Aleksander Nordaas  is the Norwegian writer and director of Thale, staring Jon Sigve Skard , Morten Andresen, Erlend Nervold, and Silje Reinamo. The film centers around two crime scene cleaners who stumble upon a mysterious naked woman in the basement of a remote cabin and unravel her intriguing secrets to find all is not as it seems. I had the opportunity to speak with Aleksander about working on the film and what it takes to bring Norwegian Mythology to life.

You guys have gotten a really positive response to the film on the festival circuit. What’s it like being able to introduce the world to this story and have your film seen by such a big audience now?

To all of us involved with Thale it’s a very surreal experience. We went from starting out and hoping to maybe get the film out to a few theaters in Norway, to being picked up for a US and International distribution. It’s unreal!

What made you choose this creature for Thale?

Huldra is actually my favorite creature from Norwegian folk lore. She has diverse interpretations. Is she good or is she evil? So you can have different approach to her. You can react and she can respond to that. There is a lot to play with, which is why we chose her. And of course budget wise, she was an easier creature to work with being a little bit more human than others.

If you had an opportunity to make another mythology based film with a bigger budget, what creature would you want to make it about?

There is a creature that is basically a living pile of roots that has  also very strong mythology, that would be a good one. There are a lot of different creatures that I would love to take on that the world hasn’t seen yet! It is kind of a luxury problem, with so many to choose from.

What was the trickiest part about working on this movie?

Getting the film out there, when we started out with the production we didn’t have a distributor on board so didn’t know what was going to happen once it was a finished film.

The actors you chose gave really great performances, where did you find them?

I knew the actors personally and professionally beforehand, which was very handy. I worked with all three actors in 2008 in a short called Chambers. The two male actors were from the other film, and Silje who is playing Thale I have know from childhood.

Where was the film shot?

Most of the film is actually shot in my small hometown in Norway, where I also live, and where I am from, and Silje, and also the composer.

What was it like on set during filming?

We shot a lot of the scenes in a basement in the mid winter in Norway, so it got pretty cold. I remember standing with a camera in one hand and the director’s script in the other over a bathtub and shouting for more warm water to fill the tub. It was a tight space and it was a bit chaotic but also a lot of fun at times. It will be a production experience I will remember.

How much of the movie is based off the mythology directly and how much did you have to come up with on your own for the film?

We had to take the Huldra character and take her from traditional folk lore and convert it to a story happening in a modern setting. So basically we borrowed the character and fit her into a story that could work even outside of that world.

What sort of films and shows did you grow up watching?

I watched Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! I watch those movies over and over again. And Masters of The Universe, with He Man.

Do you have any other projects coming up?

Thale has opened a lot of doors that we never had expected. Like now I’m in the position where I’m getting offered scripts from others, and my projects are now seem a lot easier to move forward and get through. I’m at the point where I can kind of choose where to go next. So very exciting!

Thale is out in theaters now and available on VOD

By Laura Gaddy

Aleksander Nordaas

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