Coexistence – 2007 Issue
Nadia Bjorlin’s life began on August 2nd in Newport, Rhode Island. She is the fifth child out of six of Ulf and Fary Bjorlin. When Nadia was two months old, the Bjorlin family moved to Sweden, her father’s native country. Nadia’s father was a conductor and composer of classical music, which Nadia grew to love.
For those of you who don’t know who Nadia is, Nadia has been a popular star on NBC’s, Days of our Lives. Earlier in 2007, Nadia was the lead actress in the octane adrenaline film, Redline. She starred along side Eddie Griffin and some of the world’s most exotic supercars.
Nadia Bjorlin as Darwin would describe is evolution at its best. Not only is our Swedish-Iranian actress stunning like a muse, but she has the brains to back it up as well. You can catch Nadia once again on Days of our Lives and also, be on the lookout of Nadia’s upcoming music career. She and her siblings once again are embarking on their previous successful music cameo.
Q. Did you face any difficulties when growing up in Sweden? Were there any levels of racism you encountered since you are half-Iranian?
A. I had a really wonderful childhood with extremely loving parents and lots of siblings to lean on, so I was oblivious to any racial tensions going on in Sweden at the time. I never went to school in Sweden, but some of my siblings did, and they did experience some torment from classmates. There wasn’t a large Persian community at all in Sweden at the time, and I suppose ignorance breeds racism.
Q. Being of Iranian descent, have you encountered any difficulty in entering the American mainstream market?
A. I don’t think it necessarily has to do with the Iranian descent, but looking different and not being identifiable in any ONE category can be helpful in some ways and difficult in others. People can usually never guess my ethnic background, so I can use that as an advantage in being seen for roles of different ethnicities. The problem is when you don’t look Persian, Swedish, Italian, Russian, American, or whatever, enough! It can be frustrating to not be stereotypical.
Q. A lot of our readers want to know, can you speak Farsi?
A. No, unfortunately, I don’t. I understand, especially when I’m being reprimanded by my mother! Ha! Kidding…kind of. I was born after the Revolution in Iran, and I don’t want to recite a history lesson, but at the time, Iranians were not looked highly upon in most places of the world, I believe. Frankly, my mother was frightened to teach her younger children Farsi to spare us from racism. My oldest sister, Katja, is fluent in Farsi and my older brother, Kaj, and other sister, Kamilla, also speak a little.
Q. Would you ever consider moving back to Sweden?
A. Sweden is a beautiful country, but I don’t think I could ever live there again because of my profession. America is definitely the land of opportunity.
Q. What is your position on global warming?
A. I don’t think there should be any other position on Global Warming than being aware that it’s a scary reality that we as humans need to take responsibility for. Instead of ignoring nature’s warning signs, we need to all be individually responsible and take any positive action we can. We can all do the necessary work to reduce our carbon footprint by recycling, conserving energy, and water. We need to learn to be less selfish if we want the Earth to survive. I think a lot of people have an “all or nothing” attitude about many aspects of life, but we can’t afford that kind of behavior at this point in time. A little help goes a long way: recycle, use energy efficient light bulbs, make sure your house is well-insulated, turn off the air, unplug appliances not in use, turn off the water when brushing your teeth, shaving your legs, plant a tree, etc. I’m out of breath!
Q. Did anyone inspire you to get into Hollywood?
A. Performing is something I’ve wanted to do as long as I can remember! Music and performing was a normal part of my life growing up, so it seemed to just be a natural progression for me. I kept going with it and never looked back.
Q. Would you ever consider doing anything besides acting?
A. You never know, but I certainly don’t think I’ll stray too far away from show business at any point in my life.
Q. In your career, did you face a make it or break it point?
A. That’s a very dramatic sounding question! No, I’ve been really fortunate and grateful to have been working for most of my life. But if I reach that point, I’ll let you know.
Q. What was your experience filming the movie Redline?
A. I had such a wonderful time shooting that movie. There was such a great crew of people working on the movie, so I had a lot of fun! It was a pretty hectic shooting schedule, but it was just such an amazing experience learning out to drive those gorgeous cars and the other actors working on the movie were such a joy to spend time with on and off the set.
Q. By the way, did Eddie Griffin try making a move on you?
A. Oh yeah, every day! Ha! No, only when I was the only girl around. I’m kidding. He is unbelievably witty, smart, and just plain funny! I actually learned a lot by watching him work, and he is just so professional and tries to offer you any help he can. So, he’s a cool guy. I’d love to work with him again.
Q. So, we all know Eddie Griffin crashed an Enzo. Does this mean you are a better driver than him?
A. Of course I am! Ha! I’ve always considered myself a good driver, well, maybe just a crazy driver! I kind of have a “lead foot” which can get me into trouble. But I’m a cautious crazy driver. Actually, the celebrity charity race in which Eddie crashed the Enzo, I came in second place in the actual competition. I was in the lead until Jackie Chan beat me! But, he has a bit of an unfair advantage, he’s been a stunt coordinator and all around awesome action guy probably since I was born!
Q. Out of all the cars on the show, which car did you like most?
A. That’s a tough one. I really learned to love and appreciate what each car had to offer. Wow, I sound like I’m talking about men or something! Ha! I think everyone loves a red Ferrari, but I’d have to say that if I got to own any one of the cars, it would be the Mclaren SLR. That car is a beast and a comfortable luxury ride at the same time.
Q. Were any of these cars your dream cars?
A. Well, I grew up dreaming about owning a pink Corvette like Barbie, so, no. Seriously, I would be lucky to own any one of them, but I’d have to say that I took a serious liking to the Koeniggsegg CCX because it’s unique and Swedish, like myself!
Q. Can you drive a stick shift?
A. Hello?! Did you see the movie?? Most of those cars are only available in a manual transmission.
Q. Do you think it is sexy if someone can drive stick?
A. That sounds an awful like sexual innuendo…better suited if you asked a man that question. Oh, what the heck: Yeah! Anyone who can drive a stick is a stud in my book. Wait, that came out wrong.
Q. Many Middle Easterners who are attempting to get into Hollywood now feel that there is a bit of hesitancy towards that community. Would you agree with this, and what type of advice would you offer them so that they can overcome any obstacle?
A. I don’t think there is anyone in Hollywood whose opinion matters that is ignorant enough to be hesitant to work with someone who is Middle Eastern based on world politics. The only obstacle as an actor is that looking ethnic, no matter where in the world you are from, can limit the roles in which you are “right” for, so to speak. As an actor, sometimes I think you have to expect and embrace stereotypes of yourself if you actually want to work! But all “types” of people wanting to work as actors have to deal with that. Then, if you become very successful, you can decide your own projects!
Q. What was the worst date you ever had?
A. No comment. Ha! Well, I don’t think I’ve ever really enjoyed a “traditional date.” I feel like it’s an interview or something! Oh, here’s a good one: One guy only talked about his abs and how hard he had worked out at the gym that day. I caught him stealing glances of himself in a mirror too! Ha!
Q. What qualities do you look for in a romantic partner?
A. The most important quality is humor and wit. Nothing beats a funny, smart guy.
Q. Working movie sets, and being an actress on Days of our Lives, is it hard maintaining a romantic relationship?
A. It can be. Someone really has to be understanding of erratic schedules, travel, and realize that love scenes are really not enjoyable, unless with Brad Pitt. Ha!
Q. Where can we expect to find you in the future?
A. I’m going back to Days of our Lives for a little while. They really wanted me back and made an offer I couldn’t refuse! It’s going to be very exciting. And I’m also working with two of my brothers, Ulf and Jean-Paul, on a classical crossover album (like Andrea Bocelli and Josh Groban). We grew up singing and performing together, so this is really special. My younger brother, Jean Paul recently received his Master’s degree at the Juilliard School in New York, and Ulf studied at the Manhattan School of Music, and is also an actor. So, it’s a great mix of operatic training with some edginess. We’ve already recorded some music, and you can always find out what I’m up to and where to get the music on my website: Nadia-Bjorlin.com.
Q. What special talents do you have?
A. Aren’t ALL talents special?
Q. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
A. To know EVERYTHING that’s going to happen the day before it happens. That would be very useful.
Q. Would you use it for good or evil?
A. Depends on what you consider evil…
Q. What does COEXISTENCE mean to you?
A. The word or the magazine?!?! Either way, this world would be a beautiful place if we could all learn to coexist in peace and harmony.
Q. Have you ever been stalked?
A. Usually I’m the one doing the stalking. No, seriously, that’s a scary thing and I’m thankful to not have been.
Q. What do you think is going to happen 10 years from now?
A. I just hope to be happy, healthy, and hopefully ruling the world by then!