There's A Lot To Liv
norway's liv lindeland goes west -- all the way to southern california -- in quest of screen success
Early Nordic peoples often named their offspring after mythical heroes of the vivid world around them: deities, flowers, birds or seasons of the year. A contemporary variation on that ancient custom gave Norwegian-born Liv Lindeland, who now lives in the U.S., her name. "'Liv' means 'life' in Norwegian," says the 25-year-old aspiring actress. "I think it suits me well, and it helps explain why I want a life that's full of excitement." True to the tradition of her Viking ancestors, those legendary voyagers, she says her name "also reflects my urge to do the unusual and to travel to places I've never seen. In fact, it was my restlessness that made me decide to come to America in 1965. I came just for a visit; but when I arrived, I liked the country and the people so much I decided to stay." The first city in the U.S. she called home was Boston, where she lived for four years and began a career in fashion modeling. An awakening interest in television and film work, nurtured by some encouragement from friends, took Liv to Los Angeles -- and to Hollywood's film studios. After a year on the Coast, she's already creating quite a stir--both on the sets and off, where she moves in filmdom's upper-strata star-producer-director social whirl. So far, besides continuing her modeling, Liv has made several TV commercials, appeared on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In and soon will be making that dreamed-of leap to the big screen: a role in the film version of Jacqueline Susann's The Love Machine, to be released next year. Though she's landed a movie part and seems to be scaling the proverbial ladder in impressive fashion, Liv believes she needs more and wider dramatic experience. To that end, she recently enrolled in the Robert Arthur Workshop, a drama school in which she's improving not only her acting ability but also her English. "But I wouldn't want to lose my accent entirely," she says. "I want to modify it for films and television, but my voice is part of my personality; it identifies my national heritage." In addition to studying diction and delivery, Liv is also boning up on cinematography and editing. "I want to understand what's happening on the other side of the camera," she says, "and the only way to do that is to find out from the people who know. So I ask lots of questions -- and I try to read everything I can about the subject. In fact, that's how I became interested in the films of D. W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles. I found that by studying the classics, I could learn more about today's films. To tell you the truth, though, I really don't feel that the movies being made today can compare -- in character portrayals or film techniques -- with such greats as The Hunchback of Notre Dame or Citizen Kane, which I believe is the greatest film ever made." While diligent Liv plans to pursue her movie career as far as it will take her, she sees herself -- in time -- reversing the customary showbiz exodus by moving on to the theater. "Since I enrolled in the workshop, I've had a desire to act on Broadway. More now than ever before, I believe that's where the fun is, because you're playing to a live audience. In the theater, much more than in films, you're aware of the audience's expectations and of the quality of your own performance, because the people are right there in front of you. And from their applause -- or lack of it -- you can really tell if you're a good actress or just another struggling amateur." Says Liv of her long-range future: "Someday I'd like to go back and do film or theater work in Norway; though I've been away so long, it's still really home to me." Even if she goes ahead with her plans to perform in Scandinavia, we hope lively Liv will eventually overcome her ancestral urge to roam -- and settle down Stateside for good.
Photography by Alexas Urba