Nils Hognestad. Photo by Karolina Turek.
Nils Hognestad. Photo by Karolina Turek.

During this time of social distancing and dark theatres, Vancouver Presents continues to check in with members of our arts community to find out how they are staying creative and managing during the pandemic.

Today we check in with Vancouver-based actor, instructor and writer Nils Hognestad.

Nils is currently appearing as Per in the Vancouver filmed Psych 2: Lassie Come Home, a follow-up to the cult classic Psych series, now streaming on the newly launched Peacock network in the United States.

1. How are you staying creative during the pandemic?

Writing. If it weren’t for being able to get lost in another story that has nothing to do with politics or pandemics, I would probably just walk into the ocean and never come back.

2. What’s the one thing getting you through?

I think it’s a combo of my partner, my family, my friends, my dog, meditating, white claws, weed, sourdough bread, social media, and dancing to records.

3. How are you staying in contact with family and friends who are not in your bubble?

Zoom primarily. I wish I invested in stocks in that company in February.

4. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far during the pandemic?

Relax. Take it easy. We’re all going through the same experience. Be sensitive and kind to yourself and others.

5. What do you feel the most grateful for right now?

Living in a home with an outdoor space. My heart goes out to all the single people living in high rises with no pets or partners.

6. What is something you are doing now that you don’t normally?

I make sourdough and name them after well-known women. I’ve made Reese Withoutherspoon, Sarah Palin, and Bristol Palin. I’ve been eating Rosemary Seasalt Sourdough Bagels a lot, followed by YouTube HIIT workouts. Turns out, I don’t hate cardio.

7. What skill have you developed since the pandemic started?

I think I’m now an aficionado in Ring Lights. Also, turns out I’m a whizz at online clothing shopping. Turns out a 2XL is actually a medium in the online market. Oh! And stripping fabrics. I’m obsessed with cleaning now.

8. What have you missed the most?

People, concerts and hugging.

9. Your #1 pandemic survival tip.

Freezer meals! I now always have a lasagne, pot pies, soup and a pie ready to go!

10. Your biggest indulgence since the pandemic started.

Weed, and alcohol.

11. What have you stockpiled?

Flour. What do you need? Whole Wheat? Rye? All-Purpose? Gluten-Free? Bread & Loaf Mix? I got it all.

12. What have you been reading?

Several scripts. And The North-West Is Our Mother: The Story of Louis Riel’s People, the Metis Nation.

13. What have you been watching?

All the Harry Potters, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, Dead to Me, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and probably every POV video for every ride at Disney World.

14. What have you been listening to?

Jack Garratt, HAIM, Carly Rae Jepsen, Harry Styles, Teyana Taylor, Oumou Sangaré & Noah Cyrus. I have also been listening to a lot of records. My current faves being Teen Ravine, Arcade Fire’s Everything Now album, Beach Boys, Stan Getz, Fleetwood Mac, Santana. I could go on.

15. What are you doing for exercise?

HIIT workouts, TRX workouts, yoga, dog walks, and I’m just waiting on my kettlebells from Amazon.

16. The one thing you haven’t been able to live without?

My dog, Fraser.

17. Do-it-yourself haircut or the natural look?

I went all natural and looked a right mess for most of the quarantine. But! I did cut my man’s hair, and since he’s an essential service worker, everyone he worked with was desperate to know where he got his ‘sick fade.’ Not only have I played a hairdresser on TV, but I apparently make a good one in real life.

18. Night owl or early riser?

Can one be both? I get a surge of energy in knowing I’m awake when most others are sleeping. So whether that’s early or late at night, I love it all.

19. Will you be the first out as restrictions are gradually lifted or taking a wait-and-see attitude?

I have been cautious as things have been opening up. I’ve been wearing masks, sanitizing to my degree of comfortability, and keeping my distance. There are things I likely won’t do again- like join a gym or go to public saunas. But, man, I think we’re all eager for some form of normalcy again.

20. What’s the first thing you will do when this is all over?

Get ten people to massage every muscle on my body. I think we can all feel the stress trapped under our skin. Lol.

Meet Nils Hognestad

Nils Hognestad was born in Bergen, Norway, received his BFA from Ryerson University in Toronto and his Classical Acting Diploma from LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art).

He has been acting in film, television, and voice around the world since he was ten years old, performed in theatres internationally and is now developing his career as a producer and a writer for film and television.

Nils is best known for his work in Lake Placid 3, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow as King Arthur, Supernatural, and in the Danish film, Min Søsters Børn of Guldgraverne (within Danish circles)

You can find out more about Nils on IMDb and follow him on Facebook and Instagram.