Born in Denmark in 1967, Claes Bang got a taste for acting after appearing in a secondary school version of the musical Hair. He played the lead in Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or-winning film The Square in 2017, a role that brought him international attention after years of working in Danish theatre, TV and film. Since then, he has played the Count in the BBC’s 2020 version of Draculathe murderous uncle in Robert Eggers’ film The Northman and the nasty husband in Bad Sisters, currently on Apple TV+. His next film, It Is In Us Allis out now.
Speak No Evil
This is a Danish movie that premiered at Sundance this year. It’s the most amazing thing I’ve seen in I don’t know how long. A Danish couple go on holiday in Italy and meet a Dutch couple, who then invite them to their home in Holland. If this movie doesn’t make you feel sick, especially in the last 10 minutes, there’s something wrong with you. It had such a physical impact on me. It’s crazy and it’s crazy good.
Filthy Animals by Brandon Taylor
Jeremy O Harris, who wrote Daddy, the show I did at the Almeida this spring, gave me this book and I’m reading it right now. It’s short stories but they’re interlinked, a bit like in the old Robert Altman film Shortcuts. It’s a peek into the world of young people in New York today and you really feel as if you’re there. The characters are about half my age and for an old man like myself it’s interesting to see what’s going on with them. It’s really cool.
Western’s Laundry, London
This is my favorite restaurant in London at the moment. It’s in Islington, close to the Almeida where I did the Daddy play. The food is great, it has a very relaxed vibe, there’s a great mix of people and the people who work there are bloody nice and super helpful. And it’s affordable – you can actually go there and they don’t take away all your savings. If I was going to London tomorrow, I would definitely book a table.
Francis Bacon: Man and Beast, Royal Academy, London
I’ve acted in a lot of stuff that has to do with art, for some weird reason, and I am really into art. Earlier this year, I went to the Francis Bacon exhibition at the Royal Academy, one of the biggest ever shows of his work. His work gets me in the gut. It’s a physical thing when you’re face to face with his stuff. The show was incredible.
Severance (Apple TV+)
I just finished watching the first series of Severance. It’s really cool: the detail, the production design, the story and the acting – Adam Scott’s performance is so clever. It’s about employees at a corporation who have their work personality severed from their outside-work personality. Then the four main characters start to take an interest in their other selves. It’s very interesting on a philosophical level – there’s a lot of food for thought – but it’s also just very entertaining in a whodunnit way.
Low by David Bowie
Right now, everything I’m listening to is bloody old and it’s all Cocteau Twins, Bryan Ferry and David Bowie. Low is the last thing I listened to and it’s probably my go-to album. It covers all moods. It’s like a pop record on the A-side and then it goes all weird and sounds like a gray November day in Warsaw. I can always put it on, whatever’s happening.