The reality TV star and social media personality from Akureyri tells all.
Finishing the second season of Æði, a reality TV show starring himself as lead, Patrekur Jaime has grown from social media influencer to pop culture personality. The show follows Patrekur and his friends Bassi Maraj and Binni Glee. It shows what life is like for these gay men living in Reykjavik and all the shenanigans they get up to. Season 1 of the show ended with Patrekur leaving the country for Chile where his father’s family comes from. Filming for the second season ended just before lockdown and the episodes aired on Stöð 2 (Channel 2) right as Iceland was experiencing the first wave of cases.
In an interview in February, Patrekur described how the show got started and where all the drama really comes from: “I started to think a lot about a show and wrote down in a document how this could work. I put a picture of it in an Instagram story and Jóhann Kristófer, who is the director of the show, saw it and sent it to me and asks me to come to a meeting. In each episode, there is often a discussion between the friends and often everything boils down to something. I think people look at it and think wow what a toxic friendship it is and yeah it is quite a bit, but at the same time they are my best friends.” The show is currently looking for a fourth member to add to the group for Season 3, which you can submit your information for.
Patti (Patrekur), Bassi, and Binni also host a radio show where they go behind the scenes of every episode on season 2. They also answer audience questions and spill tea on everything you didn’t get to see in the show.
Gay Iceland sat down to chat with Patrekur and get to know him, his show, and his fabulous style better.
How have you been? What has your lockdown been like?
“It’s actually been really nice. I find it nice to just be home, chilling. I really enjoy that a night out is done at 11. You can eat at like 7, go for a drink at like 8, and be home by 11.”
What has it been like making your own reality TV show?
“It’s always been like a dream of mine, especially reality TV. I’ve been a fan of reality TV for a long time. So I always wanted to do my own reality TV show. Now that I’m doing it, it’s like a dream come true. I love like all the Real Housewives shows. I love Jersey Shore and Geordie Shore from the UK, but I find Geordie Shore even better. And I love Big Brother, Celebrity Big Brother. Keeping Up With the Kardashians. All of them.
Æði is basically a reality TV show where you follow the life of a gay person in Iceland and get to know me and my friends a bit better and what we do in daily life. This is the first reality TV show like this in Iceland. When I was growing up I didn’t see any queer content. The first show was maybe Glee, when I started watching it in 7th grade.”
“I find Grindr disgusting. I actually find it a little embarrassing that that’s like the only dating app for gay people because it’s really, really disgusting.”
You went to Chile pre-pandemic, right? How was it?
“I grew up in Iceland but have family from Chile. I went there for the first time when we were finishing Season 1. It ended with me going to Chile. I was there for a couple of months, and it was amazing. It’s soooo different. Everything. Nothing is the same there. The food, culture, everything.”
And you’re working on a cocktail book that’s coming out soon?
“Yes. I’ve been working on it for close to a year now, it was even part of the storyline of Æði in Season 2. It’s coming out soon. I’m just waiting for covid to be over because we have some events we want to do. The book is 50/50 of original cocktails and more traditional ones. It’s just the cocktails that I usually drink. Some of the drinks people know and some of them are just ones I made up throughout my time of drinking. All of them are a little bit connected with the show. My favorite has to be Skinny Glee Iced Tea, a keto version of a long island iced tea. Binni Glee, from Æði, went on keto and lost a bunch of kilos. So that’s for him. Then we also have one that’s called Æði Special which is tequila, sprite, orange juice, and lime. It’s like my favorite, I used to drink it all the time when I was in South America.”
What was it like growing up in the north of Iceland?
“So I grew up in Akureyri when it was even smaller than it was today. Now it’s gotten so big. But there’s such a big difference living in Reykjavik. I feel like everyone knows everything about everyone in Akureyri. What you’re doing, everything about you. And it’s just a little bit more closed-minded. Like when I go downtown in Reykjavik, clubbing, I can just put on anyyyyything, I wouldn’t even care what I was wearing, it looks good. But in Akureyri, I would think twice or even three times wearing something out there because they’re more closed-minded.
There are a lot of queer people in the north, so we’re always a really tight group. Like my best friends who are in Æði are all from Akureyri. Binni and I were in the same grade school and then the twins have been friends of mine since 2011 when we met doing gymnastics in Akureyri. Binni is my best-bestie. I didn’t face a lot of bullying or harassment growing up there. People treated us really well. Of course, we would hear sometimes here and there “la la la”, but I was never bullied for being gay or didn’t have any friends because I was gay. At the same time, it wasn’t super positive though. It was like people just didn’t say anything. But that’s better than people hating on you [laughs].”
What was the reaction from your family when you came out?
“I think my family always knew I was gay. I have always been very feminine, even though I don’t like using words like feminine or masculine. But still, I was really feminine. When I was younger I would wear make-up. I actually think my family thought I was trans when I was younger because at the time I was always talking like I was going to become a lady. When I came out as gay though, I found how I wanted to be and started wearing makeup without wanting to be trans or non-binary. I’m still just a gay man that likes to dress however I want.
Do you feel the gay community in Iceland is accepting of feminine men?
“In the gay Facebook chat, there’s this one guy who’s said being this girly is just being a character. That it’s something I’ll regret when I get older. But I don’t think the whole gay community thinks that there’s just one person here or there.”
Patrekur was recently engaged on Season 2 of Æði, but tells us about the dating scene in Iceland. “I got engaged last summer. I’ve never been big on the dating scene here in Iceland. I’ve never been a fan of it. I find Grindr disgusting. I actually find it a little embarrassing that that’s like the only dating app for gay people because it’s really, really disgusting. I’ve never had a lot of sex with people I don’t really, really know. I’ve never been into that whole thing. My fiancé and I met downtown while partying in like 2017 or 2018. And then we didn’t meet for like a year, we were just talking. But then we started going on dates and since the day we met up I haven’t been with anyone else.”
Would you still consider yourself an influencer?
“I don’t want to be known as an influencer like I used to be because I used to put everything on my story, everything that I was doing, stuff like that, advertising a lot. Although I am a reality TV star and I’m open about everything in my life on TV, I am a bit private. More now than I used to be. I give everything out now, what I get paid for now is to put my life out there on television so it’s like my social media I post pictures here and there but I’m not like putting something there every day and talking to the camera all the time. Sometimes I would have like 6 to 10 promotions in one month. I was doing a lot. It was just everything. Clothes, food, restaurants, medicine, everything. I’ve done a lot of weird things.”
What’s your social media of choice these days?
“I feel like social media is changing a lot. Especially because when I started in 2016 everybody was on Snapchat and Instagram. I feel like I haven’t seen any new influencers in Iceland since 2018. It’s just the same people who are doing things. They’re just the influencers left and that’s why they’re still doing it. There is no room for new people because people aren’t interested in watching someone they don’t know. There are maybe a lot of new influencers on TikTok, but it’s changed a lot.
“I was never bullied for being gay or didn’t have any friends because I was gay. At the same time, it wasn’t super positive though.”
I have like 9,000 followers on TikTok. I used to go on TikTok a lot before Æði, and it was just a joke because it wasn’t a big social media platform at the time. Then Æði came out and now I only post clips from the show there because I never use it anymore. I’m most active on Instagram. Social media is a good way to advertise though. The newspaper of our century is advertising through social media. I think it’s just going to become harder to get an influencer to advertise your things.”
Is social media the best for mental health?
“I definitely think everyone should sometimes take a break from social media here and there because it can mess up your brain, what you’re watching. But I also think social media is just a really good thing. It educates you a lot about things that weren’t talked about before. You can find everything on social media and that can be both a good and bad thing. It’s just like everything, if you do too much it’s just going to be bad. I would want to see more positive things. There is a lot of negativity on social media. The news is so depressing, and some news is just a joke. Clickbait, gossip.”