Chloe Lang is the name of the ten-year-old American actress who plays Stephanie in the next season of the TV series about LazyTown, which is currently being filmed. Chloe is a great athlete who loves to sing and dance. She is excited to see herself on screen. What is your full name and how old are you?My name is Chloe Lang and I am 10 years old. Where are you from? I live in Connecticut,...
Sports legend, movie star, photo model, entrepreneur, writer and activist Magnús Örn Scheving was born on November 10, 1964 in Reykjavík. Magnús literally jumped into the spotlight at the end of the last century when he attracted a lot of attention with his good performance in endurance competitions in this country as well as abroad. Magnús is a carpenter by education and also gave lectures in schools where he reiterated the importance of exercise and a healthy lifestyle. His first book, Afram Latibær, was published in 1995, and with it he introduced Icelanders to the characters Solla Stirða, Siggi Sæti and Glanni Glæpur (english: Stephanie, Ziggy and Robbie Rotten) who won the hearts of the youngest generation for a long time. The book later became a play and today has developed into a giant company that stands behind the children’s show LazyTown, which is shown in more than 96 countries.
The alter ego Sportacus
Magnús was quick to realize the income potential when he became known as an aerobics champion more than a decade ago. He would even attend a goose party if that was the case and the price was right, but today he has managed to turn himself into an international market product. Magnús built the LazyTown empire around his image and alter ego, Sportacus. First with a play, then videotapes, cards, CDs, books, and now the television series shown around the world. Toys and other things related to LazyTown sell like hot cakes and it can be said that Magnús is the Icelander who has come the furthest only on his image. He didn’t stop being master of ceremonies or giving lectures like so many others, but he simply created the alter ego Sportacus, which has now become world famous. The company is flourishing and has produced, in collaboration with the world-famous toy brand Fisher Price, products that have been launched in the United States and LazyTown is now available in seven languages and has over 100 people on the payroll.
From carpenter to aerobic champion
Magnús Scheving grew up in Hvammstangi in Vestur Húnavatnssylás. He has two sisters, Hjört who works as a computer scientist and Rågna Sólveiga, an artist in Stykkishólmi. Magnús studied carpentry at the Polytechnic in Breiðholt, where he was among the favorites of his teachers. He gave some of them Christmas presents even after he graduated from school. He is a multiple Icelandic champion in aerobics and was completely undefeated while competing in it. He also participated in the world championship where he was among the best. He had a TV show on Channel 3 for a while, and he has also run a gym and worked in construction. Magnús was chosen athlete of the year in 1994 and received the Nordic Public Health Award ten years later. He received the award for LazyTown and thus for his contribution to improving public health in the Nordic countries.
Married with his childhood sweetheart
In an interview with DV on October 20, 2004, Magnús’ mother Þórveig Hjartardóttir said that her son’s success does not surprise her. He was a creative child who was always creating something and even whole plays. Þórveig said that Magnús had never been given sweets. “At that time, you could take children to the store without them crying at the checkout. Magnus ate all normal food and still does as far as I know,” said Þórveig in the interview, proud of his boy. Magnús is married with his childhood sweetheart Ragnheiði Melsted, who has worked as a manager in LazyTown, and they have two children, Silvía Erla and Kristófer. The family lives in an elegant house on Lindarbraut in Seltjarnarnes. The house was probably not worth a lot when Magnús bought it a decade ago, but he had it renovated and a garage built next to it, so the result is magnificent.
Versatile with unwavering confidence
Magnus has the zodiac sign Scorpio and according to the horoscope he is a big-hearted and energetic person who is also a dreamer and has a strong imagination. In other words, a man who dares to dream big dreams. In the Pros and Cons column in the DV newspaper, it is stated that Magnús gets improbable and fun ideas that he implements, and that he has unwavering faith in what he undertakes and does not spare himself anywhere. It is also stated that he is happy with his perfectionism. “He is a person who has a lot of energy and gives energy to others with him. He is focused, knows what he wants and can easily get people on board with him. He manages to activate the best in people, so they are surprised at how far they can go. The main drawback is that he has so much to do that we don’t have much time to review the issues,” said Ágúst Freyr Ingason, deputy director of LazyTown in the aforementioned column.
Linda Ásgeirsdóttír, an actress who worked with Magnús for a long time when she played Solla Stirða (Stephanie), one of the main characters in LazyTown, took a similar approach. “The most efficient man in the world and with great perspective. A very versatile man with a good artistic eye. There is always life and excitement where he is. I have worked for him for 6 years and he is a really great guy. The advantages can sometimes become disadvantages for people. He works really hard and can sometimes be a little late with things, but it’s just crazy to do things with him now,” said Linda.
Film director Hilmar Oddsson said in the same episode that Magnús was the most energetic person he had worked with and that he was intensely positive, hard-working, fertile and quick to get good ideas. Hilmar says that Magnús has little endurance in general, but reiterates that impatience can also be an advantage. “He is a very special fellow, I sincerely congratulate him on the success he has achieved,” said Hilmar.
A bouncing Sportacus saves the youth
Not many believed in Magnús’s ideas at the beginning about a bouncing sports elf Sportacus who planned to save the country’s youth from disloyalty. Few saw the potential in the star, but Magnús has shown and proven that he is unstoppable. Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson has told the story of how Magnús jumped into his car as he was heading out to Keflavik airport and sold him the idea of coming to LazyTown as an investor. Jón Ásgeir has expressed his great faith in the project, but he is one of the largest shareholders in LazyTown as well as other well-known investors. However, LazyTown is still mostly owned by the couple Ragnheiðar Melsteð and Magnús Scheving. Even though Magnús had gathered investors, there was nothing that could stop him and his ideas, and after two theater productions of LazyTown, he gained momentum and the goal was set on the American market.
At the end of 2003, it became clear that 40 episodes about LazyTown should be produced in Iceland for Nickelodeon, which should be shown on an American children’s TV channel called Nick Jr. These news attracted a lot of attention in this country, especially among filmmakers. The production of the series would be the most extensive in the history of Icelandic television series production, and many people flocked to the offices in LazyTown and wanted desperately to take part in the adventure that began in a 4000 square meter studio in Garðabær. The cost per episode beat all other records and was 35-40 million Icelandic Krona per episode. As a result, all kinds of market products followed, although many people thought it was enough at the time. The children bought bottled Icelandic water and fruit and paid with a special LazyTown banknote called Látó. In the end, most people forgave Sportacus for the children’s campaign, as they thought the health message had a positive influence on children, and more than that.
Makes demands on himself and others
Like other prominent people, Magnús is controversial, and it is said that few if any are as tough in negotiations. If he feels that his staff are not performing well enough, he takes over their work himself. For example, when Magnus planned LazyTown, the largest and most expensive project in all the Nordic countries. “He will be involved in everything and nothing can be done without his blessing,” says one of his former colleagues who has now taken up other jobs. “Magnús would probably have to be cloned if this would work,” he adds.
A quick-witted entrepreneur and smart on the ropes
The commentators of Helgarblað DV newspaper have often mentioned Magnús Scheving when the various artists are summarized. Magnús has been high on both the lists of the most famous Icelanders and the best dressed men in the country. In the list of the most famous Icelandic people, the commentators had this to say about Magnús: “Magnús Scheving is a cool sports man. A pioneer. He’s doing good things and making them happen.” Another commentator called Magnús a “hyperactive sports elf” who was ready for fire, and the third gave Magnús a path to marketing. “Maggi Scheving is good at marketing himself. You have to give him credit for making a 100 million ISK deal with Nick Jr, or however much it was.”
When lists of the best-dressed Icelanders are examined, it appears that Magnús knows how to dress. “He dresses in cool clothes, that’s a fact,” said one of Magnús, and another agreed: “He dresses according to the weather and the occasion and is always cool no matter where he is.” He dares to change his style and it doesn’t matter what he’s wearing. He’s doing well and even manages to look sexy in his sports elf outfit.”
Sportacus becomes a gender symbol
American housewives have also not let Magnus in the guise of the athletic Sportacus pass them by. They compete to sit down with their children to watch LazyTown and what draws them to the screen is neither the plot nor the message, but Magnús himself wearing the tight Sportacus costume.
In the forums where the mothers express their opinions, you can find quotes like: “…I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who dreams about Sportacus.” another mother took a similar line: “Sportacus is a man of my liking. I need to wipe the drool off the keyboard.” And yet another: “Wow! Sportacus is “beib!” and Robbie Rotten isn’t the worst either,” declared one housewife. Then another said she liked the heroes more than her daughter. “My Emily loves watching LazyTown, but I LOVE watching Sportacus.” More American women were the same. “I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one who thinks they’re cute under the costumes,” says one thread. yes! I would never have thought that I would be interested in the sports world! I want to move to LazyTown!” reads another.
American men, on the other hand, express their concern about their wives’ interest in a similar thread. “When I showed my wife the show, she was completely ga-ga over Sportacus. When the show is on, you can hear her oohhhh and ahhhh. She tells me that every mother she knows agrees with her. She says the purpose of Sportacus is to get moms to turn on the show and watch it with their kids. I’m jealous.”
LazyTown is a hit
LazyTown has received excellent reviews on foreign websites. At hollywoodreporter.com it was stated that the idea was good and presented in a fun way. “By mixing game scenes, puppets and cartoons, the show manage to contribute to getting the snack eaters who are stuck on their sofas to move a little,” is one of the things that the judgment says. There is also an emphasis on the fact that the programs are clearly intended to get people to exercise and get interested in sports, and it is said that they are quite successful.
In America, however, things can easily go to extremes, and on Nickelodeon’s website, other housewives talk about various things related to the show. To say the least, some of the topics are often distorted. As an example of the peculiar ideas that can be found in the heads of the mothers, one of the discussions is called “9/11 episode”. It is suggested that a LazyTown episode be made about the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. The woman, who calls herself JWatson29, says that “it could help children understand what real heroes are like”. Another adds: “Yes, that would be a good idea. It could be shown every year.” A woman named Miss Gipson disagrees: “Children wouldn’t understand this unless Sportacus was there himself.”
The mothers on the web also seem very concerned about Stephanie’s clothing. The fear is not that she is a bad role model for girls, but it is mainly about the girl’s underwear. One says, “Some of Stephanie’s dance moves are revealing! By that I mean… UNDERWEAR!” Another echoed: “I don’t mind if she wears pink, but letting eight-year-olds see a girl in a dress that’s too short is not good for your show.”
The extremes of the Americans
The most peculiar and paranoid discussions are about the show’s sexual undertones. The United States is of course known for the “culture of fear” but this has gone way too far: “I’ve been trying to get it into my children’s heads not to make friends with adult strangers. Now there is an episode where a young girl comes to a small town and a grown man with a mustache wants to be her friend. Great.” One mother seems to be confusing her own sexual mindset with her children’s entertainment culture: “Sportacus is so sexy but it’s wrong for girls and you shouldn’t dance with him. This is not his daughter, so there is nothing that justifies the contact.” Fortunately, not all fans of the show are so squeamish, and the mom who calls herself CampHarley hits the nail on the head. “The point is that this is a great show and the best thing to come out of Iceland since Björk. He teaches children to move and doesn’t talk down to children and is an insanely cool superhero that is ALWAYS a plus for the moms, babysitters and older aunties.”
Sportacus and the world-famous Stephanie
The first episode that was shown in the United States broke the television channel’s viewership record, and it is estimated that about 10 million people saw the episode. Positive in LazyTown’s ideology is the ideal choice for non- violent entertainment that is available for children. Sportacus and Stephanie have become well-known characters among children, and in a survey conducted by Nickelodeon’s website, it was found that 3% of the children who watch the station planned to dress up in a Sportacus costume on Halloween, and the website has instructions on how to make the costume.
In an interview with an American website, Magnús says he felt the lack of a healthy role model for the children and a superhero who preached about a varied lifestyle and exercise. When asked if Iceland would have been a good place to test drive the product, Magnús said that Iceland was probably the best place in the world to start. “I don’t believe you can win a world championship unless you win the title at home first.”
The television show LazyTown is now shown in more than 96 countries and reaches 1.2 billion people. Although it was successful in selling the episodes, the production cost is high and the profit mainly results in the sale of goods related to LazyTown such as toys, food and clothing. LazyTown has already concluded agreements with the Fischer Price toy company, which started selling toys in the United States last Christmas. It will be exciting to continue following the LazyTown’s adventure. One thing is certain that Magnús has already achieved his main goal, which is without a doubt to increase exercise and health of children around the world.