We got the chance to chat with Christian Hillborg about his latest project “The Playlist”, which you can stream on Netflix. He told us what the series is about, and gave us a little insight into playing the character Martin Lorentzon. In the end, he also answered some fan questions. Are you ready for this interview with Christian Hillborg? Let’s go!
Q: Can you tell us a bit about “The Playlist”? What’s the story about?
Christian: The Playlist is loosely based on a novel called “Spotify Untold”, and it’s inspired from that one. So it’s a narrative around what went on, and what could have happened in the beginning, like when Spotify started and all that. It’s just a massive pre work when it comes to all kinds of different studies about what happened. There have been many interviews with coders and entrepreneurs, of course, and people around Spotify. It’s a mini series, and there are six perspectives on what went on, how it was started, and how it came to an end, which we haven’t seen yet. I mean, Spotify is still up and running, so yeah. It’s not fantasy, but still, I mean, it’s entertainment and fiction.
Q: How did you prepare for Martin Lorentzon’s role? Did you read the book “Spotify Untold”? Did you meet Martin before filming?
Christian: I did not meet Martin. There was no opening for that. I read the book, which is not even close to the episode which is Martin in that book. That episode is based on a summer talk he did in Sweden, so it’s just part of what could have been his struggle. I didn’t meet Martin. I still haven’t met Martin. But still, having said that, it’s the character Martin Lorentzon, not the real person I’m playing, but it was still a very interesting, challenging thing to do.
Q: Your character probably suffered from a neurotypical condition known as ADHD. How was it like putting yourself in his shoes?
Christian: I think it’s like a superpower some people have that have ADHD, all kinds of diagnosis people have. It’s all about survival. We do certain things in life just to survive and cope with things that are hard. I mean, if you’re an entrepreneur, and I’ve heard that from different sources, I think you have a small part, and it’s also in there, but you also have a small part of madness and energy, and you should not lose that energy because it’s actually some kind of fuel for not letting go and not giving up. I mean, I think you should let go. That’s part of the whole thing, but not to give up. You put all your eggs in one basket, and that’s it. You just have to believe in your thing. And I really enjoyed playing that character, because he was, yeah, on a mission.
Q: Which three songs would be included in Martin’s Spotify playlist?
Christian: One is in there. Just Can’t Get Enough (Depeche Mode). I mean, that guy couldn’t get enough. He was always on the move. Always trying to find the next thing. When it comes to entrepreneurs, you have this vision that you share with someone else who’s like the coder or the tech entrepreneur. This is the moneymaker. The character of Martin would always have the song Money by Pink Floyd on his playlist. There was actually a song in there, Somebody That I Used To Know (Gotye). They took it out. It was a sad song, but I really enjoyed it. I was thinking about that song when I played the character. So those three.
Q: If you could create your own startup, what would it be about?
Christian: I think it would be a service of humanity. So, there will be like services to people who don’t have any homes. Some kind of shelter. Home. Giving space and home to people who need it. But simultaneously, you have a home and create these gardens. I love these gardens on the roofs of buildings and stuff like that. So you can just create homes and take care of the environment simultaneously. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
Q: Which character you’ve played has touched your heart the most throughout your career?
Christian: I just think this character Martin Lorentzon did touch me a lot. It’s very close right now, and Erik is. I mean, I’ve talked about Erik before. The focus on the brother and then the princess Aethelflaed (Millie Brady). Being part of this environment was very, very nurturing and wonderful. So it was an amazing experience talking about The Last Kingdom, but also The Playlist. However, this has been more like, you know, mentally and like what’s going on within the character of Martin Lorentzon? What’s happening? Also the feeling of being an outsider, not being part of the gang and being left out. Everyone has felt left out, you know, been left out, and I always like those kind of characters. Not playing the big hero.
Q: Your character in The Playlist was shown as someone who didn’t play by the book, and liked seizing the moment even if it meant taking risks. Are there similarities between you and him?
Christian: Yeah, I mean, I’m pretty spontaneous and crazy sometimes. Oh, I’m a big coward when it comes to all those risks. Well, when you work, I take risks. I mean, I took a risk of playing Martin. There is this very long laughing scene in the corridor, in the first episode, and I took risks. It was like: how long can I stand there and laugh? I really thought that that scene was very close to my heart now. I also had conversations with people who have been translating, you know. There was this actor, this Italian actor. He also plays me in The Last Kingdom. We reconnected, and then I looked at the scene when he’s laughing, and it’s so amazing. How do those things just turn out?
Yeah, sidenote, but I also think the character of Martin Lorentzon was very generous. And I’ve heard everyone loved him for being so present. And he really saw so much in people. I’m not saying I do, but I’m aiming to be humble, you know, but I can’t call myself humble. But, you know, every human being can get out of their own way and see other people, and see the strength and possibility of other people. You know, my hat’s off. My hat is off for that person. It’s also this kind of, like naive interest in new things and people. I’m a people’s person. I’m very interested.
Q: If you had to make one meal that best represents you, what would it be?
Christian: A meal? I think it would be like, what do you call that? Oh god, I can’t remember what you call it, I forgot it. The sashimi on rice or a bowl with a lot of things, like maybe actually just a Buddha bowl, would probably be me. There are many things, many different things, and all like nice mushrooms, and it can also go fish if that’s possible. But tofu and all that. I mean, it’s just the mix.
Q: Which of the characters of The Last Kingdom would you (not Erik) kiss/marry/kill?
Christian: Oh. Here we go. Wow. I would kiss Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon). I would marry Aethelflaed, of course, and I would kill…wow, that’s a hard one. Who would I kill? I wouldn’t kill… that’s a super hard one. Bloodhair (Ola Rapace).
Thanks again to Christian Hillborg for talking to us. Do not forget to stream “The Playlist” on Netflix. It’s definitely worth a watch. I mean, who doesn’t like listening to music? Feel free to tell us your opinion on this interview with Christian on our social media accounts.
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Rike is a very optimistic person who's trying to make the best out of everything. She's passionate about traveling, concerts, football and conventions. Most of the time she’s carrying her camera around to capture some moments. Her favorite football club is Borussia Dortmund and if she’s not watching the games on tv she's probably being in the stadium supporting the team.