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PopEntertainment.com > Feature Interviews - Actresses > Feature Interviews A to E > Nadia Bjorlin





Copyright ©2007 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: April 12, 2007.

With a career which is heading 200 mph into the stretch, Nadia Bjorlin is right on the curve of stardom.  The model, singer, musician and former daytime TV star from Days of Our Life is smart, funny, talented and exploding down the line with her first starring role in a big budget film Ė the racing adventure RedLine.  It isnít easy getting noticed amongst some of the most expensive and hottest machines to ever burn asphalt, but Bjorlin more than holds her own and raises the temperature on the screen herself. 

A couple of weeks before before RedLine hit the multiplexes, Bjorlin checked in to tell us all about her career.  She also let us in on what it was like to be behind the wheel of a major movieÖ as well as some luxury sports cars that are worth more than most peopleís homes.

You were born in Sweden.  When did your family move to the US? 

I was seven years old when my family moved.  I grew up in Sweden.  Itís my first language.  But I was the only kid [in my family] who wasnít born there.  I was born in Newport, Rhode Island. 

Your father was a composer and your brother and sister are also actors.  Do you feel that artistic temperaments can thrive in a family? 

Oh, definitely.  My family is very artistically driven.  My father was a conductor and composer of classical music.  My mom is a painter.  She does interior design by profession, but she paints amazingly.  So, yeah, I think it definitely runs in families and it runs in the blood.  Itís all weíve ever known and done.  I have three brothers and two sisters and every one has been through it. 

How did you first get involved in acting? 

I started of by doing music when I was probably six years old.  Playing the pianoÖ all my brothers and sisters and I played the piano.  We sang.  We studied music.  We all picked different instruments.  I learned how to play the flute and the harp.  I did opera, as well.  I performed in operas and musical theater.  That sort of segued into full-on acting. 

I read that won an opera competition in 1999 and you also can play guitar, piano, flute and harp.  If you werenít acting, do you think youíd be a singer or musician? Do you still work in music? 

Itís still a huge part of my life.  Iíve really been fortunate in every acting job Iíve ever had, really, Iíve gotten to use my musicality in some way.  Even on Days of Our Lives, which I was on for five years, my character was a singer.  (chuckles)  She was an opera singer.  So it sort of conveniently worked out that Iíve gotten to have the best of both worlds.  Iím really fortunate.  I wouldnít want to choose one over the other.  I really like to have both of them as a part of my life. 

Previously to RedLine, you are probably best known for your work on Days of Our Lives.  They say that soaps can be a great training for an actress, but really hard work.  How do you feel being on a soap has helped your craft? 

It helped tremendously.  Itís an experience that I would never trade for anything in the world.  It just teaches you really good discipline and good work ethic.  Daytime moves so quickly and thereís so much material.  I think a lot of times people donít give the actors their due respect, because of the amount of work they put in.  But, thatís okay.  You just learn to work at a really quick pace.  You learn that you really have to stay on top of it.  You canít be lazy.  You have to be able to crank out at least an entire episode a dayÖ whereas prime time you get eight or ten days at least to do an hour.  It really teaches you to stay focused and be with it.  It kind of humbles you, as well, for the rest of the acting world, because everything else seems so much easier, in comparison.  When you start to work Ė doing a film, where you do like maybe two pages a day, youíre like, wow, this is cake.  (laughs) 

What attracted you to the script for RedLine?

It just seemed like it was going to be so much fun.  Iíd never been involved in anything like that at all.  That was all fast-paced, fun and funny.  A lot of action.  Having the opportunity to learn about those cars and learn how to drive them and put them in action Ė it was kind of amazing.  Itís fun to be paid to show up and have a great time. 

Now I have to admit, you are one of the first people Iíve ever interviewed where I have not yet seen the film.  So why donít you give me an idea of what itís about and what to expect from RedLine? 

Well, my character, Natasha Martin, is a mechanic.  She owns an auto body shop with her family, with her mother.  Cars are what runs in their family, music runs in mine.  (laughs)  She owns an auto body shop which specializes in modifying high-end cars.  She also has a garage band, so I do get to sing in this movie.  Eddie Griffinís character shows up in the beginning.  He's a music mogul and he has his Ford GT 340 worked on.  [He] asks Natasha to take him for a test drive in his new car.  Heís really impressed by her driving skills, because her father was a race car driver, who died racing.  So sheís sort of chosenÖ she loves it but sheís chosen to live without that because she doesnít want to leave her mother by herself Ė in case something ever happened, because itís dangerous, obviously.  Basically, without giving too much away, Eddie Griffinís character does sort of entice Natasha into this world of racing, because heís involved in the illegal underground world of racing, where all these bored millionaires hang out and race all their nice cars. 

So what was it like working with all of those expensive cars? How much of your own driving did you get to do? Were you worried about having something happen like what happened to Eddie the other day, where he totaled one of the cars? 

Umm, you know, what?  No, actually it didnít.  I donít think I could think of that.  You kind of had to be very fearless.  The director and the second unit director were were very insistent that we do as much driving as possible.  They started to train us before production Ė to learn how to slide cars and do reverse 180s.  And, learn how these cars work, because, of course, they are nothing to be messed with.  They are some very sophisticated machines.  Itís not like driving a Honda Accord.  (laughs)  They said, listen, people are going to be expecting to see something.  They are not going to believe you guys drove the cars, so we need you to really do it.  Because audiences are sophisticated, so this movie set out to have us do as much as possible.  To use as little CGI effects Ė actually, I believe that none of it Ė none of the stunts were CG in the movie, which is pretty amazing.  We did a lot of it.  I guess it is crazy, you donít think about it until afterwards.  Your adrenaline is rushing and youíre driving those cars and youíre two inches away from a camera car.  You could very well crash into that.  (laughs)  You could crash into the other cars. 

Your character is a woman who lives and succeeds in a world that is very much male-dominated.  Was that liberating as an actress? 

Yes, it was definitely.  At the same time, itís slightly intimidating, because you go, you know what, I want to do this justice.  I want people to really believe in this.  And there are women in that world, who do race cars and what not.  They have a lot of obstacles that they have to overcome.  So you just hope that you do the character justice.  Do the role justice.  And, you know, itís all about the driving, too.  I was like, you know what, I really have to attack this driving, fiercely. 

In the film, your character is asked if she believes in luck and says she doesnít need luck.  What about you, do you believe in luck? Do you think it helps your life and your career? 

You know, I donít know.   No, I guess I donít believe in luck either.  (laughs)  Of course, Iím sure that there isÖ you know; people who win a lottery or something.  Thatís luck.  Thatís allÖ beyond certain aspects of life, thatís simply all luck.  But, I also believe that our actions in life make that luck a lot easier.  You have to buy the lottery ticket if youíre going to win the lottery.  (laughs)  So thereís a sense of that work that goes behind it. 

This was a nice, eclectic cast Ė veterans like Tim Matheson and Eddie Griffin and newer actors like yourself.  What were they like to work with? 

It was really a lot of fun.  I mean, Tim Matheson, I sort of grew up seeing him.  Seeing his work.  It was really, really a nice camaraderie amongst everybodyÖ and you canít always say that.  But I feel like we were really fortunate that it was a really eclectic cast, but at the same time I felt like I learned so much by watching them.  They were so professional, but so giving, artistically.  And personally.  It was really amazing.  Everybody was just really fun.  Everybody was so different that it was kind of nice to challenge yourself in different ways as an actor.  Eddie is the funny man Ė and heís also really smart.  Heís a funny man whoís always on.  You sort of have to keep up with him, because he makes up most of his dialogue. 

Eddie Griffin says in one of the promo films that you have a set of eyes that pull you in and make you wanna do things.  Any idea what things was he talking about? 

(laughs)  I have no idea what heís talking about.  (laughs harder)  Iím going to pretend like I donít know what heís talking aboutÖ 

Are you a big action movie fan? 

Yeah, I am.  I mean, who isnít?  Iíve never really met anybody who hasnít at least somewhat enjoyed action movies.  Because you get something out of it that makes youÖ whether itís just a form of escapism and having fun and just being able to cheer and being at the edge of your seat and have a good time.  Thereís always something fun about that.  Plus, having three brothers and growing up, Iíve seen every action movie there is.  (laughs) 

You also did a movie called If I Had Known I Was a Genius that just played SundanceWhat was that like? Was that before or after RedLine? 

That was actually done before RedLine.  It was a completely different cast and vibe.  Itís an ensemble comedic movie, with a really stellar cast.  Even the smallest roles in that movie were done by amazing, comedic almost legendsÖ  It was really an honor to be a part of.  My character in RedLine is obviously this sort of bad-ass, fearless kind of sexy girl.  (laughs)  In this movie, Iím just this sort of pessimistic, woe-is-me, bizarre girl who thinks the world is doomed.  Sheís a little bit crazy and she works at Costco.  (chuckles)  So, itís a completely different, character role. 

Iíve heard youíre also in consideration for the title role in the Wonder Woman movie.  What is happening with that? 

Yeah, I mean, I hope so.  Iím definitelyÖ I mean they want to meet with me and what-not.  But right now, they donít have a script locked down, so theyíre not going to consider really anybody, I think, or have any meetings, until they get a script locked down.  They lost their director as well, Joss Whedon, who was going to write and direct it.  But I believe that fell through, also.  Itís in such the rudimentary stages of it that even being considered for it at this point is really cool.  But, you know, weíll seeÖ. 

Other shows you have done have tended to be dramatic, but you have also guested on sitcoms like Jake in Progress and Out of Practice.  Do you enjoy doing comedy?  Which one is harder? 

Itís different.  I guess it really depends on the actor, but I really love it.  I wouldnít mind having a sitcom one day, but I think itís kind of a dying genre on television, anyway.  So, you donít necessarily know if thatís going to happen.  But, yeah, I have a lot of fun with it.  I really enjoy comedy.  I think itís maybe a side that people donít know that I have.  You know, I guess Iím kind of funny.  (laughs)

You are also fluent in several languages Ė undoubtedly your European upbringing.  Would you be comfortable doing foreign films as well? 

Would I feel comfortable?  You know what?  Probably not at first, but itís certainly a challenge that I would be up for.  I think artistically all artists Ė what we really want in life is to grow.  Thatís by learning and challenging and broadening your horizons.  I donít think itís exactly fun to be stuck doing the same thing.  Sure, thatís fine.  If you get to do what you love everyday, thatís great.  But I certainly would be up for the challenge.  I think it would be pretty cool.  As an artist you sort of leave a legacy.  Itíd be nice to leave a legacy of diverse work. 

Well, say you were in the future looking back at that legacyÖ. Ideally, how would you like for people to see your career? 

You just want to be respected.  You want people to of course be entertained and enjoy what you do, but you want for people to think that you are capable of doing more than one little thing.  Be inside this box Ė like one genre.  Oh, this is the person that only does this or only does that.  I guess thatís fine, too, but I think somebody saying, ďWow, she can really do a vast array of thingsĒ would be a pretty cool thing. 

What would people be surprised to know about you? 

Wow.  Good question.  You know what?  I donít know.  Now with the Internet and everything out there, you put yourself out there so much that people that donít know you tend to judge you.  I donít necessarily know what my reputation is, or what people perceive of me.  Maybe itís that Iím a lot moreÖ Iím kind of quiet, I guess.  (laughs)  Iím kind of a low-key person.  I love spending time with my family.  My idea of a good time is having dinner with my family and friends on a Friday night.  Itís not the crazy Hollywood partying.  I guess the fact that I enjoy bad reality television.  Iím very sarcastic as well.  (laughs) 

Well, like you said, there is so much out there, particularly with the Internet.  Are there any misconceptions that you have heard which youíd like to clear up? 

You know, I try to avoid reading the stuff, because it can be very negative or nasty and whatnot.  But it doesnít matter, because I donít go to bed at night worrying about people think this or thatÖ  Itís kind of silly.  I had a picture once, where somebody literally superimposed a cigarette in my hand.  I donít smoke.  I hate it.  Iím really against it.  And I was on this website that was like Smoking Celebs and people were like, ďOh my God, Nadia smokes?Ē  Iím a singer.  I canít smoke.  But you kind of go, there are people out there that rag on you.  They waste so much of their time to nit-pick or fabricate things.  You almost have to laugh at it.

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Copyright ©2007 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: April 12, 2007.

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Copyright ©2007 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: April 12, 2007.