If you live in Los Angeles and are a connoisseur of the theater then you’ve probably seen Swedish actor Linus Ekman starring in a series of recent stage productions that include Seminar, Glengarry Glen Ross and Hurlyburly.
While still living in Sweden, Linus was a part of the renowned improv group Rattle with which he toured for several years. An original member of the group, Linus is known for his spot-on comedic timing, a feature that led the group to win the title of Sweden’s Best Improv Theater in 2011 during the Battle Royal competition.
A multi-talented actor whose strengths extend far beyond comedy, Linus has played leading roles in several films including that of Jesper in the Swedish hit Unruly (Banga inte) written and directed by Fanni Metelius.
Set in Gothenburg circa 1999, the plot centers around three girls during the summer transition between middle and high school with the leader of the trio being Mickan, played by Linnea Cart-Lamy who is known throughout Europe for her role in Ruben Östlund’s De ofrivilliga (Involuntary), as well as other projects. The film follows the girls who, in the midst of drinking, partying, and flirting, try to figure out what it is they really want from life. Linus’s character Jesper is the antagonist of the film and the character responsible for the film’s conflict.
The incredibly demanding role required Linus, who is as sweet and innocent as he looks, to transition in to a show no mercy school ground bully, something he accomplished to the ‘T’. After Jesper disrespects one of Mickan’s friends, the young woman filled with teenage angst and the desire to stand up for something, attempts to force Jesper to apologize, a move which ultimately leads to the eruption of the film’s infamous fight scene. Executed perfectly, the scene was like an excerpt from Fight Club with Linus being the antagonistic Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt).
In Swedish Film magazine Metelius recalls her initial thoughts on what would she thought would be the most challenging part of the film; “Beforehand I thought it would be the sex scene, but it turned out to be the fight because so many people were involved. We worked on it for 20 hours. I was ill and had lost my voice. And it was especially hard on the actors, because the water was so cold…”
An incredible look at the challenges of growing up and fitting in, it is no wonder that Unruly won a special mention at the 2011 Uppsala International Short Film Festival, especially with its all-star cast being led by Linus Ekman and Linnea Cart-Lamy.