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An evening with Icelandic actor Ólafur Darri Ólafsson

31 March 2021
Member events

An evening with Icelandic actor Ólafur Darri Ólafsson talking about his career in film & television, interviewed by Alex Minnis.

31 March 2021
20:30 – 21:30
Online Webinar
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Free to attend

Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, actor, producer & writer was born in Connecticut in 1973 but raised in Iceland since he was four. Starting his career on stage after graduating from The Icelandic Drama School, Darri worked in theatre for many years, acting in various classics such as King Lear at the National Theatre of Iceland. He also appeared on stage for the Theatre of Reykjavik in several productions, then founded his own company, Vesturport Theatre.

He moved into film and television work, often writing, and producing his own films such as Children (2006, submitted as Iceland’s entry to the Oscars) and Parents (2007). Other films include Beowulf and Grendel (2005), Country Wedding and White Night Wedding (2008), Kings Road (2010), Undercurrent (2010), and Stormland (2011) in his homeland.

Darri also found work in other countries. He appeared in The Eagle in Denmark in 2006 and 1066 in the UK in 2009, but most of his international work has been in the USA. Darri has appeared in the remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty starring Ben Stiller in 2013; 2014 A Walk Among the Tombstones; Zoolander in 2016; Steven Spielberg’s The BFG in 2016; The Spy who Dumped Me (2018) and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018). On television in the US, he appeared in Amazon Prime’s The Widow (2019), HBO’s True Detective (2014), Netflix’s Lady Dynamite in 2016-17, and Murder Mystery with Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston in 2019. 

He can currently be seen in NOS4A2, a horror series on AMC which was recently renewed for a second season, and in Eurovision: The Story of Fire Saga, a film that was released on Netflix in June 2020 after its planned launch in theatres at the time of the Eurovision Song Contest was foiled by the coronavirus.

In March 2020, it was announced that Darri would star in the Icelandic TV show The Minister, in which he plays a politician running for the office of Prime Minister while hiding his bipolar disorder. Darri has won several Edda Awards, the Icelandic equivalent of the Oscars.

Darri is best known internationally for his role as Andri, the chief of police in a small town in the north of Iceland, in the series Trapped 1 & 2. Baltasar Kormákur, who devised the series, has said that the actor was chosen because he was not a typical leading man. In the UK, the Guardian TV critic described his performance “as remarkable as the landscape”. 

In June 2016, Ólafur lip synced in the music video for Winter Sound by the Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men.