Nikolaj Lie Kaas


by Charlie Cauchi

Loose Lips had a quick chat with Danish star Nikolaj Lie Kaas about his latest role in the new Nordic Noir thriller The Keeper of Lost Causes.

LL: The film is based on Jussi Adler-Olsen’s popular Department Q novels. Were you aware of the books before taking on the role of Carl?

NLK: I hadn’t read the books before being offered the role but I read them right away when I had been. They are great and you know the second movie has already been filmed.

LL: They are great, and very dark. As is the film. There were some moments that really made my skin crawl…

NLK: Ah. I bet you are talking about the tooth scene.

LL: Yes. I had to look away. But besides it being all shock and gore there is a great relationship at the heart of the story. The relationship between your character Carl and Assad, your on-screen partner (in the film played by Fares Fares) is very natural and you have great chemistry. Can you tell me a little bit about working with Fares?

NLK: First of all he is Swedish and I am Danish and I think there is a big difference in some regards there.  We had a great respect for each other’s work, but apart from that I think that we had to find each other because we differently had our differences, not in a bad way, but in terms of styles and methods. But I think we definitely found the balance in quite a short space of time and ended up with a great working relationship.

LL: Assad is Syrian in the novels but we don’t really find out much about Assad’s background in the film. Race is a big part of the books but the discussion on racism isn’t forced upon the viewer in the films at all. There is definitely more emphasis on the relationship than on race…

NLK:  Yes definitely, and, well I think that that was very important for us. We talked about it from the beginning and I could feel it right away with Fares that he didn’t want to… You know we definitely could have emphasised the racism much more but I think the whole thing about him [Assad] being very very Muslim was something that he [Fares Fares] just couldn’t relate to and I think it was a very good choice to change that [from the books]. But he really didn’t want to make this a contrived discussion on race. So right away we all felt the need that for him to do the part was also to make him for the Danes and the Danish audience, and to make him more and more like a member of the community, which Fares actually thinks is a problem in Denmark.

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