Eirik Tveiten interview: ‘Night Ride’ director
The opening part of Eirik Tveiten’s Oscar-nominated short film, “Night Ride,” was actually inspired by a real instance that happened to a friend of his in Oslo. “He came into the same situation as the main character does. He takes off with a tram and he sees there are passengers waiting for the tram freezing, so he stops and picks them up,” he tells Gold Derby during our recent webchat (watch the exclusive video interview above). What happens in the second half of the short came from Tveiten’s own hypothetical of what he or other people might do if they saw someone being harassed. “They let things happen because the don’t feel that this applies to them and we tend to not speak up.”
“Night Ride” is a short film from Norway that can currently be viewed on YouTube and through The New Yorker website. It centers on Ebba (Sigrid Kandal Husjord), a woman of small stature, who is waiting in the freezing cold for a public tram. When the driver leaves one vacant, Ebba decides to drive the tram and pick up people at stops along the way. When she finds that a passenger is being subjected to harassment from other passengers, she must decide whether or not get involved in the provocation and stand up to bullies in a public setting. It is currently nominated for the Best Live Action Short Film Oscar and it marks the first nomination for Tveiten and the short’s producer, Gaute Lid Larssen.
When Tveiten wrote the script, he hadn’t imagined that Ebba would be a little person. “We went to Trondheim, where we were gonna shoot because it would be easier for us to check out the professionals. They also have their dialect from the area which is nice to use.” Sigrid’s audition blew him away and made sense considering what the film was ultimately about. “It’s about being different and speaking up when people get harassed or there is prejudice. She’s encountered those situations where she’s been a victim of this. So she was very much perfect for the role.”
The feelings coming from getting nominated for an Oscar are still a little difficult for Tveiten to describe. “In the start, I don’t think I really grasped what was going on. I didn’t expect that. When you stand there on set, you don’t imagine in your wildest dreams that it will make it so far.” Even after attending the nominee’s luncheon, it all feels kind of overwhelming for him but it’s something he’s found himself getting used to. “I couldn’t really connect in my own feelings when it was nominated. I was like, okay, what do we do now? I have to schedule my flights and do that. But being here, I have to say you’re living the dream.”