I’d rather be a feminist icon than a sex symbol says The Bridge star Sofia Helin

The star of BBC4's returning Scandi crime drama also addresses Britain and Sweden's differing responses to the current refugee crisis

Sofia Helin, the woman behind the Porsche-driving, leather-trouser-wearing, brilliant oddball that is detective Saga Noren in Scandi Noir drama The Bridge, says she’s more happy to hear that her character is seen as a feminist icon than as a sex symbol.


“That’s not something I think about when I am doing her,” Helin says when asked about her character’s apparent sex symbol status in an interview in this week’s Radio Times. “I heard she is a feminist icon and that’s something I want to hear… the other things I don’t know. Some students at a Q and A in London said she is now a feministic icon and that really made me happy.”

Helin has other important issues on her mind in the interview too, addressing Britain and Sweden’s differing approaches to the current refugee crisis. The Swedes have taken in many more displaced people than both their neighbours Denmark and the UK, something Helin says her compatriots should be “proud of”. 

“You’re taking 4,000 a year and your population is 64 million and we are taking 100,000 and we are nine million. So we have to discuss it. It’s a big responsibility we have. I am so proud of Sweden, I think it’s so beautiful.

“When you make it simple, if someone stood outside your door saying ‘they are killing me, will you let me come in?’, could you say no? Why do you have to make it more complicated than that? If they are coming to ask us don’t we have to open our doors? After a few years people coming in, immigrants, start to gain for the country.”

The Bridge returns to BBC4 for series three on Saturday 21st November at 9pm


Read the full interview in Radio Times magazine available in shops from Tuesday 17th November and from Apple Newsstand