Christopher’s Scandinavian roots turned out to be very useful in his break-through performance as Viggo Mortensen’s father, Arathorn, in the Lord of the Rings prequel Born of Hope, which has now amassed an impressive 8 million online views. Since then he has forged a career in independent British films, such as Philip Pullman’s The Butterfly Tattoo, and won the Best Actor Award at the London Independent Film Festival in 2011.
What training have you received?
When I decided to leave my career in advertising behind and venture into acting, I was lucky enough to be offered a place at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. I spent three great years there before moving to London.
What kinds of roles attract you?
I’m always on the lookout for something I haven’t done before, and get excited by characters I can SEE when I read them in the script, who have depth and a life I can add to in the process. I’m a self-confessed mainstream actor, and I want to be in films that have an appeal to a wider audience. I deeply respect art-house actors and directors for the work they do to push the boundaries, but personally I’m a sucker for the action/adventure genre and am very happy when a job involves guns or swords. Having said that, my best experience as a film actor so far was in the award winning comedy Being Sold.
What’s the best advice that you’ve been given as an actor?
When acting: listen! When not acting: don’t give up!
Tell us the most significant moment in your career so far?
I was on stage in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar doing his big ‘Constant as the Northern Star’ speech, and all of a sudden I felt a total connection to the character and why he felt like that, while at the same time being able to look at him from the outside taking in the audience, the other actors, the set, myself… that was the first time acting became more than just pretending to me.
You’ll die happy when…
I’ve been cast in a James Bond film, and when I don’t feel I have any more to give.