SM: You know, Stephen King was asked what were his top ten TV shows of 2012 and three of them were Danish: “Borgen,” “The Killing,” and “The Bridge. “ And “Borgen” was his number one. He was asked why and he said if it was an American TV show and it was about a [female] President, her family life will end up being the winner. But here it’s totally the opposite way around -- she almost skips the family and her work is top priority and he thought that was a very different and very human way of looking at things.
I think maybe we are not so much into “concepts” but being more [about how] life is a bit, oh sorry, and then you fucking die. Sometimes you have to go with that… When we are working we are very concerned that there is always a little man inside a huge character. I mean, I am so much in love with these huge American HBO series coming out -- they are so good, but they are still a concept, there’s a little bit of distance there. I love “Mad Men,” but it’s a huge concept: it’s so well written and it’s spot-on for the period, but I don’t get inside the characters.
As a result, he is not such a huge fan of the American remake of “The Killing”
SM: Well, I didn’t like it. They changed it. They changed it because it was a U.S. thing and it was their own version but again it got a little bit of distance. Sarah Lund is a very, very dark character but the American version of her was not a dark character, much more light. And that whole mystery about who is she kind of disappears. It was good, but because I was part of the original I kind of think, “Come on.”
He will however be reuniting with Sofie Gråbøl, who played Sarah Lund, in his next film “I Lossens Time,” in which she will again play a vocational character.
SM: It’s based on a book by a Swedish author called Per Olav Enquist. I think it was a novel, then it was a play, now it’s becoming a movie. I can’t translate the title [we look it up -- something about a lynx]. It’s about a boy who kills his grandmother and he is in a mental hospital but he doesn’t speak, he doesn’t communicate at all. I play the male nurse who takes care of him and Sophie plays a priest who they bring form the outside because when he does talk, he talks a lot about God.
“I Lossens Time” will be released in Denmark in May, and in addition to his regular "Borgen" gig, you can also catch Malling in a small role in the Danish Oscar-nominated “A Royal Affair” (reviewed here) and an upcoming episode of the Kenneth Branagh version of “Wallander.”