Christoph Waltz’s pants play a pivotal part

Þorsteinn Bachmann, the actor who stole the thunder in ‘Life in a Fishbowl’ (Vonarstræti) and took a dramatic plunge in the recent Nordic Noir TV series ‘Trapped’ (Ófærð) will next be seen on the big screen as an American porn producer in the gay film ‘Tom Of Finland’. To get the look just right he wore trousers from Christoph Waltz.

"This is the first big film project I’m involved in abroad," says Þorsteinn about his role in the upcoming gay film ‘Tom Of Finland’. Photo courtesy of Þorsteinn.
“This is the first big film project I’m involved in abroad,” says Þorsteinn about his role in the upcoming gay film ‘Tom Of Finland’. Photo courtesy of Þorsteinn.

“My character is based on Bob Mizer, the photographer and filmmaker who discovered Tom’s artwork and started publishing it in America. But I’m not playing Bob Mizer himself, my character is an unnamed, American editor and I didn’t have to make an effort to look like Mizer even,” Þorsteinn explains, adding that the Bob Mizer Foundation was still consulted but that the director, Dome Karukoski wasn’t interested in recreating Mr Mizer as a character.

“It is of course a biographical film but we had much artistic freedom and when I asked Dome what was true and what not in the script, he said that most of it was but that the story was obviously dramatized a lot.”

Critically acclaimed director Dome Karukoski, known for films such as ‘Lapland Odyssey’ and ‘The Grump’, has been listed by Variety as one of top ten directors to watch in the world so it must be an honour to have been selected to appear in his film? “Well, yes, but it was a bit of a coincidence,” Þorsteinn says and chuckles.

“It’s quite a funny scene. I’m sitting there sweating like a pig in a heatwave in LA, a half-naked man being photographed in my office while I sit at the desk, wearing a mesh shirt … that was the first time I’ve ever seen a mesh shirt!”

“I was in Berlin and met up with Ingvar (Þórðarson, producer) as they were preparing filming in Berlin. He took a photo of me and asked how long I’d be in town, as they would be filming for the next two weeks. That very same evening I was flooded with e-mails from them. Ingvar had shown the casting director my picture, who showed it to the assistant director and a few others and it turned out that they had all seen me in ‘Vonarstræti’ and, I am told, loved me in it. The only concern was whether I could do American accent, which I was pretty confident about and had an American friend of mine coach me via Skype just to get it right.”

Even though Þorsteinn doesn’t play the actual Bob Mizer, he read a lot about him to prepare for the part. “Mizer was a photographer who lived at his mother’s, had a studio there and shot

Robert Henry Mizer (March 27, 1922 – May 12, 1992), known as Bob Mizer, was an American photographer and filmmaker who was known for pushing societal boundaries in his work.
Robert Henry Mizer (March 27, 1922 – May 12, 1992), known as Bob Mizer, was an American photographer and filmmaker who was known for pushing societal boundaries in his work.

photos of half-naked men, often body builders, and apparently, his activities didn’t always go down so well with the law at that time.”

Not having heard of Tom Of Finland before, Þorsteinn delved into the artist’s story as well and found it fascinating. “And all my gay friends knew instantly what I was talking about when I mentioned his name to them. It is obvious that he had enormous influence on gay men’s culture. You can see reference to his work in the likes of The Village People and Freddie Mercury. Tom Of Finland stamps were issued in Finland a couple of years ago so everybody there is aware of him and his work and anyone who’s been to art school has heard of him and even studied his work so he’s a much more of an icon than I realised.”

So, filming in Berlin, an Icelandic actor playing an American guy in a film by a Finnish director. How was that and what’s Karukoski like to work with?

“It was fun. Dome is very energetic, with a sharp mind. He makes quick decisions and is funny and witty. He told me a lot about the character before the shooting that I hadn’t imagined myself and during filming, he adds a lot of things to the scenes that aren’t necessarily written in the script. So he’s much bolder than I expected.”

The scene tells the story of how the name Tom Of Finland came about but it was actually Bob Mizer who came up with it. “It’s quite a funny scene. I’m sitting there sweating like a pig in a heatwave in LA, a half-naked man being photographed in my office while I sit at the desk, wearing a mesh shirt. Now, I’ve often seen mesh T-shirts but that was the first time I’ve ever seen a mesh shirt!” Þorsteinn laughs at the thought, but the scene is set in the late ‘50s. “I was also wearing trousers that Christoph Waltz wore in some movie, I don’t know which, and I have to admit that the seams had to be unpicked here and there. But then again, I’m slightly taller than Christoph Waltz,” he says and winks.

“I don’t have any trouble shifting between heterosexual and homosexual roles … I don’t see the difference, really. I try to avoid the clichés; it’s first and foremost about feelings and love and I think I’ve got plenty of that.”

Þorsteinn got to read the whole script and met the leading actor, Pekka Strang, who’s portrayal of Tom spans over 40 years. “I think he’s going to do really well and in fact, I think this film might become something big. The script is great and it totally captured me on a roller coaster ride of emotions so the audience will definitely not be disappointed.”

Now, Þorsteinn is preparing for his next role, in Icelandic TV drama ‘Fangar’ (the Icelandic word for prisoners) which will premier on RÚV next winter and for which the rights have been sold to seven other countries already. And in it, Þorsteinn will play another gay man and having also played a gay man in Midsummer’s Eve at the National Theatre a few years back, he seems to be getting quite settled in gay roles. “What are you implying?” He sounds serious and pauses for a moment before continuing. “The obvious reason is of course that I’m beautiful and I know it,” Þorsteinn can’t keep a straight face any longer and bursts out laughing. “I don’t find it difficult at all, I don’t see the difference, really. I try to avoid the clichés; it’s first and foremost about feelings and love and I think I’ve got plenty of that. I also have close, gay friends and believe I have some insight into their lives.

In the TV show ‘Fangar’ Þorsteinn will play another gay man (the husband to a character played by actor Gunnar Hansson). The show is directed by Ragnar Bragason.
In the TV series ‘Fangar’ , directed by Ragnar Bragason, Þorsteinn will play another gay man,  the husband to a character played by actor Gunnar Hansson. Photo/courtesy of Þorsteinn Bachmann.

It’s a bit awkward talking about this these days but I suppose there’s still prejudice lurking somewhere. I know people who didn’t come out till very late in their lives and it’s so upsetting that they didn’t feel that they could earlier. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone to have to closet off their feelings and passion, for ever even, it’s terrible.

But as an actor, no, I don’t have any trouble shifting between heterosexual and homosexual roles. We all have many sides to us, both feminine and masculine, and I love to evoke a different side from me to work with. Of course, gay men are as diverse as they are many, that’s something I truly witnessed when working on Tom Of Finland – there are no stereotypes there.”

With other Icelandic actors having become an international success, such as Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Ingvar E. Sigurðsson and Gísli Örn Garðarsson, is Þorsteinn hoping that Tom Of Finland will be his big break abroad? “Let’s wait for the film to come out. Yes, this is the first big film project I’m involved in abroad, but then again, I haven’t been pushing myself in that direction, that is, I haven’t had the sense of getting an agent abroad yet, which Ingvar is always nagging me about. I’ve been busy bringing up my family, I have two young daughters and two grown-up sons, so I haven’t been hurrying overseas to sit in hotel rooms and talk to my family on Skype.

But now that I’ve tried it, I wouldn’t mind doing more of that, it’s fun and a great challenge. But I don’t mind whether the projects or the parts are big or small, I try to stay true to the piece and serve the artwork rather than my ego. If you stick to that, you’ll always enjoy your work, whatever it is.”

A till from the film ‘Life in a Fishbowl’ (Vonarstræti), where Þorsteinn (here pictured við actor Þoraldur Davíð Skúlason) adsf
A still from the movie ‘Life in a Fishbowl’ (Vonarstræti), where Þorsteinn (here pictured with fellow actor Þoraldur Davíð Skúlason) stole the show as Móri, a man with a dramatic past.

Main photo: Þorsteinn Bachmann and producer Ingvar Þórðarson on the set of ‘Tom Of Finland’. Photo/Josef Perrson

The Hamburger Factory
- gourmet burgers

Ok. You’re in Iceland. Most likely for the first time.

You will probably bathe in the Blue Lagoon and take a road trip to Gullfoss and
Geysir. That’s all well and good. But neither Geysir’s nor waterfalls are
something you eat. That’s why we have 15 brilliant and creative hamburgers at
The Hamburger Factory. And they are all perfectly square. Don’t miss out on
Iceland’s most beloved hamburgers.

The Hamburger Factory is Iceland’s most innovative gourmet burger chain.
Packed with burger-craving customers since it’s opening in 2010, among the
regulars is Iceland’s best known fisherman, Eric Clapton. In our restaurants we
welcome tourists with our newspaper like menu and smiley service. They are
packed with fun items and memorable connections to Icelandic pop culture.

Locations:

Omnom Chocolate
- award-winning chocolate maker

    Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolate company based in Reykjavík. We produce handcrafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. We’ve developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavor cacao beans.

    Our creative flavors are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.

    Omnom’s process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. If it doesn’t please us, if something isn’t absolutely delicious, there’s no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts. Our team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where our ingredients come from has led us around the corner to dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside and all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.

    In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

    At the end of the day, our goal is to make chocolate.

     

    Alfred’s Apartments
    - gay owned an operated

      Alfred’s Apartments and Alfred’s Studios is a gay operated and owned accommodation in the heart of Reykjavik.

      Alfred’s Apartments offers spacious apartments at a good price located just around the corner from Laugavegur shopping street. You can choose the apartment starting from a Small Studio for 2 persons to a large One-bedroom Apartment with balcony for 5 persons.

      Their staff will ensure your comfort during the stay and provide the most updated information about the city, gay and night life in Reykjavik.

      Each apartment has a private bathroom with a shower, fully equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi. Guests can buy groceries at the local grocery store 50 meters from the apartments. Because of their very central location, numerous shops, restaurants and cafés are available in the surrounding area. The Church of Hallgrimur is located 350 m from the apartments, a tourist agency is just 50 m away and the nearest gay bar is less than 5 minutes walking distance.

      Laekur hostel
      In the hostel we have dorms for 4-8 persons with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. The rooms are furnished with free internet, lockers, and a USB charger by each bed. The beds have linen provided and you can rent a towel in the cafe on the ground floor for 5 EUR.

      All the dorms are mixed with both genders. You can also book a whole room with 4-8 bunker beds.

      Blue Lagoon
      - a world of wonder

      Named by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, the Blue Lagoon is a shimmering expanse of warmth, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Its unique geothermal seawater comes from 2000 meters within the earth where sea and fresh water converge in a tectonic frontier of porous lava and searing heat. Propelled by extreme pressure, the water ascends to the earth’s surface, emerging enriched with silica, algae, and minerals: the elements that endow Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater with its radiant, healing properties.

      From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing a hotel, a restaurant, a luxury lounge, a renowned line of skin care, a research center, in-water massage, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

      Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape of Iceland’s Reykjanes lava plain, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

      Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

      Whales of Iceland
      - larger than life

      Whales of Iceland is the largest whale exhibition in Europe (and perhaps even the world), where guests can learn about the giants of the sea in a calm and modern environment. The permanent exhibition features whales like guests have never seen them before. It is truly a giant experience.

      Landsbankinn
      - leading financial institution

      Landsbankinn is a leading Icelandic financial institution. It offers a full range of financial services and is the market leader in the Icelandic financial service sector with the largest branch network.

      The present bank was established on 7 October 2008 but the history of its predecessor dates back to 1886. The bank is owned by the National Treasury of Iceland, which holds 98.2% of its share capital, and other shareholders who own 1.8%.

      Landsbankinn’s strategy is to provide comprehensive financial services that meet customer’s needs. It emphasizes providing exemplary service to customers, developing e-banking for their convenience, increasing the efficiency of support functions, modernizing its technology and ensuring effective utilization of its balance sheet.

      The bank’s vision is to be exemplary and its role is to be a trusted financial partner.

      Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

      Landsbankinn wishes to lead the development of a sustainable society in Iceland by integrating economic, social and environmental concerns in its operations. The Bank aims to ensure that both its owners and society at large benefit from its activities.

      It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

      Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

      Dohop
      - get inspired

      Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

      Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

      More recently, Dohop has developed a unique product called Dohop Go!, which allows users to check for the cheapest available flights from their home airport. This tool is perfect for those who are looking for travel inspiration but are not willing to overpay for their flight ticket. Dohop Go! is now available in the Dohop Flights App, both for Android and iOS, along with its traditional flight, hotel, and car search engines. “

      Macland
      - for all your Apple needs

      From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

      Macland is located at Laugavegur 23 (101, Downtown Reykjavik)
      For all your Apple needs. We are here.

      Aurora Reykjavik
      - northern lights center

        Aurora Reykjavik is a Northern Lights Center situated in downtown Reykjavík at the Old Harbor next to Icelandair Hotel Marina and Vikin Maritime Museum.

        Aurora Reykjavík is Iceland’s first educational and recreational Northern Lights Center where multimedia is used to explain when, why and how the Northern Lights work, with the highlights being large HD projection of the Aurora’s. We also share myths and legends about what our ancestor thought about those mystical lights.

        The Northern Lights Center is for all ages. Children are our favorite guests and we created the exhibition in a way that children can have a look freely and parents don’t have to worry about things being broken.

        Aurora Reykjavik offers a great selection of souvenirs that are designed and made by Icelanders along with nice little coffee corner, where you can enjoy free coffee and tea while browsing through the souvenirs or just planning your next step.

        Contact Aurora

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        Ísey skyr
        - once tasted never forgotten

        Our Story
        Once upon a time, 1,100 years ago in fact, Nordic settlers began arriving in Iceland. They brought with them the skills and knowledge for producing skyr. As time passed, the know-how and recipe for this nutritious food slowly faded out elsewhere in the Nordic region. Luckily, the Icelandic skyr-making tradition continued.

        For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

        Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
        This is our secret and you are in on it

        You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

        Núðluskálin
        - noodle bar

        Núðluskálin is a small gay owned and operated fusion noodle bar.

        All of our courses are individually made from fresh ingredients and therefore highly customisable.
        We offer fully Vegan versions of all courses.
        Though originally a take-away we now seat over 30 people.

        Núðluskálin is located right in the heart of Reykjavík on Skólavörðustígur 8 (street leading up to the big Church) near the junction with Laugavegur (main street).

        Seatours
        - adventure cruise

        Ferry Baldur – the gate to the West fjords
        and VikingSushi Adventure – Bird & Nature watching Tour for everyone all year around

        The “VikingSushi Adventure” is the right boat tour for travelers who are adventurous and want to experience something new – close up to the nature seafood simply doesn’t come fresher than this! The archipelago area of the Breidafjordur Bay always surprises her visitors during winter or summer with spectacular sights. Where else you get to try delicious fresh scallops and sea urchin roe straight from the ocean served with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.

        600x400-seatours-tasting

        This old volcanic area, characterized by the typical basalt formations of the islands, is the home of countless birds. Here you will also find the strongest currents in Iceland. The VikingSushi Tour takes roughly two hours and our captain is also the tour guide.

        600x400-seatours

        The VikingSushi Tour is a true adventure through incredible nature which should not be missed by any traveler to West Iceland.

        Birds, possible to spot:
        -puffins (from the middle of April until the middle of August)
        -eider ducks
        -shags
        -kittiwakes
        -fulmars
        -white-tailed eagle

        The car ferry Baldur is the bridge to the West fjords via the island Flatey
        Ferry Baldur crosses Breidafjordur Bay daily from Stykkisholmur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula to Brjanslaekur in the north. A ferry ride considerably shortens the route between the south and mid-west of the country and the West Fjords region. It also gives you the opportunity to experience a floating restaurant.

        Take a stopover at the charming island Flatey when you are crossing the bay or go to a day tour to Flatey and back to Stykkishólmur. At Flatey are no cars allowed and between the houses of the 18th century you get the feeling of a journey back in time.

        Contact Us


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