It’s been hailed as a nail-biting, suspense-filled thriller and after rapturous reviews at festivals such as Toronto and London, Norway’s Headhunters is shaping up to be an international hit.
The film’s stars were in London on Wednesday night for a special screening, staged by the Jameson Cult Film Club.
Produced by the makers of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, which spawned the hugely successful The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Headhunters is centred around Roger Brown, a top recruitment headhunter who seems to have it all — success in business, a beautiful wife and a magnificent house.
But to maintain this lifestyle, he’s also an accomplished art thief — believing he needs to keep his wife, Diana, in the finer things to stop her leaving him.
His perfect life starts to unravel in dramatic fashion when Diana introduces him to Clas Greve who is in possession of the most sought after paintings in the world.
The action builds as the headhunter becomes the hunted but underneath the suspense and sometimes graphic violence, lies romance.
“That love story is the heart of the movie basically — that’s where we’re going to end and that’s why he’s doing all that he does,” Aksel Hennie, who plays Roger, said.
“Diane — Synnove’s character — is his motor and motivation for doing what he’s doing.”
Synnove Macody Lund plays Roger’s wife. A journalist and former model, the film is her first acting role. She landed the part through co-star Hennie, who knew her as a film critic.
“When I first read the script I pictured Synnove because I knew her from before and she had reviewed every single film I’ve done and Morten (the director) asked me, ‘Is she a film critic? Yeah. Has she review any of my films? Yeah. Was the review good? Yeah. OK then we can try her,’ So we tried her and she came so prepared — more prepared than any actress.”
Macody Lund said it was hard to see herself on the big screen, but said she had a good feeling about how the film would be received after seeing it for the first time.
“When I saw the first test screening I was of course really nervous on my own behalf because I hadn’t played anyone before so I kind of thought I’m not going to be able to see this film without just looking at myself and being nervous about that — but after the film — the first test screening I didn’t quite remember what I’ve seen of me — but I just knew in my tummy that’s it’s going to be a hit.”
Producer Marianne Gray said a Hollywood version of Headhunters is now in the very early stages of production. But she said unlike The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Summit Entertainment’s English speaking version will not be a straight remake. Instead it will be more closely aligned with the Jo Nesbo book the story is based on.
“Summit Entertainment had an executive who read the book in German so we made that deal a long time ago but we’ve had many, many people wanting to do a remake.”