EXCLUSIVE | Deadwind's Pihla Viitala decodes her lead role as female cop, says 'revolutions are here, finally'
The Finnish actress said she stopped doing auditions around four years ago because she got sick of the narrow and simple roles she was being offered
'Deadwind', originally known as 'Karppi', has garnered quite a bit of craze. All over the world, the titular Sofia Karppi's tribulations as a detective based in Helsinki, Finland, continues to leave us marveling in her grip and command over the crime thriller's several gritty and disturbing murders. But while shedding the suit of Karppi might be a difficult thing to do, actress Pihla Viitala, who has been playing the role since 2018, believes "Revolution is here, finally" and being Karppi only helps her lending a voice to characters that should be celebrated more on screen.
With protests against police brutality continuing to gain momentum and discourse on how it all needs to stop, Karppi is hardly like any machismo White-male lead that American procedurals can't stop bragging about. Vulnerable, dysfunctional and most importantly human - such is our female White cop unlike the many Karens who love to cry about missing McMuffins in their takeout orders. But given everything that's going on is it the right time to celebrate Karppi? "We live in a very interesting and important period in history from many aspects at the moment. "Revolutions are here, finally," Viitala said in an exclusive chat with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW). "People are opening their mouths and we are not afraid to speak against the people who are oppressing the other ones by using their power positions. Television and films play a big part here. Whose stories do we tell from whose perspective?" she asks, immediately raising the bar for crime thrillers and the pro-authority propaganda that something as trivial as 'Paw Patrol' has been accused of.
"I stopped doing auditions around four years ago because I got sick of the roles they were offering me," Viitala reminisces, adding "The parts were so narrow and so simple that I didn't find them interesting at all. They all were supporting the same problem, when women characters are just mere helpers, asking stupid questions. Or they're objects," she complains. So Viitala did what any passionate lover of the screen would and began creating her own roles with substance and meaning. "A couple of years ago I was thinking I'd stop acting. I didn't want to be in any agency either. So I started to direct a documentary about an interesting little girl. I thought that if I'm not pleased with the stories we hear, I need to start telling them myself. People are also a bit bored of stories from only one angle. I'm bored of reading even a Nabokov at the moment. We need new perspectives. It has been refreshing for everyone to change the focus and the protagonists in TV and films. So the time is different now than four years ago. A big boat has started to turn. It's slow but it will not turn back anymore."
Viitala, who's a big fan of Karppi's scenes with her children as Season 2, questions her instincts as a mother and also gave birth during this lockdown period. When not busy with her newborn baby or homeschooling her seven-year-old, she likes to indulge in swimming after a long hard day of being in her character's shoes, running around solving drug-related murders and putting seedy criminals behind bars.
'Deadwind' just dropped with its brand new Season 2 on Netflix. All eight episodes are available for streaming now.