Tag Archives: Morden i Sandhamn

Super Swede

Swedish actor Alexandra Rapaport tells DQ about starring in long-running crime drama Morden i Sandhamn and how she is enjoying being on both sides of the camera on returning thriller Gåsmamman.

Starring in three of Sweden’s biggest dramas, it’s no wonder Alexandra Rapaport has a schedule that befits one of Sweden’s most acclaimed actors.

She made her name in dramas such as Kronprinsessan (The Crown Princess) and Drottningoffret (Those In Power), and appeared in European crime drama The Team alongside Lars Mikkelsen.

But more recently she has been headlining crime series Morden i Sandhamn (The Sandhamn Murders), Modus and Gåsmamman.

The latter, which first aired on Discovery Networks Sweden’s flagship Kanal 5 in spring 2016, sees Rapaport play mother-of-three Sonja, who is drawn into the criminal underworld when she is forced to pay her murdered husband’s debt.

In the forthcoming second season, which debuts on February 2, Sonja and her family have secretly returned to Sweden after being on the run.

Gåsmamman’s second season debuts on Kanal 5 in Sweden next month

The 10-episode run also stars Tommy Körberg, Anja Lundqvist, Ivan Mathias Peterson, Grynet Molvig, Lisette Pagler, Shebly Niavarani and Ulf Friberg, plus new cast members Allan Svensson and Morgan Alling.

Set in Stockholm, it is directed by Richard Holm and produced by Birgitta Wännström for Endemol Sweden in coproduction with Discovery Networks Sweden and SVoD platform CMore. The writers are Camilla Ahlgren and Martin Asphaug.

The story is based on Dutch drama Penoza, which aired on NPO3 in the Netherlands for four seasons, and Rapaport immediately fell in love with the crime thriller after Wännström approached her with the idea of adapting it.

“It’s my baby,” says the actor. “The producer contacted me with this idea and we pitched it to Kanal 5 and got it. We found the best director and we started doing it.

“It’s a great show because it’s such a strong and powerful story. Everything happens really fast and it has a big drive forward every season. It’s a really good story.

“It has this big drama, crime, thrills and a lot of humour. You get a very warm feeling when you see it. Season one was a huge success and it got great reviews. It was so special for me.”

Rapaport also stars in crime series Morden i Sandhamn

Viewers were just as entranced by Gåsmamman as Rapaport, with the first episode breaking Kanal 5 records. Some 725,000 people tuned in, making it the highest-rated Swedish drama since Vänner & Fiender, which drew around 427,000 people in 1998.

But Rapport’s love of the show runs especially deep, as she is also an executive producer on the series.

“I love it,” she says, adding that work has already begun on a potential third season of the series. “I’m involved in casting, script writing and editing – everything in both seasons. I’m really putting my nose in everything and I love it. It’s the first time as an actor I’ve got to sit in different chairs at the same time. It’s really fulfilling. I want to use my knowledge. I like thinking about character and story, but I want to be in front of the camera, not directing.”

Last year was a busy one for the actor, filming season two of Gåsmamman at the same time as production began on four new films in the long-running Morden i Sandhamn series.

The detective drama, based on Viveca Sten’s series of novels of the same name, sees Rapaport play Nora Linde, a summer guest on the Stockholm archipelago of Sandhamn who partners with Detective Thomas Andreasson (Jakob Cedergren) to solve a number of grisly murders.

Rapaport (far right) poses with her fellow Modus cast and creative team

Filming is taking place in two blocks – first between August and October 2016 and then from May to June this year – and the new films will premiere first on CMore and then on TV4 in spring 2018.

The first two films are based on Sten’s novels I Maktens Skugga (In the Shadow of Power) and I Sanningens Namn (In the Name of Truth). The series is produced by Filmlance International, together with TV4, German broadcaster ZDF and distributor ZDF Enterprises.

“It’s really popular – people love it!” Rapaport enthuses. “In Denmark, Germany and Finland, it’s one of the biggest Nordic TV series. It’s crazy. Nordic Noir is now Scandi Blue Sky – it’s not raining!

“People like the characters, and the murder plots are scary but not creepy. It’s a family series because we have this expression, ‘cosy thriller.’ We always show the water and it’s a nice environment, the light and the summer. You can almost taste the salt from the ocean. It has a bit of everything. It’s the opposite of The Bridge – how it looks, smell and tastes.”

Morden i Sandham first aired in 2010, with the first five stories being split into three parts. Now the four latest instalments will play out as 90-minute films.

Rapaport jokes that she is nothing like the character she portrays in the books: “In the book she’s tall and blonde. I look exactly the opposite! People don’t mix us up. I’m doing my Nora and the book is a bit different and I just try to capture her personality. She is nosy but she’s a very nice, sensitive person. She’s nosy in a good way. My character in Gåsmamman is quite the opposite.

“It’s challenging to be that nice, calm and worthy. That’s not me at all! It’s really nice to come out here and live on this island. It’s an extended summer, even though I work hard.It’s a magical place to be. I love it.”

Teasing the new season, the actor says Nora’s will-they-won’t-they relationship with Thomas will deepen in the new run of films.

“We are certainly in love with each other but never get together. Maybe they will,” she teases. “They are soulmates. Everyone can see they fit together, but life pulls them in different directions. Are they going to get together or not? They are good friends as well. In this season, I have a new man and he’s jealous.”

Having established herself as one of Sweden’s leading actors and with a third season of Gåsmamman in the works, Rapaport’s future is as bright as the Sandhamn sunshine.

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Building on The Bridge: Filmlance’s Lars Blomgren on Nordic drama

As the third, ‘best yet’ season of international smash hit The Bridge approaches, Lars Blomgren of coproducer Filmlance explains why the Nordic drama has travelled so well, and reveals the other upcoming dramas on his firm’s slate.

On air in more than 150 countries and providing the inspiration for two international adaptations, it’s hard to deny the impact Nordic noir thriller The Bridge (aka Bron/Broen, pictured above) has had on television screens around the world.

So when the series’ executive producer says the forthcoming third season is the best yet, plenty of viewers are bound to get very excited.

A third season of The Bridge is on the way
A third season of The Bridge is on the way

The Swedish/Danish coproduction, created by Hans Rosenfeldt, saw detectives from both countries unite to solve a grisly murder after the discovery of a body on the Øresund Bridge, which connects the two nations.

Produced by Sweden’s Filmlance and Denmark’s Nimbus Film, it first aired on Denmark’s DR and SVT in Sweden in 2011, and its sequel followed in 2013.

This autumn, viewers can look forward to the third instalment. Plot details are a closely guarded secret, but Filmlance MD Lars Blomgren says there is plenty to be excited about.

“When I look at the third season of The Bridge, it’s just brilliant,” he says. “It’s the best season ever. In the first two seasons of The Bridge, you saw things from (Danish detective) Martin’s side. We changed it for the third season and had the focus on (Swedish cop) Saga.

“Sofia Helin (who plays Saga) is giving the performance of a lifetime. It’s one of the best performances I have ever seen.

“We have always tried to keep a balance between how complicated the case is and keeping the audience’s attention. The producers and writer Hans Rosenfeldt are a fantastic team.”

The international success of The Bridge led to two remakes – The Bridge on US cable network FX, which transplants the action to the US-Mexico border, and The Tunnel, a UK/French coproduction that centres on the Channel Tunnel.

The former was cancelled last year after two seasons, while The Tunnel is set to return for a second season – called The Tunnel: Debris – in early in 2016 on Sky Atlantic and Canal+.

Blomgren says the new run of The Tunnel “looks brilliant. I’m really happy and proud.” However, he is disappointed that the US remake didn’t get another season.

“One of the best things about the show was they made a late decision to switch the location of the story from the Canada-US border to the Mexico-US border,” he explains. “It took their show in a completely different direction to ours and it meant they didn’t really compete with us. It was one of the few shows in the US that was politically relevant. I think they were really close to picking up a third season.

Filmlance is currently producing the latest instalment in the Arne Dahl series
Filmlance is currently producing the latest instalment in the Arne Dahl series

“The Bridge is the perfect remake model. I’m not in favour of cross-border series because often there’s less depth to the story. But if you take two neighbours, you will always be in conflict and have close relationships. Wherever you put this, it could work. There’s room for a Hispanic version – the question is where you make it.”

With competition for scripted hits more fierce than ever, dramas are being seen as the way to build a brand. And the cheapest way to do this is with returning series. No wonder, then, that with four returning dramas on its slate in 2015, it’s been an “unprecedented” year at Filmlance.

As well as The Bridge, the Stockholm-based company is also back with Beck, its long-running TV movie franchise based on the detective novels by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö.

Filmlance is also producing season five of Morden i Sandhamn (aka Murder in Sandhamn), the TV4 crime drama based on the books by Viveca Sten and described as “Midsomer Murders on an archipelago,” as well as the latest instalment in the Arne Dahl series, another crime adaptation.

“It’s easier to get a second season than a new series on air,” says Blomgren. “All over the world, with binge-watching and changing consumer habits, it’s almost like the audience doesn’t want to commit to a new series unless there’s a second season.

“Follow-up seasons are becoming more important and it takes time to build a brand. If they’re good, you fall in love with the characters and want to hang out with them more. Currently, it’s so much more difficult to start from scratch and create a new universe. With The Bridge, it’s easier to talk about the reasons for changes in the new season than talk about something completely new. You can do major changes and still retain the same level of quality.”

Will there be a fourth season of The Bridge? “I think there’s going to be more,” Blomgren says. “If you look at the Scandinavian market, there’s a lot of talk about Scandi noir, but the most expensive stuff travels. I don’t think any broadcaster would say ‘we don’t want to do more than three seasons.’ As long as you can keep the same quality and keep the same passion, then I think it’s fine.”

One new series on the books at Filmlance is Spring Tide (aka Springfloden), which began production last month. Based on the opening novel in a new trilogy penned by Arne Dahl writers Rolf Börjlind and Cilla Börjlind, the first 10×45’ series will air on SVT in March 2016. The other titles, Den tredje rösten (The Third Voice) and Svart gryning (Black Dawn), will also be adapted for television, Blomgren says.

He adds: “80% of primetime television is local now – high-end drama that’s local. That’s the thing that travels too.

“It’s very difficult for new scripted projects to break out as it’s easier to order another season. Some countries also prefer to adapt. They see scripted formats as the same as entertainment formats.

“It’s a great time for drama. People are also opening up to subtitles. We have to be grateful to The Killing (aka Danish crime drama Forbrydelsen). Without it, there’s no The Bridge.”

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