Back in February Walter Presents released a new Danish series onto its platform – the series was called Deliver Us and before I had even got the opportunity to watch it, I was already reading about viewers not being able to watch the show because the main character was ‘so evil’.
To hear such words be uttered is always a great sign that someone has done an amazing job – think back to some of the real evil guys such as Joffrey in Game of Thrones (still makes my skin crawl) or even Negan in The Walking Dead.
Well to add to that list is Morten Hee Andersen’s character Mike, the town bully from the series. Morten took some time out for a sit down and chat about the series with us and it turns out he is a nice guy really, with some exciting work planned for the future and an excellent taste in music and movies!
Playing A Bad Guy
To really convey how excellent Morten’s acting is, there was an element of fear in the build up to our zoom call – having completely lost myself in the series prior to our chat, all I could think about was the character of Mike.
Thankfully, Morten is the polar opposite, but it made me wonder what must have run through his head when reading the script. He can already sense the question that is coming with a grin – am I ready to be this bad guy?
When I got the role and I started working with it and I read the first script – then started reading the second and so forth. There were scenes in there where I had to put the script down and think to myself – how do I get into that role and how do I portray that with honesty? How do you do that? I thought it was a challenge and I really liked the challenge.
I have always been drawn towards those kind of antagonists and those parts – I find those challenges interesting because they are not the villain in their own life. So to kind of get inside their head, the villains head, is such an interesting task.
Outside of Copenhagen lies lush countryside, white sand beaches, and beautiful rolling green fields. In Deliver Us, this rural location is portrayed in a less favourable light, highlighting the isolation and dysfunction that can arise in living in a small rural town.
It’s [filmed] out in the countryside on this middle island in Denmark called Fyn, and it is actually where I am from.
It is like in the television series – there is not many police left there, they are mainly around the big cities so out in the countryside you feel mainly on your own. They thought that this was something that could happen – that some kind of bad guy could have such control of the small town.
But it is actually a really wonderful place in the sunlight but they certainly focused on the darker aspects of living in the countryside where you feel much more alone. This thing about the local bar and everyone going to the same kind of club and I remember that from my own childhood when I was a teenager and there wasn’t a lot of places to go out so you just met the same people all the time.
The dark side of that is, when you get caught in a bad relationship with someone, you really are caught.
Margrete Den Første
I am hoping that despite learning Swedish I have translated the name of Morten’s next movie correctly – a film that seems to be building a lot of hype at the moment as we wait for it’s release in Denmark.
“The international title is going to be ‘Margaret Queen of the North‘ – I think it is going to be really exciting when it finally gets released but unfortunately I am not allowed to say anything about the plot. I am sorry – but I can tell you that it is going to be an intense and high political movie taking place in the medieval times.
It is definitely one to look forward – it has been such an awesome experience working on that film and I am so excited to see it all. I have seen small bits and pieces of it and I think it looks like something that hasn’t been seen in Scandinavia for a some time.
I can also confirm my role will be nothing like Mike in Deliver Us though!“
Rest assured the Queen’s chickens might be safe then!
I wonder what it must be like going from one end of the spectrum, with Morten’s Mike to then work on a period costume drama.
I feel like the costumes do a lot of work for you and everything you do is emphasised by the costume. Suddenly you can not move as fluidly or freely as you might do in more modern costumes. So that was something that was quite interesting and a challenge that was something you can work with – I saw it more as an opportunity than something that held me back.
It was an opportunity to see how can I do something fresh, and how I can play ball with it. With Mike in Deliver Us I knew I had the part for quite a long time so I could develop his costume for the production. We had this idea that he hadn’t changed his wardrobe since he was a teenager and he just went with all the funky t-shirts and bling.
He totally nailed it when it comes to Mike’s costume – one of the things that makes him so terrifying is that you could walk out on the street him and you can see that character, as a real person. That instructs quite a bit if fear in people even when they could well be the nicest guys in the world.
Most people are nice but what a wanted to portray in him was a wounded dog rather than a sadistic evil person. It is always the dog that is wounded or already bitten when it can be the most dangerous because it can really snap. That is why I wanted it to be a bit a bit of a paradox with him. So I guess that why some people find him so scary – that he can be soft and so hard at the same time.
The Venus Effect
No, Mike won’t make you fall in love with him – well he might if you are into those bad boy types – but The Venus Effect is in fact another movie Morten has been involved in as he crosses genres of dark thrillers, period dramas, and now romantic comedies.
This movie was a lot of fun, it was a really good project, it is not big role I have but it is an essential one for the main character’s development. I just feel really really lucky that I get to cross genres and not be typecast – I get to dive into something far away from the other characters I have played.
The Venus Effect is a warm story about really getting to know yourself and that you cannot control who you fall in love with – so it is about acceptance and sometimes I think that the hardest work with acceptance is actually within ourselves rather than the world outside us. The Venus Effect is about that.
The Venus Effect is due to be released in Denmark on the 25th December 2021.
Morten has worked with some of the finest Scandinavian actresses and actors – from the likes of Trine Dyrholm, Soren Malling, Sofie Grabol, and that is just naming a few. I wonder what it must be like rubbing shoulders with some of the creme de la cream of Scandinavian cinema and TV?
I learn a lot, a lot form them. From my first job at acting school I worked on a television series called Ride Upon The Storm which was written by Adam Price who wrote Borgen and I had a lot of my scenes with Lars Mikkelsen who is very well known great Danish actor.
At that time in the beginning I felt a little bit intimidated about how good he was (and still is) but we had a whole year together on that series and so, I don’t know, I feel like most of the times best and greatest actors they are actually a lot about connecting that’s what makes them so great, so it has never been difficult at any point. These big stars are really inspiring and I feel really relaxed when we get into the week – so after the first meeting it is just work and I feel no pressure to work.
Radiohead & Mid 90s
I always love to know what everyone has been watching, listening to, and reading – and so we direct our attention toward what Morten has been enjoying during this crazy pandemic.
I watch a lot, like I consume stuff all the time – the biggest experience I had recently was with this TV series I Know This Much I True on HBO with Mark Ruffalo who plays a double role! Derek Cianfrance directed it and it is an amazing mini-series I just gobbled it so quickly.
This is the third of fourth time this series has been brought to Minnis2Society’s attention so we are sure to have to go and get this one watched – we turn to movies.
Around the first wave of Covid I got acquainted with the movie Good Time – that is one of the most amazing movies I have seen in a long time. So there was that one and then Jonah Hill’s movie Mid 90’s – that was like watching my own childhood.
These are two movies are such excellent choices – whilst I pride myself in watching as much Nordic movies as I can there is always love for what else is out there and these two movies were firm favourite of mine too when I caught them last year. I joke about how Mid 90’s reminded my of my own childhood, walking about with a skateboard when I couldn’t even skate.
That movie was so nostalgic without being too romantic – it was such a fine line!
After discussing the superb soundtrack to Mid 90’s (possibly one of the best out there) we get onto music and bands Morten enjoys.
I think I have a broad spectrum when it comes to music that I listen to but when I become confused on where I am I always turn back to Radiohead. That is like soul food to me.
I can’t resist but ask what might be Morten’s favourite Radiohead album?
It is always a battle between In Rainbows, Amnesiac, and Hail To The Thief but I think for me Amnesiac has won most of the time. I find that Amnesiac wins for me because it is a little more messy in some ways, so if I have to listen to it again where In Rainbows is a little too perfect. If I have to listen to something again and again then Amnesiac is a whole universe for me.
We talk about live music and who Morten would love to see when we are finally able to see live concerts again.
I think it would have to be Nick Cave – he was going to do one here before Covid – and I really love the Rosklide festival here so I really look forward to the line-up for this.
We embark on a tangent of what we most like to go and do when the world finally opens up!
As I round up our conversation my attention falls back to Morten’s character in Deliver Us and most specifically to a scene that actually left me genuinely shocked, which normally is hard to do. Before we sign off I have to discuss the moment with Morten where his character Mike breaks a child’s nose…
You know when I said that when I was reading the script there was a time when I had to put it down and sit for a moment and chill. How? Why? I was also intrigued by it. I am very happy about that scene – it is very well edited.
I talk about a conversation I had with Rune Temte about when he had to punch Hugh Jackman’s character in the face in Eddie The Eagle and how they put loads of pressure on him not to connect as they had said, jokingly, how much Hugh’s face cost. Here in this situation it wasn’t a Hollywood star but a child.
I am intrigued to know how they pulled off the scene because it was so convincing!
I have to give a lot of credit to the kid, he was amazing, it was so uncomfortable for me. The whole casting process of finding a kid who was capable of working together like that. He was such a champ about it and for him it was a game but he took the game seriously right after the director said cut he was showing pictures on his iPhone and so relaxed.
He was just so professional about it – that kid wasn’t scared of anything.
My fear of Morten has been well and truly quashed, as now I feel I could happily sit in a bar discussing the merits of Radiohead albums and the good old days of skateboarding!
It goes to really show just how much of a fine actor he is and what a bright future lies ahead of him based on what he has carved out already.
Be sure to watch both Deliver Us and Ride Upon The Storm on Walter Presents / All4 now
Check out some of the most fantastic photography over at www.heinphotography.dk
If you would like to watch the full interview then check out the video below as part of our Minnis2Society Meets series.
Interview by Alex Minnis