LallaLand Blog: The Snowman

16 October 2017
Read about Lalla's trip to London to interview the director and stars of The Snowman.

Many of us have an obsession with serial killers, unsolved murders, and kidnapping. It’s just so fascinating, so when I was told I was being sent over to the UK to cover Jo Nesbø’s famous 2007 crime novel turned movie, The Snowman, I was thrilled

Based on his famous detective Harry Hole series, the cast made up of Michael Fassbender (Hole), Rebecca Ferguson  (Katrine Brat), J.K Simmons (Arve Støp), and Val Kilmer (Gert Rafto), was set to be an epic film from the get-go.

Besides his Harry Hole series I knew very little about Nesbø, but after doing some research, I was blown away. For those who aren’t familiar, Jo Nesbø is a Nordic novelist with 23 books under his belt, he is also a musician, former economist, and reporter.

With his work translated into over 40 languages, he has sold 30 million copies worldwide. Pretty impressive. He’s also the frontman of the Nordic band Di Derre. Talk about overachiever. The Snowman will be his sixth project that has turned into a film/TV project.

Nesbø is primarily known for his crime novels about Inspector Harry Hole and many of his fans are hoping that this movie is the first of many to come about the rather unorthodox detective.

Needless to say, I was hoping to sit down with Jo during the junket, but unfortunately his name was not on the interview list. Michael, Rebecca and Tomas Alfredson, the director of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Let the Right One In fame, were and straight away I went to work, thinking of all the things I could possibly ask these brilliant moviemakers about this ice-cold mystery thriller.

I hadn’t been assigned an international junket trip in quite some time so I was super excited to get back out onto the global movie circuit. After being lucky enough to cover a few Hollywood movie releases, I’ve come to learn more about the intercontinental entertainment reporter community.

Many of them are good friends: they’ve built cliques and from the outside looking in they’re a super cool, elite crowd. At the start of LallaLand many were quite surprised to hear about a South African journalist. –It’s a whole different world. CNN entertainment, E! Europe, Sky Entertainment, Sony Entertainment Network among so many others; it was a little daunting at first. After becoming a regular though, M-Net Movies and LallaLand have slowly become a respected movie outlet amoung the international movie community.

Over the past season, people have asked what LallaLand trips include. What the interview process is like? What it entails. What are the stars like in person?  Between you and me, junket days are stressful days. Media is broken up into groups and either slotted for the morning or afternoon session. There’s a strong team from the movie’s studio that makes sure journalists arrive on time, line up for their allocated slots and get their footage before making way for the next group.

I must give it to the talent though. They sit from morning to evening for one or two days answering similar questions again and again, with the same amount of enthusiasm as they did when they started. I always keep that in mind when people ask about what the stars are really like.

On that note though, Michael and Rebecca were great to chat to. I’d say Rebecca is at the top of my list of favourite actresses I’ve sat down with. Her passion for the film was so apparent and her bubbly personality was infectious. Michael, who you know is a big time talent in Hollywood, was as humble as they come with not the slightest hint of arrogance. I wasn’t expecting that at all.

A day before the interview session media is requested to see the film, which means we’re usually amoung the first to watch it. Depending on the studio, they’re quite strict with the screening. Phones are usually taken away and an NDA must be signed before we step into the screening room; they don’t want anyone giving away the story before it goes out on circuit.

This trip was no different, but it was a fantastic experience. Universal Pictures put us up at The Mayfair Hotel in a very fancy part of London.  The viewing took place at their headquarters and the interviews were a few blocks away from our hotel. A total of three nights in the Big Smoke, and man did we run a tight schedule, but we had a great time doing it!

My director and my hair stylist were both South Africans who moved to the U.K so it was wonderful to have a proudly SA team. And as we always do, M-Net Movies style, we had a little fun around the city. Keeping with the theme of the film, the producers sent me on a mystery hunt around town. We had a crazy time shooting it. I really hope you check it out and enjoy watching it as much as I did making it!

Also, let me know what you think of the movie! It’s been proven countless times that it’s quite difficult turning a book into a two-hour film.

Check out my review to see what your ninja thought.

The Snowman is grim and unnerving. It’s difficult to impress in such a well-chewed genre, yet director Tomas Alfredson recreates the abstruse world of Harry Hole with finesse.

With the return of the elusive serial killer named after his signature mark, a snowman, Detective Hole finds himself working on a case a lot more personal than he realises.

Well-executed cinematography accentuates the ice cold storyline along with some pretty good performances from Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, and J.K Simmons.

This atmospheric adaptation of Nordic author Jo Nesbø’s bestseller is a two-hour fix for all mystery case lovers.


Watch The Snowman interviews here.