The cast and crew gathered at the Covent Garden Hotel to launch the ground-breaking new series.
Director Ole Bornedal (Nightwatch, 1994) was joined by the stars of Miso Films and DR’s extravagant new drama Pilous Asbæk, Søren Malling and Jens Sætter-Lassen to discuss the critically acclaimed and controversial series before it hits our screens on BBC Four.
The first episode introduces the grand-scale narrative which intertwines 1864 with modern day; comparing the Danish war with Germany to modern conflict in Afghanistan. Bornedal highlighted how these parallel story-lines were significant to contemporary audiences: “If you want to make an epic today it’s pretty important to make that bridge.”
Pilou Asbæk, who plays Didrich, praised the show: “When you read a history book it is always the winner who has written the book; it is their interpretation. And 1864 is Ole’s vision. This is something that reflected the society 150 years ago.”
The director also drew attention to how the events of 1864are ironically seen as a celebration: “The Danes turned this defeat into a strange kind of victory which it definitely wasn’t. It was humiliation.” Actor Søren Malling went on to echo how 1864 commemorates such an important part of Denmark’s past which is generally ambiguous, even in the minds of the Danes: “I didn’t know much about 1864. I’d heard the songs and all of the rumours. What actually hit me is that we lost.”
In a bold departure for the Scandi-crime and Audiences can expect a rich, cinematic tone from the outset due to the big budget, which Bornedal recalled was no easy feat: “A huge, dramatic project is impossible to finance. Epics are always extremely expensive to make.”
The great battle of 1864 airs on BBC Four soon