Just before she left for the Toronto International Film Festival, where her new movie Jeg er din (I am yours) is in competition, Game of Thrones star Amrita Acharia talked to Luger about her new leading role, the part the HBO blockbuster has played in her career and about the sexiness of Irish accents. It has also been confirmed that Amrita’s movie, directed by Iram Haq, has been shortlisted to be Norway’s candidate in the ‘Best Foreign Film’ category at the Oscars in March.
LUGER – Based on the trailer, in Jeg er din (I am yours) we get to see a more sensual side of your character that viewers didn’t get to see in Game of Thrones, despite the latter’s raunchy reputation. Do you think Jeg er din will change how audiences and directors view you as an actress from now on?
AMRITA – Well, I don’t really know how they view me at the moment! Portraying different people is my job so yes, showing versatility and having the opportunity to explore different types of characters and genres is exciting & I hope to do more of that.
Mina in ‘Jeg er Din’ is a very unstable, self-destructive character, so her skin was a beautifully ugly mess to jump into day in day out! It was certainly a departure to go from her chaotic psyche into full makeup and prosthetics prancing around as a demon alongside Doug Jones in an indie short this summer! (Kiss the Devil in the Dark). I’m up for trying most roles, especially if it goes ‘against type’- whatever that means!
‘Since Jeg er din is inspired by the directors own life experience I think it made it a personal and raw experience.’
Your co-star Ola Rapace is very well known in Scandinavia, how was it working with him and do you think he was a little overawed working with a Game of Thrones star?
It was my first lead role – so it was great to have talented and experienced Scandinavian actors like Ola, Trond, Tobias and Assad to work with. Scandinavians are grounded and have an awesome sense of humour, so it was a lot of fun, despite the material being quite heavy at times. In terms of being awed – I was pretty fresh into the industry – so think I was the one being awed working with these people. Also – I’m a massive Noomi Rapace fan so I think I was probably more annoying asking tons of questions rather than exuding any aura of awe…
Jeg er din was director Iram Haq’s first full-length movie, what was that like for you and how did it compare with the experience of acting in a major international TV production?
We worked very closely together on the character and at times came away from the script and improvised, and worked on gut instinct as we got to grips with Mina and her restlessness and destructive behaviour patterns.
We worked on it over two summers, and shot a lot of material and Iram was great at keep the script fluid – she’d suddenly come up with an idea for a scene and we’d up and shoot it – the impulsive way of working appealed to me. The end result is very real with no frills. Since the film is inspired by the directors own life experience I think it made it a personal and raw experience.
‘I love working on more intimate indie sets just as much as on the big budget show.’
I love working on more intimate indie sets just as much as on the big budget show. They are very different beasts but it’s the passion for the project that makes the experiences amazing, and the talents you get to work with.
Judging by the teaser for Camouflage, you play a buttoned-up agent with a bob in what seems to be a strange psychological thriller. Is this yet another departure for your career?
I love atypical, quirky scripts and Camouflage appealed to me in terms of a story that felt fresh and demanding- and yes, that the role was a type I hadn’t explored before.
Amira in Camouflage is straight-laced and restrained, but there is still some fire to her personality. I do like a bit of temper.
Do you think leaving Game of Thrones in season two may actually have helped your career – that you have the opportunity to show audiences you can be much more than a Dothraki handmaiden?
I don’t think I’ve analysed it like that – as an actress I obviously you love working on new characters, but Irri was a fun role to play, and I miss Game of Thrones! I was over the moon to book a HBO series and it was an amazing platform to start my acting career on. I’m just chuffed I was a part of a show that has become so epic and internationally adored!
You were due to revisit Belfast this week for TitanCon. You have spoken before about how you enjoyed working in Croatia, but what did you learn about Irish people and culture during your time there – leaving aside the weather of course?
1. The Irish accent is one of the sexiest in the world.
2. You have to be able to hold your drink.
3. The landscape made me think of my home – Norway.
And finally how do you say ‘I am yours’ in Dothraki?
Anha ha yeraan.