Ida Hallquist on artistry and passion for Värmland

Ida Hallquist on artistry and passion for Värmland

She slipped into acting on a banana skin. Her goal from a young age was set on a career as an artist and her only musicality. Meet the singer and actress Ida Hallquist in an interview about dreams, anxiety about recording and her unwillingness to be compartmentalised. Meet Ida Hallquist who is currently working on the second season of the successful TV4 series Ack Värmland.

We meet Ida in the foyer of Wermland Opera. Outside the sun shines from an almost clear blue sky. It feels like spring despite the fact that there are still months of waiting. In a couple of days Ida will leave for Vargön and the places around Sweden’s film mecca Trollhättan for a ten week recording of the second season of ”Ack Värmland”. She has already begun to get into the role as her character Fanny. The hairpiece is in place and the lines have been rehearsed.  We settle into the opera café upstairs.

Ida Hallquist grew up in the little community of Kil, a few miles north of Karlstad. She describes herself as a person who is positive and mostly happy, a musical theatre buff who is a sly fox.

“I am quite full of myself and like to tease people I like, in a good way. Then I am very sensitive, which is both good and bad. This can swing quickly, something that was even clearer when I was little. I was more determined then and could be quite difficult”, explains Ida.

Her upbringing was characterised largely by football, music and theatre. Home was a creative environment where acting and music were always close to hand. With a mother as a singer and a father who is a well-known face in the Värmland theatre and revue scene there was culture at home from the very start. But being an actress was not my dream career when I was young, being an artist was.

“Song has always been the big thing in life for me and being able to make a living from music is a dream now as it was then. But I am quite comfortable with myself and have not had to struggle for things.

After the first season of Ack Värmland the job offers started to roll in and even music producers got in contact. However, Ida has chosen with caution and has only accepted things that have felt right. The choice of record company finally fell to the acquiantence of Da BuzzValet, Per Lidén’s company, where she has so far released a couple of her own songs.

She will be taking a big step in her career as an artist in the autumn when she leaves her home town for music studies in the royal capital.

She describes her own acting career as being relatively modest. Besides Ack Värmland and a part in the autumn musical “Return to the Forbidden Planet” at the Scala Theatre in Karlstad, her list of achievements consists of two school musicals in the sixth form. She got to portray Fanny in the TV4 major initiative with Ulf Malmros from Värmland at the helm was a coincidence. It all started when Ida stepped in with a song in the show “Disturbed” (Stört) of and with her father Malte Hallquist, Björn Andersson Ling and Johan Östling. Björn later saw that they were looking for people for the series, thought that Ida would be ideal and let Ulf and the production team know.

“I went to the audition with absolutely no expectations or demands. It was a lot of fun. I could relax and be myself, which was certainly decisive in being offered the part.

Hey presto, the fun thing had become a job in what would become one of the greatest successes in the TV channel’s history, after Solsidan. But reality caught up during the first week of recording.

“I didn’t really know what I had got myself into. Before I was just modest little Ida from Kil, but now all of a sudden I would be working alongside fantastic actors such as Mia Skäringer and Sussie Eriksson. I felt like a rookie, I had a lump in my throat and had to ask dad to come down and stay withy me for the first week.

As Ida grew into the role, she became used to the life of recording and received good advice and support from the other actors and actresses and her anxiety and uncertainty disappeared.

“There was a very family-like atmosphere where everybody was open and pleasant towards each other. I knew Björn and Johan from before, Susie really is the best person in the world and it feels like I’ve known Mia for a hundred years.  When it’s time to start recording again, it feels like seeing my family again.

How much of Fanny do you see in yourself?

Fanny is quite a normal 20 year old, apart from being pregnant with a 40 year old. She is the least screwed in the series, which means that a lot of people can recognise themselves, even me. People care about how they look, what others think and adapt themselves to their friends.

Do you think that the series paints a fair picture of Värmland?

“I think that everyone who lives in any Swedish small town can recognise themselves in the problems and situations that are addressed. In the series we have actually just emphasised the Wermlandian and taken everything up to the max.

Even though she will soon be leaving Värmland, the landscape will always feel like home.

“I really love Värmland and have always enjoyed living here, but at the same time it is time to try something new for a bit. It may very well be the case that I will move back when I have a family. We will see. 

Family is one of her future goals, preferably in combination with a career as an artist and an actress. And a place in the Melody Festival. Until then Ida will continue to challenge herself - play more music, try out new parts and develop her own songwriting.  She does not want to be put into any one compartment but instead has an open mind for everything that feels exciting.

Overall, people can find it hard to take in the fact that you can be good at more than one thing. Actors must be in one compartment and artists in another. Not both. My goal is to be just that, a little of everything.

Four quick:

....about Wermlandian?

“There is a calm feeling about the dialect, something nice and smooth. “Itll wurk itself aat” (it’ll work itself out) is a good expression that suits a lot of situations.

...and about the typical Wermlandian?

“For me this is a happy go lucky rocker. There is a lot of interest in cars and the rocker culture is strong here.

....about a free summer day?

“My parents’ pool and jacuzzi at home in Kil always attract on fine summer days.  Then I love to have BBQs in the evenings with friends at Skutberget in Karlstad. Just to sit on the cliffs and enjoy the summer. To round things off there is often a trip to some outdoor cafe on Stora Torget in Karlstad.

....about a free winter day?

“I am not really a winter person. If it’s cold out I like to go to the cinema, go bowling or cook with friends.

Ida’s five favourite Värmland words:

  • Doler (= doing) - “What are you doing?” A lovely word that I probably wouldn’t use every day.
  • Gôtt (= good/well) – The perfect word that works for everything.
  • Tôlit (= tiresome/boring) – Can be used in slightly different ways, even in a positive context.
  • Kôrv (= hotdog) – This sounds so f***ing ugly and cool. . Mostly used with friends, never when I order from a kiosk. 
  • Kôle (= cola) – My friends’ own word, so we use it a lot.

Text: Pål Johansson
Foto: Pär Bäckstrand/TV4