Will Ferrell Presents Iceland’s ‘Douze Points’ in At-Home Eurovision Broadcast

Had COVID-19 not intervened, Eurovision would have been held in Rotterdam this week, an event made all the more exciting because Iceland’s Daði Freyr and Gagnamagnið were strongly favoured to win. Iceland still found a way to celebrate the occasion, however, with a live Eurovision party on Thursday night featuring none other than Will Ferrell, RÚV reports.

Called ‘Okkar 12 stig’ (‘Our 12 Points’), the event gave Icelanders the opportunity to celebrate their favourite 15 songs from this year’s competition and then call in to determine which song would have gotten Iceland’s full twelve points (or, ‘douze points,’ in French, as those familiar with the song competition’s multilingual points announcement system would have it). Ferrell, who is playing an Icelandic Eurovision contestant alongside Rachel McAdams in a forthcoming Netflix movie, was given the honour of announcing Iceland’s top song for 2020: “Fai Rumore,” by Italy’s Diodato.

The event also featured a montage of all the times Iceland has been awarded 12 points by another country in Eurovision and Hatari’s Klemens Hannigan performing a subdued and distinctly un-Hatari rendition of the winning song from last year’s Eurovision: “Arcade,” by Duncan Laurence of The Netherlands

 

 

The evening closed with a rousing performance of Daði Freyr and Gagnamagnið’s “Think About Things,” which included cameo appearances by actor Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson (Game of Thrones, The Innocents), members of parliament, and none other than President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson and First Lady Eliza Reid.

Diodato sent his thanks to Iceland via video, saying, “Hello, Iceland, thank you so much for your support. I hope to see you soon. We’ll have to stand naked under a waterfall and spread the love. Ciao.”

You can watch the full broadcast on RÚV here.

 

Ferrell’s Eurovision Film Prompts Mayor’s Endearing Statement

Filming of the upcoming Netflix comedy Eurovision is currently underway in Húsavík in North Iceland. The film – which is directed by David Dobkin, and written by Andrew Steele and Will Ferrell – stars Rachel McAdams, Pierce Brosnan, Demi Lovato, and Will Ferrell himself. The film follows Icelanders Lars Erickssong and Sigrit Ericksdottir, who are chosen to represent their nation at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Prior to the filming, Kristján Þór Magnússon, Mayor of Húsavík, released a statement on the municipality of Norðurþing’s website, detailing the extent of the preparations and warning of possible disturbances to life in town. With reference to “the principles” of filmmaking, Magnússon’s statement – which is alternately endearing and inspirational – asks citizens to respect the crew’s privacy on set:

“… The excitement in the run-up to the project’s filming has mounted over the past few weeks, and it is understandable that many are equal parts thrilled and curious about the film. Everyone involved in the film’s production is exceedingly grateful to the positive outlook the inhabitants of Húsavík have adopted toward it.

During the production of a large-scale film project such as this, it is important that we adhere to the rules applicable on and around the set. The production company, the actors, and other affiliated parties expect much of us. On behalf of the municipality, I would like to request that we demonstrate our trustworthiness to our fine guests; that we respect the privacy of the film’s staff and actors; and that we demonstrate our capability of taking on additional projects, by not violating the principles of the film-making business. Those principles are, in their most basic form, the following:

  • Absolutely no photographs are to be taken of the actors or other on-set paraphernalia and published on social media.
  • No drones are to be operated over or around the set during filming.
  • The temporarily closing of roads during production is to be met with patience and understanding.

A crew of approximately 250 people will arrive in Húsavík to film between Friday, October 11th, and Monday, October 14th. During that time, a certain perturbation of town-life is unavoidable.

Finally, I hope we enjoy this fun project together, and may it go down, through our collevtive efforts, as one of the most fantastic events in the history of Húsavík. Let us receive the crew with open arms, let us respect their privacy, and let us throw a real Eurovision party come next spring!

On behalf of Norðurþing,

Kristján Þór Magnússon”

The full statement is accessible here (in Icelandic).

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.