When the powerful HBO giant launches their first Norwegian original series, they work at the same place where the drama begins – at the Opera.
The so-called immigrants suddenly come from Oslofjord and form the Barcode area in Bjørviki with the ghetto "Beefcode". These are Stone Age, Viking and 19th century people who are establishing themselves in today's Oslo, with everything that involves cultural conflicts.
This parallel to the challenges surrounding refugee problems and religion was one of which Nicolai Cleve Broch spoke about in "Strangers."
– It's an obvious allegory of how we as a society are dealing with immigrants from other cultures. But also how they experience coming to Norway. If you grew up in the rainforest, landing in Grünerløkk may feel like another time to be delayed, he says, and continues:
– The series talks a lot about xenophobia and marginalization without being directly political.
To fool with xenophobia
In the role of police investigator Lars Haaland, Nicolai Cleve Broch explores the uncertainty of meeting someone else.
– Lars disputes something human in a world disappearing from a hook. A kind of normality, whether it applies to Vikings or people of the Stone Age. Much of the humor in the series lies in recognizable, it’s easier to deal with xenophobia when it comes to other epochs than other cultures.
The first reviews say that "The Underground" managed to combine crime, science fiction, comedy and satire.
The creators of the series behind the distinctive mix are Eilif Skodwin and Anne Bjørnstad, best known for "Lilyhammer". Together with director Jens Lien, they worked closely on making the "True Foreigners" a Norwegian series for the international market without compromise.
This means, among other things, that Krista Kosonen's Finnish Cleve Broch opponent is not intended to enchant Finnish audiences, but to reinforce the peculiar nature of the Vikings arriving today. In the role of Alfhildr Enginsdottir, she is the first in Oslo police with a so-called multi-temporal background – a Viking woman set for the present.
– Unknown, uneasy has become part of the dynamic between us. The fact that she does not understand Norwegian was an additional challenge that added a new dimension to the interaction.
Opening for the new season
Cleve Broch compares the "Crossroads" universe to the success of HBO's "Remains," and it's about the social changes that happen when a number of people suddenly disappear.
– Since its inception, HBO has been ambitious in the name of television format and bold, original stories. I got really excited when I realized I was going to be part of that family.
He has titles such as "Buddy", "Max Manus", "Gåten Ragnarok", "Freekannt" and "Kielergata" on his extensive list of qualifications. He is now hoping for a second season of "Transitioners."
– At least I'm not sorry for those six episodes.
The creators of the series talk to HBO Europe about the continuation of the series, but nothing has been decided yet. Meanwhile, Cleve Broch has enough to do with the production of the TV series "Murders in Sandham", which takes place in Sweden. In the fall, the Norwegian-Danish drama initiative "Between Us" will also appear on TV 2. The cast includes Cleve Broch, as well as one of the creators of the series.
– It's a drama with relationships that focuses on the core family.
Also in "The Party" family is a topic. Cleve Broch's character is joined by daughter Ingrid and ex-wife Marie, who live in the interim relationship with a 19th-century man.
– Although I still live with my first wife, we spent time traveling together, smiling.
"Before the Parties" will premiere on HBO Nordic on August 21.
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