Banbury's Game of Thrones actor Tim Plester says his new Icelandic movie is one of the films he is 'most proud of'
Plester, who appeared in Game of Thrones and Bohemian Rhapsody among many other films, is hoping that Backyard Village may get its own British premiere when the lockdowns come to an end.
A former pupil of Drayton School, Banbury (now North Oxon Academy) who got the stage bug with Banbury's Mill Drama Group, Plester spent an intensive ten days in Iceland making the feature film in December 2019, weeks before the coronavirus pandemic.
The story tells how Brynja, unable to face the mother who left her at a young age, takes shelter in a small guesthouse in a village outside Reykjavik. There she befriends Englishman Mark (Tim Plester), a British tourist, who's dealing with his own personal tragedy. The vulnerable pair form an unbreakable bond.
"We filmed all of my scenes during an intensive 10-day period in and around a geothermically-active part of the country about 30 miles south of Reykjavík," Plester told the Banbury Guardian.
"It was extremely cold as you’d expect and because of the time of year we also had a severely limited window of daylight to try and film in. The conditions certainly weren’t the easiest but the landscape was truly breathtaking and the camaraderie of the Icelandic crew was infectious.
"They even managed to persuade me to eat some fermented shark at one point - a local delicacy - which I’m not sure I’d wholeheartedly recommend to anyone.
"I play the only non-Icelandic character in the film and the role came about as a direct result of my long-standing friendship with the director, Marteinn Thorsson, who I’d met on a holiday to Iceland in 2011. We’d always stayed in touch through social media and often talked about finding the right project to collaborate on. I guess that goes to show that sometimes, it really is 'who you know' with these things," said Plester.
"I’ve actually been lucky with a few jobs over the years, where roles have been written with me specifically in mind for them. The first time that happened was a sci-fi film called Lockout, which I shot in Serbia in 2012. And more recently, I did a series for Netflix called After Life, which a certain Ricky Gervais requested me for without the need for an audition.
"With Backyard Village, Marteinn afforded me a lot of leeway with my performance and we even had the opportunity to rehearse and workshop some of the scenes ahead of the shooting period, which is a rare luxury in my experience.
"I’m so pleased with how the film has come out and I hope people in the UK get a chance to see it at some point later on this year. I can honestly say it’s one of the things I’ve made that I’m most proud of. The only disappointment of course, is not being able to return to Iceland for the premiere (on March 19)."
Backyard Village was directed by Marteinn Thorsson, written and produced by Gudmundur Oskarsson and stars Tim Plester as Mark and Laufey Eliasdottir as Brynja.Cinematographer was Bergsteinn Bjorgulfsson and composer was Jofridur Akadottir.