Carsten Norgaard was a determined man! Despite a consistently weak phone signal, he was not going to be deterred from finishing his interview with NCISLA Magazine! Our conversation was interrupted a number of times during the course of the call but with a little bit of patience and a lot of humor, we rallied on. With great forbearance, Carsten graciously answered a number of questions I had in regards to his guest appearance as Nolan Vandenberg on this week’s episode, Raven and the Swans on NCIS Los Angeles.
This versatile performer has worked with some of the best in the business and has had a varied career in film and television. Carsten was born and raised in Denmark and eventually made his way to England to study acting. NCISLA Magazine asked him about his decision to become an actor and what it was like to be on the set of NCISLA. Let’s welcome Carsten to the NCISLAFamilia and find out more about this delightful actor.
When you were in Denmark what made you decide to become an actor and go to London to study?
I did get my economics degree first. I guess that was the most sensible thing to do. I always loved movies since I was very little and decided to travel and I thought London would be a great place to start out so I moved from Denmark to study there. I became an actor because it’s like escapism…craving a character or a life that is different from who you are. I loved the movies and it was something I always wanted to do.
What project first brought you to Hollywood?
Actually Mighty Ducks brought me to Hollywood. That’s how I got over and I ended up spending about five month there making that movie and ultimately it was the catalyst to making me move out there full time. It was a great experience from working on small European projects where you all have to share a room together and this was the first time I had a trailer! It was just on a different scale.
You’ve done comedy and drama work, what do you prefer and enjoy doing the most?
I think one of the great things about what I’ve been able to tackle on both sides of Europe and the States, is that there are just different feels to the different projects.
What was it like working with legends like Dustin Hoffman and Michael Gambon when you guest starred in HBO’s Luck?
That was a tremendous experience doing that show in so many ways. I worked with the director, Michael Mann before so it was fantastic. Just being around the whole cast of characters was tremendous. It was a great ride while it lasted and everyone was sad when it closed because of the problem working with the horses. But it was so great to work with some of the greatest actors and directors of our time.
Can you tell us a little about your character on NCISLA and who did you work with?
I play Nolan Vandenberg, a Dutch businessman who pops up on the radar in connection to some manufacturing equipment that ends up in a manufacturing facility in Iran and it rings some bells in regards to being an illegal operation and that is what the stakeout is all about. He’s an international businessman with lots of ventures. He is a very wealthy, powerful and smart businessman who runs a successful international business and he is highly visible in magazines and such. It was my first time shooting on the Paramount lot and it’s great because there are only so many shows you get to shoot in LA. It’s such a beautiful studio and driving through the gates in the morning you just think about all the history that the place has….wonderful. We also shot in the Biltmore Hotel too which has a lot of history. It’s where they would host the Oscars and I had never been there before, so it was a beautiful experience being part of old Los Angeles.
I worked along with Ronan Vibert (who plays Visser) who was my right hand guy and takes care of all the dirty laundry and helps to make sure all is taken care of on my behalf. He’s a great guy to work with.
What was it like on set?
I thought everyone was like a family and rested well in each other’s company. Everybody had a lot of fun and everyone enjoyed what they were doing. Robert Florio was our director and he’s worked on so many different episodes. So I thought it was interesting to work with somebody who is entrenched in the show from so many different angles.
I worked mainly with Chris (O’Donnell) and LL Cool J who were just great guys. It was fun filming in Los Angeles too. I wish there were more shows filming in Los Angeles, instead of having to go on location all the time. Overall it was a great experience and everyone seemed to love what they did ….great actors who were bantering with each other and they were just a lot of fun. And there is nothing like working on a show where you really feel like everyone is getting along with each other and you could tell that the group in front of and behind the camera really enjoyed their time together. That’s something that works great when you come into as a guest star on an episode where there is a great synergy among everybody!
Thanks go out to Carsten for his patience and good nature in answering all of our questions (sometimes more than once!!). We look forward to seeing Carsten in his future endeavors and invite him to stop back again to NCISLA Magazine anytime!
Be sure to check out his website: http://www.carstennorgaard.com/
and follow him on Twitter: @carstennorgaard