Danish Actress Josefine Lindegaard On New Horror ‘Chakra’ & Magical Copenhagen

Josefine Lindegaard has been acting since she was a small child, starring in several commercials on Danish TV. Now in her early twenties, she is an up-and-coming talent in the film world, with a role in star-studded new film ‘The Comeback Trail’ – out this year. We caught up with her before she jetted off to the USA to continue filming work, to ask her about her role in upcoming horror movie ‘Chakra’, by the talented Danish director, Kasper Juhl.

Being big horror movie fans we were really keen to ask Josefine more about ‘Chakra’, as well as get some recommendations for food and drink in her beloved Copenhagen, and her top recommendations on podcasts, movies, and shows to watch! Let’s go…

Let’s talk first about Chakra which you have just wrapped filming – what can we expect from Kasper Juhl’s next feature?

CHAKRA is truly unique in so many ways. It’s a no budget indie-feature with Kasper directing and in charge of camera and then we have a fantastic guy, Anders Nordahl in charge of all the sound and lighting. They’re truly a magnetic duo and can make anything happen.

You can expect an extremely raw, authentic, personal and disturbing film about two sisters who are troubled in their own ways. It’s a story about family, relationship, denial, hereditary, powerlessness and love.

It’s filmed in the same style as Kasper’s latest movie MOONFIRE and will bring the audience in deep contact with our characters and story. It will also leave the audience in a free state of mind to analyse the situations we put them through.

We read that Kaspar was taking an ‘organic approach to the movie making it mainly improvised with only 18 pages of script’ – is that correct? How did you approach the filming with that set-up in mind?

Yes, it’s very true! The whole film has truly developed so much day to day being in the character as ‘Rose’ and just living in the moment.

I love Kasper’s approach to organic movie making, it gives me such an amazing freedom to act from my instinct and improvise as my character would.

We’ve done a lot of work on the background story of the two sisters “Rose and Nora”, to be able to improvise as much as possible. I feel that if you’re safe in your character’s backstory and you feel connected to your character and start thinking as her and create memories as her, then you’re safe to play with it all and approach the whole story as organic as possible. It’s truly been such an eye-opener, the way Kasper has directed us and given us time and a safe space to get into the “mood” of the individual scenes and then played along with us, creating magic and truth through improvisation. I tend to think that the words from improvisation reflect our everyday lives in a much more authentic way than scripted words can. Through improvisation and a clear understanding of your character, you can create incredible moments of pure authenticity.

Whereabouts did you film the movie and did the current pandemic create any challenges?

Luckily CHAKRA is mostly set outside in the forest as my character “Rose” brings her sister ‘Nora’ to a magical tree that she calls “the tree of life” set in the forest and that ‘Ros’ thinks can help cure her mentally unstable sister. We have very few indoor scenes and with those scenes we took extra precautions and made sure that everyone on set was constantly washing hands, using disinfection, wearing medical masks and keeping a safe distance.

Are you a horror movie fan? If so, what are some of your favourites?

I love this question, because for many years I’ve been extremely scared of horror films! I’ve actually been so scared that I would cover my eyes through any horror film, but as the horror genre is ever evolving and I’ve expanded my film horizon, I’ve grown to love horrors with a psychological approach. I’m especially a big fan of Ari Asters films and anything from A24 in general. A classic like “The Blair Witch Project” is definitely also one of my favourites and I’ve had to re-watch that with my eyes fully open over the past years haha.

I also just watched a fantastic film called INSTINKT from the Dutch director Halina Reijn, not really a horror film, but a fantastic psychological thriller that is highly disturbing yet fascinating and intriguing at the same time.

Chakra is one of your first Danish movies in a short while – before you were rubbing shoulders with Hollywood A-listers in a couple of features. How did you find that experience?

Set wise, It’s very different to shoot films in the US compared to Denmark. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of some incredible projects in the US, lastly ‘The Comeback Trail’ with a fascinating cast and crew. It was such a wild experience to be on the humongous set with several cameras, cranes and huge catering setups.

But even though it’s all so extreme it’s really all about telling a story in the most authentic way possible – Exactly like how it is in every country when telling a story. That’s all I really care about, and as soon as the director says “action” you forget all the “noise” around you and live in the moment as your character, and that feeling is mutual no matter how big the setup around you is. Although I do love the catering in the US!!! So yummy and SO many options! 

Aside from Chakra – what else is coming up next for you which we should be looking out for?

Back in March when the Covid-19 pandemic became a harsh reality in the US, I was in the midst of pre production on an American feature titled ‘LONESOME SOLDIER’ where I portray a young woman from the south named ‘Christy’ who’s life we follow through ups and downs as her husband’Jackson’ is taking part of the Iraq war from 2005-2007 meanwhile the Opioid crisis is at it’s high all throughout America.

I’m flying back to Los Angeles on the 31st of August to resume shooting that, now that we’re finally able to start up again soon.

When I’m done with Lonesome Soldier, the world is once again open for endless opportunities and I’m self taping for all sorts of interesting projects so I’m sure something intriguing will fall into my lap soon.

Where did you grow up in Denmark – have you any favourite places to visit?

I grew up 10 minutes outside of Copenhagen centre near the ocean in a little suburbia called Hellerup.

Copenhagen is such a magical city and truly my favourite place in the whole world. It’s full of creative people and I love biking everywhere, I would never need a car here. Other than that, It’s the best city in the world for jumping in the ocean anywhere at any time, you can literally jump in the ocean in the middle of the city centre because the water is so clean.

I would recommend anyone to visit Copenhagen from May-September and slender around town – grab breakfast in the courtyard of the Instagram hotspot Apollo Bar or get the famous “Kardemomme snurre” (cinnamon bun) and a sourdough bun with butter and cheese from Juno The Bakery, followed by lunch at Morgenstedet in Christiania (a small vegetarian gem with incredible delicious organic fresh produce) then have wine at Den Vandrette Vinbar followed by a dip in the ocean, followed by a yummy ice cream treat from Siciliansk is or vegan ice cream from Nice Cream . Try a healthy banana version from one of my fave spots Banana followed by incredible pasta and Aperol spritz outside at restaurant Undici followed by drinks and dancing in the meatpacking district “Kødbyen”.

I would also spend a day hanging out at Refshaleøen with breakfast at Lille Bakery (INCREDIBLE sourdough bread!!) and lunch and drinks and a dip in the ocean at La Banchina, a chill hangout spot with direct access to the water.

Copenhagen in the evening. Photo by Simeon Baker via visitdenmark.com

For more recommendations on Copenhagen, check out our 48 Hours in Copenhagen post

What have you been listening to, watching, or reading recently which you have been enjoying? Any recommendations for us?

I’ve listened to some important podcasts focusing on the history of systemic racism in America as I think it is everyone’s responsibility to devote time into understanding how deeply rooted into our systems racism is across nations. I recommend listening to “1619” a podcast by The New York Times that takes you through the history of slavery throughout America. I also recommend the podcast: “About Race” from Renni Eddo-Lodge and then I highly recommend watching “13th” on Netflix by the revolutionary Ava DuVernay who is also the powerhouse behind the must watch series “When They See Us”. I also highly recommend the film “Queen and Slim” written by one of my favourite artists, Lena Waithe. And as I’m writing this I’m currently obsessing over the HBO series I May Destroy You and I look forward to every single episode. I think the creator, Michaela Coel is a GENIUS in every way possible.

Finally, what is your tip of the day?

My tip of the day is to write 5 things that you’re grateful for in a notebook first thing in the morning and then once again before going to sleep. This practice has changed my life and made me realize more than ever, how incredibly privileged and grateful I am.

Interview by Alex Minnis.
Photos of Josefine by Anine.

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