Back in August 2021 we spoke to Swedish actress Nanna Blondell. Nanna appeared in one of our favourite Nordic TV shows in 2020 – BBC4’s Norwegian series Twin. Upon further investigation, we discovered she also starred in the French war-drama movie Sisters in Arms (Soeurs D’Armes), and she will be making an appearance in the eagerly-anticipated Marvel film Black Widow (whenever that might be released)!
Another exciting project she had been working on was the first ever Swedish movie to be made by Netflix – action-thriller Red Dot which, at the time of our interview, was on hold due to the pandemic.
We got to speak to Nanna about her experience in these roles, championing diversity and representation of black women in Sweden, and her favourite places to chill out in Sweden…
We saw you last year in the excellent Twin and next up we can see you in an upcoming Netflix movie Red Dot – tell us a bit more about the movie.
I’m really excited to be a part of a Netflix first Swedish movie. I play Nadja who’s struggling in her relationship with David. The couple decide to make an attempt to rekindle their relationship and travel to the north of Sweden for a ski hike. But their romantic trip turns into a nightmare after a quarrel with two locals and they are forced to flee into the cold snowy wilderness. This is really a genre movie and high intense paced action thriller. It was so fun to shoot this type of film. It’s very rare that they make this types of distinct action thrillers in my country. So that was a big draw for me.
We have like four more days to shoot, but because of Corona we had to take a break and now we have to wait for the snow to come back. So I’m excited to rejoin with the crew in late fall/winter to finish it.
Can you tell us anything about your involvement in Black Widow? How exciting was it to be part of that?
I can’t tell you anything actually, but it was a wonderful experience to be a small part of this universe that is Marvel and to get to work with people who are the best of the best in every department was mind-blowing. And of course I can’t wait to see the movie that premiers in November.
We are also really interested to hear and learn more about your podcast – Fenomenala Kvinnor (Phenomenal Women) – are there any plans to return to do a second series?
I started the podcast Fenomenala kvinnor because I felt a lack of diverse representation of black women in Sweden. The purpose of the podcast is to inspire and enhance visibility of black women in a positive sense. Historically, women stories have often been forgotten and even more so black women. This is a way to preserve the stories of these phenomenal women, so young women can have a larger range of role models that looks like them. So in every episode I meet a black woman with a different profession and talk about their journey, life, work and hair.
I really want to do a second season because there’s so many more women I want to talk to and hear more about. Unfortunately time hasn’t been on my side, and I’ve been busy working but as soon as I can I will start recording again.
When it comes to escaping – what are some of your favourite places to visit in Sweden?
I have a house in the countryside in Roslagen. I really love that part of Sweden, it’s close to Stockholm, but you have all the beautiful nature and you are close to the sea and the archipelago.
One time we rented a house on the west coast of Sweden and I was blown away by the nature and the small fishing villages, the whole coast is really beautiful especially if you go high up close to the Norwegian boarder.
What have you been watching, reading, or listening to? Any recommendations?
Right now I’m reading Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo. Just started it but it seems extremely good. And I’m watching I May Destroy You on HBO Nordic which I love, it so unpredictable and really speaks to me and it’s just on point on so many things. She is an absolute star the creator and actress Michaela Coel.
UPDATE: Nanna Blondell can now been seen in HBO’s House of the Dragons
Interview by Alex Minnis (Photo Credits: Andreas Öhman / LL / Maria Therese / Erik Magnusson)