Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams to Play Icelanders in Eurovision Film

Iceland will have a starring role in Netflix’s upcoming movie about Eurovision, RÚV reports. American comedian Will Ferrell and Canadian actress Rachel McAdams will both play Icelanders in the movie, which may center around the fact that Iceland has never, in the 33 competitions it has taken part in since its debut in 1986 with ICY’s “Gleiðibankinn, or ‘The Bank of Joy,’ won Eurovision. (It has come in second place twice: in 1999, with Selma’s “All Out of Luck” and 2009 with Yohanna’s “Is It True?”)

Ferrell was introduced to Eurovision by his wife, the Swedish actress Viveca Paulin, who has herself worked on Eurovision’s national selection competitions in Sweden. Reportedly a huge fan of the song competition, he attended the event in Portugal in 2018 as research for the film; Rachel McAdams attended this year’s competition in Israel.

According to information obtained by RÚV, many of the character names are plays on Icelandic names, but purposefully made to be nonsensical. There will be a number of Icelandic actors in the movie, including Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, Nína Dögg Filippusdóttir, and Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson. Filming will begin in London early next week and may also take place in the North Iceland town of Húsavík in the fall. Icelandic film production company True North is overseeing shooting of the film in Iceland.

Sixteen-Year-Old Walks Around Iceland in 43 Days

Sixteen-year-old Eva Bryndís Ágústsdóttir has finished her solo walk around Iceland, RÚV reports. The 1,500km (932mi) walk – which Eva Bryndís undertook to raise money for the Iceland Children’s Hospital – took her 43 days, during which time she walked an average of 35km (21.7mi) a day. On her longest day, she walked 46km (28.6mi).

“There are so many feelings,” she remarked at her journey’s end. “I’m tired, pretty exhausted. I’m also a bit down. It was obviously a remarkable trip – it was so much fun and it’s too bad that it’s over. Finally, I get my summer break now,” she said.

Eva Bryndís was raising money for the Children’s Hospital in honour of her brother, who has been struggling with illness for a long time, and received good treatment at the hospital. She said she enjoyed seeing Iceland by foot. “It all went amazingly well. I was really lucky with the weather, which is odd, because this is Iceland.”

Other than a blister and a bit of muscle stiffness, Eva Bryndís is none the worse for wear than she was when she started. She raised ISK 1.3 million ($10,563/€9,538) for the hospital during her walk, but hopes that this amount will increase with company and other contributions now that the walk has been completed. She will continue collecting donations for another month, up until her 17th birthday on August 28.

Donations to Eva Bryndís’ fund can be made via bank transfer:

0545-14-001153

Kt: 290802-2290

Minister of Education Issues Strong Rebuke of Klaustur MPs

Lilja Alfreðsdóttir is one of the people nominated for Person of the Year.

Icelandic Minister of Education, Science and Culture and Progressive Party MP Lilja Alfreðsdóttir had some strong words about the Klaustur Scandal MPs.

“In their conversation at the Klaustur Bar, it became clear precisely how these MPs think about women,” she wrote on her Facebook page on Thursday morning. “It was truly sad. But even sadder is that these same [MPs] should now, eight months later, still have not come to their senses, but are rather trying to justify their comments. Disappointing that they don’t even have the decency to take a hard look in the mirror. Their comments will be to their lasting disgrace.”

Since it was published, the post has received over 850 likes and been shared 44 times.

Lilja’s post came in the wake of the Parliamentary Ethics Committee’s ruling that two of the six embroiled MPs breached parliamentary ethics with their sexist remarks about fellow politicians. The two MPs found guilty of an ethical breach were Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson and Bergþór Ólason, both of the Centre Party. Both men have contested the ruling.

Lilja was among several female MPs who were the target of sexist and sexually explicit comments made by Gunnar Bragi and Berþór during their recorded conversation at Klaustur Bar last November.

Tourists Rescued from Highland River

Three foreign tourists were rescued from their car roofs on Wednesday after their vehicles got stuck in a glacial river on the Flæður highland route north of Vatnajökull glacier, RÚV reports.

“This was a group of foreign tourists in six cars,” explained an officer on duty with the Húsavík police department. “The last car that was crossing got stuck in the river. Then one of the cars turned around to help and also got stuck.”

“This is a special spot,” he continued. “It isn’t a straight riverbed – it flows out from under the glacier. It’s been really hot and thawing a lot and the [rivers] have expanded and their currents have become very strong.”

The officer interviewed about the rescue noted that the tourists had been travelling along a marked trail and had simply ended up in difficult straits because of the river conditions. It was, in fact, due to the strong currents and high water levels, that a Coast Guard helicopter was dispatched to rescue the travelers, rather than having rescuers ford the river.

At the time of their rescue, the tourists had been standing on the roofs of their cars for one and a half to two hours but were unharmed.

Swelling rivers are creating travel concerns in several places in the highlands. SafeTravel.is has since issued the following travel alerts:

“Gæsavatnaleið via Flæður is closed due to extremely high water levels on Flæður. Gæsavatnaleið can be driven by bypassing Flæður via Gígöldur – superjeeps only.”

and

“Sprengisandur, road F26, is only suitable for bigger jeeps due to swelling rivers. Smaller jeeps could cross in the early morning when water levels are lower.”