IN CONVERSATION WITH EVIN AHMAD
Interview by Jana Letonja
Swedish-Kurdish actress and writer Evin Ahmad is taking on her first English speaking role as the lead in Netflix’s upcoming series ‘Who Is Erin Carter?’, that is being released globally today (24 August). She is best known for starring in Netflix’s hit original Swedish series ‘Snabba Cash’, Danish post-apocalyptic thriller ‘The Rain’ and Netflix series ‘Quicksand’. Off screen, she published her debut novel “One Day I Will Build a Castle of Money” in 2017, which discusses inequality in Sweden.
Evin, we’ll be able to watch you in Netflix’s series ‘Who Is Erin Carter?’ that follows a British teacher in Spain,whose life threatens to unravel when she finds herself caught up in a supermarket robbery and one of the robbers claims to recognize her. What can you tease about the series?
Watching the show, you’ll see some badass fight scenes as well as a lot of heart and emotion. The tone of the show is unique, but viewers will feel humor and warmth throughout. In addition to the action and mystery, it’s a story about motherhood.
Tell us also a bit more about your character, Erin. Who will we meet when we meet Erin?
Erin is a mystery, a woman with secrets, but she’s not lying and hiding for the fun of it. She is in a very complicated situation now that her past is kind of hunting her. She could potentially loose everything when we meet her in the first episode and now she needs to find a way to solve it.
This series marks your first English speaking role. How did you get cast in it and how does it feel being in your first English role?
Being from Sweden, I always wanted to work abroad and knew I wanted to step into the international arena. My Netflix show ‘Snabba Cash’ opened a lot of international doors for me, which I’m so grateful for. The executive producer on ‘Who is Erin Carter?’, Rob Bullock, saw my performance in ‘Snabba Cash’ and flew me to Barcelona to audition. It was a whirlwind experience. I met the showrunner, Jack Lothian, did my audition and later that night they offered me the role. From there I had 3 weeks total to prepare. I was learning all the stunt choreography and trying to master a British accent, which I’d never done in my life. I had an amazing dialect coach who was with me on set every day, which made me feel more comfortable as I tackled a leading role in a language that is not my own.
shirt & dress FENDI
stockings MAISON SOKSI
earrings LOVE IS SHOUTY BUT ICONIC
rings ALA CROCETTI & SÄGEN
In Sweden, you’ve been nominzted twice for the Guldbagge Awards, Sweden’s equivalent to the Academy Awards. How would you describe the Swedish film industry and the rise of Nordic films and series we have been able to watch recently?
I think the industry has changed a lot in recent years globally. When I went to drama school in 2012, my biggest dream was to get a job at the royal theater in Stockholm and getting paid basically nothing. Today, anyone and everyone can be a megastar overnight. The streamers have changed the game when it comes to exposure and the Swedish film industry has benefitted.
That said, as an actor it can be difficult to navigate. With AI, social media and the capitalist way of making art, it is easy to lose yourself as an artist. I am so grateful that we have colleagues out there striking for our rights. It is not about movie stars getting more money, it’s about protecting our art form and just stopping everything and asking the difficult questions that need to be asked to create industry change.
You’ve also been honored last year as European Shooting Star at Berlin International Film Festival. What does such high praise mean to you as an artist? What do you consider the biggest reward for your work as an actress?
I’m going to give you a very pretentious, but honest answer. The biggest reward for my work as an actress is getting more work, that I’m able to convince people to still hire me. I have the best job ever. I hope I get to work as an actress my whole life.
What kind of roles challenge you and push you out of your comfort zone the most?
I’m a Gemini, so I like a lot of things and find enjoyment in everything from a musical to a dark thriller, to a comedy. Mainly I am interested in stories about women, especially different and complex women, women we don’t see every day. I also need to feel that what I do pushes boundaries. It doesn’t have to be in a big way. Every story counts.
shoes DIESEL @diesel
earrings JUSTINE CLENQUET
rings SIF JAKOBS JEWELLERY & CAROLINE SVEDBLOM
Beyond your work on-screen, you published your debut novel ‘One Day I Will Build a Castle of Money‘ in 2017. The novel discusses inequality in Sweden between the suburbs and the inner city. What inspired you to write this novel? Can you share more about the story itself to our readers?
It is a story about becoming an artist and being a young artist in our time in a segregated city like Stockholm. The novel talks about navigating between guilt and inheritance, choosing between different kinds of betrayal. I was born and raised by Kurdish working-class immigrants. We didn’t come from money and education.
The story is told from a young girl’s perspective as she enters a high-profile elite drama school and the cultural clash that she experiences going to that school. She’s longing to be free from the stereotypes, but is trapped in the structural institutionalized racism that she experiences at the school and the guilt of leaving everyone she grew up with behind.
Between acting and writing, what are your goals for the future?
I want to continue to work internationally as an actress. I also want to start my own production company and start to produce. The writing will come when it comes.
How do you feel about fashion? What role does fashion play in your life?
I’ve always loved clothes and colors and forms. I just didn’t really call it fashion. It’s been a way to protect myself, earn status and to manipulate the rooms I’ve walked into. When you grew up not having all the fine and expensive things as your classmates, you have to find your ways of carrying yourself. And fashion has been a way for me to do that.
If you could wear anything, what would be your dream outfit? How would you make it your own?
Anything from a Chanel 90s runway. I would just own it
photography PAULINE SUZOR @LundLund
art direction & styling KATIJA HIRSCH
talent EVIN AHMAD
hair stylist TONY LOUNDSTRÖM @MikasLooks
make up artist IGNACIO ALONSO @LundLund
nail artist DANIELLE LUNDGREN
photography assistant ALEX LLIĆ
fashion assistant EMBLA ARVIDSSON