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'Applause' Comes to DVD, Knockout Star Paprika Steen Talks Backstage Alcoholism Drama, Denmark vs. America (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood October 28, 2013 at 3:44PM

Denmark's 2010 festival hit and Oscar submission "Applause" is finally coming out on DVD via Kino Lorber on November 26. Directed by rookie Martin Pieter Zandvliet, "Applause" features a must-see incendiary performance by Paprika Steen as Thea, a recovering alcoholic stage actress playing Martha in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" just as she's trying to repair her damaged relationship with her family. TOH sat down with the Danish star for a flip cam interview, below.
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Paprika Steen in 'Applause'
Paprika Steen in 'Applause'
Denmark's 2010 festival hit and Oscar submission "Applause" is finally coming out on DVD via Kino Lorber on November 26. Directed by rookie Martin Pieter Zandvliet, "Applause" features a must-see incendiary performance by Paprika Steen as Thea, a recovering alcoholic stage actress playing Martha in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" just as she's trying to repair her damaged relationship with her family. 

TOH sat down with the Danish star for a flip cam interview, below, with trailer.

Reminiscent of Gena Rowlands' actress Myrtle Gordon in John Cassavettes' 1977 "Opening Night," Steen flawlessly creates an intricate and palpable web of raw nerves while inhabiting the lonely burning house that is Thea.

Steen is well-known to Danish audiences. While she appeared in three Dogme films in the 90s (Lars von Trier's "The Idiots," Thomas Vinterberg's "The Celebration" and Soren Kragh-Jacobsen's "Mifune's Last Song"), North American audiences may recognize her from Susanne Bier's "Open Hearts," opposite Mads Mikkelsen. Steen also starred in dozens of other Danish films and TV shows (winning many acting awards). Half-American, Steen is hungry to work in English-language films with American directors.

Why hasn't she already? "You have to ask them," she jokes. "I have no idea why they didn't hire me ten years ago!" Perhaps it is because there are so many strong American actresses, she guesses. But within this year's abundance of Oscar-worthy performances, hers is one of them. She can do comedy or drama, is tall, sounds almost American and charms with a mixture of piercing blue eyes and a youthful don't-mess-with-me confidence. So what's next? "I am meeting a director Saturday in New York. It sounded fun," she smiles coyly. "Applause" is a game changer.

Below, she discusses "Applause," Thea, and what's next:

This article is related to: Awards, Directors, Genres, Headliners, Independents, Video, Reviews, Interviews , Media, Oscars, Drama, Foreign, Video, Video, Interviews, Interviews , Interviews, Applause, Paprika Steen


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.