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Keep the Lights On’s Thure Lindhardt: Denmark’s man with 1,000 faces

A scene from “Keep the Lights On”

Title
Keep the Lights On
Written by
Ira Sachs, Mauricio Zacharias
Directed by
Ira Sachs
Starring
Thure Lindhardt, Zachary Booth, Julianne Nicholson
Genre
Drama
Country
USA
Language
English
Year
2012

Ira Sachs's film, Keep the Lights On, which opens Friday at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, is a heart-breaking love story and call for emotional transparency in relationships. It features a remarkably open and vulnerable performance from Danish actor Thure Lindhardt as Erik, a Danish filmmaker in New York who has a decade-long relationship with a drug-and alcohol-addicted lawyer, Paul (Zachary Booth). The story is based on the director's fraught relationship with literary agent Bill Clegg, author of the 2010 memoir Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man, but when it came to casting the part based on his own life, Sachs changed the character's nationality. With his matted blond hair and gap-toothed smile, the 37-year-old Lindhardt is also currently starring in a very different kind of movie: Canadian director Boris Rodriguez's horror/comedy Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal. Lindhardt plays Lars, a once-famous painter who rediscovers his creative spark through his relationship with a somnambulistic serial killer named Eddie. As different as these movies are, they're linked by Lindhardt's offbeat charm, a mixture of calculating intelligence and emotional openness. In his native Denmark, where Lindhardt's flexibility is well-known, he has been dubbed "the man with 1,000 faces."

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About the Author
Film critic

Liam Lacey is a film critic for The Globe and Mail. More

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