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Interview: Anders Thomas Jensen • Director

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Fun with cruelty


- The prolific Danish writer/director who has written over 20 screenplays in Denmark in just 10 years, directed three Oscar nominated short films...

Interview: Anders Thomas Jensen • Director

... and won the coveted statuette for Election Night in 1998, completes his trilogy with Adam’s Apples [+see also:
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featuring Danish misfits following Flickering Lights (2000) and The Green Butchers [+see also:
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(2003). The latter was also released by EuropaCorp. in France.

How did you come up with the idea for the film?
Anders Thomas Jensen: For the past ten years, I’ve seen a lot of Danish films and written some of them, and they are all so cruel. The main idea was that it would be fun to pick one man and let him have a handicapped son, be an incest victim, have cancer and bear the brunt of the past ten years of Danish films. That’s where it started.

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Did you write the script with Ulrich Thomsen and Mads Mikkelsen in mind and how do you work with your actors?
You always have someone in mind when you’re writing. But you can’t always get them. In all of my three films, it’s been possible to cast the people I wrote the script for. It has many advantages, saves time and gets things going. We prepared very well and had time to get into the filming, which was really nice because time flies on the set. Everything was in place. Everybody knew what they were doing. We had read the script twenty times and had been through it five times once on the set. That leaves room for improvisation and makes the atmosphere less tense.
With Ulrich Thomsen, we had talked a lot about his character; he does quite a lot but it doesn’t seem that way because he moderates it. When he slouches in the morning before shooting, hangs around and five minutes later switches over completely, it’s a really intense experience and it’s just too much. But it isn’t when you see it in the context. It’s just the character.

How do you think the film will be received internationally?
It has a universal theme. Compared to Flickering Lights and The Green Butchers, this has to have a wider appeal than cannibalism and Danes. I hope the film will be well received, but it’s hard to predict. When you think one thing, it turns out to be something else, so only time will tell.


international title: Adam's Apples
original title: Adams Aebler
country: Denmark
sales agent: TrustNordisk
year: 2005
directed by: Anders Thomas Jensen
screenplay: Anders Thomas Jensen
cast: Ulrich Thomsen, Paprika Steen, Mads Mikkelsen, Nicolas Bro, Ali Kazim, Ole Thestrup, Gyrd Løfqvist

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