Set to make another Killing
Published 15/11/2012 | 14:13
As cult crime series The Killing comes to an end, fans will have to say farewell to detective Sarah Lund?
You can't just like The Killing. If you watch it, you love it. This might be something to do with the dark Danish setting, the constant twists and turns, the flawed but fascinating main detective - Sarah Lund - or the fact that you have to concentrate so hard on the subtitles there's no way you can iron or tweet while watching it.
Either way, since it first hit our screens last year, it's built up an army of obsessive fans who'll theorise for hours over whodunnit. And, as was discovered during the filming of the third and final series this spring, Prince Charles and Camilla count themselves among them.
The royal couple dropped in to the set during their tour of Scandinavia and admitted to eminent Danish actress Sofie Grabol, who plays Lund, that they were "addicted" to the show. In fact, Camilla herself had requested the detour.
"I spoke mainly to Camilla, or do you say 'the Duchess'?" asks Grabol, in impressively fluent English.
"She was a real fan in a nerdy kind of way, she knew everything and every detail."
Camilla's commitment was rewarded by cast and crew who presented her with a Faroe Island cardigan, modelled on the chunky jumpers worn by Lund in the show and which have acquired an iconic status of their own.
Grabol has always been baffled by the interest shown in the jumpers, saying previously she felt as if they were wearing her rather than the other way around and, although she's pleased to report there's a new one in play for the final series, she thinks there's enough in the series to take away attention from what she's wearing.
"I don't think you'll be as focused on the jumper this time," says the actress who tonight looks much softer and prettier than her on-screen counterpart, in a navy trouser suit and cream sequin top.
In fact, we don't even see the main jumper in the first episode. We find Lund, previously a detective so driven she has no personal life to speak of, passing the baton on to a young new whippersnapper. She's celebrating her 25 years in service and is applying for a desk job in the strategy and planning department.
"We talked a lot about where to take her. She puts everything at stake in her job and has lost it all twice so we wondered if it was possible to continue to live like that. She's paid a price for living her work life like that and she can't continue, so she's trying to have a life, like normal people," explains Grabol.
We see her trying to make amends with her son, who she's let down so spectacularly in the past, cooking a meal in her own home and even wearing heels.
"I don't know what we were thinking because the first scene of running I fell and hurt myself like hell," she recalls.
This new direction is a natural progression for Lund, according to Grabol, who says she can sympathise with her approach.
"She wants to be more protected in the job, to not be the one risking life and limb. And it's also something about age. I'm 44 and she's a few years older than me. It's something about where you are in life.
"I identify with that in my line of work. You have to lose yourself in a character or project and the way I lose myself now is different to the way I lost myself then."
Needless to say, however, it doesn't take long before Lund finds herself sucked back into a murder case. This time it's when the dismembered body of a sailor gets unearthed at a rubbish dump. The story takes in coalition politics, big business and the economic crisis, as well as having a domestic story at its heart, and Lund promises the same level of suspense that fans have grown accustomed to.
"It is a whodunnit story so yes, there is a rule that the audience should be kept guessing. We won't let you down. Also, something very surprising is going to happen," she teases.
Like all our favourite television detectives, Lund is unhappy in love. In the first series she was planning to move to Sweden with her son to be with her new partner, but he ditched her when her involvement in an investigation meant she kept on stalling the date of the move. In the second series she fell for her police partner but this went horrendously wrong before it had even started.
But things might be on the up this series, with the arrival of a new police boss (played by Nikolaj Lie Kaas) who, it's hinted, has some history with Lund already and who, it has to be said, is really rather attractive.
"Oh yes," nods Grabol, "Isn't he? And he is the best actor in Denmark in my opinion so it was really a treat to work with him."
She doesn't give anything else away, although she does agree that the time had come for a change in pace for Lund.
"We agreed we couldn't take her further down, there just weren't any more stairs, and then we had this feeling we want to know her better, we want to find out who she is because she's so closed up. I can say she's also on a personal journey, being challenged by a lot of things."
Typically, just as we get to know her, Lund will disappear as enigmatically as she appeared, with Grabol and the show's writer and producer insisting that this is a wrap.
Grabol says the end of it all hit her "like a hammer" but the actress, who herself is divorced from the father of her two children, adds: "I must say it's like any divorce, it's a mix of sadness and great relief. Life goes on. I've done a feature film since we finished The Killing so it's not like somebody died or something."
And did she get to keep one of the famous jumpers?
"Did you say 'one'?! I have so many jumpers," she sighs. "I have a copy of each of the ones we've used. But also, a lot of time we had ideas for the jumper and they've been knitted in the Faroe Islands and we've decided not to use it in those colours, so I have many variations of that jumper. But it seems wrong to wear them. I don't know what I'm going to do with them."
EXTRA TIME - SOFIE GRABOL
:: Sofie Grabol was born on July 30, 1968, in Frederiksberg in Denmark.
:: She's only appeared in one thing suitable for her two children, aged eight and 11, to watch - a theatre production of Fanny And Alexander.
:: Her first acting role was aged 17 in a film called Oviri about the artist Paul Gauguin, who was played by Donald Sutherland.
:: She made a guest appearance in last year's Christmas special of Absolutely Fabulous, and popped up in the American version of The Killing as an in-joke for fans of both versions of the show.
:: The Killing starts on BBC Four on Saturday, November 17