‘Klown’ Stars Casper Christensen and Frank Hvam Talk Canoes, Underberg, and Child Nudity

Klown Poster

Casper: You can get away with anything; we’ve never been censored.

Frank: Again, it’s all motivation. Sometimes it’s hard to find your way into that story, sometimes it only takes a second. It’s just a matter of finding that way and doing the work.

Casper: For us, the way we like to write comedy is that we like to take topics that are taboo or too much. Then we try and figure out how to get people to laugh about it, and at the same time not feel guilty for laughing about it. We even had in the show Frank ice-skating and running over the fingers of a person with Down syndrome. He was played by a guy with Down syndrome. He lost his thumb and now the parents want money because the kid is not able to work. And Frank goes, “what work?” It sounds terrible, but at the same time, we’re not laughing at the guy with Down syndrome. We’re laughing about Frank’s question and the greedy parents who want money. It sort of pushes out the focus.

Frank: We’re laughing about people’s reactions, and that’s a good way to approach these taboos.

And what’s been the biggest difference in terms of censorship in the U.S. versus in Denmark?

Frank: We were only censored in one scene here in the U.S.

Casper: To get an R rating. We kind of feel that the sex thing is more censored here, whereas violence is a bit more censored in Denmark. We don’t have a problem with nudity on television. I mean a real sex scene with penetration is of course off limits.

Frank: It’s not funny either.

Casper: It’s damn good though.

Frank: It is damn good.

Casper: The movie is going to be shown on television back in Denmark.

With nothing cut out?

Caper: Nothing

Wow. When they show R-rated movies on network TV here, all the violence, nudity and cursing is edited out.

Casper: Cursing is not a problem either.

Frank: We curse a lot in that movie.

Casper: We curse in English, and it creates a distance to the word. Saying fuck is not as bad in Denmark. It’s an English word and it creates that distance. Everybody swears like that over there, because we only hear it as a swear word we don’t use it as a sexual word.

Frank: And we don’t have the beep sounds. Sometimes I think the beep sounds worse than the actual swear word.

Casper: It gets you thinking.

Frank: And people’s imaginations are always worse than real life.

Absolutely, that’s the reason that in horror movies sometimes you’ll have a kill off screen. You don’t know what’s actually happening, because you can imagine far worse.

Casper: Yeah!

So I was wondering, have you guys seen any of the Bob Hope/Bing Crosby “on the road” movies? Road to Morocco or Road to Singapore?

Casper: No

Frank: No

The reason I ask is because there are certain aspects of Klown that remind me of a raunchy version of Road to Morocco.

Casper: We need to watch this, what is it called? It stars Bob Hope?

It’s Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. They made a series of them. There’s Road to Morocco, Road to Singapore, Road to Bali

Casper: We gotta do remakes of that!

I would love to see you guys remake those!

Casper: And we wouldn’t even have to write it!

Frank: How many are there?

I think there were five or six.

Frank: And they were all successful?

At the time they were made, those guys were huge stars so it was an easy transition. I would love to see you guys take that on.

Casper: We gotta take that on, I’m gonna watch those. We really like the movie Sideways. That’s a good movie. It’s got a good story with some fun stuff and some sex stuff. That’s why when Casper’s nose is broken and he has that bandage, that’s a nod to Sideways.

Frank: A little thank you to Sideways.

Very cool. So there was some talk last night of possibly bringing the TV series to the states via Drafthouse Films. The American audiences that have seen Klown, have just gone apeshit for it. Do you think the show is also something that would catch on?

Casper: It’s hard, it’s a big country. You gotta have a lot of people loving it before it’s a breakthrough.

Frank: And you have so many good comedians, so many good shows over here already.

Casper: The good thing that it’s already done. We’ve already done the television series so we can just kind of relax and see what happens. It would be fun though if it took off.

Frank: It would, but you’ll have to ask Tim [League] if that’s going to work out.

Casper: But don’t you think, Frank, that if people like the movie they’re going to like the series?

Frank: Yeah, that’s for sure. We think, personally, that some of the best episodes in the series beat the movie.

And what does it mean to you guys that your distribution is being handled by Drafthouse Films after the movie was such a big hit at Fantastic Fest?

Frank: It has been a big eye-opener for us. We didn’t know that there would be a professional, clever company located here in Austin, Texas. We had never heard about the Drafthouse before, and it’s much more professional than what we’ve been seeing at home.

Casper: I just like that they seem just as ambitious as we are and they find it just as important as we do. That doesn’t happen very often. I’m really amazed at the work they’re doing and the love they put into it. It’s been really great for us, I cannot express how much we owe to the Drafthouse. It’s hard work. It’s uphill. It’s a Danish comedy with subtitles, and nudity, and almost gay porn. It’s uphill and they’re working it twenty-four hours.

And don’t forget little boy penises.

Casper: And little boy penises.

They actually don’t have a rating category for that in the states yet.

Casper: I think the fact that there’s nothing sexual in that scene makes all the difference.

It’s very innocent despite what’s going on.

Frank: We think so, yeah.

Casper: It is innocent. Nothing happens, it’s just not the right thing to do in that situation. And when Frank is showing those pictures to the girls and Bo is awake, it hurts, man.

Frank: It’s more about desperate adults who want to save their own lives.

It walks a fine line between inappropriate and immoral.

Frank: Yeah

You guys talked a bit about coming from standup comedy backgrounds. How do you approach the transition to film?

Casper: I think it depends on why you get into standup. I got into standup, because I am really interested in having people judge my work. I love writing, and the easiest way to find out if what you wrote works is just getting up on stage.

You get instant feedback.

Casper: Yes. After I’ve done a certain text a few times, I’m kind of done with it. I don’t have to be on stage much more. Many standup comedians like being on stage, and that’s why they do it. We kind of differ in that way. (To Frank) You love performing.

Frank: I love performing, but I also love that there’s a core to my material. It comes from my heart. If you have a story to tell, you can tell that story on a standup stage or you can tell it in a movie or you can write a song about it. You have this story, this feeling, this thing you want to tell the world. You can do that on all media platforms.

Well put, sir. In closing, let me ask you, would you guys be interested in doing another Klown movie, or do you consider it done now?

Casper: We might. We shot this movie two years ago, but we’ve been doing groundwork for a while. We’ve been able to sell it to Warner Brothers and Danny McBride for a remake and now coming over here. We’re still in the aftermath of Klown, but we want to get back into the creative process. So we’ve decided that starting January 1st, we’re going to start writing a new movie. It might be Klown, it might be something completely different. We haven’t figured that out yet.

Well we’ll be looking forward to it no matter what it is.

Brian Salisbury has been a film critic and internet gadfly for six years. He is the co-host of FSR's Junkfood Cinema podcast and the co-founder of OneOfUs.Net. Brian is a cult film and exploitation buff who loves everything from Charlie Chaplin to Charlie Bronson.

Read More from Brian Salisbury
Get Film School Rejects in your email. All the cool kids are doing it:
Previous Article
Next Article
Reject Nation
Leave a comment
Comment Policy: No hate speech allowed. If you must argue, please debate intelligently. Comments containing selected keywords or outbound links will be put into moderation to help prevent spam. Film School Rejects reserves the right to delete comments and ban anyone who doesn't follow the rules. We also reserve the right to modify any curse words in your comments and make you look like an idiot. Thank You!