Nina Yndis is a versatile actress with a Polish mother and Norwegian father, currently working across borders with Norway and the United Kingdom. She started doing theatre at a very young age and landed her first TV credit in the Norwegian TV series Spesialenheten, then soon after a role in the Norwegian feature film Glass Dolls by Nils Gaup. Since then her career has excelled in theatre, TV and film.
Nina spent 3 years in drama-school at the renowned Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and moved to London after. She quickly landed a part in the popular series PEAKY BLINDERS, then moved on to play Else Dahl in the UK THEATRE AWARD-WINNING play NARVIK, by Lizzie Nunnery that was awarded Best New Play in 2017.
She filmed 4 episodes in the Canadian/Hungarian spy thriller X COMPANY after that she got selected amongst exiting new talent in London to star alongside Idris Elba in FIVE BY FIVE that went on to be selected for film festivals around the world. She recently starred in the popular British series CALL THE MIDWIFE playing Magda Kovacs who turns out to be a bit of a troublemaker.
London Prestige Interview with Actress Nina Yndis
London Prestige: Tell us a little about yourself, growing up and your passions.
Nina Yndis: I grew up in Norway in a bilingual household with a Norwegian father and Polish mother. My mother detected my creative passions very early. She sent me to ballet-classes, piano-lessons and then eventually youth-theatre were my love for pretending to be other people flourished. Another passion of mine has always been travelling and experiencing new countries and cultures, so when it came to applying to drama-schools it felt like a natural transition to go and study in the UK.
Acting has always been my number 1 passion, but alongside it I have always been singing, dancing, composing my own film music, drawing, painting and writing scripts. I also discovered yoga when I was a teenager and have practiced ever since.
London Prestige: What are you currently working on?
Nina Yndis: I’m currently in pre-production for a few different projects. Some of them I’m acting in and some I’m actually producing and writing myself. I also work as a voice over artist, and I’m currently directing and voicing a Chinese cartoon series.
London Prestige: What is the most challenging role you have played and why?
Nina Yndis: All roles challenge me in different ways, and with that I mean in all kind of ways. For instance, playing Else Dahl in Narvik was challenging because I found myself acting out scenarios I had personally never experienced before. Imagination comes in handy in these situations, but some of the scenarios were almost impossible to even imagine!
Another challenging role was Magda Kovacs in Call the Midwife. But the challenge here was in managing how much responsibility I had as a guest-lead actor. I had never experienced being on set for 12-14 hours straight, sometimes 5 days in a row. The challenge was to remember what scenes I was doing in what order. Sometimes I’d shoot scenes from different episodes on the same day, back to back. The challenge here was to re-focus my brain and energy to fit the scenes as my character had a great emotional arc.
London Prestige: And the most fun one?
Nina Yndis: It has to be Magda Kovacs in Call the Midwife!
London Prestige: Describe your biggest accomplishment to date?
Nina Yndis: That’s a tricky question. I think it has to be that I moved to a different country to follow my dream and I’m now sort of living it. I had no contacts, friends or family here in the UK as I moved. My English wasn’t great either so it took me a few years to really settle in and understand the way of thinking and the culture. Everything I’ve accomplished I had to fight for myself. Signing with both my agents and getting the opportunities to work on some of the biggest series with the greatest talent in the film industry.
London Prestige: What training / education do you have? How has your training prepared you for you acting career?
Nina Yndis: I attended the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. I think as long as you keep acting and keep challenging yourself you’ll evolve as an actor. Drama school makes sure you do this, and no matter what the subject is or who the teachers are you will work with so many different creatives in this industry. Whether you like the people you work with or not it’s all valuable experience in the end.
Everyone is different and we learn how to empathize and collaborate with individuals who are the polar opposite to who you are. That’s what’s so magic about this industry, and that’s also why I think training is important. You meet so many interesting people. RCS is a fantastic school and I cannot recommend it enough.
London Prestige: Have you ever considered branching out into directing or screenwriting?
Nina Yndis: Absolutely. I’m currently producing two short films and I’m absolutely hooked. I am also currently drafting a TV pilot and a short film that I want to get made next year. The pilot will take longer, but I’m always creating and helping others with their projects. I have only ever directed 1 play and would love to try directing for film and TV in the future.
London Prestige: Do you have any theatrical experience? What plays have you performed?
Nina Yndis: I had the honor of portraying Else Dahl in Lizzie Nunnery’s play Narvik. It was staged at Liverpool Playhouse Theatre in 2015 and then it went on a National tour last year. It’s been one of the most enrichening jobs I’ve ever done. Else lives in a Nazi-occupied Norway and it was so fascinating diving into her world every night for 3 months. The play won the UK Theatre awards for Best New Play in 2017.
London Prestige: If you weren’t acting what would you be doing?
Nina Yndis: Criminology.
London Prestige: What have you seen lately that’s inspired you?
Nina Yndis: Get out.
London Prestige: What television shows or show would you love most to be on?
Nina Yndis: Oh… So many. Orange is the New Black, Glow, Black Mirror, Twin Peaks. I want to be in every Henrik Ibsen play that exists.
London Prestige: What’s your goal for this year?
Nina Yndis: Hmm.. To become a better human…? To be honest, I haven’t set myself a specific goal. And they keep on changing, because I’m so indecisive. I read a great book recently actually, that spoke about how to not give so much of a fuck. That would be a good goal and pretty helpful. Thanks for asking the question, I suppose I’ve just set myself a goal.
London Prestige: What is your advice for aspiring actors?
Nina Yndis: Motivation comes from doing. Don’t sit and wait for the phone to ring. Do it.