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The actress

Eila Brønseth Schau (16), Tromsø
The TV series SKAM (Shame) has led to international focus on young Norwegians. We have met 10 real youngsters from generation Skam, representing both urban and rural parts of the country.
Eila Brønseth Schau, Tromsø
Eila Brønseth Schau, Tromsø.
Photo: Alexander Benjaminsen

“The thing I love the most is to be on a stage. No matter what I’m doing up there. That’s how it’s been since I was a child – I’ve always loved to perform. I am the happiest when I dance, though. If I could pick and choose, I would be a dancer. But because of a congenital hip problem, that isn’t really an option for me.”

What do you want to be when you grow up?
“Because of my hip I am going for a career as an actor instead. I want to move to an English-speaking country and perform on a huge stage. Preferably musicals, but as long as I get to be on a stage, I’m happy. I don’t really think about getting a family and children, because you can’t really plan that.”

You already live alone in Tromsø. How does that feel?
“Very scary and huge. I feel that it’s too early to live alone as a 16-year-old, and I’ve already been here for almost a year. I’m still not used to waking up so far from home and know that I am responsible for myself. But since I come from a small place that doesn’t have a secondary school, it’s quite common for young people to move to Tromsø early.”

If you got visitors, what would you show them?
“The Kongsparken park, because it’s so gorgeous. And I would take them to a show at Hålogaland theatre. They are really great.”

Did it feel strange to move out of your parents’ house?
“My biggest issue is that I’m not at home. My family isn’t here, and this isn’t where I grew up. Also, it’s hard to do my homework alone, because ever since first grade I’ve needed a lot of help with my school work. Besides, I’m not used to living in a city, with so many people and cars and shops and everything. I meet and see new people every day here, and that’s new to me. Where I grew up, I knew almost everybody.”

Nevertheless you want to move to even bigger places, abroad.
“Yes. The first step is to study drama at Kongsbakken secondary school in Tromsø. I worked really hard the last three years in primary school to get in there. The next step is to get into an art school in Liverpool – the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA). Or a film school in California, the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Just getting into one of those school would be a dream come true. And if everything goes as planned, I will eventually be an actor. After that I can come back to Norway, the best place on earth.”

What do you like best about the place you live now?
“It’s close to my school, and it is really pretty. I live near the city centre, and I find the city beautiful, especially at night. As I come from the countryside, I’m not used to seeing street lights brighten up a whole city.”

Do you like SKAM?
“Yes, I like to watch things I can relate to. The show is insanely good, with awesome actors and a focus on important topics like mental health, feminism, the view on women, sexuality, religion and much more.”

Are you often ashamed?
“I don’t get embarrassed very often, even though I’m really clumsy and often get into situations that could be seen as embarrassing, like falling over chairs or slipping on ice. But I don’t think anything about it, really. Probably because I don’t mind the attention…”

Things to do in Tromsø

Eila Brønseth Schau, Tromsø

Eila Brønseth Schau, Tromsø.
Photo: Alexander Benjaminsen
Eila Brønseth Schau, Tromsø

Eila Brønseth Schau, Tromsø.
Photo: Alexander Benjaminsen
Eila Brønseth Schau, Tromsø

Eila Brønseth Schau, Tromsø.
Photo: Alexander Benjaminsen
About SKAM

Skam is a Norwegian teen drama TV series about the daily life of teenagers at the Hartvig Nissen School, a gymnasium in the West End borough of Frogner in Oslo. The series is created by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK).

Meet the youngsters
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