An in depth interview with talented Finnish actor- Tero Salenius!
Please introduce yourself to the readers:
My name is Tero Salenius. I have been a professional actor in my home country Finland for the past ten years. I got married in Las Vegas in 2012. This is my second marriage. My father is an artist and he has always made his living by selling his own paintings. My mother is a retired nurse. I also have two older sisters. They have children, I dont. I like traveling and working out.
How and when did you first get into performing?
I decided I would become a movie actor when I was five years old and that decision has never changed. I saw some old Charlie Chaplin movies on television and that was it. I just knew that would be what I would do when I grew up. When I was twenty years old, I started performing my own stage performances in different festivals etc. My performance was just a series of impersonations. My best one was Michael Jackson. I tried to get into theatre schools several times but failed to get in. So I took this one year course on film making. I made some great friends there and after that course most of them got jobs and education in the entertainment industry. I didn't at first. I went to work in the post office and other jobs like that and while I was there, I started making my own independent movies. They were not successful at all. Actually my whole ”career” as a film maker was a complete disaster causing my life to become a living hell for a while. Later I wrote a book about it called How To Fail As A Filmmaker. During my failed attempt to become a successful movie maker one of the friends I made during the movie course called me and invited me to make a comedy show on finnish national radio with him. That was December 2003. That's when my ten year career as an actor for the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE started.
Who were some of your biggest inspirations?
The first one was Charlie Chaplin. The second one was Harold Lloyd. Then there was Laurel and Hardy. Comedy is hard but when you have it in you, it's easy. And if you can do good comedy, you can do pretty much anything. Later on in the 80's I really came to like actors like Eddie Murphy and Bill Murray. Today I follow actors like Mads Mikkelsen, Noomi Rapace and Ian Mcshane. I don't know what it is about these actors. Maybe they are involved in projects I would like to be a part of myself some day.
What kind have training have you done?
When I started doing my own stage show, it was my first school of performing in front of an audience. The movie course I took after that gave me the chance to act in front of the camera in about a dozen short films and there were also some acting workshops there. When I got the job as a comedian on finnish national radio and later on had roles in different sitcom shows on finnish national television, the production arranged some improvisation workshops for the actors as well. In 2012 I also attended an on camera auditioning course at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in Los Angeles. This year (2013) I went to Cannes, France to attend an on camera auditioning workshop with Nancy Bishop. So that's pretty much my training.
What has been your favorite role to play so far and why?
I have done comedy all my life. In tv-commercials, radio shows and sitcoms. So for that reason I think that my favorite role to play so far, must be the psycho murderer's role in my own short film called Closest Enemies. You can find it on Youtube. It's fun to do roles like that because you can use the comedy skills there as well, even when the role is not supposed to be funny at all.
What projects do you have coming up?
I play the lead role in a big christmas commercial campaign for a finnish movie theatre chain Finnkino. I was also just called back for a japanese yogurt commercial where I'll play a finnish guy coming out of sauna and jumping into a snow blanket. There are many pilot projects as well that I'm involved in. We'll see what happens.
Who would be your ideal co-star and why?
The most ideal must be somewhere out there. But if I had to choose some one that everybody knows, I'll choose Noomi Rapace. I'm tall, she's short, I'm finnish, she's swedish. We could make a comedy about two cops. I love those cop comedies from the 80's, 48 Hrs, Tango&Cash, etc.
What are your plans for the future?
I am an active member of spotlight.com and backstage.com. I plan on returning to the US to work on some projects, in the very near future.
What is your advice to other aspiring artists?
Just go out there and get to now people. My first trip to Hollywood felt like a total failure at first, because I had some auditions but I was never called back. But I made some friends during that trip that introduced me to other possibilities in Hollywood much later. So as long as you are remembered as a nice person, it's never a bad idea to just get up and go out there. If you get to know people and you're nice to everybody, some day -even if it takes years- your phone will ring.