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,...
Stefán Karl works like a lousy bee in Los Angeles and seems to be heading for the top. Monitor talked to him about America, LazyTown, the business and Courtesy People (Kurteist Fólk).
“It’s 17 degrees here right now, which is quite cold,” said Stefán Karl Stefánsson, an actor, when Monitor called him to chat about everything and nothing. He has lived in Los Angeles with his wife, Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir, for over six years. “This has become our home,” says Stefán, who has four children with Steinunn, so there is plenty to do at home. “The days are very different and fortunately none of them are the same,” he says, but points out that the days start and end the same. “I start every day by getting everyone out of bed and getting the gang to school. Every night I fall asleep,” explains Stefán, who has enough to do.
A big project on the drawing board
“Steinunn and I have our own company out here together with a lot of other people. We work on production in various fields,” says Stefán, very happy with the variety that comes with the job. “I have a lot of meetings, go to auditions and plan the next projects,” he says, pointing out that in the US everything takes longer than at home in Iceland. “When you take on a project in this part of the world, it takes months of preparation. It’s not like at home, where everything is relatively easy to implement.” Stefán, however, cannot tell in detail about any of the projects at the moment.
“When you are working and developing projects with other companies, you sign a complete confidentiality agreement. It’s done because the competition on the market is extremely high,” explains Stefán, who says this has been a little difficult for an Icelander to get used to. “Coming from Iceland, where you tell people about what is happening in your life, this is a bit strange, but I understand this when I look at the bigger picture,” he says, admitting that there is one very big project on the drawing board. “There are 6-9 months and several office floors to go until I can comment more on it,” explains Stefán, who does not reveal anything more about the project. “It’s not worth talking about things until they’re bulletproof.”
Black humor and corruption
Stefán plays the main role in a new Icelandic film called Courtesy People. “It’s a comedy with a real twist that is loosely based on true events,” explains Stefán, who is really happy with the result. “The film is about a reality that we all know, and I think that director Ólafi has done a great job of portraying small Icelandic spaces in a humorous way,” he says, adding that the humor in the film is often very dark.
“It’s a bit dependent on all the corruption and a lot related to what has been happening in Iceland in recent years,” says Stefán, who plays a fairly neutral character in Courtesy People. “He is very serious,” explains Stefán, who has been known for his jokes and glee over the years. “People haven’t seen me act like this before, I don’t even have a frown in the film,” says Stefán, who was very happy with his co-stars in the film, and especially Eggert Þorleifsson, who plays the role of the mayor. “Sometimes I hardly thought I could play against him because I laughed so much,” says Stefán and adds that he really enjoyed coming to Iceland and winning.
“I think it’s absolutely fantastic to come to Iceland to work,” says Stefán, who has mostly worked in the United States in recent years. He says the difference in the film industry is greater than in the theaters between the continents. “Theater is an international workplace. Actors, directors, lighting and stage managers are the same everywhere,” explains Stefán. “It goes without saying that these tribes have the same interests,” he says, pointing out that the main difference lies in the unions in Iceland and abroad.
The wig is a big problem
“For example, when I attend a show for the Grinch, I can’t put on and take off my costume unless there are four departments and four different unions involved,” explains Stefán, who has played the Grinch himself for years in a major West Coast production. “I go into the dressing room and then I’m greeted by the sound and costume department. A microphone has to be threaded into the costume and on me, but the costume department can’t touch the microphones and the sound department can’t touch the costume,” he explains, pointing to an incident that took place in Canada that is a good example of the trouble that can follow the unions.
“We were going to perform live for NBC and I forgot my wig in the theater,” says Stefán. “One of the wig department then had to go to the theater, open the door, turn on the lights and get the wig,” he explains and says that a simple incident like this turned into a big deal. “After this, she was sued because the lighting department is responsible for turning on the lights in the theater. The fine amounted to five thousand dollars,” says Stefán, who is used to everything after a few years in the business out there. “At first I thought it was strange, but now I don’t get upset about it. “Usually everything runs like a well-oiled machine,” says Stefán, who has become very homesick in Los Angeles, although homesickness certainly gets to him sometimes.
Misses the countryside the most
“I get homesick much more often than my wife, she hasn’t been to Iceland for over four years,” explains Stefán, who says that the homesickness has increased significantly during the recording of Courtesy People in Búðardal. “I didn’t really miss Iceland until after I was in Búðardal,” says Stefán, who enjoyed himself in the countryside. “Everything was so clear there. Sitting on the terrace, eating donuts and listening to the loons sing are things you don’t get out here, even though everything here is full of beautiful nature,” says Stefán, who knows his way around Los Angeles and seems to be aiming for the top. “We’re not heading home any time soon.”
Similar to Jim Carrey
“Jim Carrey is naturally the Stefán Karl of America,” says Stefán jokingly, because he has often been compared to the American comedian Jim Carrey. “In Iceland, this kind of analogy is considered very lame, but I sort of understand why Americans always talk about this with me in interviews,” he says, pointing to the Americans, they need to categorize people. “They need to put a person in a box and compare a person to someone else, they can’t get around this,” says Stefán, who is happy with the analogy as Jim Carrey is one of his favorite actors.
The LazyTown adventure
Stefán Karl had a memorable success as Robbie Rotten in LazyTown. “I can honestly say that I never get tired of playing Robbie. He is a character that I created from scratch,” says Stefán, who first played Robbie in the National Theater and then in 60 TV series. “He’s a part of me,” says Stefán, who credits his success in many ways to the LazyTown adventure. “It was a great time and the shows attracted worldwide attention to me and what I have to offer,” says Stefán, whose shows were shown in 140 countries at their peak. “I feel this very strongly wherever I go,” says Stefán. “Everyone who has children knows LazyTown.”
IN 60 SECONDS
Birthdate: 10 July 75.
Height: 189 centimeters.
Best role: Robbie Rotten and Frans in the Crow, which I played in the Student Theater.
Main advantage: Equanimity.
Worst flaw: Lack of focus on what I’m not interested in.
A role model in life: the name Margrét Blöndal.