This weekend sees the arrival of the long awaited Nordic series Trom, which has already picked up a number of awards. The series is one the first to be filmed and based in the stunning Faroe Islands, and it is loosely based on the books by Faroese writer and literary historian, Jógvan Isaksen.
We managed to discover one of his books, Walpurgis Tide, through ebay. It was not an easy book to find but it eventually arrived on our doorstep from Hawaii of all places! Isaksen writes excellent crime novels, so this has surely helped the success of the show.
Trom sees Danish actor UIrich Thomsen lead an investigation with the help of Maria Rich’s character, Karla Mohr. We spoke to Maria about filming the series, the Faroe Islands, and her character.
Nordic Watchlist: Tell us about your role in the series
Maria Rich: I play the main investigator, Karla Mohr, who moved to the Faroe Islands when she became pregnant with her son, 18 years prior to the story in Trom.
She loves the Faroe Islands and is happy with her choice of living on the small islands where everybody knows everybody. She stands up for the Faroe Islands’ culture and values. As the story progresses she is forced to commit a crime to preserve her way of living…
Nordic Watchlist: What was it like filming in the Faroe Islands?
Maria Rich: It was like a dream to be able to film at one of the most beautiful places in the world.
The Faroe Islands nature is overwhelming, one can clearly feel that it’s not the human but the nature that’s in control. The weather changes between rain, storm and sunshine in 20 mins, so it can be very difficult to film at times with the weather changing so fast.
On the Faroe Islands the nature is the one who calls the shots – and that can be a new and interesting factor.
Nordic Watchlist: Were you already familiar with the stories by Jogvan Isaksen?
Maria Rich: No, but he is very popular on the Faroe Islands.
Nordic Watchlist: Had you been to the Faroe Islands before?
Maria Rich: I have been to the Faroe Islands before because my husband is an architect, and he designed the university Glasir, which was built in Torshavn and so I went to the opening. I remember that when we went home after our short visit, that I had a feeling of needing to come back, I just felt at home.
Nordic Watchlist: Have you any fun stories from the set that you can share?
Maria Rich: We had a real SWAT team from the Faroe Islands with us on set one day and we were filming a scene of us searching an apartment. They were some tough men, and are more used to a certain adrenalin rush when on the job, so they became a little impatient when the scenes needed to be taken over and over again.
They were surprised at how boring it could be, and with all the gear on, it ended up being very warm! But the scene came out looking very aggressive on the screen.
Nordic Watchlist: What is coming up next for you?
Maria Rich: At the moment I am working on creating my own TV series, so it’s very exciting sitting at the steering wheel myself, and getting to fold out my own story.
Trom is showing on BBC4 from the 9th July
Interview by Alex Minnis