We here at STARBURST recently had the privilege of taking a journey to the end of the world with Swedish Actor Arvin Kananian to talk about his lead role in the new Sci-Fi epic, ANIARA.
STARBURST: Congratulations on the film, its a really interesting story and your performance along with your fellow cast members is stunning.
Arvin Kananian: Thank you so much, I really appreciate it.
What was it about the story that made you interested in taking part in the project?
Well many things but mainly because it’s a Swedish classic but in a very contemporary way. It was originally written in 1957 but it still holds up today and is so current. It was great to feel like I was apart of a classic piece of literature in a new medium. The film was also one of Sweden’s first Sci-Fi films and it was something I just had to be part of – something to tell the grandchildren, you know? [laughs]. Also, it was a really good script – when I first read it I was hooked from the first page.
You’ve worked with Pella and Hugo before, how great was it getting to work with them again?
When I first got the call from them saying I got the part I cried and screamed at the same time and then partied for three days straight [laughs]. It was huge to me, the best thing that’s happened in my career. Getting that dream part and being able to do so with friends who you’ve worked with before is just perfect especially for my first big role. It has a real family feeling.
How was the passion and attitude on set amongst the cast and crew?
It was 100% passion mixed with 100% stress. It was great, super fun, super stressful – everyone cared so much about making the best film possible.
You play the Captain of the ANIARA, a very stern individual who must make difficult choices for the greater good and wellbeing of the passengers. How hard was it preparing for the role knowing it was such an important part?
So, preparing for the role was a lot of fun – I got to go deep into the background of the character. I did military training by getting in contact with a Lieutenant in the Swedish Military Forces and I got to train with them for several weeks which was great for the character – it helped me get the stance, the authority and the language down to a tee. He makes all of his choices based on the ships wellbeing which in real life is tough to do so I wanted to capture that in my performance.
Had you read the source material before?
I had heard about it before but had never read it. So, this was the first time I was introduced to the source material. The first thing I read was the script and I read it twice – and I was just blown away that this story came from something written in 1957 and not within the past few years. It felt huge to be a part of it. There were so many sub-stories that take place within this world that could be explored in the future if they wanted to.
Could you share with us your favourite moment or theme that is presented in the story?
One of my favourite things about the approach to the story was that Pella and Hugo were under pressure with the budget but decided to make the technology as if we had it today – the Aniara is like a luxury cruise ship. I really respected that. They didn’t want to give humans an excuse for why this is happening – a respectable and clever way of making the film, in my opinion.
If given the opportunity to work with Pella, Hugo and/or Emelie again, would you?
Hell yes! [laughs] – any day, any time.