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Malte Gardinger

15th March 2024

Photographer & Editor-in-chief: Owen James Vincent

Digital Editor & Cover Interview: Pankhuri Bhutani

Styling: Corey Dixon / Somebody Else's Guy

Make Up: Michaela Selene

Hair: Lucy Muyanga 

BTS Videographer: Christina Christophi

Photographer's Assistant: Caitlin Poole

Studio: HLD Studios

Agency: Bright Blue PR

Malte Gardinger was catapulted into a strangely novel statosphere of popularity through his impeccable performance in Netflix's beloved project "Young Royals". Playing the role of 'August', Gardinger's performance left an immensely heavy mark on the fans of the LGBTQ+ inclusive drama. 

The character of August has been intensively crafted in an extenuating manner that often feels like the character has immersed himself into a plethora of enigmatic layers; each of them revealing a distinct yet personal aspect of him as the story progresses forward. 

There's a certain sense of austerity in August; crucial flaws shadowing his arc. The transformative journey the character immerses himself into can be considered truly impactful and visceral. 

Gardinger's performance has truly been a testament to his versatility as an actor. Starting our conversation by asking about how Gardinger's own perception altered pertaining to his character over the course of these three seasons, Malte strikes back with a fascinating response. 

"I have this feeling of immense gratitude that I got the chance to play and portray this wonderfully layered and nuanced character. And I'm very happy with this arc, his overall storyline and how he changes.

Ever since we started; like the first time I sat down with Lisa (Ambjörn) and we talked about the character and everything, right from the start, we really wanted him to build this very typical antagonist and then slowly break him down and show all the cracks. 

And I think we did a good job. I think...I did my best. She wrote it beautifully and I tried my best to portray it. So, I'm very happy with it."

Some people define this character to be pretentious; others believing the final installment will finally pave a concrete way for August's highly-anticipated redemption. 

But when asked about how Gardinger personally describes this character, Malte reciprocates with an impactful response. 

"The first season he is definitely the antagonist. Like he is. But after that it becomes more as if everyone is their own antagonist. Every character has their own like... So it's not really like one bad guy.

That sort of withers away during season two. But for any newcomers to the show, yes, I am what you can call the bad guy in the show. I am." (Laughs)

Gardinger's portrayal was framed to be consisting of that aspect of neutrality. His giveaways are quite often in the gray area so-much-so, he creates a drastic rampage in terms of the fan reception.

The sequences through which August's plotline is constantly evolving seems groundbreaking in terms of its reception.

A lot of people are actively rooting for his story and relationship; several viewers often encouraging his character's timid personality claiming it makes his arc much more relatable meanwhile a stalwart of fans state him to be an antagonist rather than a misunderstood character having a fractured past. 

Speaking on the intricacies of these mixed reception perceived towards August by the viewers, here's what our latest cover star had to say.

"Which is... I mean, it's nice. Well, you shouldn't love him because of his actions. You should love the fragility or frailty of him. But I think that's why they (the fans) or hopefully that's why they like him."

His story often ends up straying away from the traditional narrative of a popular high-school pupil we are used to witnessing in other streaming projects; the portrayal itself consisting of several interspersed backstories acting as an intimate glimpse into his life. 

When asked about how Gardinger would respond had he been given an opportunity to speak to August himself had he been a real soul and ask him certain things that Malte couldn't quite figure out about August as well as to dive into the mindset of the character, Malte reveals an impactful insight. 

"Maybe just his relationship with his dad. I believe that's the main thing that I would like to ask him about if I ever met the guy.

Although I think he probably would be pretty defensive towards those questions. So, I don't know how much I would get out of it. But that's the question I would like to ask August."

Gardinger emerged as a trailblazing force within the landscape of entertainment; further cementing his name as one of the most successful rising creatives.

With the show spanning over three consecutive seasons, August deals with a lot of active conflicts and intricate elements such as spontaneity, jealousy, revenge, guilt, impulsivity, fear, regret, love, second-thoughts, introspection, self-doubts and a lot of perfectly amalgamating yet contrasting emotions. 

Starring alongside his fellow co-stars Edvin Ryding, Omar Rudberg, Nikita Uggla, Frida Argento and more, Gardinger recites the tale of how it was like finally getting to embody August's personality one last time and his experience parting with his fellow co-stars. 

"I can't really remember my first day but yes, I mean, the last day was weird. I know that there were many actors and people who worked on the show who when they finally wrapped, it became very emotional for them.

I think I'm very good at repressing things. I don't know why but I think it's gonna like seep out in like a month or two but still it was very emotional doing sequences.

For instance, like when you know that this is my last scene with Wilhelm (Edvin Ryding), it gives things another weight."

Malte's portrayal of August seems sobering at times. In several sequences we witness his character being ostracized from the rest of the co-leads as he delves into his own instances of heavy introspection.

Talking to us more about how if there were any valuable lessons that Gardinger garnered from portraying August, Malte reveals. 

"I mean he (August) is not brave. But he has a way of authority. It's not something I've taken with me in terms of my own private life. But it's something. For instance, while working- it's like being able to, you know, take over a room.

I'm pretty bad at being like that and I'm not very comfortable with attention, generally. So, him wanting that authority and people to look up to him was maybe a good experience to have in order to get out of my comfort zone."

August echoes the ethos of an ideal disciplined leader in the prestigious boarding school of Hillerska further establishing himself as an authoritarian figure within the project.

Having an already pre-existing relationship established between his character and one of the leads Wilhelm's (Edwin Ryding) elder brother Prince Erik, August is initially introduced as a bright and supportive student of the boarding school ready to take on the duties to help The Crown Prince adapt to his novel environment and extend an equal camaraderie for his distant relative and the younger brother of his friend.

August is further showcased to be an extremely spontaneous and impulsive character; someone who is always acting on his emotions instantly which often leads him regretting things and the decisions he made. 

But I was very curious to know if Malte himself was the creator of the project, the one who was in charge of writing the story, crafting his own arc and could possibly go back in time and change something about his character, if there was anything he'd like to alter about August or the overall plotline. 

"Not really. I feel like everything happens for a reason. Like, as it should. People learn from their mistakes and everything has the consequences of many terrible actions.

That's the thing that's led to this end. So, no, I wouldn't. I would be too scared to fuck things up anyways." (Laughs) 

I had recently witnessed a compilation of a lot of actors voicing their characters in animated movies and almost all of them were still expressing themselves; having those congruent gestures on their faces like they were still infront of the camera and contrastingly, there were some people who just were focused on the voice and the cadence of the characters.

So, I had to ask Gardinger how his experience and preparation was like pertaining to the voice-over for his own character in the project. Whether he himself acted his heart out in the same way while voicing his own character in English as well compared to how he did in his native language when the camera was on his face or was he solely focused and rooted on the mannerism and the tone of his character? 

"Since we also had a voice-over director, so, sometimes you had to really get in there like even physically get in there but other times, it were just these small directions like 'Okay, we just need to fit this sentence with your mouth so please just do it like that way instead of this'. 

It's like these minor adjustments so it was very down-and-low and high-and-low constantly but I had a lot of fun doing it."

As the young star braces for impact on the release of this immensely beloved project and its final season, I had to ask Gardinger about how this anticipation period was going for him.

Being a part of such an established project must also come with a lot of pressures especially now that the final installment and the end of the Young Royals saga was almost here. 

"I haven't really gotten that same amount of pressure like I felt on season one and season two of the show.

Season three just feels more for us in a way I believe is good for the fans and the audience as well. Because I really feel like the third one was also us (the cast) saying goodbye to these characters and hopefully that transcends out to the audience.

But I feel like let's leave them alone now. They've been through a lot so it's time for them to just wrap it up." (Laughs) 

Over the course of the first two seasons, August revolved around a lot of significant elements of complex storylines and fans can't wait to witness what's in store for the final season. 

Revealing insights as to what the fans can expect from his upcoming performance in the highly-anticipated project and its finale, the young star shares a heartwarming message.

"Without spoiling anything- just get ready for a very tumultuous ride. Like every character goes through a very unexpected transformation. That's all I can say without spoiling anything." 

Malte Gardinger is currently under the spotlight for his involvement within the final installment of the massively beloved project and fans can't wait to witness what's next for the star. 

Ending our interview with a gentle discussion on what's next for the young talent, Gardinger reveals a short yet open-ended plan for the future. 

"Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows?" (Laughs)

Watch our latest video interview with the 'Young Royals' star. 

The final season of 'Young Royals' is currently streaming on Netflix. 

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