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All Eyes on Gustav Lindh: The Young Star of QUEEN OF HEARTS Will Not Go Away | Q&A

Swedish actor Gustav Lindh - Brave New Hollywood interview
Gustav Lindh, the rising star from QUEEN OF HEARTS (Danish film) makes his mark.

Danish film, QUEEN OF HEARTS, starring Trine Dyrholm and Gustav Lindh, started our movie-watching November with a big, and unexpectedly sexual bang. This out-of-the-box take on adultery, abuse and poor decision-making will leave a lasting impression with the viewers and we invite you to see this film as soon as possible. See the trailer for QUEEN OF HEARTS feat. Gustav Lindh, below.

All eyes on Gustav Lindh. This Swedish actor makes a lasting impression in May el-Toukhy’s QUEEN OF HEARTS.

The Copenhagen-born screenwriter and director of the film, May el-Toukhy (Danish mother, Egyptian father) sees the story of her film as “a tragic fall from grace.” The angle, the characters and the sophistication el-Toukhy brings to QUEEN OF HEARTS as a writer and filmmaker is unique, honest and therefore lifelike. The combination of her approach, the uneasy topic, and the execution of them all easily make her a filmmaker to watch.

See the trailer for QUEEN OF HEARTS feat. Gustav Lindh, below.

Rising star, Gustav Lindh stars in the eye-opening Danish film Queen of Hearts.
Queen of Hearts movie poster art, feat. Gustav Lindh and Trine Dyrholm. A married woman enters a dangerous sexual affair with her teenage stepson – Distributed by Breaking Glass Pictures

QUEEN OF HEARTS (distributed in North America by Braking Glass Pictures) tells the story of a married woman who jeopardizes her own important career and her family’s trust and safety when she becomes sexually involved with her teenage stepson and is forced to make decisions and choose a path that will further push the situation to a place where repairs and reconciliations can not be made.

Foreign Film you must see 2019: Danish film Queen of Hearts
An impossible affair! Rising star, Gustav Lindh holds his own opposite veteran Trine Dyrholm, in May el-Toukhy’s QUEEN OF HEARTS – distributed by Breaking Glass Pictures

QUEEN OF HEARTS, now Denmark’s official Oscar submission, celebrated its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it won The Audience Award for World Cinema Dramatic, and is the winner of the world’s most lucrative film award: The Goteborg’s Dragon Award. Starring Silver Bear-winning Danish actress Trine Dyrholm (YOU DISAPPEAR, 2017; THE COMMUNE, 2016; IN A BETTER WORLD, 2010).

Dyrholm’s co-star, Swedish newcomer, Gustav Lindh whose talent and on-screen charisma is a perfect, toe-to-toe match against Dyrholm who plays the older seductress.

Rising Star Alert: Swedish actor, Gustav Lindh shines in May el-Toukhy’s intense drama QUEEN OF HEARTS.

In 2017, Lindh, won the Rising Star Award at Stockholm Film Festival.

We tracked down the talented young actor and had an insightful Q&A about his turn in the powerful and unique film. Gustav talked about the way he approached his character (also named Gustav), and shared his thoughts on betrayal, love and staying truthful and real.

BNH: What attracted you to this part and what drew you to the story told in the film?

GL: I was immediately very intrigued when I heard about this project. I remember the very day my agent sent me the synopsis and the sides for me to audition with. She also told me that Trine was attached, whom I’ve admired for many years. I had been waiting for a big challenge like this and got straight to work with the material. Then when I got hold of the entire script and got to meet with May and Trine for a call back in Copenhagen, I got obsessed with the thought of portraying this guy.

BNH: How did you prepare for the role?

GL: I actually had quite a lot of time to prep this one. I got on board about six months before principal photography got going.

I just went through the script many, many times trying to find out who this young man was. What are his obstacles, what’s the backstory, all that? I read some Greek mythology – Phaedra was one of the inspirations in the creation of the script, and we also had three weeks of rehearsals before the cameras started rolling. We spent days discussing the dynamics between the characters and went through every situation in the script. On every new project, there is also that thing of trying to understand the tonality, what film I am acting in. In this case, May had such a clear vision of what she wanted this film to be. That really helped.

All of us really had time to get to know one another, which was awesome. The best pre-production experience!

BNH: What was the most challenging part of making this film?

GL: I mean, the whole thing was a big challenge really; it was my first production outside of Sweden and it’s quite a demanding part on the page. But I was in such a great company all the way through the process so I really enjoyed the experience from the start. I guess the hardest part was probably to try to keep up with one of the greatest actresses working today. Trine is such a force and she truly raised my game as an actor. She’s also just the best person and great fun to hang out with!

BNH: How was working with May El-Toukhy? How does she direct?

GL: Working with May was an absolute pleasure! She is incredibly intelligent, warm and thoughtful. She provided great guidance, at the same time as she really was letting me do my own thing with the character. I have so much respect for her. You know, just the fact that she took me, and my thoughts on the process so seriously from the get-go was so thrilling. She really made me feel like I had something to bring to the table. I would love to work with her again!

BNH: As a young rising European actor, how hard is it to make a mark or crack the industry?

GL: I’m just trying to focus on the work and not think too much like “oh I gotta do this and I gotta get that” and so on. I freaking love acting and cinema so much and I’m so fortunate and privileged to be able to make a living out of doing what I love. That being said, I’m also a big dreamer with high ambitions. I have this list of directors I’m dreaming of working with. Many Scandinavian directors, but also English, American, Italian, French, Greek, Canadian – yeah, it’s a damn long list – haha.

BNH: Do young European actors have a team behind them that helps with creative and career decisions or are you mainly in charge of your career and the projects you pick?

GL: I can only speak for myself and in my case: yes. My Swedish agents are like family to me. Aleksandra, Jenny, Annika and Matilda took me on before I even started my education at the Swedish school of drama. I love them. We really share the same taste in scripts, films and roles that are interesting. I’m so blessed to have them in my life. In this line of work where you constantly jump between projects and the people you work with change all the time, it’s really great to have this dream team of women (together with my lovely English team) around me, always.

BNH: There is an Oscar buzz around this film. Is that important, and personally, do you care for awards and accolades?

GL: I would be lying if I told you that I don’t dream about the Oscars. I’ve been staying up tuning in every year for at least a good ten years. It would also be so cool to experience it with these people who worked together on this particular film. We really went all in for this one. We’re like a family! But we don’t do what we do to compete for awards. It all comes down to the love of telling stories.

BNH: How do you deal with someone who betrays you and your trust?

GL: I guess it depends on what kind of situation we’re dealing with here. But for the most part, I’ve been very lucky. Nobody has ever really, like, betrayed my trust in a severe way.

BNH: In an ideal world what qualities can make you fall in love with a person?

GL: Oh. That’s sort of hard to describe. I guess I fall in love with personalities rather than attributes. But a sense of humor is always a good start.

BNH: What inspires you and why?

GL: I love watching people who are good at what they do, no matter what it is. Finding passion is key for me. I also get so much inspiration from watching actors I admire. I spend a lot of time between projects watching films, reading interviews, following the festival circuits and all that. I’m a big cinephile who goes to the movies all the time, by myself. I just love that feeling of losing myself in a story.

BNH: On that note, who are your favorite actors, actresses currently? What do you like about them or their work?

GL: There are so many!! But Philip Seymour Hoffman is my big one. For me, he was the greatest. Heath Ledger was another hero of mine. Other favorites are [Christian] Bale, Meryl [Streep], Joaquin Phoenix, Gary Oldman, and other European actors, like Matthias Schoenaerts – he is just great. It’s also so cool to follow actors my own age! Saoirse Ronan, {Timothee] Chalamet, Lucas Hedges, Florence Pugh, Barry Keoghan.

BNH: What irritates you or turns you off and why?

GL: Bad energy, in general, is just a huge turn-off.

BNH: As a young actor, how do you plan to navigate this competitive field?

GL: All I can do is keep giving it my all. I will keep doing my absolute best with the opportunities that come my way – and always try to stay truthful and real to what I believe in.

BNH: What was the best film you watched and loved?

GL: Wow. It’s impossible to just name one. There have been so many films, and performances within them, that have blown my mind. The Godfather, The Dark Knight, everything PTA [Paul Thomas Anderson] has ever directed, Manchester by the Sea, Rust and Bone, American Honey, A Bigger Splash, Blue Valentine, Call Me by Your Name, just to name a few. Oh, and I just saw Marriage Story and The Lighthouse!! Loved them.

At Brave New Hollywood, we realized that we must have another chance to speak to Gustav Lindh and dig deeper into his passion for films and acting, and we hope to do so in the near future.

QUEEN OF HEARTS is playing in Los Angeles theaters now. We highly recommend watching this suspenseful, thought-provoking film and see the memorable performance of  Gustav Lindh opposite his powerhouse of a co-star, Trine Dyrholm. Watch the trailer of the film below.

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Written by Henrick Vartanian

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