Anders Thomas Jensen is one of the world's most prolific writers, having had over 20 screenplays produced in the last 10 years.
Jensen was born on 6th April 1972 in Frederiksv?rk on Sj?lland in Denmark. He made his film debut in 1996 with three short films, including the Academy Award nominated Ernst & Lyset, which he also directed.
The following year Jensen wrote and directed Wolfgang, which also earned an Academy Award nomination for best short film. After being nominated two previous years Jensen finally won in 1999 an Oscar for best short film with Valgaften.
He followed his short films by writing the screenplay for two successful films in 1999, Mifune's Last Song, the third Dogme movie, and In China they eat Dogs. Jensen was nominated for the Robert, the Danish Academy Award for both films, but neither won.
After having written screenplays for films in various genres, in 2000 he made his feature film debut as a director with Flickering Lights. The film was a huge blockbuster hit in Denmark and also gained interest abroad.
Jensen's prolific run continued with the screenplays to Grev Axel in 2001, Lone Scherfig's Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself and Susanne Bier's celebrated Open Hearts in 2002.
Jensen then wrote and directed The Green Butchers in 2003. He also wrote the screenplays for S?ren Kragh-Jacobsen's Skagerrak and Rembrandt. In 2004 Jensen wrote the screenplay for Susanne Bier's Brothers, and this was followed by Adam's Apples.
His next writing contribution was After the Wedding, for which he shares co-story credit with director Susanne Bier. The film has been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film for the 2006 Academy Awards.
His next writing project is Til doden os skiller, for actress Paprika Steen.
Interview with Anders Thomas Jensen
It is pretty rare for a director of your age and experience to deal with the lack of religious faith... Was this a way for you to research the global need for faith in our society?
Many young people have problems to profess to a certain religion. Nevertheless, a lot of people still need a kind of belief system.
Once again you like to use a fable instead of a realistic portrait to tell your story, why?
Fables are more interesting than the real world.
You like to shock your viewers or at least to provoke them. Do you believe that is necessary for someone to become aware of things?
If I wouldn't provoke, I wouldn't get any reactions.
Did you have any problems with the church during shooting or after the release of the film?
Totally the opposite. On the 9th of June of this year, I will receive the Culture Award of Danish pastors.
Your characters all undergo a transformation on their journey. That seems to be important in your films...
Yes, to be redeemed.
Is it important as a screenwriter to mix humor and emotions to keep the balance?
For my work it is extremely important. When I write for others, I of course try to translate their ideas.
Why do you always work with the same actors?
We work well together.
As you know them all so well, do you make the roles fit them?
Not really, but when we have found the character, we collaborate on fine-tuning it.
Do they in Denmark regard you just as politically incorrect as in the rest of Europe?
Not really. We're pretty liberal and open-minded in Denmark.
Is it true that you are responsible for 40% of Denmark's produced films, whether as screenwriter or director?
No, about 30 films are produced annually in Denmark and I am involved in about 6 of them, so that makes it about 20%.
Susanne Bier said once about you: "He has a great feeling for catastrophes." What do you think of that?
That could be right.
Do you think your work is still influenced by Dogma? And if so, in what way?
Not at all, it's actually the opposite; it was never the case. I love working with light, sound, special effects, etc.
Can you tell us a bit more about the correct situation of the Danish box-office?
Denmark holds 2nd place in Europe with concerns to local film production. 34% of the Danish box-office comes from Danish films.
Did Hollywood ever contact you?
Yes, and the negotiations continue.
What project are you currently working on?
I am writing three screenplays for several directors and I am working on my own film. More I can't say.
Interview with Mads Mikkelsen
Anders Thomas Jensen knows you very well - have you noticed any similarities between you and your roles?
Not at all.
What was you first reaction after reading the screenplay?
It is amazing that he keeps coming up with these new stories.
How would you describe the Anders Thomas Jensen universe? And how would you categorize this film in particular amidst his work.
His universe includes obscure individuals and stories. Here especially, he is testing boundaries, as he brings a Neo-Nazi and a priest together. He mixes good with evil.
Do you believe it becomes more necessary to shock or provoke the audience?
It is important to provoke people to have them form their own opinion and make them discuss the meaning of the story.
How did you prepare for the role - besides choosing these unbelievable outfits?
I often met with Anders Thomas Jensen to discuss the role, the dialogue, the physicality, until we found the right combination.
Which scene did you personally find the most difficult?
It's difficult to say, but the scene where my ear starts bleeding and I fall to the ground, that was probably the most difficult to make appear believable.
Is there a special Danish humor... a very dark humor?
Not really, Danish humor is light and simple.
What does it mean for you as an actor, to be working with the same director all the time?
Of course, it's comfortable and it makes me proud to be chosen again.
You're also used to work with other actors whom you have come to know pretty well, do you then improvise a lot?
Not really, we follow the script quite closely.
You're one of the few Danish actors, who also work in Hollywood. How did that happen?
How do things happen? For both roles, Tristan in King Arthur and for Le Chiffre in Casino Royal, they called me, we discussed it and I got the role.
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God, and turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters.
He had seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she-asses, and very many servants; so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east.
His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each on his day; and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.
And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, "It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did continually.
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.
The LORD said to Satan, "Whence have you come?" Satan answered the LORD, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it." And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?" Then Satan answered the LORD, "Does Job fear God for nought? Hast thou not put a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.
But put forth thy hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse thee to thy face."
And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only upon himself do not put forth your hand." So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house; and there came a messenger to Job, and said, "The oxen were plowing and the asses feeding beside them; and the Sabe'ans fell upon them and took them, and slew the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you.
" While he was yet speaking, there came another, and said, "The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you." While he was yet speaking, there came another, and said, "The Chalde'ans formed three companies, and made a raid upon the camels and took them, and slew the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you.
" While he was yet speaking, there came another, and said, "Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house; and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness, and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you."
Then Job arose, and rent his robe, and shaved his head, and fell upon the ground, and worshiped.
And he said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return; the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
" In all this, Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD.
And the LORD said to Satan, "Whence have you come?" Satan answered the LORD, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it." And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you moved me against him, to destroy him without cause." Then Satan answered the LORD, "Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But put forth thy hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.
I’ve been fielding emails from fans since Thursday and I’ll rehash my now canned response here: No, NBC has not cancelled the ARG based on the controversy. As series creator and executive producer Brent Friedman stated in the special preview interview, "Gemini Division is new territory and there will be lessons learned". (I paraphrased that); I’d like to follow that up by paraphrasing from an email I received from Mr. Friedman this morning: NBC experienced some technical issues this week that prevented the release of the ARG component. The ARG will continue early next week." This should mean that we will see two ARG pops next week to keep the schedule with the release of the series!