Introducing Linus Wahlgren
Written by Kylie Olsson. Photography by Erica Bergsmeds.
He may have grown up in one of Sweden’s most famous Showbiz families but don’t for one second think he hasn’t had to work at it like his contemporaries. With an impressive career on the stage and comedy under his belt the last few years has seen him take a more serious route with his acting, moving more into film and TV where he hasn’t been afraid to play some controversial roles. Kylie Olsson chats to the actor about those characters and more.
How did you get into acting?
I grew up with both parents being actors. My brother and sister are also in showbiz so I got inspired by them and wanted to do the same thing. When I was 6 my dad worked with a director who needed kids for his next play so I got to audition for it and It turned out well!
Like you said, you come from a showbiz family was there ever a moment when you thought about not following in the family tradition? If so what did you want to do?
Oh, yes. I wanted to become a tennis pro from a very young age. I was pretty good. Played all the time and was ranked high. But when I was 16 my interest for girls, partying and hanging with friends became bigger. So I guess acting is my plan B!
You used to do comedy but now you’ve started getting some more serious roles, a peodophile being one of them, was that a hard decision to take that role?
Not when I read the script. It was so well written so it was impossible to say no even though I was a little afraid of how the reactions would turn out.
How did you prepare for a role like that?
I read a book by a therapist where he talked about meeting with sexual offenders and among them were lots of peodophiles. And of course I talked a lot with the director and the writer on how we wanted to portray him. And the thing that really worked with this character was that we didn’t make it easy for the audience to hate him. He´s just a normal guy with this monster inside of him that he´s trying to oppress so that really messed with the audiences heads.
Has it opened the door for solo at and more interesting roles?
Very much so. I would say 3 out of 5 roles that I audition for are pretty dark characters which is what I love as it makes my career more varied. I wouldn’t like to play the same character all the time.
You’ve always been on the stage but recently we’ve seen you move more into film and TV, is this where you want your career to go?
Yes. I love being on the stage but it´s tough. You work late every night performing 3 hours straight - singing, dancing and acting. You can´t have a normal life.
Proudest moment in your career so far?
When I got to do Elder Price in The Book of Mormon
You got a fantastic review in Broadwayworld.com where it said ‘the standout performance in the Swedish production of Book of Mormon was Linus Wahlgren. I would love to see him as Elder Price on Broadway or in the West End.’ Would you?
I would! But I think you have to rewrite the character and add a couple of years to his age in that case. I can´t fake I´m 19 anymore!!!
Best advice you’ve been given?
"Be nice to people that you pass on you way up in your career because you probably will meet them again when they pass you". That´s how this industry works. It´s a rollercoaster!
Any advice to someone starting out?
Can I pass my advice on?
I start to shoot a tv series in February but that’s all I can say about it at the moment though…
Photographer Erica Bergsmeds
Hair and make up artist Ninni Mighty Marklund
Shot on Location in London Chelsea