Last month saw the BBC deliver another new Nordic series – this time in the form it’s first ever Finnish series, Man in Room 301. We met one of the cast, Elias Gould, who plays the character Leo and who not only acts but is also a musician working on his second album.
The Man in Room 301 is finally coming to our UK screens – what can you tell us about the show and your role in the series?
The show is thriller/drama about a Finnish family who have faced a great tragedy in the past and while on a vacation in Greece, they get reminded of this past. You could say my role in the show is one of those reminders.
For me this show has everything a great thriller needs: an intense plot, great acting and of course the music is superb!
The series was split with filming in Finland and in Greece – your particular role was based for the Greece part – whereabouts did you film there?
Filming in Greece was definitely a huge upside in this production. The beautiful island of Kos gave us plenty of sun and the Greek crew was amazing. We stayed in the same resort where we did most of the filming so we were literally living inside the set which really helped the actors to stay focused and practice the scenes beforehand.
The Man in Room 301 is the first Finnish series to be televised on the BBC, meanwhile on Walter Presents they are airing All The Sins as their first – can we expect a Finnish TV series takeover in 2021? What have we been missing?
To be honest I haven’t been very active in watching Finnish drama, but I do know that there is a lot of talent here ready to be unleashed. Even though the Finnish TV/Film industry has always been working with relatively small budgets compared to the rest of the world, I feel like we have been steadily raising the bar. We are a humble nation but a hungry one! One show that really turned heads locally was M/S Romantica but I really couldn’t say if the genius opens only for Finns.
You released an album in 2019 – might we expect some more music from you this year?
Yes you might! I’ve been working on my second album for a year now and so far so good! I’ve been working with producer Riku Mattila (a legend) and he has really helped me figure out how to take my shit to the next level. Still ”a bit” of work to be done but I do believe it’s safe to say that the direction is right and it won’t take too long for you to hear it.
Any other talents we should know about?
Thankfully not! There’s enough learning with these two.
Where in Finland did you grow up and what are some of your favourite locations to visit?
I grew up in Kumpula which is a small but beautiful neighbourhood in Helsinki filled with colourful wooden houses and with some nature still left. I would definitely recommend going for a walk there for anybody who has a chance. I think the best thing one can do in Finland if you have the chance is packing up your car and drive to a summer cottage.
What have you been listening to, reading, or watching recently – any great recommendations?
I’ve been watching a bunch of stuff. From Netflix to HBO to Disney+ and I have to say: I fucking love The Mandalorian. That show has it all. Pedro Pascal has this Clint Eastwood energy and I love it. Music wise I really don’t know what to recommend. Feels like I’ve been listening to The Strokes and Drake for as long as I can remember and never get tired.
Finally, what are your plans for this year?
The plan is to release music and play some shows if possible. Also I participated in the Finnish Survivor which will start airing soon, so that’s one thing to be nervous about. But no big plans really. One day at a time.
Interview by Alex Minnis
Portrait Images by Nick Tullinen / www.nicktullinen.com