Lilyhammer – The Story So Far


The second season of the Netflix sensation Lilyhammer is coming to Nordic Noir. This comedy crime drama, starring Steven Van Zandt, sees an a-typical New York gangster, Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano, who flees the big apple to make a new life in the isolated climes of Lillehammer in Norway. The first season has already proved to be a hit with TV addicts but if it has passed you by so far we are here to give you a brief rundown of everything you need to know about Lilyhammer.

Created by Eilif Skodvin and Anne Bjørnstad, whose previous television titles include Mandagsklubben (1999-2004) and Rikets røst (2005), Lilyhammer tells the story of Frank Tagliano, a former underboss of the American Mafia who, after testifying in a trial against the new Mafia head Aldo Delucci (Thomas Grube), is placed in the Federal Witness Protection Program. Requesting he be relocated to the unassuming town of Lillehammer in Oppland County, Norway, Tagliano begins a new life in hiding under the new guise of Norwegian-American immigrant Giovanni “Johnny” Henriksen, though he finds that trouble is never far away.

On a train journey from Oslo to Lillehammer, Johnny immediately befriends a teacher called Sigrid Haugli (Marian Saastad Ottesen) after impressing her and her son. Shortly after their meeting Johnny and Sigrid spend the night together, which sees Sigrid fall pregnant with twins as a consequence. To make matter worse Johnny becomes embroiled in the illegal hunt of a wolf that is killing the surrounding wildlife. Enlisting the help of his new friends Torgeir (Trond Fausa Aurvåg) and Roar Lien (Steiner Sagen), Johnny sets out to slay the predator, which isn’t looked upon favourably by the locals. Nor is the nightclub he opens – the Flamingo, or the apartment complex he invests in. His dealings and eye-catching antics rouse the suspicions of police officer Geir Tvedt (Kyrre Hellum) who makes a trip to New York and begins gathering information about Johnny’s true identity. These suspicions lead to Johnny’s cover being blown, which is something he’s willing to protect no matter how tragic the ramifications may be, paving the way for an eventful second season.

No stranger to playing a gangster on a prestigious television show, having taken on the role of cool-headed but deadly Silvio Dante, in the unanimously acclaimed The Sopranos (1999-2007), Steven Van Zandt has lead an unexpectedly successful career as an actor outside of his musical roots. Currently a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, in which he plays guitar and mandolin, Van Zandt is also a songwriter, arranger and producer, as well as human rights activist. Though he expressed a desire to lessen his role as an actor after The Sopranos, Van Zandt has appeared in other titles before landing the leading role in Lilyhammer, which, three seasons in, is proving to be a big hit, with a fourth season looking likely.

You can decide if Van Zandt is the next Nordic superstar when Lilyhammer Season 2 is released on DVD on February 16th.