While Kristofer Hivju made his American debut in Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.’s 2011 prequel of John Carpenter’s The Thing and followed that up with a role in the 2013 M. Night Shyamalan outing After Earth, the Norwegian thespian’s best-known role is as Game of Thrones wild man Tormund Giantsbane. Acting is in his blood, with not only his grandmother, but parents Erik Hivju and Lieselotte Holmene and cousin Isabelle Nanty making their living as thespians. The younger Hivju graduated from the Danish subdivision of the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts (GITIS) in 2004.
The following are some of the bushy-bearded performer’s favorite actors.
Al Pacino (April 25, 1940 to present)
“It’s like he’s playing jazz when he acts—you never know what’s coming. It’s kind of out-of-control in an extremely controlled way. It’s like he’s in a groove. I think the reason why many of his movies are so good is that he very often delivers many different things to the editing room. So when they edit the movie, they can choose if he’s going to be charming, cold, warm or an asshole in a particular scene. He delivers a lot of stuff. He has this enormous freedom and lightness.”
Nicole Kidman (June 10, 1967 to present)
“I think she is one of the actors that has this emotional depth that gets deeper and deeper with every role she plays. She’s an extreme presence and makes brilliant choices with every role she is in. Every time you look at her, it tells you how difficult it is to be a human being and I think she has this way of letting go into a role.”
Phillip Seymour Hoffman (July 23, 1967 to Feb. 2, 2014)
“He had this enormous freedom that made him one of the greatest character actors that ever lived. The thing is that when I think about him, he showed human weakness in a beautiful way. He could be extremely funny and extremely deep and he was able to do it in the same scene. It looked like he didn’t have any limitations. One guy once said an actor should go into suffering like Jesus did so we can join these people on this voyage and we don’t have to live through those feelings in real life. I feel like Phillip Seymour Hoffman went all the way like that with every character. I think he gave a lot.”
Check out LIW’s full interview with Kristofer Hivju.