Cell 8: Freddie Wise discusses the dark and twisty series

Cell 8 -- Courtesy of ViaPlay
Cell 8 -- Courtesy of ViaPlay /

Viaplay is a new streaming platform bringing all things Nordic, and Cell 8 is one of the first big shows to drop. Freddie Wise discusses the series and his character.

If you love Nordic crime dramas, you’re in a lot of luck. Viaplay is now available. The streaming platform brings multiple Nordic dramas to check out, and Cell 8 is just one of them.

The limited series is based on Roslund & Hellström’s novel of the same name. It all starts with John Schwarz, a man presumed dead getting arrested for assault on a ferry from Sweden to Finland. This opens up a can of worms.

Mariana Hermansson is the detective pulled into the case, which connects to her personally. On top of that, there’s a connection to a prisoner on Death Row in the U.S. and a grieving parent who just wants revenge for the murder of his daughter.

Freddie Wise plays John Schwartz, the man presumed dead. What can we expect, and why did he want to take on such a role?

Freddie Wise talks Cell 8 in this exclusive interview

Precinct TV: What drew you to the series Cell 8 and the role of John Schwartz?

Freddie Wise: Fairly cliché answer but I was initially excited about getting to play a character who felt so different to anything I had done before. But the main reason was talking to Johann (Brisinger), the director, and also getting to work with Mimosa (Willamo, who plays Mariana) who is just incredible.

PTV: Had you read the book before getting the part? If not, did you read it afterward?

FW: I read the book after I got the job. The character has some big differences in the book to the script. But the thing I found interesting is that throughout the whole book, John is in a constant state of trauma. I wanted to try and achieve this for the show without it becoming one note.

PTV: Did you need to do any sort of research for this role? It’s not often you get to play a character presumed dead.

FW: The main research I did was looking at life on Death Row, which is the main event in John’s life and forever changes him. The documentary I kept watching was Werner Herzog’s Into the Abyss. A lot of the themes in Cell 8 are in that film.

PTV: There is a big look at the flaws in the American judicial system throughout the series. What did you take away from the story?

FW: I guess just how perverse and frankly weird the whole system is. And as the story shows, I don’t think it gives anyone the closure they think it might.

PTV: The UK and Europe tend to do a lot of limited series. Is that appealing as an actor, or do you sometimes wish you could do more?

FW: I would love to do something with multiple series. But Cell 8 couldn’t work as anything other than a limited series. Very pretentious but whatever format is best for the story is the right one.  The UK and US versions of The Office are great examples of choosing the right one for their story

PTV: Do you have any upcoming projects that you can talk about?

FW: Nothing I can say at the moment.

PTV:  If you could do any dream role, what would it be?

FW: I always wanted to play Robin Hood!

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Cell 8 is now available to stream on Viaplay in full.