We talk to the Danish actor about his view from The Bridge and in the crosshairs of Hostages.
On the big screen, Kim Bodnia has worked with acclaimed directors from Denmark, including Susanne Bier, Ole Bornedal and Nicolas Winding Refn. He has starred with fellow Nordic Noir actors, Mads Mikkelsen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Sofie Gråbøl and even Saga Norén’s new partner, Thure Lindhardt. In television, he has been synonymous with his character, Martin Rohde in The Bridge.Now, Bodnia is back in the second season of Hostages. “When I saw some clips of season one, I knew I wanted to be a part of the project after seeing the style, mood and the relentless intensity of the show.”
Find out more from Kim Bodnia as we talk about his role in Hostages season two, his experience on The Bridge and what it was like working with Sofia Helin.
UK fans are looking forward to welcoming the star back our screens but what can we expect from the return of Hostages? “The new season will again revolve around a hostage situation that continues the story of some of the characters from the first season. It opens the scale of the conspiracy and introduces new characters. It’s quite a joy ride.” The socio-political storyline also continues to reflect the country’s culture and current affairs in a dramatic setting.“Hostages deals with the very relevant connection between high politics and big money. The idea of regular people being caught in the middle of a political conspiracy is something that most of us feel to a certain extent. The truth that is being told to us has many faces; nothing is black or white which is essentially the theme of the show.”
Bodnia plays the role of Arthur, one of an eclectic cast of antagonists to Adam Rubin’s (Jonah Lotan) plot with PM Shmuel Nester (Shmil Ben Ari) as his hostage. As Bodnia has been described as playing brusque, macho characters in the past, is this trait reflected in Arthur? “Behind the layers, there’s always a softer side – that’s where the real challenge lies. To me, it is all about the emotions within the characters I play. Arthur is a journalist that comes to Jerusalem to cover that funeral of the Prime Minister. His story quickly collides with the main plot of the hostage situation and he ends up playing a major part in the season climax,” Bodnia shares. “One of the main reasons I wanted to play the character of Arthur is because many of the HBO shows like Homeland, In Treatment and Wired come from Israel and I wanted to be a part of that; the original series.”
One of Bodnia’s recent cinematic performances saw him as the interrogator, “Mr. Rosewater”, in Jon Stewart’s Rosewater, adapted from Maziar Bahari’s memoirs, Then They Came for Me. “The preparation and filming for Jon Stewart’s film took place in Jordan where Mr. Bahari was present and could inspire us all with his unbelievable memories. Mr. Barhari was there every day in front of the monitors, and a look from him after a recording could tell you everything. To work with Jon Stewart was an amazing, unforgettable journey.” Bodnia has also starred in both Nordic and English-language films helmed by Susanne Bier – Love is All You Need, In a Better World and Serena. “It’s always a pleasure and incredibly inspiring to work with Susanne Bier. Mastering different languages always task you with various challenges but it is also a beautiful way of learning different cultures through playing them. My favourite language is body language and combining the senses.”
The first two seasons of The Bridge are full of funny and tragic moments which continues to make the series popular to this day. We wanted to know some of the star’s best moments on set. “I wouldn’t know where to begin! Acting alongside Sofia Helin was definitely a great experience. Our immersion in the roles we played has forged an unforgettable friendship. There were so many unique scenes which The Bridge has given us that it is simply impossible to pick a favourite,” Bodnia admits.We must know, will Martin be returning for the fourth and final season of The Bridge? There is still no news from the star but we will wait patiently in the hope that we will see Martin and Saga together again.
In addition to his illustrious cinematic career, Bodnia notably won Best Actor at the Robert Prisens in 2014 for The Bridge.“It was an unforgettable night, and the award means something very special to me! It’s a wonderful feeling to be acknowledged for my work in my homeland of Denmark. The character of Martin Rohde holds a very special place in my heart because you spend so much time away from your family when filming a television series, in contrast to when you’re shooting a film.” Here’s a snippet from Bodnia’s awards acceptance speech: “The most important part was thanking my wonderful and beloved wife, Rikke, for giving me the love and space to do my work; knowing my family would be in safe hands.”
One of the Dane’s earlier stand-out performances in Danish cinema was in the first chapter of the Pusher trilogy.“The memories of Pusher will always stay close in my heart and mind – the incredible experience of acting with Mads Mikkelsen and collaborating with Nicolas Winding Refn. I’m proud and happy of our work.” It has been announced that Kim Bodnia will be reprising his role as Jens in a sequel to Ole Bornedal’s 1994 thriller, Nightwatch (Nattevagten), opposite Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Sofie Gråbøl. “There are a few very interesting projects on the table which I can’t talk about yet – both television series and films. I have two other movies coming out later this year.” Watch out for Light Thereafter, alongside Thure Lindhardt and Barry Keoghan, as well as Night of the Lotus, with an international cast including Saffron Burrows, Russell Tovey Russell Tovey and Adelaide Clemens. In the meantime, we can look forward to seeing Kim Bodnia as the intriguing journalist, Arthur in season two of Hostages.
Finally, we asked if the actor avidly follows the plethora of Nordic Noir series on television as we do, to which he replied, “All of them, of course!” The perfect answer from one of the genre’s revered actors.
Words and interview by Antony Smith