In a few hours, the wildly successful Norwegian drama, Young and Promising, will hit UK screens on Channel 4/Walter Presents. Following three young women in Oslo trying to forge careers in comedy, acting and writing respectively, the series has been nominated for a raft of awards in its home country and, for the benefit of foreign audiences, has been favourably compared with HBO's Girls. Nenne, the aspiring author in the series, is played by Gine Cornelia Pedersen, the first of whose - to date - two novels, Zero, will be released in English for the first time by Nordisk Books in 2018. The book has been described in the Norwegian press as a 'bomb crater' and like a 'punk rock single', so there is lots to look forward to. But whilst you're waiting, Nordisk Books is proud to present a brief interview with Gine on the eve of Young and Promising's UK premiere...
Nordisk Books: Gine, to get us started, could you name an author, an actor and a musician/band that have inspired you?
Gine Cornelia Pedersen: I was deeply inspired after having read the book ‘The Hour of the Star’, by Clarice Lispector. The freedom in her language! I wish she was alive so I could write her a letter to express my gratitude. Another example of underestimated women in literature; why wasn’t this in our curriculum at school? Sylvia Plath and Mathias Faldbakken also had an impact on me in my teenage years, I was (and still am) deeply inspired by their literature.
Radiohead’s music is the soundtrack of my life, so to speak. And I have always been moved to tears, and laughed my heart out, at Robin Williams and I love Julianne Moore. They could both play anything.
NB: I set up Nordisk Books to introduce the UK public to non-crime fiction from Scandinavia. Are there any unsung authors you would recommend?
GCP: Roskva Koritzinsky. She is an acknowledged writer in Norway, who has not been translated yet, and I really think the world needs to experience the literature that she composes. She is a genius!
NB: What is your focus at the moment; writing, acting, other?
GCP: My focus at the moment is to be able to combine acting and writing, and finding space in myself (and my schedule) to be able to do both wholeheartedly. Plus, I have some other projects I really want to find time to indulge in.
NB: What is the best thing about being able to live from acting and writing? And what is the worst?
GCP: The best thing about it is that it´s like a very unrealistic dream come true. I work with all the things I love, and always have dreamed of.
The worst is maybe to suddenly be very visible - and talking to the press. I am a private person. Paradoxically enough.
NB: You now live in Oslo; what is your favourite part of the city?
GCP: Oslo is a city with so many soulful places. I grew up in a part of town called Majorstuen, so that´s where I feel most nostalgic. The best thing about Oslo is that you could take the tram for 20 minutes and be in the middle of the forest, or at a wonderful beach, or hop on a boat and travel to a nearby island.
NB: Mental health is at the heart of your book and your character in YaP. Do you think this subject is treated enough/well in the arts today?
GCP: I think the human psyche, and the troubles of living, are subjects that get as much exposure in literature/art as love. And also, as love, subjects that will never get old.