Norwegian Good! Norse Teen Star ‘Turns On’ Tribeca

Jannicke Systad Jacobsen, director of the just-concluded Tribeca Film Festival’s Norwegian teen drama Turn Me On, Goddammit!, was enjoying her time in New York–she happily showed The Observer an iPhone shot of herself and Robert DeNiro. Her willowy teenage star, Helene Bergsholm, was visiting New York for the first time. “I don’t wanna go home,” she said.

She’s nervous about how Turn Me On will be received by her classmates–its plot features the teen calling a phone sex line as part of a time-honored self-discovery. “There’s a lot of friends, and family, and…” she trailed off.

But Ms. Bergsholm is used to racy subject matter: “I watch the series Skins. I haven’t seen the U.S. Skins… and I won’t.” How is this racy film like Skins?, The Observer asked.

“There’s a lot of drama in Skins–over-drama. This is more real.”

Ms. Jacobsen said she didn’t find much teen drama worth viewing: “I did watch a lot of teenage movies, but I wasn’t influenced by them–because there’s not much to take influence there. She said she liked Juno and The Virgin Suicides, though. Ms. Bergsholm said she doesn’t miss any Michael Cera movie. She was excited to have met a star of Grey’s Anatomy, though she couldn’t recall the name.

What about that title? Could it sell tickets in America–outside the edgy Tribeca crowd? “I think it is the best translation that we could find,” said Ms. Jacobsen, “but I guess maybe you don’t take the title metaphorically.” A light switch, she said, is turned on and off, too. But also! “The ‘Goddamit’ might be quite hard.”

Which scene was the most fun? Surely not the more explicit scenes, for which Ms. Jacobsen demanded a closed set for her young actress (this is Ms. Bergsholm’s first film, and she took it despite trepidation because “It’s not every day that a casting director comes to [her] area,” said Ms. Jacobsen). “I liked the scenes when we were throwing the turnips,” Ms. Bergsholm giggled. “That was fun.”

Ms. Jacobsen sounded a bit like a schoolteacher for a moment. “Why was it fun?”

ddaddario@observer.com :: @DPD_