TOH sat down with the Danish star for a flip cam interview, below, with trailer.
Reminiscent of Gena Rowlands’ actress Myrtle Gordon in John Cassavettes’ 1977 “Opening Night,” Steen flawlessly creates an intricate and palpable web of raw nerves while inhabiting the lonely burning house that is Thea.
Steen is well-known to Danish audiences. While she appeared in three Dogme films in the 90s (Lars von Trier’s “The Idiots,” Thomas Vinterberg’s “The Celebration” and Soren Kragh-Jacobsen’s “Mifune’s Last Song”), North American audiences may recognize her from Susanne Bier’s “Open Hearts,” opposite Mads Mikkelsen. Steen also starred in dozens of other Danish films and TV shows (winning many acting awards). Half-American, Steen is hungry to work in English-language films with American directors.
Why hasn’t she already? “You have to ask them,” she jokes. “I have no idea why they didn’t hire me ten years ago!” Perhaps it is because there are so many strong American actresses, she guesses. But within this year’s abundance of Oscar-worthy performances, hers is one of them. She can do comedy or drama, is tall, sounds almost American and charms with a mixture of piercing blue eyes and a youthful don’t-mess-with-me confidence. So what’s next? “I am meeting a director Saturday in New York. It sounded fun,” she smiles coyly. “Applause” is a game changer.
Below, she discusses “Applause,” Thea, and what’s next: