Interview: Cover Girl Jeanett Espedal (Sweden)
Can you tell us a little about you?
My purpose in life is to leave a mark on this earth as an actress and filmmaker that will inspire and motivate for centuries after I am gone. I was born and raised in Norway where I started as a kids model for catwalk shows. Modeling for photographs is something I got into at around 15 when I moved by myself to Stockholm to pursue my dreams. Modeling is where I started and it has taught me so much about living infront of the camera, both things I should and should not take with me infront of the camera as an actress. Nowadays it´s more modeling for commercials and to show my different looks in my portfolio for casting agents and also PR and social media of course. I´ve always loved performing so I sang and danced a lot when I was little and I got into lessons at 12 years old. And to go to dance school was primarily the reason I moved to Stockholm. Through music video jobs I got as a dancer I met people in the film industry. After getting a taste of the art of film I realized that all of my different hobbies and talents can all be put into film. Even a choreography as a dancer, lyrics in a song and a photograph as a model tells a story. This is one of the biggest reasons I love film and acting. You can be whoever you want, live in which ever world you wish to live in and at the same time earn money by playing dress up, playing with fashion and telling important stories that will live forever to make people open up their minds and emphasize with the once different from themselves. So film it is! Now I write and produce myself both to get my face and vision out there and because I love to be creative and make art. When I´m hooked on an idea in my head I can catch myself smiling because I´m so excited to show my ideas to the world. When that happens, there is nothing that can stop me from bringing that idea into reality. Now I´m working on a script for a feature called `Mill´ where the lead is a singer and so I get to put my passion for music into film as well. I´m also working on a script about a dancer so I get to combine that as well.
Outside of my own little bubble of the art I live for I wish to make a change in the world on a larger level then inspiration. To take action towards causes that are critical and important issues like equal right, poverty, standing against bullying and so on! We´ll get there, soon but it´s important that we not only talk about it and acknowledge them but actually make a change to make it better.
If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?
Well, I´m a workaholic ( which I like, I have to admit), it´s not hard to be when you work with what you love. So my wish would be something like never getting tired from working hard. I love my ambition and discipline. I know that is some of the biggest reasons I´ve where I am today, but when I get very tired I can´t usually fight against the fact that everything slows down. Everyone needs to rest and it´s smart, I know but my job is just so much fun I don´t want to go to bed..
How did you start modeling and Acting?
My first job was as a catwalk model for kids cloths at 6 years old in Bergen, Norway. That was not only my first modeling job but my first job ever. My father worked with lights and sound for the fashion shows and so me and my sister got to walk a lot when they needed kids. I loved it. The best parts was when I got to walk with the grown up male model in suits, I had a crush on all of them! I remember my favorite outfit was a pink dress with a white summer hat. I felt like a princess. I´m glad I got up on stage at such a young age. Little did I know then that I was going to spend the rest of my life performing and those catwalks gave me a lot of confidence in myself to believe nothing is impossible.
As an actress it´s a whole other world but I guess both worlds can be describes as a jungle. So many people craving the same limited amount of ”food”. I have through experience learned that growing you own ”food” is a nice way to start. Waiting for others to give you a job can take forever. But I´ve been lucky enough to get work so far and my own progress motivates me.
My first acting job was in a danish shortfilm. Very small budget but very talented people involved. It was a very small part and me and another chosen girl who got a similar role as me got to go to a location by train to a cabin a few hours outside of Stockholm, where the team had been shooting for a while already. I love traveling with work, even if it´s smaller distances like that. You get to experience another world for a few days, visit places you never would otherwise and learn something about yourself, other people and how they come together in different situations and also the production of film. I´ve had the pleasure of traveling a lot already through work and my little carrier and those jobs are the once I have the best memories from. For instance the acting program in Los Angeles and also the second time in LA when my film was accepted to a film festival there, Denmark when I shot a campaign for LÒreal, Palma on Mallorca for a commercial shot, Cannes Film Festival in France and smaller places around Norway and Sweden and also CapeTown, South Africa for the shoot which got me the pictures and the cover for this interview.
What do you think of the work as a model/Actress?
Working as an actress and model is like getting payed to have fun and live at the same time. By that I mean experiencing new things and seeing new places, meeting new people and traveling the world. But trust me it´s rarely as glamorous as it seems but I´m okay with that. It keeps me grounded and the least glamorous part of it are the once that teach me the most valuable lessons about living.
What is your beauty regimen?
I Love cold still water which is practically all I drink but also green tea every once in a while. I make sure I stay active and eat healthy, meaning no processed food and as little sugar as possible. Staying positive also helps. Being organized so I don´t stress so much. Hm, my biggest sacrifice you ask..? Chocolate!
What are your personal qualities which distinguish you from others?
That must be it..I´m very positive. I might even be too optimistic, but in my head Nothing is impossible! That attitude has brought me a lot of work and good times so far, so I´m sticking to it.
What are your plans for the future?
I wish to be abel to work with all the greats and be a part of that group by brining a unique vision to the art of film. By being the best that I can be and being a leader towards important issues like I mentioned earlier and to inspire and motivate others to be the best that they can be.
I´ve started producing my films under the company name JeanettEspedal (JE) Productions and to make that a global production company is definitely on my ToDo-list.
I´m currently writing on several films both short and features, so to se them on a big screen is definitely a plan for the very near future.
What are some of your favorite experiences so far?
Being born was pretty cool. Producing and getting my first shortfilm `Erosion´ made was a big step for me. I proved to myself that I can do this and how much I learned while making it, both pre and post production, the shooting day and the work of PR, festivals and releasing it and about myself. I wrote, produced and played the lead role so I got to be a part of many steps of the film, which I loved. This was a very exaggerated and twisted version of a personal story and so that makes me a little more proud to se it on screen for others to be a part of and relate to. More is coming soon. It can be viewed on my webpage.
Do you have any advice for those who want to start modeling and Acting?
Well, I´m gonna quote the great Marilyn Monroe ”Life is what you make of it” which are the words I live by. You have to start and make it happen. No one is gonna do it for you. And if someone decides they are going to do it for you, you are gonna end up as someone other then your true self. This business tend to want to shape people into whatever they think will earn them more money. So, know who your are going into this business and believe in yourself and that Yourself is more then good enough.
Also, do your research on the people who contact you before meeting them or working with them. Always make sure there is a contract signed on both ends before working. Don´t be a fool. There are too many of those out there already trying to win something on hopeful souls.
What do you think of the magazine?
What would I be without art and fashion? I mean it´s an expression of who I am on so many levels. Fashion often helps me get into character for the parts I choose to play. To live as an actress and commercial model is a rare thing. To have a place to share that with others who enjoy the same things as I do is important and so much fun. It´s truly a pleasure to be a part of Modellen Land Magazine. I feel that this is a big step forward in my wish to inspire and motivate others to follow their dreams! Do it! It´s So worth it!
Model: Jeanett Espedal, www.JeanettEspedal.com Photographer: Linnea Frank, www.LinneaFrank.com Location: Cape Town South africa