Interview with Nils Hognestad
(photos by Rebecca Roberts)
1. I know you, but some people may not.
So could you please introduce yourself to the world?
“Hello world! Nils Hognestad here. Born in Norway. I’ve been a permanent resident of Canada since I was one and am a hopeful dual-citizen of Canada soon since as of 2020 Norway has allowed dual citizenship! I’ve been acting professionally since I was ten. Trained in Ontario & England. Live in Vancouver. I now also write and produce. I used to be a chocolatier. I like to sing. I don’t like tripe, but somehow my dog’s obsessed.”
2. What was your first job in the entertainment industry?
Also, what did you do before that?
“I was a background performer in the Wayans Brothers’ film The Sixth Man. I was on the rival team‚ ‘The Brace-Faces’. I wasn’t any good at basketball, but I had braces so I was a bench warmer. That was at ten. Prior to that, I was mostly swimming, collecting pogs and being mistaken for being a girl.”
3. Did you study acting before getting into the industry?
“Sure did. Five years of conservatory training; a BFA in Theatre Performance & a Diploma of Classical Acting from Ryerson University and The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).”
4. If you could work with anyone you'd want,
who would that person be and why?
“This answer always changes for me. Here and now? Dolly Parton. My childhood self tells me Dolly Parton and that speaks volumes. I mostly want her to touch my hand and say something inspiring.”
5. What does a normal day in your life looks like?
“This answer also always changes depending on work, weather, washing, or global pandemic; However, my fallback pandemic routine is early rise, feed Fraser (my bull-terrier-cross), meditate, journal, coffee, breakfast, walk Fraser, e-mails & texts, HIIT workout, TRX workout, yoga, shower, park with Fraser, write, make a meal for an army & stock in the fridge, while talking with people I love (or just hang out with people I love in a setting with food), and sometimes stay up until sunrise writing because that’s when inspiration hits.”
6. Where is your favorite place to be and why?
“I won’t call it by what my family calls it so it can remain our anonymous, private, secret piece of earth that is sacred for us; but it’s a couple of waterfront acres in the Pacific North West where I am free to live my Scandinavian midsummer fantasy.”
7. If you could, what would be the one advice
you would want to give to your younger self?
“Relax. Allow it, don’t will it. Love what you hate about yourself by finding forgiveness in what you hate in others. Keep playing the piano and stop parting your hair in the center.”
8. What is one of the best advice that you've got?
Who was the person that gave it to you?
“<Well, if the world wants you to write, the world should witness what you wrote> said by a woman who was in a hospital bed beside me. I never saw her or got her name. I’m actually not convinced she was ever there or if it even happened, to be quite honest.”
9. What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
“Holding 90+ pages of a script I wrote myself and hearing it read aloud at our first table read. Living. Also, I made a replica of one of my family homes as a bird house. That was pretty neat, too.”
10. If you could book any role in the next years to come,
what would that dream role be?
“A lead in a motion capture video game series. I’ve been wanting to work more in the digital performance world to be able to get a greater taste and understanding of one of the directions film and performance is evolving. The performances and technology in some of these games are unbelievable.”
11. Is there anything you can disclose about Psych 2: Lassie Come Home?
“I can disclose that it is an incredibly funny movie that fans are going to love. There is a lot of heart in the film- with several cameos from the series and throwback jokes that are as funny for die hard fans of the previous film & series as they will be for first time watchers.”
12. What is the best part about life on set?
“Always the people. I am so energized by other creative individuals that are wanting to create something new and exciting. Between the cast and crew, I feel like all of us have a little ‘Namaste’ moment where we’re like <the crazy in me acknowledges the crazy in you>.”
13. In the end, is there anything you'd like to say to the people who support you?
“I made it through the wilderness. Somehow I made it through. Didn’t know how lost I was until I found you. I was beat, incomplete. I’d been had, I was sad and blue. But you made me feel. Yeah. You made me feel. Shiny and new.”
Nils Hognestad is an actor, best known for his work on projects like: Psych 2: Lassie Come Home, Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas, Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda, Evolve: Year Zero, Ghost Wars, Legends of Tomorrow, Backpackers etc.
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