DNA - popular crime series inspired by true events
Inspired by a real event in Denmark, DNA is a popular crime series with 8 gripping episodes revolving around 5 key characters – police superintendent Rolf Larsen (The Cop), young independent investigator Neel Skibsted (The Rookie), French captain Claire Bobain (The Veteran), loyal forensic specialist Jarl Skaubo (The Trusted Friend), and the young pregnant widower Julita Sienko (The Mother).
The series starts off with Rolf Larsen’s baby daughter disappearing on a ferry in the middle of the sea, with no witnesses and no trace of foul play. Broken by this tragedy and tormented with sorrow and guilt, he eventually regains hope five years later after discovering a flaw in the police’s DNA system that might just allow him to find out what happened to her.
Co-creator & Screenwriter:
Torleif Hoppe is an acclaimed Danish writer and producer, known for “The Killing” (2007) and award-winning series “The Bridge” (2011). “The Killing” premiered on Danish television and has since been broadcast in over 120 countries. An international hit garnering critical acclaim, “The Killing” won the Best International Series at BAFTA, 2011.
A Chat with Torleif Hoppe:
Inspiration behind DNA:
Hoppe: Two things – I stumbled upon a story from real life about a mistake in The Danish National Police DNA-register, which meant that a pile of cases – back to the registers beginning – never got registered into the system. The failure of the infallible system inspired me to dig a little deeper. I wanted a relevant theme with a strong identification and an emotional necessity most people could relate to. I know by experience how much children means. And I can hardly think of a stronger drive than the one who connects us to our children – the life we pass through our DNA. I wanted to do something about a missing child, and I realized that when you talk about children and adoption, there are so many dilemmas. It sounds really nice. But from another angle, to take a child from a mother… and give it to another person, it’s not necessarily a good thing in the eyes of the woman who gave birth to that child.
CinemaWorld: What are three things about you, very few knew?
Hoppe: I won a bronze medal at the Danish stand up paddle race championships a few years back, I enjoy fly fishing in clear rivers and I learned the art of sushi-making from an old fishmonger in Japan in my early years.
CinemaWorld: Did you discover a new talent you never knew you had, during the COVID-19 quarantine? What is it?
Hoppe: Homeschooling the Periodic Table! Chemistry teaching was definitely a talent I did not know I possessed.
CinemaWorld: You’re multi-hyphenated – rock band member, director, screenwriter – what else is in your bucket list?
Hoppe: The second season of DNA for sure… Maybe write a book? Honestly, I don’t know. I never knew what was coming, and I never really had a plan. I know how little I know, and I’d love to know more, so I try to be humble and awake to meet whatever emerges. I believe I do this best by not letting myself be limited too much by predetermined plans and notions of what is to happen. I have learned that surprise is the only thing I can truly count on – so I try to be ready for it by not being too prepared.
Character profile: Rolf Larsen, a Police Superintendent broken by a personal tragedy and tormented with sorrow and guilt, but eventually regains hope.
Played by: Anders W. Berthelsen
Born and raised in Denmark, Berthelsen is an established Danish actor who has appeared in more than 40 films and television shows since 1994. He is known for his major roles in Berlin Film Festival winner Italian For Beginners, International Emmy Award nominee Krøniken, Danish Film Awards winner Daniel, Kongekabale and BAFTA winner The Killing.
Character profile: Neel Skibsted, a young and independent rookie investigator driven by high morality and a strong sense of justice. She struggles with a constant need to prove herself, and as time goes on she develops an emotional attachment to Rolf’s situation.
Played By: Olivia Joof
Daughter of actress and director Hella Joof (Shake It, Se min kjole), Olivia Joof started out as a radio host, a dancer, and an artist. It was only until several years ago when she got a hosting role on a children’s program, that she found her joy. That was when her passion for acting blossomed. Since then, she has done major roles in both television series and the theatre, best known for her role in Perfekte steder (2017), The Venus Effect (2021) and Killjoy (TV series 2022). She graduated from Den Danish Performing Arts School in Aarhus in 2019.
Character profile: Despite being in a male-dominated culture that characterizes French police, Claire Bobain is ranked as the Captain at the Regional Police Service in France. She has proven to be better, sharper, and more hardworking than most of her male colleagues.
Played by: Charlotte Rampling
Known for her work in European arthouse films in English, French and Italian, Charlotte Rampling began as an icon and model of the swinging 60s. Her acting career spans over 5 decades, covering both cinema and television roles earning her a multitude of awards and nominations including a Golden Globes Award (London Spy), Primetime Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award (Restless). For her performance in Andrew Haigh's 2015 film 45 Years, she won the Berlin Film Festival Award and European Film Award for Best Actress and received an Oscar nomination. She is also a four-time César Award nominee and received an Honorary César in 2001 and France’s Legion of Honour in 2002. As a veteran of small screen, Charlotte Rampling is also best know for her roles in series such as Dexter and Broadchurch.
Character profile: Raised by her grandmother under poor living conditions in an industrial town of Stalowa Wola in Poland, Julita Sienko was just 19 when she met Tadek and became pregnant. Tadek’s untimely death left her confused and fearful that her child will go through the same life she did.
Played by: Zofia Wichlacz
Zofia is a Polish actress who began her acting career less than 10 years ago. Since her debut she has starred in several feature films and television shows. In “Warsaw 44”, she played a highly regarded role which earned her two prestigious Polish film awards. She has also acted in renowned filmmaker Andrzej Wajda’s last production, “Afterimage”, Netflix’s “1983”, Amazon’s “The Romanoffs” and British war drama series “World on Fire”. Other notable mentions include her role in "Spoor" and "Receptura".
Did you know that DNA is being used to solve cases all around the world?
Check out these articles and cases we found!
- NBC News: Police were cracking cold cases with a DNA website
- NBC News: 35-year-old cold case murder in Wisconsin solved using DNA and genealogy
- ABC News: DNA from a discarded cigarette solves a 1985 cold case murder
- South China Morning Post: Chinese kidnap victim reunited with parents after 31 years
- The Guardian: Chinese man abducted as toddler 32 years ago reunited with parents
Don’t miss an exclusive Facebook Watch Party online screening of DNA Episode 1.
Where: CinemaWorld Facebook Page
When: Saturday, 5 Sept (available in selected territories)