high in another galaxy. And then, you will burn out eventually. Actually, stars are small suns and when they shoot, it’s because they’re burning out. Dying. But many people probably know this.
There has been a lot of talk about women in film these past two years. What do you make of the situation of women in film? How is the situation in Denmark?
V.C.S.: It’s the same as most other places. But it has definitely improved with more equality and representation the past couple of years. Finally. I feel that some of us have been fighting for years and years, but now, more people are aware of the massive inequality and more people of both genders are trying to bring balance to the film industry.
Who is your favorite female filmmaker? Is there one you would love to work with?
V.C.S.: I love all the special women I’ve worked with and I would do it again in the blink of an eye. And then, I dream of working with Jennifer Reeder. The most remarkable Chicago-based writer and director. She’s one of a kind.
What are your next projects?
V.C.S.: I have some early low budget/art-ish and still unfinanced films in development. But nothing for sure. The future is wide open! Woohoo!
Photo credit: Franne Voigt.
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