The Heartless Twins – Sebastian Jessen and Julie Zangenberg Interview

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New viewing platform Walter Presents boasts some of the best foreign TV imports around. With binge watching seemingly the way forward, the free online service might be entering a saturated market, but it does have the kind of programming that makes you sit up and take notice.

One of the most notable titles from the launch selection is the Danish supernatural drama Heartless, with vampire-like soul suckers and plenty of hot young characters. The spectre of Twilight, and other similar vampire tales, may be in the forefront of your mind when approaching Heartless, but there is a genuine Scandinavian flavour at play here.

We caught up with Sebastian Jessen and Julie Zangenberg, who play twins Sebastian and Sofie in the series to find out what makes Heartless tick.

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Sebastian:

I got the script and was immediately scared reading it. At first I didn’t think I could do it, but it felt like a good challenge. Doing a Supernatural script was a first for me. It was the first in Denmark.

Julie:

I’m one of those super-optimistic people who sometimes take on too much, but when I read it I thought that it was so cool. A lesbian, black-eye, younger than me character. It sounded like so much fun. As an actor you need to get excited about the characters and feel like they are complex and have layers. The story has to be interesting and not seen before. We both felt that right away, but we also saw the obstacles. It’s not that often you come across these sorts of characters.

Sebastian:

And, of course, its not just vampires as we know them.

Julie:

Yeah. It’s new for the viewers. I’ve seen vampires and I love it, but here we don’t know the solution. We suck the life out of people, not the blood. We don’t know right away how to kill us. The audience are exploring at the same time as we are.

Sebastian:

We worked on how it worked. It was important to us. We didn’t have a big say in terms of the script and how that worked, but we did get a say in how the characters work and also on the sucking part itself. How should it look and how it could be filmed.

Julie:

You do worry about how it’s going to look in the end. You could be standing there like an idiot on set going “arrghhhhh”, but you have to go into it fully. You need to believe in it 100%, like comedy in some ways. People will otherwise know.

Sebastian:

I would have taken this script no matter as it was so good. I use Netflix a lot.

Julie:

I think it is the future. It’s the now too! If you work as much as people do and you have kids and so on, your schedule won’t allow to sit down every Wednesday at 9 o’clock. Sebastian is very “artsy” and is very talented on that side of things, I’ve been doing some more commercial things so the shift for me wasn’t as new for me. I loved it. I love what American TV has done for it.

Sebastian:

We both tried to bring that side of it. The most difficult part for me was how to do the suction part. We had to think about it a lot because it was a big thing.

Julie:

It’s life and death for them. If we don’t they die. Usually it’s about getting to some one to love me. But here we had to solve how do we survive with this supernatural side. We also had a small amount of time and a small budget.

Heartless is currently available to view on Walter Presents via All4 channels.

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About Cassam Looch

Cassam Looch has been watching films ever since his first trip to the cinema to catch Care Bears: The Movie and writing about them after a traumatic incident involving Moonwalker. If he's not hassling celebrities on the red carpet, he'll usually be found in the darkened screening rooms of Soho.

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