Ushering in a New Direction for Netflix’s Love & Anarchy with Rojan Telo

On the set & Love And Anarachy-Rojan Telo, Ludde Hagberg,and creator director Lisa Langseth

Manifest Destiny; this phrase has come to mean something particularly socio-political but the literal meaning of this phrase is applicable to each one of us if we strive for our own personal definition of success. Rojan Telo is a firm believer in the concept as it has proven itself in his professional career. When this Swedish actor watched the first season of Love & Anarchy, he was so thrilled by it that he reached out to Ida Engvoll (star of the TV series) to say how much he loved it and to vow that he would work with her someday. Less than a year later Rojan received a call from one of Sweden’s premier casting directors (and CD for Love & Anarchy) to inquire if he’d like to audition for one of the pivotal roles in season 2. Enthusiastically responding “yes”, less than twenty-four hours later Telo was manifesting Soran, (the investor who ushers in the biggest change for Sofie [Engvoll]) and convincing Netflix executives and everyone involved that there would be none better than he for this new character. Created by Lisa Langseth, Love & Anarchy has been nominated for Sweden’s prestigious Kristallen award and proven to be one of the intriguing additions to the international productions Netflix has brought to American viewers.

Love & Anarchy’s Rojan Telo

Simply put, Love & Anarchy is the kind of daringly creative show that would never see the light of day under an American production company or network. Sofie, a bright and strong professional in the publishing world, is hired to bring a once thriving publishing house into the modern digital realm. She’s good at her job, she’s happily married with children, and she’s a fan of masturbation. The power dynamic that ensues between Sofie and a young intern named Max is as taboo and competitive as they come; it’s also unlike anything you’ve seen before. In an era that seeks to create original content but far too often simply repeats the same old story and formula, Sweden’s FLX and Netflix have managed to present a storyline that you’ve never seen before. It may have some similarities to beloved shows but they dissipate as soon as they appear. The continual struggle to wield power by these characters veers hard when Soran Farhan enters the picture with his collegues Nille (Ludde Hagberg) and Henke (Carl Johan Merner), the result is a major shift for Sofie and those closest to her. Sofie’s professional life hinges on the success of the publishing house she works for. As one of the most discerning potential investors in this publishing company, Soran’s evaluation of it has the kind of impact that could levitate or derail the careers of all, including Sofie. Her appointment as CEO is a result of Soran’s influence and sets an entirely new power structure for the office in the beginning of season two of Love & Anarchy. Rojan based his embodiment of the tech/investor Soran on his younger brother (a tech professional) and his older brother (a Swedish entrepreneur running a million-dollar business) as well as Swedish billionaires Ashkan Pouya and Saeid Esmaeilzadeh. The actor confides, “It’s important to Soran to be nice but when it comes down to it, business is business. He’s not a bad guy but he’s all numbers and facts. There is no space for emotion in the league that he is playing in. It’s survival of the fittest.” There’s a deep complexity to Soran as presented by Mr. Telo, the kind that’s perplexing in a gratifying manner. His motives are not easily assessed and the choices he makes are not telegraphed for easy digestion. Portraying his intentions “close to the chest” is largely what makes this character so interesting to watch. Rojan has crafted a multidimensional character for this show in a way that makes taking your eyes off of him almost unthinkable. Soran is a strong presence who hints at the possibility of vacillating between benevolent or malevolent influence on the overall story arc.

Social media and discussion boards have already proclaimed their deep affinity for Soran. How does Rojan Telo feel about all of the attention he’s been getting as the most recent fan favorite? He confesses, “I loved this show long before I even knew that there would be a season 2, so to become a member of the cast and have the viewers enjoy me as I did those who were on the first season is surreal. Getting to know the cast and crew and seeing their process for this show, I’m as much a fan as a cast member myself. It’s exciting. I remember watching Gizem Erdogan (Denise in Love & Anarchy) as she was in between this shoot and a new Netflix series about the founding of Spotify; watching her prep was really quite a sight. To put it mildly, I’m ecstatic to be appearing in Love & Anarchy.”

Writer: Arlen Gann

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