At Nordicana 2015 we spoke with actress Moa Gammel and producer Filip Hammarström from Swedish drama sensation Jordskott. Wildly popular in its native land, with around 15% of the population hooked by police negotiator Eva Thörnblad’s (Gammel’s) investigations into child disappearances that may involve her own missing daughter, her recently deceased father and a hint of the supernatural, the show had an unusual root (pun intended) to the screen. The debut TV script of show creator Henrik Björn, Jordskott was also the first long-form production by Palladium, better known as a commercial production company. With the debut episode airing on ITV Encore HD tonight, we spoke about the challenges in making the show, Björn’s unique vision for the series and its power for giving the cast and crew sleepless nights.
What was the biggest challenge in transitioning from commercials to shooting ten hours of TV drama?
Filip: Time was the biggest issue. In commercials you shoot about thirty seconds in two days. [For Jordskott] we had to film five minutes of finished material per day. Which means every thirty minutes you have to shoot. You have to go next scene, next scene, next scene. And we still wanted a lot of angles. We wanted it to look really good.
Moa, did writer Henrik Björn pitch you the atmosphere of show before your audition or more about Eva’s character?
Moa: The most amazing thing was, I have this picture from the Swedish fairy-tale author John Bauer on my computer. He did a lot of princesses and trolls and stuff like that. And the picture Henrik showed for the pitch was the same. So I was like “Oh Jesus, this is something that’s kind of magical!” He told me a lot about the show but about Eva as well. She’s both strong but very fragile at the same time. She’s under so much pressure.
Filip: It’s a lot of stuff she has to go through.
Moa, suffering from insomnia throughout the eight month long shoot must have been a huge challenge.
Moa: There’s this term called night terrors, that are almost like nightmares but worse. You think you see people in your room, it’s almost like seeing ghosts. I suffered from this when I was a teenager, and I actually got this back while I was filming Jordskott! When I was able to sleep I had night terrors!
Filip: It was me the whole time!
Moa: I never ever had a good night’s sleep. So I was glad to hear Filip hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in two years either!
One of the unique features of Jordskott is its high percentage of location filming. What was the motivation for that?
Filip: We wanted it to have a really “real” feel. Since Jordskott has this sort of organic touch to the story we wanted to have an organic look. If you make most of it real you sort of buy it.
Moa, does your own past experience of producing help your acting performance when faced with time pressures?
Moa: I’m not this actress who is saying no, I am saying yes. I’m like “let’s try it, and see what works.” It was so important to be in it and saying yes to the whole world and the whole character and the directors. But I said no a lot to Filip!
Jordskott will premiere on ITV Encore HD on Wed 10th Jun, 10pm. Read our review here