Heartless sees Julie Christiansen playing Emilie, the daughter of headmaster who is revealed as a witch with powers of telekinesis, falls in love and has a relationship with Sofie (Julie Zangenberg), despite centuries of vampire vs witch antipathy. We spoke to her about her role…
What attracted you to the project and how did you get involved?
Julie: I think what attracted me the most was the adventure part of it. I think every actor’s always trying to do a big adventure thing with a lot of stunts and big movie sequences, that sort of thing.
What kind of preparation did you do for the role?
It’s hard to say, because I think I worked my way into the role. I think I had an idea and then I just I kind of went with it. It wasn’t like I didn’t think about it, sometimes I think too much about it, but I think I worked my way into it [as we went along].
What appealed to you most about the character?
Her strong will and her high moral standard and that she’s a rebel, but also that she’s a lesbian. And I’m proud of that, because it’s showing a natural, beautiful love story that’s just between two girls and they don’t make a big deal out of the fact that it’s two girls, it’s just love. And I’ve had some young girls coming up to me on the street and saying that they find some sort of comfort in something that they can relate to and something that makes them feel normal, in a very vulnerable state where they probably feel like they’re different and wrong, maybe, and they get the confirmation that they’re not.
What was the hardest thing to get right, overall?
I think the hardest thing, in this series, was to not make her seem weak and annoying. Because I think what she goes through is so crazy that you could easily be like, [adopts moany teenager voice] “Eeeeh, it’s so hard and difficult”, but to keep her strong and keep her interesting to watch.
You have an impressive underwater swimming scene in the second episode. How was that?
That was cold! It was a real lake we had to dive into, in November, so that was freezing cold. It was crazy. But the underwater sequence was in a tank, so that was not very hard.
Do you have a favourite scene or moment in the series?
Yes, I do! We have a scene where I move a tree. There is a guy coming after me in a car and I get so annoyed and I want to cut him off, so I get a tree to fall down in front of the car [with my telekinesis powers]. That was so cool.
How did you find the change in director between the first five episodes and the next three?
I think the two directors that we had are two of the best we have in the country. They’re so brilliant that I didn’t mind the change. I think it was interesting because the first director, Natasha Arthy, she was more like, ‘Just be crazy!’ and she would [mess up] my shirt so it wouldn’t be as pretty and the second director, Kaspar Munk was much more emotional and he was really deep, so I think that was actually really good when you think about what’s happening in the episodes.
I’ve met Kaspar – I interviewed him for You and Me Together – and he struck me as someone with a very strong affinity for directing young people.
He is so amazing – he could come up to me in the morning and be like, ‘How are you?’ And I would be like, [non-committal] ‘I’m good’, and he would say, ‘Okay, you want to take a walk?’ Because he could just see, in an instant, if you weren’t feeling well or if you were sad about something. So we had a very strong connection and that was amazing.
How would you sell the show to somebody who was thinking about watching it?
I would say you should watch it because it’s adventurous, it’s very new and brave and it’s deep. So even though it’s adventure and it’s exciting, it’s also very deep and it has a lot of layers and something to think about.
Heartless is available to watch now on Walter Presents. For more news about the latest TV series, pick up the new issue of SciFiNow.