Hera Hilmar is a young actress, born in Iceland, star of the The Ottoman Lieutenant and the lead in the upcoming Mortal Engines.
Birthday: 27th December 1998
Famous for: Actress
also known as Hera Hilmarsdottir
Hera Hilmar (or Hera Hilmarsdotti) is the daughter of director Hilmar Oddsson and actress Thorey Sigthorsdottir.
Hera Hilmar left Iceland to study BA (Hons) Professional Acting at the London Academy of Music and Art (LAMDA) from 2008-2011. She was supported through the Lilian Baylis Award in her final year.
Hera Hilmar started acting in her childhood working with her father. She appeared in Icelandic TV series and her first major acting role was in Anna Karenina (2012). She continued to appear in a number of TV series and small budget films.
Hera is most famous for her role as Vanessa in the television series Da Vinci’s Demons from 2013-2015 working alongside a host of other LAMDA graduates including Tom Riley. She also played the lead role as Eik in Icelandic movie Life in a Fish Bowl in 2015, which was chosen for Iceland’s Oscar submission for Best Foreign Language Film.
Hilmar was named as one of European films’ Shooting Stars by European Film Promotion in 2015.
Hera Hilmar played Lillie, the woman in the centre of a love story, in The Ottoman Lieutenant (2016) opposite Josh Harnett. She starred as the maid Tanja in An Ordinary Man (2016) opposite Ben Kingsley.
Hera Hilmar has been chosen as the female lead of Universal and MRC’s adaptation of Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines which is written and produced by Peter Jackson. The book is set thousands of years in the future. Production is to begin in New Zealand and the film is set to release in 2018.
The sci-fi/fantasy movie is the first in a planned series of films based on Reeve’s novels. The series is comprised of four books: “Mortal Engines,” “Predator’s Gold,” “Infernal Devices,” and “A Darkling Plain.”
*Photo credits provided in references section below where possible. View a list of photographers here.
Your father is a director and your mother an actress. Has it influenced your choice to become an actress?
Hera Hilmar: It definitely has. I think it would silly to say it hasn’t because it’s been around me forever and, of course, that’s been a huge inspiration. But, you also see the ups and downs of the business and sometimes there’s no work, sometimes there’s no money, sometimes long hours and sometimes traveling and all that… It also made me see something in it that I loved and wanted to pursue even if it would be really tough.
Your big break was in Anna Karenina in 2012 but you are most famous for your role in the TV series Da Vinci’s Demons. How have these two different opportunities and formats shaped your career? Which format do you prefer?
H.H.: The difference between films and TV is that I feel that with TV series you get this huge group of fans around it; they’re really supportive and you become this character to them – your character in the show – and that’s amazing but it’s also tricky because, personally, you have to really be careful about yourself in it because you can really easily get lost in it especially if you’re really young. People just start seeing you as that thing and you do it for a while and it becomes such a big part of your life. I’ve definitely had to work at it and be really on it and aware of how it affects me and make sure it doesn’t in a bad way. But in a good way, it also trains you to deal with so much stuff like the publicity side of things, the fan side, the production side… With the films, they have always been my passion and that’s kind of why I want to do this. I remember being shitscared on set. It’s kind of easier if you’re playing the lead or if you’re part of something from the beginning; all the attention is on you but if you play smaller parts, sometimes you just need to deal with it, get on with it and just deliver really quickly. When you’re young and you may be surrounded by cute actors and amazing people, it’s kind of intimidating! I don’t know… It just opened up a new world to me and I love it!
What do you expect from Shooting Stars? Where do you expect it would take your acting career?
H.H.: Nothing specific other than, I think, it’s a great opportunity to meet a lot of people and that’s already happened. It’s also a great opportunity to see what you really want to do and this film that I am kind of here on the back of, Life in a Fishbowl, is something that I am really proud of and is close to my heart. Of course, everything you do is but some things are more so because of, I don’t know, the journey of having to deliver that piece of art and I am really grateful for that. So many people see and get to know about something that you love as much as that. I just hope that it will keep opening up doors and my acting will go further and I hope that I can keep doing this for longer.
You have always been very steeped in film. What is your opinion on today’s film industry?
H.H.: It’s a tough business where you need to have tough skin and you need to be able to deal with a lot of rejections, a lot of love, a lot waiting, a lot of money issues, a lot of this and that… I don’t think that anyone goes into this business unless they are a bit mad! I think that’s great about it because you’ve got a business of kind of mad people! I think the commercial side of it can be crueler than the other side. I think I found it more in terms of TV: more commercial and crueler in that way just because it’s quicker and different. A film is a film unless you may be doing a few of them but with TV series, you need to deliver for a longer time but you just have to laugh at it, take it with a pinch of salt and just get on with it and when you start doing that, you just start enjoying it, I guess.