While Hollywood, the biggest movie industry center in the world, is an American product, every year some of the highest grossing and most awarded films to be produced in the United States feature foreign actors and actresses. Not only are most of these actors and actresses already acclaimed in their home country, but they debatably require more talent in order to penetrate the competitive niche that is Hollywood. Gemma Karlsen is one such actress making a name for herself in Europe, utilizing both her background in acting and her experiences traveling to propel her career to the next level. With her sights set on Hollywood, we had a chance to ask the globally adept actress about her most notable achievements and gain some insight into the life of an ambitious talent within the industry.
You have stated that even from a very young age you were involved with making your own plays and showing them around the neighborhood. Do you think this entrepreneurial spirit has helped you stand out from other actresses and performers?
Karlsen: Yes, I think it made me more engaged in the whole process of telling stories. I still write my own films as I am really passionate about the process of filmmaking. I also think it makes me a better actress.
How did moving to London affect your acting career in regard to being exposed to a wider range of talent and those knowledgeable with the craft?
Karlsen: I moved to London at a very young age and my acting school had very high standards, which made me more professional in the long run. Also I feel more like I have a greater access and understanding of the world, for instance I am not scared of acting in English/American settings, which is a huge plus as an actress in this day an age.
What are some of the key characteristics or tangibles that separate a great actor/actress from being average?
Karlsen: I think the willingness to work hard, learn new skills for each part, being in touch with yourself, being able to push your own boundaries and lastly being a giver are the most important qualities an actress can have..
What excites you most about being a performer?
Karlsen: Acting any part is fun for me. Finding my character and playing the role, it’s like childrens play, only I do it for a living. I love telling important stories that express many feelings, and I also really love dressing up.
Since moving back to Denmark what sorts of roles/parts have you played?
Karlsen: Mostly period roles as strong females, including the murder of a lost young woman and a comedic role, just to name a couple.
Over the course of your acting career, are there any projects which you have been a part of that stand out as being particularly memorable? Why were these instances unique and how did they help to advance your career?
Karlsen: Many! But it’s really cool when I get to travel, learn new skills or overcome a fear in order to tell an important story.
Who has played the biggest influence in your acting career, or in other words, who have you learned the most from?
Karlsen: My mother. She is my biggest mentor, she teaches me to trust myself and my instincts which is so important as an actress. Also my acting teacher from London.
What advice, if any, would you give to an aspiring actress who wishes to follow in your footsteps?
Karlsen: Be sure to work as an actress because you love it, and be willing to work hard. Also be sure that you’re a person who has something to give and that you’re not just looking to get famous or rich.
Are you currently working on any notable projects or have any planned later in 2018?
Karlsen: Yes! But it’s too soon to reveal much about them. Stay tuned!