'Norsemen' star Trond Fausa reveals how Rufus plays 'true to the stereotypes of an actor' in season 3
In an exclusive chat with MEA WorldWide, Trond Fausa, who plays Rufus on 'Norsemen', opens up about his character on the hilarious Norwegian series
Riding on a very 'Game of Thrones' meets 'Monty Python', 'Norsemen' is a period comedy series set in the year 790. It follows a group of Vikings as they deal with day-to-day life and conflicts. One would expect power struggles, battle, gore and mayhem from a show about the Vikings, but 'Norsemen' goes beyond the stereotypes. It is actually a goldmine that consists of dry-as-a-bone Norwegian humor but also deals with gender equality, social commentary, identity, religion, culture, and political ideologies.
And perhaps one of the most fascinating camaraderies to watch on screen in recent times is that of the characters Rufus and Orm in 'Norsemen'. Their rapport is nowhere close to the usual buddy comedies you've seen before, making Orm and Rufus bros of a different kind.
Trond Fausa plays Rufus in the Norwegian comedy. The Norwegian actor not only impressed audiences as Rufus but also received praises for his role in 'Lilyhammer', co-starring with Steven Van Zandt and playing Van Zandt's right hand and partner in crime. The role got him the Gullruten Award in 2014 for best actor.
Rufus is intelligent and quickly makes enemies at Norheim - Ragnar being the first one. He is proud of his heritage and thinks the Vikings are inbreds. In an exclusive chat with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW), Fausa concurs that Rufus' character is indeed based on a stereotypical trait - an artist being too full of himself, who would rather perish than survive. "Yes, I would say that Rufus’ character is based on a stereotypical stage artist who is utterly appalling in his behavior toward others. He has peaked in his career and when there is no more ladders to climb or trophies to win, he is bored and delusional," Fausa says.
And that is perhaps also the same trait of his character that Fausa personally is not a fan of. "I admire his courage to be himself amongst inbreds. But, I dislike his tone towards other human beings."
Not much is known about Rufus from before he was taken as a slave by the Vikings of Norheim. Still, what we do know if that Rufus - by his own admission - a very famous actor, and a creative person who thinks that all that the vicious Vikings are missing right now is some culture. Fausa reveals that before he was taken a slave and stripped off of all conceivable rights, he really was who he says he is - and promises that we will see more in the upcoming third season. "He was a ridiculously famous actor in Rome, as you will see in season three of 'Norsemen'." Even so, he can't reveal much.
Coming to back to Orm and Rufus' friendship, it is enveloped in specific symbiotic parameters. It's actually less of a friendship: Orm adores Rufus, but for Rufus, Orm is his ticket to Rome. "The only way he can stand Orm is that he is fascinated by theatre and art, which is a topic Rufus knows and loves, and he finds pleasure in sharing his great knowledge on to him," Fausa says.
You can see them in their first ever on-stage performance in Norheim - seemingly the first time that the Vikings have seen something like this.
A slave in a foreign land, all Rufus really wants to do is go back home in Rome. So when asked that if, by a miracle, Rufus is set free and set on a boat to Rome, what will he do first, Fausa says, "Act on a real stage and then go to a brothel." Well, we aren't surprised!
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