The star of ‘Trapped’, the Icelandic drama that came to a thrilling conclusion this weekend on BBC Four, has hinted there may be a sequel in the mix.
“Nothing’s been confirmed,” says Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, who plays beleaguered police chief Andri in the series. “But given the reception, I’m thinking it will happen. I really hope we’ll be allowed to do another season. I’d like to meet Andri again.”
Ahh… Andri, the gentle giant of a man, battling against external elements – the weather, the body count, the isolation – and also the dynamics within his own family – his ex-wife’s return complete with new boyfriend, the endless grief of his in-laws following their daughter’s death eight years before.
Darri (for that is what most people call him, he tells me), chuckles at the thought of Andri.
“I love the position that the main character is in. He’s living in the basement of his in-laws, he owns a house is not renovated so he can’t live there, his wife is divorcing him which he doesn’t want to admit to, two girls that she wants to take. He’s over qualified for the work he’s doing, but you get a sense he can’t just drop everything. In many ways, he’s me.”
How so? “Pigheadedness,” he says happily. “He doesn’t want to take on the problems of his marriage, but he does have a lot of empathy, and I hope it comes across. I imagined him having seen and been through things we couldn’t believe, and that’s what we don’t realise about our people in the police force.”
Does work provide the same solace for Darri? “Yes, it does.”
TV viewers enjoyed a fitting conclusion this weekend, with the murderer unveiled and family secrets unearthed. It was a fitting conclusion to a cracking crime drama that had shared various elements with its Nordic Noir cousins including ‘The Bridge’ and ‘The Killing’ but added an isolated element all of its own.
“We owe a debut to Danish and Swedish TV, but also British TV, who set such a great benchmark,” says Darri, and proving how global television has become, stretching to the snowy reaches of Iceland, “My favourite series are ‘Broadchurch’ and ‘Happy Valley’.
If Darri’s right that we’re all learning and borrowing off each other, what does he think remains essentially Icelandic about ‘Trapped’?
“The feeling that happens in isolated places,” he explains. “There is no one in the streets, everyone keeps to themselves, the weather doesn’t invite you to be with people in any real way.
“On the other hand we need each other. Iceland is a small place, but the people are generally very friendly people, but they are also self-contained. So you have this paradox.”
Everyone, however, knows Darri, whose star is on the rise, with an imminent appearance in Steven Spielberg’s film ‘BFG’. For every press comment raving about Darri’s talents, there’ll be one mentioning his size, something he’s got used to.
“Almost every review I get my size is mentioned,” he agrees. “I’m a big guy, even for Iceland, and I wouldn’t be a good actor if I didn’t care.
“If I did feel that my size was limiting me, I would work on that and become smaller. But I feel comfortable in my skin.
The only time I’ve felt bad when my daughters were three days old, and I feared I would crush them, that’s the only time.
“I’ve had a lot of good people take a chance on me, and disregard the stereotypical leading man. I can't be a heart throb. I’m big and fat.”
Filming ‘Trapped’, he tells me, was sometimes as treacherous as it appeared on screen.
“We went out into the country, we spent around two months shooting outdoor scenes in the north and east of Iceland. We were really seeking the worst kind of weather, and we found it.
“While we were shooting an hour out of Reyjkavik and we had to spend a night at our hotel, the roads couldn’t be crossed.
“It used to be more common to get trapped like that, but there are places in the north, north east and north west that get closed off in winter.”
Despite this, Darri explains that he, and other Reyjkavik locals are softies compared with the kind of locals we meet in ‘Trapped’.
“We city dwellers are wimps compared to the inhabitants up north. And there’s so much darkness there in winter, it can really have an effect. In March, when it starts to lighten up, it’s almost euphoric.
“The best way of describing it is… it’s like cows being let out after winter. In spring, these big beasts start dancing, jumping around, it’s hilarious but also beautiful.
“I very often have the same feeling, going out in spring, coming home at 9am in the morning.”
This gentle giant dancing around the town… that’s the sequel of ‘Trapped’ right there.
‘Trapped’ is released on Monday 11 April on DVD and Blu-Ray through Arrow Films and Nordic Noir & Beyond