The Walter Presents platform brings us a new crime series this month – Helsinki Crimes follows two detectives as they deal with a variety of crimes, set in Finland. We spoke to the show’s two lead stars Olli Rahkonen and Olga Temonen.
Nordic Watchlist: Tell us a little bit about your roles in Helsinki Crimes
Olli Rahkonen: I play Timo Harjunpää, a 35-ish year old police officer solving homicides and murders in Helsinki. Father of two and happily married – unlike many other fictional detectives he actually enjoys being with his family and has a healthy relationship with his wife and two daughters.
He struggles a lot with the lack of empathy in the world he works in; he’s a good cop, caring and humble, non-violent. Definitely not an action hero, and I like that.
Olga Temonen: I play Onerva, a sexual crime police officer who is transferred to Harjunpää’s work partner. She is a widow and a single parent who tries to keep her life in strict order despite the hard work.
Nordic Watchlist: What might we expect your characters to be up against in the series?
Olga: The series shows the dark side of Helsinki. In her work, Onerva meets people who feel bad and end up doing bad, desperate things.
Olli: Almost everything you can imagine but sadly is true nowadays. Incels, teenagers doing terrible decisions, identity thefts, hate crimes, love crimes.
Basically, the whole series, and especially my character, is about trying to understand why people commit these horrible acts and trying to understand the person behind these things without judging or yelling.
The series is pretty dark in its stories and themes – what did you do to lighten things up on set? Any fun stories?
Olli: I did not know Olga at all before this. Happily, we got along extremely well and became good friends basically at the same time we became good friends in this fictional tv series. As an actor I always think the darker the scene is, the more laughter is needed while working on it. We also enjoyed driving cars fast! Warm and sweaty summer but mainly very good memories. Olga was the biggest reason why I enjoyed the summer so much.
Olga: Humor always helps. My co-star Olli and I became good friends during filming. Whenever I think
about the filming, I see me and Olli waiting the filming and just sitting in a police car and laughing at silly jokes.
Nordic Watchlist: Name some of your favourite crime series based in Finland.
Olli: Raid was probably the first Finnish crime series I saw and I still love it. Reminds me of Aki Kaurismäkis films.
Olga: Deadwind and Bordertown are both good and quite famous.
Nordic Watchlist: Helsinki can’t be all that bad though – where are some of your favourite places to visit in the city?
Olga: Yes, really Helsinki is an incredibly wonderful and a safe city to live in and visit. The sea is an important part of Helsinki. If you travel to Helsinki, buy a ticket for a small cruise around Helsinki and visit one of the islands off Helsinki. This is how you can see the beauty of the city.
Olli: Helsinki is the place to be. I live in Kallio (3km from the central railway station) and the whole area is getting better and better all the time. Lots of good restaurants and clubs. For an international tourist I could recommend Sauna/Restaurant, Löyly! I think it’s in every Trip Advisor. It’s owned by Finnish actor, Jasper Pääkkönen. Perfect place for sauna and ice swimming.
Helsinki Crimes will be available on Walter Presents via All4 on the 17th February