Appearing in a film that's won 43 awards and counting isn't bad going. But it's even more impressive when it's your first film, you're the two leading actors and, what's more, you're only 13-years-old. But that's how it was for Lina Leandersson, LWLies cover star of the enthralling Swedish vampire film Let The Right One In, and Kare Hedebrant, who plays her bullied best friend, Oskar.
LWLies: When did you first decide that you wanted to be an actor?
Leandersson: Ever since I was little, my biggest dream was to become an actress.
Hedebrant: I haven’t decided yet. I want to try as many professions as I can. I never decided to be an actor.
LWLies:What else might you be interested in?
Hedebrant: Maybe something with the environment.
LWLies:Being outdoors and protecting the environment?
Hedebrant: Yeah, well, that sounds kind of Greenpeace but something like that.
LWLies: Are you the sort of person who prefers to be outdoors rather than in playing computer games?
Hedebrant: This time of year it’s computer games mostly, but in the summer I like to go out with my friends.
LWLies: Now that you’ve had an experience of being an actor, do you think you’d like to do it again?
Hedebrant: Definitely, definitely.
LWLies: Lina, how did you get started?
Leandersson: I have always liked to dance and play theatre in kindergarten and in school. I have been in drama courses and loved to be in scenea. So I started looking for adverts on TV or film roles on the internet.
LWLies: What do your mum and dad think about it?
Leandersson: They think it’s exciting and fun that I am do something I love.
LWLies: How did you get the role of Eli?
Leandersson: I saw an ad that they were looking for a girl or a boy of 12-years-old. I sent a short video of myself to Maggie Widstrand who was in charge of casting. She called and wanted to see me. Three auditions and then I got the role.
LWLies: What about you, Kare? How did you get the role of Oskar?
Hedebrant: They came to my school and we all gathered in the assembly hall. We lined up and they recorded a tape with us where we talked about ourselves, and they chose me for the next audition.
LWLies: Have you read the book? What did you think of it? Were you scared?
Hedebrant: No, I suppose if I did now it would be kind of boring now that I know the whole story.
Leandersson: I read the book after we had filmed but then I was only 11 so I didn’t understand everything. Now that I am a little older, I intend to read it again.
LWLies: Do you like scary films? What are some of your favourites?
Leandersson: I love scary movies. My favourites movies are Atonement, American History X and The Sixth Sense.
Hedebrant: I can’t come up with any right now… The Shining.
LWLies: Were you nervous about being in a scary film yourself, or were you excited?
Leandersson: I thought it would be very exciting to be in a scary movie.
Hedebrant: It wasn’t scary to record it, and now when I watch horror movies, I can imagine the camera.
LWLies: Did your mum and dad read the book? What did they think about you acting in a film that was so grown up?
Hedebrant: My sister and my mum did but I don’t think my father did.
Leandersson: They have read the book and thought it was good. They were informed and read the script, so they knew that the worst things in the book were removed from the film.
LWLies: Lina, what do you think of Eli? Do you like her, and are there ways in which the two of you are similar?
Leandersson: I like Eli very much, she is incredibly special, but very lonely. She gives Oscar force and courage to dare to fight back against the mob. There are almost no similarities between me and Eli. That was what made it so fun to be someone else for a while that is not similar to me.
LWLies: What was it like being on a film set for the first time?
Leandersson: It was wonderful. I knew nothing about how to make a film. I learned so much every day; it was like going to a school but a lot more fun. Everyone in the film set was so kind.
LWLies: What is your favourite memory and what is your least favourite memory of your time on set?
Leandersson: My least favourite memory was the cold. We filmed in northern Sweden, where it’s very cold in the winter and I had thin clothes on. The best memory but most difficult was when Eli would become a vampire.
LWLies: How did you fit in all your school work? What is your best subject?
Leandersson: My teacher gave me homework and we sent e-mail to each other. I had a governess who helped me with homework in Luleå. I and Kåre lived with her when we were filming. In Stockholm, I lived with my grandmother and grandfather, who helped me. It went very well with my schoolwork. My best school subject is history. It’s interesting to know how people lived and died in the past.
LWLies: In real life, what would are you most afraid of?
Leandersson: I am afraid of clowns. I hate their empty eyes and fake smiles.
LWLies: What kind of advice did Tomas Alfredson give you during filming to help with your performance?
Hedebrant: Just how to say the words in the right way, with the right feeling.
Leandersson: Tomas did not want me to read the book or script. He told the story and I had never heard anything like it. I got stuck directly to the story. Because I could not read the script we went through each scene we would do the same day. Tomas is a good teller. I listened very carefully.
LWLies: What advice would you give to any children who are victims of bullying?
Leandersson: The most important, I think, is to tell their parents and teachers. Fight and never listen to what the mob says. They only feel more powerful. The mob are really nothing, they are just cowardly and afraid inside. But you have to talk to your parents. You need support and assistance.
LWLies: What did you think of the film?
Leandersson: I loved the movie. It is so special – a dramatic, scary movie with children in leading roles. It’s frightening yet so fantastically beautiful. It was the best thing in my life to do this movie.