If you're one of those guys who harbors a secret addiction to his "stories" – and it's okay, we won't call you out for it – then you might already recognize Nadia Bjorlin from the several years she spent as a cast member on "Days of Our Lives." Now, however, Nadia is poised to make a major splash on the big screen, starring as the female lead in the new action-packed car-racing drama, "Redline." We had a chance to spend a few minutes in conversation with Nadia, where she discussed her role in the film, the controversy over claims that Eddie Griffin's recent car accident was nothing more than a publicity stunt, and her preparations to start a music career. Also, guys, keep your eyes pealed: somewhere in this article, Nadia reveals whether she's single or not (but we're not going to tell you where). Sorry, we guess you're just going to have to read the whole thing to find out.
Bullz-Eye: Hello, Nadia, how are you?
Nadia Bjorlin: Good, how are you?
BE: Great! It's a pleasure to talk to you.
NB: Thank you.
BE: So the film's getting massive promotion.
NB: I know!
BE: I've seen the trailer on TV probably a dozen times, and every website I go to seems to have a banner ad for it.
NB: Oh, wow!
BE: Are you psyched that the studio's putting so much in the way of advertising dollars behind it?
NB: Oh, yeah, definitely! I mean, hey, it's nice when they believe in something and wanna get it out there for people to see.
BE: So tell us a little bit about your part.
NB: Well, I play Natasha, who is a mechanic, who owns an auto body shop that specializes in modifying high-end cars…and it's actually, like, a family shop. My mother works there, and my father was a race-car driver, but he died racing. So it's like a family affair. And I also learned the ropes from my father, learned how to race, but it's a passion that I choose not to act upon because, y'know, I'm afraid now of the repercussions, considering what happened to my father. So, basically, without giving too much away, Eddie Griffin's character is a music mogul who comes with his Ford GT-340 for Natasha to modify, and when he asks her to give it a test drive to see what he's paying for, he realizes that she's an amazing driver, then proceeds to tell her that he's involved in this little underground racing organization, which basically is about the rich millionaires who sit around and race their beautiful cars because they're bored. (laughs) And, y'know, she turns it down because she's adamant about not racing, but he sort of eventually entices her to show up at one of these races, and then she finds herself involved in this world. And now she has no choice but to do it.
BE: Are you already prepared for the backlash from people will say that they've never, ever had a mechanic who looks like you?
NB: (laughs) Yeah. I'm gonna go find one, though, dammit!
BE: (laughs) "Why, look! Here's one right here!"
NB: Yeah, exactly! I think I'm gonna become one in real life, just so I can prove people wrong, okay? (giggles)
BE: So I understand the film's producer, Daniel Sadek, actually used his own cars in the movie.
NB: Yes! All the cars are owned by the producer of the film, because he's a car fanatic, and this is sort of his dream: to be able to show the world these cars. I mean, it's really a great thing, 'cause these are the kind of cars that you either get to see only in pictures, or at auto shows or whatnot. People wouldn't risk these half-million, million, million-point-two cars and put them in this kind of danger, but he loves them, and wanted the rest of the people who are car fanatics to see… (hesitates) You know what? You don't even have to be a car freak to really appreciate how beautiful they are, how they work, and how they drive. It's really an incredible thing to see, and you're not ever going to see another movie of the same caliber, because no one else is gonna be crazy enough to put their cars out there like this! (giggles) I don't even think they could get the insurance to do it!
BE: Could he bring himself to be on the set the day they crashed his Porsche Carrera GT?
NB: Uh…yeah! But, I mean, I think there's a part of him that sort of enjoyed it! It's cruel, but it's thrilling at the same time!
BE: And speaking of car crashes, there's a little controversy going on right now, with Eddie Griffin getting mad at the critics. (Writer's note: Griffin crashed one of Sadek's cars – a $1.5 million Ferrari – into a wall during a charity race at the Irwindale Speedway in California.)
NB: Omigod. Poor Eddie. And that was a complete accident, by the way. I was right there; I saw it happen.
BE: Oh, wow.
NB: Some people are saying, "Oh, it was a publicity stunt." You know what? That's an awfully expensive publicity stunt to pull! And the producer was not very happy to see that car crash into the wall, but, y'know, he was okay that Eddie was fine, and he did kind of hurt himself a little bit! He bumped his head good and whatnot. They made us all wear helmets and everything after that, because he wasn't wearing one, and it's like a bad car accident: you really feel it the next day.
BE: I read his quote, where he said, "How retarded do you got to be to think that somebody is going to wreck a million and a half dollar car as a hoax?" (laughs)
NB: Did he say that?
NB: Yeah, exactly. And you put the actor in the car, not suited up? Yeah, I don't think he would be willing to put his life on the line like that, because it could've been a lot worse. It just goes to show you, though, that these are very sophisticated, powerful machines. It's not like driving a Honda Accord; it's a difficult thing, and you have to really learn to maneuver them and whatnot. It's a lot of power in a very light car. There's no traction on it whatsoever; it's a full-on race-car. If you turn a corner too sharp, you lose control of that thing, and that's it. There's nothing you can do! And that's basically what happened. It was just, "Oops!" A complete mistake.
BE: So you were born in Rhode Island, then you moved to Sweden 'til you were seven?
BE: And the rest of your family is Swedish.
NB: Yeah, everyone else was born in Sweden. Swedish was my first language. I was born early, and I was born accidentally. I was born accidentally too early! (laughs)
BE: Y'know, you speak five languages, you sang with the Palm Beach Opera for five years. What made you want to become an actress?
NB: Um, momentary lapse of sanity? (laughs) Well, I think it was just a progression. I started off in a very artistic and musical family, started off with music, which then segued into opera, and also musical theater. And then moving to New York. I moved to New York at one point, for high school, and you just sort of get into it. It sort of turned into full-on acting, and before you know it, I'd graduated high school and I ended up on "Days of Our Lives." So it just all sort of happened. And then you look back one day and go, "Hey, that's right!"
BE: But I have heard that you're working on your debut album.
NB: (proudly) Yes, I am!
BE: How would you describe your music?
NB: Well, right now, it is (pauses) I mean, right now, it's hard to work on, because I'm so busy, which is a good thing! But I would say that it's a cross between Nelly Furtado and Gwen Stefani.
BE: Who would you say are some of your musical influences? Because, I mean, you've certainly been exposed to a lot of different sorts of music over the course of your life.
NB: Yeah. Wow, that's interesting. Nobody's ever asked me that before! Um, you know, I like to (hesitates) It's so hard. I love music of all different genres. I'm always going to love opera and classical, I really love jazz and whatnot, but I actually like hip hop and rap music as well, so you try to take everything that you appreciate and learn, and you have to use what you have. Like, say, my voice. I would never say that I want to sound like someone else. You can just hope that you have your own original thing. Of course, you have to be somewhat in tune with what's mainstream and what people are going to want to listen to, but I certainly don't think that my voice really sounds like anybody. But I grew up listening to Mozart's "Requiem." To Mozart and Schubert, Madonna and Michael Jackson! So you're probably going to hear a vast array of influences!
BE: Like you were saying a moment ago, you came to prominence on "Days of Our Lives."
BE: Have you gotten over the difference between working on soaps and working on films? Certainly, it's pretty dramatic.
NB: (sarcastically) Oh, yeah, films are so much easier! (laughs) No, I'm just kidding. It's so different, that's all. On a soap opera, it's so fast-paced, and there's so much material, and you just learn a lot of discipline and work ethic. You're certainly not spoiled, I'll tell you that! You work for your money on a soap! Whereas on films and in prime-time, they cater to you, they get you things. And I'm, like, "No, I'm fine, I can get it myself." I was only doing a page or two of dialogue a day. It's easy! But it's also really different, because you get so used to that fast pace, doing at least an episode a day, that it can almost get a little tiring to work so slowly on something else. So you sort of have to hone your skills in different ways.
BE: You also played a go-go dancer in Ricky Martin's "Shake Your Bon-Bon" video.
NB: Yes! (giggles)
BE: Did you need to research the role, or did you already have your moves down?
NB: (Laughs, then takes a teasingly boastful tone.) I already had my moves down. They're natural. Very natural. I was born with those! (laughs)
BE: You're also in "If I Had Known I Was A Genius."
BE: Was that a big part, or just a few days of shooting?
"On a soap opera, it's so fast-paced, and there's so much material, and you just learn a lot of discipline and work ethic. You're certainly not spoiled, I'll tell you that! You work for your money on a soap!"NB: Well, certainly not as big as "Redline," but the whole movie, just the way it's set up, it's such an ensemble cast movie that everybody sort of moves in and out, so to speak. And, yeah, it was really fun. It was really, really different. It's a very quirky, self-deprecating comedy. There's a lot of great people, a lot of great actors, and a lot of great character roles. It was really my first chance to play very much a character role, and I was so pleased that I had that opportunity. People were, like, "Wow, you're funny!" And I'm, like, "Gee, thanks!" (laughs)
BE: And there are a lot of comedians in there, too: Andy Richter, French Stewart.
NB: Yeah. Whoopi Goldberg, Della Reese, Markus Redmond, Tara Reid, Sharon Stone.
NB: Yeah, it was crazy! Everybody was in that. You go, "Oh, wow!"
BE: And someone on the message board of your IMDB page has thrown down the gauntlet and said you should be cast as Wonder Woman.
NB: Uh, yeah!
BE: So are you down with that? (laughs)
NB: Oh yeah, I'm totally down with that! (giggles) But, no, it's been so nice that I have so many fans that support that idea. And, yes, I'm definitely set to meet with them and whatnot. But right now, they don't have a script in place – at all – so they're not really going to consider anyone until they get that. Joss Whedon was supposed to write and direct it.
NB: But that, I guess, somehow fell through, after, like, two years! So we'll see. We'll see once they finally get something in place. And, hopefully, I will still be up for consideration!
BE: And not to reveal the fate of your character, but what are the chances of there being a "Redline 2"?
NB: Um, you know what? If people go out and see it, there's a great chance for a "Redline 2"! (giggles) But, no, it certainly does leave it open for a sequel very well.
BE: Well, I'm going try to keep to my target interview length, because I know you've been running behind today.
NB: (embarrassed) Oh, I know!
BE: So I've just got two quick questions to close with. First, do you think that people tend to underestimate you because you're so attractive? Because, clearly, you're extremely intelligent, just based on the mere fact that you speak five languages!
NB: Well, thank you. Gosh, yeah, I guess so. As an actor, you know you have to work your way up in the ranks. I'm well aware of that. You just have to kind of do what you can. But as an artist, you leave a legacy, and one day, I'd like to at least be able to say that I've done everything that I'm capable of, and challenged myself and not only gone to play a certain kind of role. And I hope that through my career in the next couple of years, people see that and I'm given those kind of opportunities, or else I'll make those kind of opportunities arise, and then, hopefully, people will be able to see past that. I mean, of course, it's a very complimentary thing as well, and a lot of people have worked past that. Look at someone like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, or even Tom Cruise. They're people who are very attractive, and they've certainly proved themselves otherwise as well, proved themselves as artists.
BE: And the last question, in order to either break the hearts or unrealistically raise the hopes of our readership: are you seeing anyone?
NB: (sheepishly) No, I'm not. (giggles)
BE: Well, that just means that I'm going to get 5,000 emails from guys asking me if I've got your email address…
BE: So, for God's sake, don't give it to me! At least that way I can be truthful and say, "Sorry, I don't have it!"
NB: (laughs) Well, tell them I'm on MySpace.
BE: Okay, that I can do. (laughs)
NB: Exactly. And I run my own MySpace page, so I read everyone's messages.
BE: In that case, I'll be sure to add you as a friend in just a minute.
NB: Nice! Yes, please do!
BE: Well, it's been a pleasure speaking to you.
NB: It's been a pleasure speaking to you as well!
BE: And good luck with the film.
NB: Thank you so much! Take care!