Exclusive interview with Michael Fjordbak
October 29, 2013 | On the MTV mystery show "Teen Wolf" Michael Fjordbak plays young Peter Hale, the character who was a big mystery in season 2 and had quite an impact in season 3A as well. For the young actor from Texas this is the first TV role and in our interview he talks about the experience of this exciting role as his TV debut.
1. "Teen Wolf" is your first and only tv acting credit so far. How did you get into acting and what was this job like as a first tv role?
I became interested in film acting during my first year of college. It looked like fun. I remember sitting in my dorm watching the premier of "High School Musical 2" and I thought, "That's what I want to do." Zac Efron was somewhat of an inspiration to me early on; a male acting figure I looked up to.
I had some friends who were signed to agencies here in Dallas doing work for Disney and Nickelodeon like Lindsay Black and Logan Henderson. I found out what agency I wanted to join, I took some acting classes, and then I got signed with my current agency here in Dallas.
I surprisingly booked my very first audition back in 2008 which was for "Friday Night Lights", but they ended up canceling my booking! So then followed 3 years of more auditioning and callbacks, but no bookings. Finally, in December 2011, I got an audition notice for a show called "Teen Wolf" on MTV. I had no idea what it was, but I thought MTV is a pretty big deal. I read the lines for the audition and thought to myself, "There is no way they will choose me for this role. It's MTV! They are probably auditioning so many guys for this role…" So, I almost didn't even audition for Young Peter Hale. My sister convinced me to do it.
The next week I was snowboarding in Colorado with some buddies and I was riding the ski lift up the mountain. I got a call on my cellphone and it was the casting director for "Teen Wolf"! He said congratulations and told me that I booked the role, and he told me to be in Atlanta in 4 days to start filming.
Working on "Teen Wolf" was a blast. It was a great first professional acting job for me. I was pretty nervous at first, but I learned so much on set. I learned what is expected of professional actors and how to be prepared. Professional experience on set beats any acting class you can take. I had such a fun time.
2. At first your character was a big mystery. How much did you know about what and who you were playing?
Since I had never seen "Teen Wolf" before, I had no idea what the show was even about. I was cast and called to film on such short notice that I had almost no time to research my character and observe how Ian Bohen had shaped him. I literally had just a matter of days to drive home from Colorado, pack, and drive out to Atlanta from Dallas, much less study the show!
I understood that my character was a young version of Peter Hale. I understood that I only interacted with Lydia and was a hallucination to her. So, I did my best with the time I was given for that first filming date. I had several other dates booked to film Young Peter Hale within the first several months in 2012. So, during those later dates, I had more time to discover and develop my character.
3. In season two you had most of your scenes with Holland Roden. How was working with her and how did you approach your kissing scene on your first tv job?
I think it was so cool that I had a kissing scene for my very first TV job. I met Holland for the first time literally as we sat down in the chairs in the office about to begin filming episode 2x04's office scene. I actually didn't receive the script for 2x08's kissing scene until the week before we filmed it.
Holland was great to work with. She is a talented actress. She made me feel natural and comfortable on set during our scenes. Filming was done very efficiently, so we didn't practice the kiss. We set up the shot, discussed blocking with director Russell Mulcahy, and Holland told me some specifics of how to properly kiss on camera. I followed her tips, but essentially let my emotion in that scene make it real to me, therefore is wasn't a challenge to make the kiss look good and really hot and sensual. After just about 3 or 4 takes, they got what they were looking for and moved on!
4. In the "Behind the scenes" interview to the season 3 flashback episode you said you incorporated the attitude Ian plays Peter Hale with in your performance to build the foundation of the character. So do you think Peter's attitude has always been a part of him, an innate cynicism, or did something make him this way kinda like what we saw in the flashback made Derek the way he is today?
Everything that happens to a person as they grow up shapes who they are. I think that Peter may have had more of an innocence to him when he was younger, but I also think his innate cynicism and other character traits have been in him from the beginning. Perhaps there are things left unsaid about Young Peter that the writers didn't include in the storyline in order for him to remain mysterious. If you could figure him out, then he wouldn't be as interesting. I think that is what makes Peter such a creative character: you can't quite figure him out. You might think you can, but there is always something you do not know that is going on in his head...
5. There were moments in the flashback when we saw young Peter being really scared and regretful but of course grownup Peter told the story very differently to make himself look innocent. Why do you think he did this to Derek?
That is part of the mystery. The decision he made was rooted in selfishness and devious logic, but he displayed the idea to Young Derek in care and innocence. What we see in Young Peter in the flashback when he is scared is a side of him that actually does care...
He did it in order to construct a way to bring himself to the top, and Derek just happened to be woven into the course of that plan.
6. In the flashbacks Peter's older sister Talia was introduced. Can you tell us if we are going to see more flashbacks of these Hale siblings?
It is possible, but only the creative hands within the show know the answer to that.
7. Also in the flashbacks Peter seems about five years older than Derek. With grownup Peter and Derek it's hard to tell despite Ian's and Tyler's real age. Do you have any idea how old Peter and Derek are?
I don't know if there have been any reference to the specific ages of those two characters, but if I was to guess, I would say that Derek is probably in his mid to late twenties and Peter is in his early thirties.
8. Did you have the chance to meet and hang out with the rest of the "Teen Wolf" cast? What was it like to come on board in the middle of a show with these guys?
I did! I met Holland, Dylan, Tyler Posey, Colton, Ian, and Gage during season 2. Everybody was so cool and so nice. Coming back for season three, I got to meet the Carver twins, Daniel, Keahu, Crystal, and a number of other cast members. "Teen Wolf" is an incredible set to work on. It was cool to come on board in the middle of the show. There was already quite a following for "Teen Wolf" and there was a good environment that had been developed with everyone involved in production and filming.
9. Your last name is scandinavian, right? Is your family from Scandinavia and/or have you been there or somewhere else in Europe?
Yeah, it's Danish. I have never been to Europe, but I have such a desire to travel and go visit Europe. Hopefully God opens doors for me to have the opportunity to travel all over Europe and the rest of the world!
10. On Twitter you often post inspirational thoughts. What's your biggest motivation in life?
My biggest motivation in life is my faith. It helps me walk through life with positivity, joy, character, and gratefulness. Otherwise, my motivation is my desire to find my true purpose and passion, and succeed in life! Whether that is rich or poor, as long as I am growing and making positive strides in life, then I would consider myself successful.
11. On the internet there are photos of you with a guitar. Do you also make music?
Yeah, I love playing music! I play drums and acoustic guitar primarily. I also play the piano, electric guitar, and bass guitar. Music was my original love. I can't go a week without playing my drum kit or my guitar. It's like food to my soul. I don't know if I will ever put out any of the music that I write, but I do know that I will always have it as a hobby.
12. Do you have new projects you can talk about?
Nope. At this point, I've gotten callbacks for some projects and I am auditioning for other projects and planning to move to Los Angeles, but all the while, I'm still pondering if acting is what I really want to do in life. Who knows what is going to happen? I sure don't. :)
13. Since myFanbase is an online magazine about U.S. television shows, what are your favorite shows?
I don't follow any TV shows. I wish I had more time to. When I do watch television, it is whatever is on at the time. I like shows on science, nature, and survival. I'm more of an active guy, though. I don't have a lot of time to sit down and watch TV. I like to go out, experience life, play soccer, play music, spend time with family and friends, have a job, and do my best not to miss out on any good thing that life has waiting for me.
Much love to the fans out there! Keep believing in yourself. Know that you are capable of accomplishing anything you set your mind to!
Thank you, Michael, we wish you all the best for your future!
Nicole Oebel - myFanbase
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