A chat with Actor Fabian Bolin

Fabian Bolin was born in Stockholm, Sweden to a Brazilian mother and a Swedish father. He has trained Acting for Film in Los Angeles and method acting in London where he lives.

He’s currently preparing to star in a range of different projects filming throughout this year and chased him up for an online interview style article


How many roles are you currently preparing for?

There’s quite a few to be honest; one is for a successful and confident lawyer and a nymphomaniac in the feature film ‘Addictions’ shooting in NYC. Another role is a corporate boss named Orion who due to his narcissistic and hateful mentality transforms into a rat in the indie film Rodentia. I’m also looking into my role as a slightly dumb bartender in the web-series Kosmos.

In the second half of the year, I’m going to play a hacker and drug user in the sci-fi/horror feature The Last Immortal shooting in LA.


How do you go about creating these characters?

I undertake rather extensive research on every character I take on. When I first get the script, I start by reading it over and over again whilst taking notes about my character, the other characters in the script and how they all connect. Once I feel that I’ve gotten a feel for the script, both the obvious and the subtle undertones, I begin the real creation of the character with an exercise called the 45 questions. The questions cover a vast area of my characters background, including my parent’s last names, how and where I grew up, if my parents loved me, if I loved them back, what makes me angry/sad/fearful/happy/turned on, what part of the body I’m most/less proud of, with what body part I lead when I walk, my voice tone, my pace when walking and what animal I would be. While some of this may be written in the script, most answers can’t be found which forces me to make decisions.

This is when the character is created; by making up his or her entire background in my head in order to justify his behavior in the script.

Do you aim to make each character different and unique?

Not necessarily. One should keep in mind that everything in the character is actually myself, and the internal processes that I create for my character all come from my own experiences. Whilst my characters might have different personalities and ways of thinking and behaving, there will always be a similarity between them as every thought process and emotional response comes from my own experiences and myself.

Even though Im sure it varies depending on the character, on average how long does it take you to prepare for a role?

That depends on two things; how big the role is and how far away the character is from me. If the character is very different to me in terms of behavior and personality, I need to build more bridges between the character and me. By building bridges I mean finding personal substitutes in myself that can work as triggers in order to get the right sort of actions in my character.


Care to give an example?

Sure, let’s say I am to play a serial killer as a character. Murder is an action I myself would never commit, thus I need to justify that behavior in some way in order to make it realistic and authentic. I’d look for what motivates a serial killer to commit his or her crimes. Whilst many of them have different specific objectives, I’d say a common denominator for serial killers is that they view it as a game where they collect victims. What I then have to do is try and find something within myself that resembles that feeling of playing a game and collecting. I used to be obsessed with collecting ice-hockey cards when I was little. I remember trading and collecting and I remember the feeling of getting that one card I’d longed for. By applying that feeling of collecting hockey cards, I can replicate the obsessive/game-playing mindset of my character. That is the definitionof bridging the character and myself.

Interesting similarity…

Indeed. I believe you can find ways of bridging yourself to every character out there, no matter how far away he or she seems when first looking at the script. It’s all about doing the homework and you’ll be able to find substitutes for any potential action. After all, we’re all human beings. We’re not that different.

Do you feel that you get typecast for certain types of roles?

Yes, I often go up for rather confident characters, usually in some kind of position of power, and often slightly sinister. I guess a James Bond villain role would be the perfect role for me.

Does that say anything about you as a person?

Not really, I’m a very friendly and down-to-earth guy! At least I like to think that, haha! I believe that it primarily has to do with my appearance. I’ve asked some professionals about the sinister thing and they say it’s because of my eyes. But then again, I do enjoy taking on these rather sinister roles so I’m not complaining! It’s worse if you get typecast as a role you don’t like playing.

Finally , some method actors are known to actually ‘live’ as the character before going on a set. Among them Daniel Day-Lewis, Will Smith and Christian Bale. Is that something you do as well?

While I’m not sure I’d be able to walk around as Abraham Lincoln for 9 months like Day- Lewis did before shooting Lincoln, I do try and live and dress as my character during a period of time before I go on set. It helps a lot with the transition into the character and you can focus more on being in the moment, rather then having to behave as the character.


Would you say method acting is the one of the best techniques? 

It’s really up to each and every actor out there what to use. I don’t think people should focus too much on a certain technique. It’s all about finding what works for you personally. I’ve picked method acting as the foundation for my approach to acting, however I do use things from Sanford Meisner and Stella Adler as well. I also believe in constantly trying new things. My technique might change as my career progresses. I feel that I still have a long way to go and very much to learn.

Thank you so much Fabian. I wish you the very best and Ill  keep an eye out for that wide list of varied roles. Stay focused and take care.

You can follow Fabian On Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/fabianbolin

His Facebook page is here http://www.facebook.com/fabianbolin

Check out Fabians IMDB page here http://www.imdb.me/fabianbolin

And on Instagram here http://www.instagram.com/fabianbolin

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