“It felt like a huge responsibility,” admits Anders Danielsen Lie about starring in “22 July.” Directed by Oscar nominee Paul Greengrass (“United 93”), this Netflix release recounts the horrifying true story of Norway’s worst attack since World War II, when 77 people were killed by right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who is played by Lie. The actor is a native of Norway, so he felt he had a duty to “create a truthful portrait.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Lie above.
On July 22, 2011, Breivik, radicalized by anti-immigrant and misogynist ideas, murdered 8 people by detonating a van bomb outside the government quarter in Oslo before shooting 69 others to death at a political youth summer camp on the island of Utøya. Embodying such an individual was a challenge for Lie because he’s “a very emotional person in real life, and the character I was set to play is, emotionally, completely detached and disconnected from what he’s done. He hasn’t shown any signs of remorse or regret or conscience. For me, that’s impossible to understand.”
To get past this, Lie focused on Breivik’s “behavior more than thoughts or psychology, because I knew that I had gotten to a point where I wouldn’t understand the morals of this person. But behavior is always accessible to us, so I knew that would always be playable.”
He was aided by Greengrass, who “gives you a lot of freedom” while also providing “safety. You sense a director who is in total control, and perhaps because he knows what he wants, and because he’s a confident and experienced director, he dares to give you more freedom.”
Lie has also acted in such films as “Oslo, August 31st” (2011), “Personal Shopper” (2016), and “Rodin” (2017). He will campaign in the Best Actor Oscar race for “22 July,” which opened in select theaters and on Netflix on Wednesday, October 10.
Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Oscar contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominations are announced on January 22.