Sofia Helin

Sofia Helin Interview: Playing Atlantic Crossing’s Princess Martha

What sort of research and preparation did you do to play the role of Crown Princess Martha?. First of all, I learned Norwegian. And second, because I live in Stockholm and this is where Martha was born and raised, I worked with the staff at the Royal Palace in Stockholm. I happened to know someone who works within the castle, and she took me there and taught me how to sit and behave, and what you’re not supposed to do. For instance, I learned that in the 1940s, a woman at a dinner couldn’t drink any alcohol unless a man at the table proposed a toast. That’s quite shocking, isn’t it? And I learned that you’re not allowed to leave the table and go to the bathroom—even though it can be 13 dishes, you’re not allowed to leave the table! And then also, how to handle the forks and knives and spoons and glasses and everything, and how to sit, and where you’re allowed to put your handbag or not…a lot of things. So it seems quite harsh to be in that environment.
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Sofia Helin: 'There was no running water, so we had to wash in the sea'

I had no idea that my parents’ love of the countryside – and our annual visits to the family’s summer houses in Vasterbotten, a region in the north of Sweden – would be so influential on my life and my sense of well-being. My parents took us there from when we were very small, right up to the time when I was a teenager.