Originally from Sweden, Fredrik Scheike grew up doing theatre and taking drama classes at a very early age, but hadn’t considered the possibility of a professional career in acting. Now, the NYFA Acting for Film alum has two Netflix productions under his belt and a role in a critically acclaimed film to show for it and is showing no signs of slowing down having multiple projects in the works.
New York Film Academy spoke with the alum about his upcoming projects and advice for incoming students coming to the Academy and the role of a good story for an actor.
New York Film Academy (NYFA): Well, first off, can you tell us more about where you are from? What made you decide to pursue a career in acting?
Fredrik Scheike (FS): I’m originally from Åre/Östersund, Sweden, where I started doing theatre and taking drama classes very young. I didn’t even consider it a possibility until I came across NYFA and Steven Chinni in New York when I went there on vacation one spring in 2011. I’ve always done it as more than a hobby, up until then.
NYFA: What made you decide to come to New York Film Academy?
FS: I went to New York on a whim, got great, cheap tickets and accommodation, and walking about one day I asked for information at NYFA. The next day I was invited for a tour and an interview, and I fell in love with the possibility of studying and living in New York, and reigniting my passion for the dramatic arts.
NYFA: What advice would you give to any incoming students?
FS: Make the most out of your time at NYFA, don’t settle, challenge yourself and apply yourself. The acting world is hard and having a career is even harder. The more you put your back into it from the get-go, the more you’ll get out of it, and the more you’ll be prepared for the real world.
NYFA: Can you tell us more about some of your recent/most notable projects?
FS: We’re currently in a pre-production phase of a new family feature, mixing animation and real actors, and we’ve already got some great Spanish names on board. I’m working both on the production, with our family’s production company Tyl Escénicas Producciones A.I.E, and as an actor in a small part. We produced another feature, Moira, which premiered last year and is currently running on the Spanish streaming platform Filmin and, before that, I was lucky enough to get involved for two episodes in a Netflix Original here in Spain!
NYFA: Can you tell us about your character in Moira? What was it like to work alongside the cast and how did you connect with the story?
FS: The story is that of the family I married into, with a fictional twist of course, so having gotten to know them long before reading the script made it easy. The story is relationship-oriented, but does strike a universal chord. There are so many people suffering dictatorships, exile, emigration, immigration and segregation, and those who try to forget their past. Just look at the total number of refugees in the world right now, even though COVID-19 is at the forefront of all conversations.
My character is Mike, an American franchise owner who has relocated to Spain for work and gets involved with the story’s protagonist and eventually serves as a bit of a catalyst for the protagonist’s transformative decision. It was fun to play a chauvinistic dirt-bag, to be honest, because it challenged myself to strike that human nerve in despicable behavior.
NYFA: For any project, what gets you excited?
FS: Story. Story. Story. I’m a story-junky. A good story always gets me going because with it comes the challenge to tell that story in the best manner possible.
NYFA: Do you have any upcoming projects coming up?
FS: I just got optioned for a national commercial and I briefly mentioned Uli, the Dog, a new family feature we’re developing and pre-producing. It’s a project we hopefully will get up and shooting towards the end of Spring, 2021. A lot of pieces of the puzzle are coming together, but there’s still a whole bunch of work to do, and it all depends on how we all come out of this mess [COVID-19]. Also, financing is a thing we’re working on right now and I’m reaching out to producers and production companies both in Sweden and in the US to jump on board this fun project, but international projects, especially being a small Indie-producer, are sometimes hard to find funding.
NYFA: With COVID-19 halting productions, how are you staying creative right now?
FS: During the months of complete lock-down here in Spain we had a project commissioned to us where we represented classical stories and fairy tales for the children of our community, which was a lot of fun. That project unfortunately ended, so instead I’ve been taking a lot of photos, doing some videos and skits, but mainly writing. I’m always writing stories, prose and poems, and I actually published my first collection of poems…only in Swedish unfortunately.New York Film Academy would like to thank Acting for Film alum Fredrik Scheike for taking the time to share more on coming to NYFA, working in the industry, and more on his upcoming projects.