With the refugee crisis as its core, Welcome to Norway is about a hotel in the mountains that is turned into a reception centre. Anders Baasmo Christiansen is to star in the new comedy as Petter Primus, nicknamed Primus Motor, whose relationship with the young refugee Abedi forms the heart of the film.
“He is what one might call an everyday racist,” says Baasmo Christiansen. “There are very many like that in Norway today. Primus doesn’t want to even call himself a racist.”
“Rune (Denstad Langlo) has written the role for me, so I’ve been involved throughout the scripting process and recognise much of myself in the character… My philosophy as an actor is that somewhere you have everything in you, even if it’s only a small part that you can expand. But that’s not to say that I am like that.”
“It’s a comedy. It takes up very serious issues, but we do it in a fun way… The point is that this is a comedy, and I hope that it can get a relatively large audience to come and get a good laugh. Through being able to laugh at this, one can perhaps learn something about the theme too. One can joke about anything as long as you know what you’re talking about.”
“We had fifty extras that are former asylum seekers, and we had a big laugh during filming. They thought that it was a really fun idea… We laugh at the everyday racist in ourselves.”
Welcome to Norway premieres March 4th.