Helene Bergsholm is currently living in Norway. In 2012 she made her film debut as Alma in the film Turn Me On, Goddammit!, and she received an Amanda Award nomination. The film also won Best Screenplay at Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Later she graduated with a Bachelors in Art Direction at Westerdals in Oslo, where she chose to do one semester at SVA in New York studying art and advertising. Helene has also been seen in the movie Revenge (2015, directed by Kjersti Steinsbø), where she played the role of the aggressive Maya. In 2016, she appeared as the young mother Emma in the short film It’s All Right by Nina Knag. Recently Helene was one of the lucky eight to gain admission to The Oslo National Academy of the Arts where she is studying acting. Her latest role as Ida in Halfdan Ullman Tøndel’s short Fanny is premiering this year.
On making her film debut in Turn Me On, Goddammit:
Getting cast in Turn Me On changed everything. Back then, I was super shy and would’ve never imagined myself being able to play such a role—or to do acting at all. I had just been playing and acting at home in front of my parents, where I felt comfortable, all my life. This role was the exact push I needed.
On what she wants to see more of in films:
I want to see bold, intriguing, and complex female characters in film, and I think women in particular are able and open to telling these stories. I think female directors are especially important regarding stories about female sexuality. It still feels taboo…. It’s easy to feel intimidated by this industry. Women have to speak up, make their voices heard, and be listened to—by both women and men.
On finding the courage to call herself an actress:
I was just lucky to be one of eight to get accepted into The Norwegian National Academy of Theatre. It’s a three years [program of] study; it’s terrifying and amazing and takes up all my time. In the past, I told myself I was never going to do theater, but look at where I ended up. I think I finally found the courage to give myself permission to call myself an actress—to just go for it. ★
We also spoke with Julie Pike, a Norway-based photographer who shot Helene.
Jaclyn Bethany: Hi, Julie! Where are you originally from, and where are you currently based?
Julie Pike: I was born in Scotland, raised in Denmark, educated in San Francisco, and am now based in Oslo. My passport says Norwegian.
JB: When did you first pick up a camera?
JP: High school.
JB: How do you choose your subjects?
JP: If it’s up to me to choose a subject, I go for the ones with a certain presence. Someone with a personality that shines through the lens.
JB: Your photos have a beautiful, dreamlike quality to them but are also modern and relatable. When do you feel you found your style and voice as a photographer?
JP: Thank you! My style is always developing I guess. As soon as I am done with one shoot, I am always eager to go for the next, to explore, to do better, and to develop.
JB: Who are some other female artists and creatives you admire, in Norway and beyond?
JP: Viktoria Winge (Norwegian actress and singer), Helene Bergsholm (Norwegian actress), Lina Scheynius(Swedish photographer), and Tove Ditlevsen (Danish writer and poet).
JB: We are featuring a photo of Helene Bergsholm— one of Norway's most promising young actors—in this issue. Can you tell me a little about your session with her?
JP: This was from a commissioned shoot I did for Nylon Magazine. I borrowed a friend’s house. It was in the middle of ice-cold winter and I just had my baby girl, Ella. I got the stylist to take my baby for a walk while I was shooting and we did everything very spontaneously (like I almost always do): play with the light we had that day, all natural, see what the location can offer to the images, and what mood the subject (in this case, Helene) is in.
Helene was a joy to photograph—so young back then, shy, but not afraid of the camera. Such a good combination.
JB: What advice would you give to a young woman who wants to pursue a career in photography?
JP: Be true to yourself. There are so many photographers out there—don’t try to be any of them. Be yourself and you will succeed. ★