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150 people are standing around you and waiting for you to pull off the take. Because then everyone can go home. You're fighting an imaginary troll who is going to explode in a fireball right in front of you. The ground is covered in smoke, so you can't see your markers... It's demanding, but at the same time exiting and cool.[2]
—Torstein Bjørklund src

Torstein Bjørklund is the Norwegian actor who portrays Beowulf on ABC's Once Upon a Time.

Biography

Torstein Ivarsson Bjørklund is half Icelandic and half Norwegian,and hails from Tromsø, Norway.[3] He studied acting at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and the Norwegian National Academy of Theatre,[4] and has performed in several theatrical productions at the regional theater in Tromsø, including William' Shakespeare's King Lear.[3]

Torstein performed in a handful of short films[4] before landing his first feature film role in 2013 with the Norwegian drama film Victoria,[4] based on Knut Hamsun's novel of the same name, and starring Stellan Skarsgård's son Bill Skarsgård. His first lead role was in the 2014 science fiction movie Morgenrøde (Dawn),[4][5] a post-apocalyptic story about two survivors in a water-polluted world,[6] told with only two actors and sparse dialogue.[5]

Torstein landed one of his most notable roles to date when he played Norwegian resistance member Arne Kjelstrup in the 2015 Norwegian/Danish/British war drama TV miniseries The Heavy Water War[7] (renamed The Saboteurs in the United Kingdom). Set during the Second World War, the series depicts the events leading up to the Norwegian heavy water sabotage, a bold plan executed by Norwegian and British intelligence in 1943 to blow up the heavy water factory in Norway, which was crucial to the Nazi's atomic weapon development.

In 2016, Torstein was cast as Beowulf on ABC's Once Upon a Time. He nabbed the role by sending an audition tape where he used a real sword that he found via Facebook - since Beowulf is a sword fighter, he wanted to use a real sword instead of waiving a broom around. The trick worked, and the people who did the casting told him that his performance was some of the best they'd ever seen.[2]

Trivia

Appearances

External Links

References

  1. Public information on Torstein Bjørklund's sole proprietorship (in Norwegian)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Excerpts from https://www.nordlys.no/kultur/arrangement/teater/han-lante-sverd-pa-facebook-laget-video-og-sendte-den-til-usa-jeg-hadde-i-bakhodet-at-dette-muligens-var-litt-too-much-men-jeg-kjorte-pa/s/5-34-595687 (in Norwegian):

    Bjørklund sier at et av de råeste minnene han har fra innspillingen er en dag han var eneste skuespiller på sett, midt på natta, i pøsende regn: - 150 mennesker står rundt deg og venter på at du skal klare tagninga. Da kan alle gå hjem. Du slåss mot et imaginært troll som skal eksplodere i et flammehav rett foran deg. Bakken er dekket av røyk, så du ser ikke markørene dine... Det er krevende, men samtidig spennende og kult. Det er mye ansvar."
    Which translates as: Bjørklund says that one of the most awesome memories he has from the shooting is a day he was the only actor in set, in the middle of the night, in pouring rain: - 150 people are standing around you and waiting for you to pull off the take. Because then everyone can go home. You're fighting an imaginary troll who is going to explode in a fireball right in front of you. The ground is covered in smoke, so you cant's see your markers... It's demanding, but at the same time exiting and cool. It's a lot of responsibility.

    - Hvordan fikk du denne rollen?
    - Gjennom det som kalles en «self tape». Det brukes mye nå, og gjør at man ikke trenger å være tilstede i LA hele tida. Man sender rett og slett en video av seg selv, sier Bjørklund.
    Which translates as:
    - How did you get this role?
    - Through what is called a "self tape". It's used a lot now, and means that you don't have to be present in LA all the time. You simply send a video if yourself, Bjørklund says.

    Han tar alle sine prøvespillinger seriøst, og ville virkelig gi jernet på denne. Beowulf er en sverdkriger. Så i stedet for å vifte med et kosteskaft, ville Bjørklund ha et ekte sverd. Det lille ekstra. -Jeg gikk dit alle går når de trenger noe: Facebook. Det ble en interessant respons. Man burde kanskje forvente det når man spør etter et sverd på Facebook? Uansett - jeg fikk tak i sverdet.
    Og Bjørklund filmet scenen sin.
    - Jeg hadde det i bakhodet at dette muligens var litt «too much». Men jeg kjørte på. Og da jeg snakket med casting-folkene etterpå sa de at det var noe av det beste de hadde sett, sier Bjørklund fornøyd.
    Which translates as: He takes all of his auditions seriously, and really wanted to give his all on this one. Beowulf is a sword fighter. So instead of waiving a broom around, Bjørklund wanted a real sword. The little extra. -I went where everyone goes when they need something: Facebook. It was an interesting response. Perhaps one should expect that when one asks for a sword of Facebook? Anyway - I got hold of the sword.
    And Bjørklund filmed his scene.
    - It was in the back of my head that this might be a little "too much". But I went on. And when I spoke to the casting-people afterward, they said that it was some of the best they'd seen, a pleased Bjørklund says.

    Caption: SAMME SOM LEO: Bjørklund sammen med den russiske stuntmannen sin. For øvrig samme stuntmann som Leonardo DiCaprio hadde i «The Revenant»."
    Which translates as: THE SAME AS LEO: Bjørklund with his Russian stuntman. Incidentally the same stuntman that Leonardi DiCaprio had in The Revenant.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Torstein Bjørklund's profile at the official website of the regional theater in Tromsø (in Norwegian)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 http://slidegur.com/doc/4742627/cv-torstein-bj%C3%B8rklund-northern-lights
  5. 5.0 5.1 http://scififilmfestival.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/MORGENR%C3%98DE2014-PRESSRELEASE.pdf
  6. http://www.fangoria.com/new/trailer-see-the-stunning-bleak-landscape-of-norwegian-sci-fi-morgenrode-dawn/
  7. https://boxofficebuz.com/person/30013-torstein-bj%C3%B8rklund
    http://celebrities.prettyfamous.com/l/422364/Torstein-Bj-rklund