We Catch Up with Icelandic star of ‘Trapped’ Ólafur Darri Ólafsson

You might recognise this big beardy character! Award-winning Icelandic actor, producer and screenwriter, Olafur Darri Olafsson has quite an impressive CV when it comes to TV shows and movies over the last two decades. From HBO’s True Detective, to The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, The Last Witch Hunter, and Steven Spielberg’s The BFG. Perhaps lesser-known works that we loved him in include Icelandic thriller The Deep, which was based on a true story of a man surviving a ship wreck on the Westman Islands, and as a voice role in animations including the wonderful Hilda and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance – which can both be found on Netflix.

Recently he popped up in comedy film Eurovision; but he is probably best known for his role as brooding detective Andri in Icelandic Nordic Noir series Trapped.

We are huge fans and managed to track the busy man down in-between filming to ask about his career highlights so far, his latest work, and places to visit in Iceland.

For all of us in the UK you first came to our attention as Andri Ólafsson in the excellent Trapped (Currently on Amazon Prime in the UK) – has there been any consideration to return for a third season?

The 3rd season of Trapped is scheduled to start filming in the fall. We are all pretty excited to get back to our story about Andri and Hinrikka. Of course I’m sworn to secrecy regarding what happens as always.

Once we got to know you in Trapped we realised you have been popping up everywhere – your acting career is incredible with so many appearances in well known TV Shows and Movies – what have been some of your highlights in terms of shows you have been in and who you have worked with?

I have been incredibly fortunate in my career and have gotten to work with great people all over the world. It is always hard to pick favourites but there are roles and people that changed my life.

I have to mention Icelandic directors Baltasar Kormakur and Marteinn Thorsson. Abroad I have been lucky enough to work with great filmmakers like Ben Stiller, Cary Fukunaga, Steven Spielberg, Scott Frank, Charlie Kaufman and Jonathan Demme to name but a few. It sometimes feels quite unreal that I have had these opportunities but I try to be professional and a nice guy. That seems to help.

We see you have a role in Netflix series ‘Cursed’  and a new Icelandic TV Series called ‘The Minister’ (which has just been released)– tell us some more about these?

Cursed is a Netflix series based on the writings of Frank Miller and Tom Wheeler. It premiered in July. The Minister is a series about a newcomer to politics who ends up as prime minister of Iceland. We get an inside into politics, family drama and mental health as it turns out our main character is non diagnosed as bi-polar.

The Icelandic trailer for Olafur’s most recent series ‘Ráðherrann’ (The Minister) – no word on a release yet in the UK but we will keep our eyes peeled if/when it is!

When it comes to escaping –  what are some of your favourite places to visit in Iceland?

This summer I have been lucky enough to work in the Westfjords of Iceland. They are high upon my list of favourite places.  

Iceland is full of the most amazing places. I feel very privileged to live here. There is so much to see. So just going to knock some out there: Inside The Volcano, Djupalonssandur, The Westfjords, Geosea Spa in Husavik, Thingvellir.

light house on hill
The beautiful West Fjords – Photo by Zack Melhus on Pexels.com

What have you been watching, reading, or listening to? Any recommendations?

I always have a few books going at the same time, can’t tell you why but that’s how its always been. Right now I’m reading “The Republic of Pirates” by Colin Woodard and “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad. I just finished watching the Brooklyn Nine Nine comedy series and it is absolutely brilliant. And I have just started listening to The National, a great band.

Finally, what is your tip of the day?

Try to enjoy the little things…

We simply can’t wait to see our favourite Icelandic detective return next year!

Interview by Alex Minnis

Main Black & White Image by Photo by Jonatan Gretarsson / www.jonatan.is

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