Jonas Strand Gravli opens up about his role for Ragnarok
If you haven't watched Ragnarok on Netflix, well, you're missing out. Ragnarok is a Norwegian fantasy drama reimagining the Norse mythology, it takes place in current day in the fictional town of Edda in Western Norway. It's the story of Magne (David Stakston), a teenage boy who later finds he's the embodiment of Thor and his half-brother Laurits (Jonas Strand Gravli) who later becomes a reincarnation of Loki.
In this interview Jonas opens up about his approach on his role and how bad he wanted to be part of this project. "Loki is a special character in the tv-series" he says, "because we get to see how he actually becomes Loki and what his family is like".
Congratulations on your amazing career, season 2 of Ragnarok is out! How did you start getting into acting?
It almost happened by coincidence. When I had to apply for high school, I did't get into the schools I really wanted to go to so I had to attend a school which had a drama classes and that was the first time I was introduced to acting. I felt like that was something I really enjoyed so I kept on going further on that path and it all led to me being an actor.
What did you want to study in the first place?
I wanted to do something with editing, I wanted to work with film but I wanted to be behind the camera, the editing route so I wanted to sit behind a computer and create stories.
What has been the highlight of Ragnarok's season 2?
Well, it was such an honour to get to a second season because when I was cast for the first season I knew what was going to happen in the second one. I was really looking forward to getting into season two, and to get into this Laurits becoming Loki. I think, this season for me was so great because I really got to change my character and develop it into this northern mythology kind of hero.
Was it difficult to transition from the nice and sweet Laurits to bad guy Loki?
That was one of the most exciting things we worked on. Many people know so much about Loki because of Marvel and they've seen this trickster, mischievous guy but you never get to see how and why he becomes the bad guy so I really wanted to justify the reason why he becomes cruel. I think it was great to explore into those feelings and how he gets hurt. He doesn't feel like he's part of anyone and everyone turns their back to him and that's why he has to become this new self in a way.
Another aspect I really love about Laurits is the way he tries to explore his sexuality. How did you prepare for that?
It was a clever move from the script writers to actually write that Laurits was gay, well I don't really know if he is, he doesn't like to put his sexuality in a specific place and I think it was also clever of the script writers to write it without commenting on it, he tries to figure out who he is and by that he meets this guys and falls in love and when he presents that to his mother, she's just happy for him, she doesn't comment on anything, she's just happy that he found love and that he has some light in his life. That's a really great message to also have this super natural kind of coming of age drama. It's an important message in 2021!
You worked with a fantastic Norwegian cast in a stunning Norwegian location. How was being part of this?
It was great. The actors are amazing! I knew some of them before Ragnarok. Everyone's so dedicated and so focused on the project, it felt great to be on set and work with all of them. Shooting this series in Edda which is in the western part of Norway was breathtaking. The scenery is just hilarious, it's too good to be true. It looks like it's fake but it's not. You can tell that the scriptwriters had that place in mind when they were writing this because every scene sits specific with that place. We did a scene in the second season where me and Gísli who plays Vidar, go up this mountain on motorcycles and we were looking at this view and it looks like we added all of it and posed because that view is mind-blowing. I was supposed to looked stunned by that view and I really was, it was the easiest thing to do!
What is next for Ragnarok?
I don't know anything. I wish I could say something but I have no clue. I just hope we will get to do another season.
You mentioned Marvel and Loki, are you a Marvel fan?
I love all the Marvel stuff, I love the movies, I love the tv-series they've put out in the last couple of years. I haven't seen Loki yet but I will. Tom Hiddleston is such a great actor. It was a bit frightening to do his role (laughs). So many people relate to Marvel and to north mythology through Marvel so it's a good thing that Ragnarok and Netflix went in another direction and wanted to tell the story in a different way.
What is your favourite super hero?
It's between Spider-Man and Batman but I think Batman is my favourite, I mean he doesn't have super powers, he's just a normal guy but very rich.
As the world prepares to come out of the pandemic, what's next for you?
This pandemic has been tough on everyone. I am lucky I got to work throughout the entire year. I have a few projects for TV but I would like to work on something international so that everybody can see.
Ragnarok (Season 2) is out now on Netflix.
Words by: Sal F.
Photos by: Lucasz Zamaro (Digital Cover and Photo #2) - Netflix (Photo #3 and #4)