Anders Geipel is a Scandinavian and German actor living in New York City. Upon studying acting in Copenhagen, Denmark, Anders moved to the US and graduated from the renowned William Esper Studio in NYC.
Since his graduation, Anders has been working on multiple film projects including the award winning “Cookie Heart” (Best Cinematography Winner at IFFNY) and most recently signed with the up-and-coming bicoastal Agency UGA Talent. Fluent in both Danish and German, Anders is a new European talent in the American acting scene.
In this exclusive Interview with Hollywood World, Anders Geipel talks about his passion for acting, and his recent projects.
Hollywood Insider Interview with Actor Anders Geipel
Hollywood World: First of all, congratulations to the “Cookie Heart” team for receiving the IFFNY Grand Jury Prize “Best Cinematography” Award in New York. How did you feel at the time when you found out?
Anders Geipel: Part of the cast and crew were in the audience when Cookie Heart won, so we celebrated as loud as we could – the European way! It always feels great to win an award and I’m especially happy for our director Charles Dong and our incredibly talented DP Stefan Nachmann.
Hollywood World: How did you come into acting career?
Anders Geipel: I’ve been acting ever since I was a young kid, but it wasn’t until I got accepted into acting school in Denmark, that I realized that this was my calling. An acting teacher said to me, “you found your family, this is where you belong” – and that’s the moment I knew. After studying acting in Copenhagen I decided to follow my dream and move to New York to study at the William Esper Studio – best choice to date!
Hollywood World: Which film, was the turning point in your life and career?
Anders Geipel: Haha, I wish I was at that point in my career already, but I’m still hustling as a bartender while in between acting gigs. I would say moving to NYC almost 5 years ago to pursue my dream feels like the big turning point in my life and career and every film I have been a part of since I graduated from acting school has been one step closer to becoming a full time actor. I’m very fortunate to be living in this thriving city doing what I love.
Hollywood World: Who has supported you to come into this field?
Anders Geipel: My family for sure, though they weren’t always happy about this particular career choice. And my friends from back home in Copenhagen have definitely always had my back – “skål” (cheers in Danish) to all of them!
Hollywood World: What is the “Cookie Heart” film about?
Anders Geipel: It’s a story about the search for one’s identity while being away from home. My character, Fabian, is a German exchange student experiencing college life in America. Suddenly his former GF Lisa (Norah Hoffman) from back home shows up to surprise him on his birthday and he is confronted with his old self. The film explores how this invasion of privacy ends up affecting Fabian’s personality within his new group of friends and it raises the question of whether or not Fabian is on the right path.
Hollywood World: Who else is involved in this production, director, producer, actors?
Anders Geipel: Led by the talented director Charles Dong (who is the life of the party on and off set!), we had a fantastic cast and crew from all over the world. Stefan Nachmann, who the whole story is based on, did an exceptional job as our DP and thanks to him we won Best Cinematography at IFFNY. Norah Hoffman plays Lisa, Smitty Chai plays my character’s best friend, and Arianna Williams plays my character’s American love interest. We also had 3 fantastic producers, Gabriella Naumnik, Branton Choi and James Qi, who all helped make this film happen.
Hollywood World: What makes a good scene partner? With which actor did you like working with?
Anders Geipel: I would say a good listener who is open and willing to explore and take risks. Generosity and truthfulness between acting partners goes a long way and creates those magic moments that we are striving for. The cast in this film was great and we got to explore a lot through extensive rehearsals and I think it shows especially within the group dynamic. Smitty and I had previously worked on a WW2 film together and he is a great scene partner. Norah is just such an endearing actress and a true inspiration on set.
Hollywood World: What are your favorite projects you have been part of?
Anders Geipel: Cookie Heart was definitely the most challenging one, as it was a one-take movie – so you better not screw up half way through the take, haha. It was a lot of fun and hard work and I loved the enthusiasm among the cast and crew.
I did another pretty cool film, “Cooked Brain” by Isamu Maeda, which was shot as a surreal “dream within a dream” scenario. I played the lead character Joel and certain parts of the film were set in the real world and other parts in a surreal “rabbit world”. We had to wear full size rabbit costumes, which was a bit bizarre, but it turned out to be an awesome dark and gritty art-house film.
I also worked on two great WW2 film projects. The first one, “Picnic at Hermann’s”, directed by Per Pedersen, was shot in Norway a few years back and I played a German Nazi Commandant. I had to wear an original SS uniform, which was both horrifying and fascinating at the same time. It was shot in a shut down bunker in Norway surrounded by a breathtaking mountain and lake landscape – quite the experience! The other WW2 film, “442: Nisei Soldiers”, was shot last year in rural Pennsylvania and it will premiere this fall. As a German speaking actor you automatically qualify for WW2 movies, I guess.
Hollywood World: Can you please tell us about your upcoming film/festivals/projects?
Anders Geipel: Cookie Heart is making its rounds at film festivals in the US and possibly another few ones in Europe. The WW2 movie “442: Nisei Soldiers”, directed by Ryosuke Hoshiyama, will premiere this fall and I’m playing a German Nazi Sergeant. It’s telling the true story of two second generation Japanese soldiers fighting for the US in France – a fascinating story and I’m looking forward to seeing it. Besides that, I’m very happy to have recently signed with UGA Talent in NYC and I’m very excited to take the next steps in my career with this incredible team!
Hollywood World: What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?
Anders Geipel: A ton – every director has their own style and I love to work with them and learn from them. It’s like exploring your character through another set of eyes and the collaboration between the actors and what the directors bring to the table always fascinates me. It’s where the ultimate magic happens and it’s very fulfilling, challenging and frustrating at times – but that’s what we love as actors!
Hollywood World: What has been your biggest achievement in the field of acting?
Anders Geipel: I’m living the dream as a young actor in NYC and just got signed with the amazing bi-coastal agency, UGA Talent. If you had told me this 10 years ago I would have celebrated like there is no tomorrow, haha. In all seriousness though, I’m grateful to be on this journey, but there is still a long road ahead of me – this is just the beginning.
Hollywood World: What do you think is most important in the field?
Anders Geipel: Perseverance without losing faith or enthusiasm! I stole that from Churchill, I think. But I love the essence of that. It’s a tough business, but if you love what you do, work hard and believe in yourself, then you’re definitely on the right track. Also, always keep learning – because the day you stop learning is the day you stop growing.
Hollywood World: What was your most memorable role? Why?
Anders Geipel: I was playing the part of the half God Loge (Loke) in the short film “Das Rheingold” (directed by Adrian Anaya), which is an original adaption of Richard Wagner’s Libretto by the same name. It’s a film based on the old original German Ring Saga, that later served as a blueprint for Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Loge was a fun and manipulative role to work on and I have always been intrigued by this particular character in both Germanic and Nordic mythology. Also, working on classic German language/literature (similar to Shakespeare) in a film medium was nothing I had ever done before. And on top of that we shot in amazing locations, from swamps, to a castle and a national park in PA – so it was pretty cool and memorable.
Hollywood World: Any tips / advice for young aspiring actors?
Anders Geipel: I’m still a young actor hustling my way through the business. But important things I keep telling myself are: Work hard, stay humble, don’t forget where you came from and never give up.
Hollywood World: What do you want to be remembered for in life? What valuable lessons have you learned that helped you become the person you are today?
Anders Geipel: A decent human being. There is too much craziness going on in this world – too much hate, too much inequality and too much injustice. If in one way or another, be it through acting or on a personal level, I can help people to get a little closer together that would be very satisfying. Love, positivity and compassion goes a long way and ultimately makes this world a better place.
As for life lessons, we all make mistakes but only the ones that don’t learn from them are fools. A teacher once told me that and it kind of stuck with me. And as a huge soccer fan and former soccer player – always keep your eyes on the ball!
Hollywood World: What’s next?
Anders Geipel: Ask my agent. No, in all seriousness, hopefully I have a lot of great things ahead of me. I’m on an exciting journey and I’m surrounded and supported by a wonderful team of people. I’m still in the beginning of my acting career and at the moment I’m consistently auditioning for great projects – so I myself am very excited for what’s next! Speaking of that, I have to prepare for an audition now, so I better get going. Also, I could really use a beer.
*Cover Photo Credit: Actor Anders Geipel (©HEIN Photography)