Interview with Alexander Rybak about the DreamWorks’ animation movie “Dragetreneren 2”

Article from Filmmagasinet, issue 5/2014

Written by: the “Newroom”. Photo: Fox

Translation by Jorunn E. English Revision by Anni Jowett.


Alexander and the Dragon

Alexander Rybak likes “Taken” and “Fatso” and dreams of a blockbuster movie about Ole Bull with himself in the main role. Now he is of current movie interest as the Norwegian voice of Hikken in “How to Train Your Dragon – 2”. We fired off some questions about dragons and other stuff.

Hi Alexander! What do you think of Hikken? Tell us a bit about the similarities and differences between you and him.

– We both enjoy overdoing facial expressions and both have cow eyes. But Hikken stutters a lot more because he is spontaneous. I think through every word I say. And that`s both an advantage and a disadvantage when you`re dubbing a movie, I often have to put on a different hat and step into the role a 100 %.

And what do you think of being the Norwegian equivalent of Jay Baruchel, who has the voice in the original version? 

– I love the American sarcasm in the way he speaks. My idol is David Duchovny and this is definitely similar! I tried borrowing a little from Baruchel during the first hours of dubbing, but I understood quickly that the Norwegian language isn`t created for sarcasm and irony. At home it should be articulate.

Are you a fan of dragons? Do they exist in Belarussian stories and Mythology? 

– Definitely! Many of my songs are about flying and for some reason I have several hundred thousand fans on Facebook who have dragons on their cover photos. Music and freedom is often connected and flying is the biggest freedom there is! Unless you fly with Ryanair.

What it`s like dubbing a movie? Does it resemble recording music in the studio?

– I think that different people use different techniques and help when they dub. For me as musician it’s easy to use sound and timing. I notice things right before the line, for instance when a branch breaks under a foot of the character, and then I know that my line is coming up soon. Also I`m also extremely good at dubbing breathing, we always do it in one take.

We are after all a movie magazine and must check what kind of movies you like. Any favourites? What`s the last movie you saw at the cinema? Which movie do you never get tired of? And which animated movie did you enjoy the most (apart from “How to Train Your Dragon “? 

– The best movies to me in this century are “Taken”, “Kings Speech”, “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, the “Batman” trilogy and “Fatso”. But perhaps it`s wrong to say this when you are promoting a DreamWorks movie. However my favourite animated movie is (which always makes me cry) is Disney`s “Beauty and the Beast”, but that`s definitely stupid to say when you`re promoting a DreamWorks movie. Well, well.

You`ve played in “Yohan- Child Wanderer”, would you like to star in more movies? What is your dream role? 

– I can honestly say there are probably better actors than me out there. But I`m pretty sure I can shine in more tailored made roles like Hikken. My big dream is to play the Norwegian violin virtuoso and womaniser Ole Bull in a huge blockbuster movie!

What`s the coolest thing about the “How to Train Your Dragon” movies? 

– Apart from me dubbing them? I guess that must be the soundtracks. I am a big fan of John Powell and I hope to get some lessons from him one day.

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