Olafur Darri Olafsson has recently starred in BBC Four series Trapped, whilst he is also known for appearing in various films (A Walk among the Tombstones, The Last Witch Hunter) and other television series (Children, XL).
Trapped is an Icelandic series which has gone across the world. Broadcasters from Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Sweeden and the United Kingdom have all signed up. It follows the police as they try to solve a crime.
So why has it been such a success? We recently had a chat with Olafur to find out more, "I think it's a pretty good story. What sets it apart from others might be that it is Icelandic. If you like to be inside with a hot cocoa watching other people in snow and frost, then this is for you." Olafsson acts as Andri, who is chief of the police in Seyoisfjorour. "I really like Andri, he is not a man of many words but I think in many ways that comes from being a police officer. He keeps his cards close to his chest."
The series is created, directed and produced by Baltasar Kormakur, who was behind films 2 Guns and Everest. It is drenched in frozen landscapes and is set in a remote village. After a mutilated corpse is found near the local port, the police must investigate despite a blizzard cutting off the entire village.
How did Olafur get involved? "Baltasar approached me three years back. We have worked together many times. He said that he had an idea for a show and that he wanted me to play the lead. Baltasar is a phenomenal director so I was of course very excited and it's always a good feeling when someone thinks of you for work."
In 2013 the actor appeared in a hilarious helicopter cameo during film, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. "Ben Stiller is awesome, a nice guy and a fun person to work with. The reason that cameo was great is because the writing is hilarious. Ben is the best partner you could have in that scene."
Meanwhile away from acting, Olafur is the founder of Stor Og Sma Productions along with dancer Lovisa Osk Gunnarsdotti. "I started my company about two years ago, when I starred in and produced XL, a feature film. I was also involved in producing a couple of features called Childrens and Parents. I think producing is a lot of fun. I like the idea of bringing people together and seeing someone's vision come to life."
His career has spanned since the nineties, "I think you always hope that your highlight is still to come, but there have been moments that stick in the mind." He continued, "The first time I walked on stage at the National Theatre of Iceland, the first time our theatre group Vesturport walked out at the Young Vic, the first day of shooting True Detective, working with Steven Spielberg, Jonathan Demme and many more. When I think of them, I am really grateful for having those opportunities and having people take a chance on me."
So what’s next? "I am currently finishing a series called Emerald City. There are a few premieres I'm looking forward to, The White King (a feature), Lady Dynamite (Netflix series), The BFG (film) and Quarry (Cinemax series)."
"What I am looking most forward to right now is taking a break with the family, find some place with a little heat and snuggle up with my people."
Olafur Darri Olafsson was talking to Telly Binge in April 2016. Trapped is released on DVD and Blu-Ray from Monday 11th April through Arrow Films and Nordic Noir & Beyond.