Danish star Sofie Gråbøl made a splash when she encountered Douglas in Venice in the BBC One comedy drama Us on Sunday night and she explained what attracted her to the series and how writer David Nicholls “nailed” the differences between Danes and Brits.
Her character, Freja, meets Douglas (Tom Hollander) in a hotel after he’s been abandoned by his wife, Connie (Saskia Reeves), and son, Albie (Tom Taylor), and she unaccountably finds the disaster-prone research chemist attractive.
Gråbøl said: “When I first read the scripts, I absolutely loved them. I thought it was so funny, charming and painful and I identified with it a lot. When I learnt there was a book, I read that as well and now they have morphed together – I can’t remember what is from the book and what is from the script!”
Us provoked a strong reaction in the actress who achieved fame in the UK starring as detective Sarah Lund in the dark Danish thriller series, The Killing.
“I really laughed and cried reading [the screenplay and novel],” she said. “For an actor, this is such a treat. It is character based and they are so well written. The whole idea of different nationalities and our silly habits and David has just nailed this. I get to laugh at the Danes! Freja is very direct, not extremely polite but honest. Douglas constantly apologises like so many English people. It’s a lovely way of laughing at ourselves.”
Gråbøl’s entrance into the lives of the Petersons earned unanimous thumbs-up from US viewers (and the writer).
@DavidNWriter I’m afraid I binged all of ‘Us’ last week and I loved it – perfect casting and a towering performance from Tom – it’s great Sunday drama. #sophiegrabol as Freya made the whole thing sublime.
— Bob Morrell (@bobbymorrell) September 27, 2020
I’ve watched all episodes of #Us @BBCOne and am now watching them ‘live’. A beautiful, bittersweet, funny, sad, moving story with an excellent cast. #TomHollander is brilliant and #SofieGrabol as Freya is just wonderful. Highly recommend. https://t.co/n3Ev9mZwRd
— ????Sarah ???? (@LifeisLoki) September 27, 2020
“You know everything is going to be just fine when Sofie Grabol pops up on your screen.”
We’re not entirely sure that Connie will agree with this, despite her decision to quit the marriage.
You know everything is going to be just fine when Sofie Grabol pops up on your screen ????#Us
— Marcela ????????????????♀️ (@deafnotstupid) September 27, 2020
She “is the trickle of warmth into a heart that is otherwise being broken by the main story line” for one viewer.
Sofie Grabol in Us is the trickle of warmth into a heart that is otherwise being broken by the main story line ♥
— Yasi (@just_yasi) September 26, 2020
But will it remain that way? The entire four-part series of Us is streaming now in BBC iPlayer. It returns to BBC One next Sunday if you prefer to watch it week by week.