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Swedish TV drama turns up heat

Louise Nyvall stars in the Swedish TV series Farang.
Louise Nyvall stars in the Swedish TV series Farang.

THE hot and sticky streets and beaches of Phuket aren't the typical setting for a Scandinavian crime thriller.

But Farang is turning the genre on its head, and making the most of its beautiful, yet dangerous setting.

"Scandinavian stuff has a tendency to be very, very dark and grey, and set in autumn or winter when everyone's wearing coats," star Louise Nyvall tells Weekend.

"I know a lot of Swedish press have been commenting on everyone looking sticky, but that wasn't just make-up. It was how we felt the whole time being there."

If you've ever travelled to Thailand then you'll know the show's name refers to the Thai slang word for foreigner.

The series follows former criminal Rickard (Ola Rapace), who has fled Sweden and the old friends he has testified against - abandoning his name, his life, and his family - to start over in Thailand.

But 10 years later his relatively peaceful life is disrupted when his 15-year-old daughter Thyra (Louise) comes looking for him. He tries to distance himself from her while also keeping her out of trouble, which inevitably backfires and blows his cover.

"They both do stupid things towards each other throughout the series," Louise says.

"They want a relationship but the circumstances make it really tough. So much stuff keeps happening, the past keeps coming back and there's a lot of danger that stops them from being able to form a relationship."

Rickard soon discovers there's more to his teenage daughter's solo trip halfway around the world than just a family reunion. She too is running from the dramas of home. The apple, it seems, hasn't fallen far from the tree.

"It was a challenge portraying her; being subtly angry and not overdoing it," Louise says.

With her mother hailing from Perth, Louise is excited her family and friends can watch Farang in Australia.

"I didn't realised the rest of the world had an interest in Swedish and Scandinavian stuff," she says.

"I've been to Australia seven or eight times, mostly to Perth, and the people are always so friendly. The Swedes aren't rude, but we don't really talk that much. I really like it, and I would love to live in Australia for a while. I've been thinking about that - to come and work after I finish school."

Farang is available to stream on SBS On Demand now. It also airs Mondays at 11.30pm on SBS.

Topics:  entertainment


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