Interview: Aleksander Nordaas, Director of THALE

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Norwegian director/writer/editor/cinematographer Aleksander Nordass’ new film, Thale deals with a mythological creature called a Huldra that two cadaver clean-up crew members discover in a basement. Aleksander recently sat down with us to discuss his latest endeavor...

Starburst: Your film has this unique feel to it as a cross between a detective story and The Island of Dr. Moreau. What was your inspiration to want to make Thale?

Aleksander Nordaas: As a Norwegian filmmaker, Norwegian mythology is very deeply set in our roots. The Huldra has always been an interesting creature to me since childhood and I felt that it was a story that needed to be told. We didn’t have a lot of money so we had to rely on creativity to tell the story. We looked at locations first to see where and what was available to shoot before the script was written, something that is reversed with most productions and I went home to write the story around them.

What were your influences on wanting to be a director?

I always enjoyed stories. Even when I was a child in school I loved writing them for class and was fascinated by creating stories that would interest people. I was the one kid that loved to do my homework. Years later, I got a camera and started to make short films.

Your actors do an amazing job, but the standout is the gifted Silje Reinamo who plays Thale. She reminds us of a young Barbara Bain (Space:1999). How did you find her?

I will tell her of the complement. Silje and I have known each other since childhood. I did a short film with her previously and when I was writing Thale, I wrote it for her in mind for the character.

The other mythological characters in the woods, Thale’s sisters if you may, were different in design and also that Thale seemed ostracized by them because she was different.

Yes. She’s the tragic heroine taken from birth and introduced to the world of human beings whereas her sisters still carry on their traditional heritage living in the woods avoiding any human contact. The sisters though are very viscous, terrifying and territorial if they are attacked or feel that any of their family are threatened by humans. Thale has become more human as she has adapted to our way of life, but she is still a Huldra.

The CGI is very good.

It was my first time using CGI and it was a learning curve. We didn’t know if we were able to use it on the budget we had, so we shot two different takes expecting to use it or not. I knew the scenes in my head and how to utilize them if we couldn’t. Fortunately, we were able to incorporate CGI into the film. It’s a scary process that knowing every frame you shoot will cost so much money in post.

THALE is out now on DVD. To read our review, click here.

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