‘Game of Thrones’ Actor Kristofer Hivju Set for Double Role in ‘Twin’

An identity thriller, ‘Twin’ was co-created by Hivju and Kristoffer Metcalfe, and produced by Moskus Film for Nordisk Film Production

Photographer: Eirik Haldberg Joh

PARIS — Kristofer Hivju, “Game of Thrones’” Wildlings leader Tormund Giantsbane, looks set for one of the most challenging roles of his career in eight-hour drama-thriller “Twin” – where he plays a a man who takes over his identical twin’s very different life and character.

Backed by Scandinavian major Nordisk Film Production, “Twin” will be presented for the first time in public at Series Mania’s April 18 Co-production Forum by producer Sigurd Mikal Karoliussen, NFP head of TV drama Tomas Radoor and screenwriter-director Kristoffer Metcalfe.

A Hivju passion project which he created with Metcalfe, with the duo developing the project over near 15 years, “Twin” kicks off in the Lofoten Islands where cliffs fall near sheer 4,000 feet to fjords. A very cold-water surfing mecca north of the Arctic Circle, it is home to Erik, a surfer bum who hasn’t seen his identical twin Adam –  a businessman with a successful family business, doting wife, picture-perfect family – for 15 years. When Eric loses everything, he reaches out to Adam, who totally rejects him. A quarrel breaks out; Erik and Ingrid, Adam’s wife, accidentally kill Adam. To cover the crime, and to save his brother’s family, Erik takes over Adam’s identity.

Hivju, who won a Swedish Guldbagge for his performance in Ruben Ostlund’s “Force Majeure,” plays a villain in the eighth “Fast & Furious” installment “The Fate of the Furious,” now in cinemas.

“Twin” will play off the contrast between the spectacular Lofoten, an alternative world where surfers come from all over the world to indulge a passion, and Adam’s family environment, part of a more traditional Scandinavian life into which the hapless hero is drawn, where people are linked by family circumstance and responsibilities, Metcalfe said.

In line with much contemporary drama, the show mixes a trinity of a thriller narrative, character-driven drama and broader social themes. The question of whether Erik and Ingrid’s subterfuge is discovered drives “Twin’s” suspense, as an old friend of Adam’s, a traffic policeman, becomes increasingly suspicious of Erik.

The six-hour drama also offers a character study of how a man who has carved out his identity as a freewheeling spirt can both warm to and chafe at family responsibilities. Impersonating Adam, Erik comes to understand far better his brother and the sacrifices he has made than he ever did when he was alive, Metcalfe said.

For both Erik and Ingrid, the new situation also offers a second chance in life, he added.

But, according to Metcalfe, the dramatic irony of the series is that the main characters are forced to live a constant lie; because of that, they can never achieve fully what they are trying to do, and the series asks: Who are we really? And for whom?

The question of identity also plays out over a larger canvas. “Twin” asks what it means to be a father and responsible parent at a time when globalization is opening up options and a debate on the subject,” Metcalfe argued, adding that, as tourism has replaced fishing as Lofoten’s most important source of income,  the genuine, traditional world which Adam and Ingrid have prompted is in reality also just a facade.

Shot in Norwegian, and to be directed by Metcalfe, “Twin” is produced by Nordisk Film Production in co-production with Moskus Film, a production shingle which Karoliussen set up in 2012 with Jan Erik Langoen. Moskus’ biggest hit to date has been “Journey to the Christmas Star,” which sold to 116 countries. Norwegian broadcaster NRK ,the Nordic Film Institute and Film Fond Nord also back the series.