Film

Close-up: An Interview with Krista Kosonen

KRISTA KOSONEN is one of Finland’s most respected actors, known for her roles in films such as The Midwife (2015) and Body of Water (2011). Krista’s latest film,  Miami (read our review here), screened at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this year and is awaiting a UK release date.

Q: Congratulations on Miami. It is a wonderful film. What attracted you to this story?

KK: THANK you, that is nice to hear.

What attracted me to this film was the wonderful, complex story between the two sisters. That was something that really touched me. As an actress, I found a lot of challenge in Angela’s character – I was really happy to be offered a part like that.

I had also seen Zaida Bergroth’s two films and I thought she is a really interesting director and I was eager to work with her.
 
Q: Angela is a fascinating character, especially the freedom she has and her relationship with religion. Can you talk about the character?  

KK: I CAN remember the first time I read the script and how excited I was about Angela – she truly fascinated me. I also saw a big challenge. She is a character that could easily be portrayed as a cliché – a reckless nightclub dancer.

I wanted to bring a lot of layers to her. She has a strong and aggressive side to her but at the same time she is gentle and vulnerable. Angela is a happy-go-lucky-person with a dark side. It is almost impossible for Angela to take responsibility for things or her own actions. She has faced a lot of rejection in her life and her faith is the only thing that will not abandon her. Religion is a personal thing to Angela and I feel that without it she would fall apart.

Q: Angela’s relationship with her sister Anna [played by Sonja Kuittinen] is also a key part of the film. How did you capture the intimacy between you? Did you enjoy working with Sonja on her first feature film? 

KK: I LOVED working with Sonja. We really achieved an  honest and trusting relationship and it made it easy to portray these sisters. Even though I have more experience in acting I learned a lot from Sonja – a lot has to do with being open and honest. It was a really wonderful experience – and not very common.

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Krista Kosonen and her Miami co-star Sonja Kuittinen

Q: You have tremendous presence and awareness of the camera. For those who do not know, can you talk about your background in acting?

KK: I STUDIED six years in the Theatre Academy in Helsinki and graduated in 2009. Since then I have done a lot of theatre, films, radio and television. I even did a live comedy show on TV for six years and I guess a lot of Finnish people know me from that.

Personally, I love drama. For years I was more focused on theatre and I have done a lot of classics; Uncle Vanya, Anna Karenina, Cherry Orchard. Nowadays I am drawn to film. I want to learn more about film acting and my ambitions are in film. I am drawn to interesting, complex characters.

Q: Miami has two lead females and a female director. Do you feel proud to be a part of such a project? Is more diversity needed in Finnish cinema like it is in Britain and Hollywood?

KK: DEFINITELY. It is rare in Finland to have a film with two female leads, especially whose story and dialog does not revolve around men.

I would love to see more films made by women about women – women of different ages and backgrounds. We definitely need more of that.

As an actress it was wonderful to be in a movie like Miami – and to have a director who wanted the two main characters to be everything possible – not just “the innocent sister” and “the wild, more experienced sister”.
 
Q: You recently appeared in the new Blade Runner film. How was that experience?

KK: PERSONALLY, it was such a wonderful experience. My part was small but since I am a huge fan of the original film I have to say that I was more than thrilled to get the part.

I met Denis Villeneuve before the shootings and he is just a sweet guy – super friendly and excited about filmmaking. I was taken by the time he spent talking to me since I know he must have been extremely busy.

Q: Your character in Miami, Angela, dreams of moving to sunnier climates. Does a move to Hollywood appeal?

KK: I HAVE to be honest. Moving to Hollywood does not really appeal but working abroad and doing international productions definitely does. I would love to act in English.

Q: Do you have any upcoming projects you can talk about? 

KK: YES. I start shooting an international TV-crime drama next month. It also has two female leads, played my me and Sibel Kekilli (Game of Thrones).

Title Image by Marcia Rosengard

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