Eurovision

Is Birgitta the inspiration behind Will Ferrell’s “Eurovision”?

Fans have been eagerly awaiting more information on Will Ferrell’s movie for Netflix; “Eurovision”. Information about the film is scarse, though articles published by Icelandic news sites mbl.is and visir.is yesterday reveal a few little tidbits. Like: Might Birgitta be the inspiration behind the story?

Filming in Iceland

According to the sites’ sources, parts of the movie will be filmed in Húsavík, a small town on the north coast of Iceland, this fall. The film is said to be about a young girl from a small Icelandic town who goes on to compete in Eurovision. This makes Icelanders wonder whether Birgitta Haukdal’s story might be the inspiration behind the film. As anyone who is at all familiar with Birgitta will know; she grew up in Húsavík, and went on to represent Iceland in Eurovision. Birgitta performed the Icelandic entry “Open Your Heart” at the 2003 Eurovision Song Contest, finishing in a great 8th place. She later tried to win the right to represent Iceland again, in Malmö in 2013, with the song “Meðal andanna”. She also turned 40 two days ago; Happy Birthday, Birgitta!

Icelandic actors?

We don’t know much about the film yet. Only three actors are listed on the film’s IMDb page so far; Rachel McAdams, Will Ferrell and Jó­hann­es Hauk­ur Jó­hann­es­son. Both McAdams and Ferrell will play Icelandic Eurovision singers in the film, something Will Ferrell revealed during one of the jury rehearsals in Tel Aviv. As for Jóhannes, addition to being a great actor, he is also an accomplished singer. Previously he has played in many of the big musical theater productions in Iceland in recent years. According to mbl.is’ sources the list of Icelandic actors will be quite a bit longer. According to rumours, both Björn Hlyn­ur Har­alds­son, Ólaf­ur Darri Ólafs­son, Nina Dögg Filippusdóttir and Hann­es Óli Ágústs­son will have parts in the film.

Gísli Marteinn, who is the Eurovision commentator for RÚV tweeted this on 17 May, from Tel Aviv;

Will Ferrell is on stage here now, just before the jury rehearsal and told the audience in the arena that he will play the Icelandic singer in his Netflix movie about Eurovision. This will be interesting.

Will Ferrell

This film is obviously very much Will Ferrell’s work. In addition to acting in it, he wrote the script with Andrew Steele and is also one of the producers. Ferrell went to Eurovision in Lisbon for inspiration and also to Tel Aviv to film some authentic action for the film.

Mixed reception

Reactions in Iceland vary from excitment to worry. While some are very happy that the film will take place in Iceland, and present the country to a larger audience, others are more doubtful. They are worried that Ferrell will portray the country and contest in a not so flattering light. Most people are however quite keen to find out how Ferrell will present both Eurovision itself, as well as small town life in Iceland.

Are you excited to see Ferrell’s film? Do you think he will treat Eurovision with the respect Netta hopes for? Also; do you believe he will make it a feelgood comedy or is he going to make fun of and ridicule the contest? Share your thoughts with us on social media @escxtra

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