Catch up with Saga’s right-hand man
It’s been nearly two years since Henrik found out what happened to his wife at the end of season three, so can we expect to see Henrik on the road to recovery in The Bridge IV? “With Saga in prison, Henrik’s starting to lose hope. He’s trying to figure out his identity; who is he if he’s not a husband or a father?” Thure explains. “Another very important thing is Henrik’s stopped using drugs. Now, instead of numbing his emotions, he must cope with all this pain and anger without his ally. Henrik is still a detective, yet he’s still in a pretty dark place.” That’s good for the drama but not so good Henrik. “It’s good to start somewhere low and then crawl back to the top! [LAUGHS]”
The fourth and final season has had UK audiences in a state of anticipation for a while, so there are many expectations about how the series will end and live up to the show’s hype. “Each season has a theme and season three was based on a family theme. What is a family? There are so many different constellations: there was Henrik’s missing wife and kids, Helle Anker’s girlfriend and their child, plus Saga’s mother and sister. The killer’s issues were family-orientated too. In The Bridge IV, the new theme is about identity; who are we and who do we think we are? This relates to Saga and Henrik and discovering more about them.”
The times have also changed since the last season of The Bridge. There has been Brexit, Trump getting elected, and the refugee crisis, which have been considered for the latest narrative. “Suddenly, the bridge, which was a symbol of peace and bringing the Swedes and the Danes together was closed. You had to start showing your passport, which is featured in season four,” Thure reveals. “The sense of connectivity and freedom about the bridge has changed. We had to be aware of that in telling the story in the season. I think the series is good at showing these things, without dictating how the audience should think. You just have to see it to know that it’s there. Art should never tell you what you should think or feel – it’s up to you. Art should only present the truth and the state of human beings.”
There were rumours (and hope) that there would be a return or cameo of Kim Bodnia in the final season, but sadly Martin Rohde’s character won’t be returning – not entirely. “There was a possibility of a cameo, which would have been fun. It was more like a fun cameo, rather than an essential part of the story,” Thure mentions. “I would have loved it and it would have been a little present to the fans. It might have been a little confusing, like bringing an ex-boyfriend on a date – although some people do that! Nevertheless, there will be references to the past throughout the season. You’ll see them. The writer, Hans Rosenfeldt, is very aware of how important the past is in The Bridge.”
The dark and complex character of Henrik has left an impression on the actor, which is why he was so eager to reprise the role. “Working on season three meant a lot to me as it was my first season and I thought I would only be there for one season too. As DR normally commission a series with three seasons, I thought that would be it. I was really happy to come back for season four, so I could explore more about this character. I really like playing Henrik and I really identified with him – it was almost like playing someone I know, like a brother.”
Many of Thure’s scenes are opposite new Danish partners, Jonas, played by Mikkel Birkkjaer, which has been comical for the audience and the actor alike. “He was so good in The Killing II! Mikael is such a great guy. We’re actually working together on stage in Nikolaj Gogol’s Auditor, with Sarah Boberg [Lillian from The Bridge] and Benedikte Hansen who also starred in Borgen,” Thure confesses. “Mikael has such a great character in The Bridge IV. He’s so funny! He plays one of those people who says what he thinks in a very blunt away, whereas Saga can’t help it. He can definitely help it – he should know better. You know those people who always have a comment about something, right? What’s also funny is that Mikael once played my father at the Royal Theatre in Eugene O’Neill’s Strange Interlude. We did have a few laughs about that whilst shooting The Bridge IV. There we were as cool detectives with guns and I was like, “Do you remember when I was playing your 11-year-old son?” [LAUGHS}”
We wanted to know what the chemistry has been like between Thure and Sofia, beyond their on-screen characters, especially for two seasons? “We spent so long working together, it felt like a family atmosphere filming The Bridge,” Thure admits. “Everyone knows each other’s weaknesses and strengths, and I felt a lot of respect on set. It was a lot of hard work – which is not a complaint! It just means more when people are so nice to each other. It was very professional, without any drama.” Just plenty of fictional drama for viewers to relish.
The series cast and crew wrap party had a memorable theme, dedicated to the bridge itself. “It was so much fun! We rented Porsches, like Saga’s car, from a Porsche club in Sweden and we were driven to a party at an observation deck, overlooking the Øresund Bridge. It was spectacular.” Maybe the party doesn’t have to end if there was a fifth season? The actor shared with us a unique and utopian future for Saga and Henrik. “I’ve joked about this with Sofia that we’ll retire and never work again. We’ve also talked about making short 15 to 20-minute episodes without any obstacles or dramas, like Saga and Henrik Go to the Museum, Saga and Henrik Go Shopping, Saga and Henrik Go on Holiday – somewhere hot and warm – like Saga and Henrik Go to Lanzarote. Something like that! [LAUGHS] Similar to the children’s books we grew up with in Denmark.”
What will the star be appearing in next? “We’re waiting for The Vicar’s Wife to get the green light. I’ve also been filming I Krig & Kærlighed in the south of Jutland, which is a German-Danish war film, starring Ulrich Thomsen, Natalie Madueño from Follow the Money, and Tom Wlaschiha from Game of Thrones.” We may have seen the last of Henrik, but there’s more of Thure yet to come!
Words and interview by Antony Smith
Stay tuned in for the next episode on BBC Two tomorrow night from 9pm. The latest episodes are also available on digital download via iTunes here.