I recently discused with Atli Örvarsson, the composer behind the latest action and comedy, “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard”. For those that don’t know, “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” is a film that stars Mads Mikkelsen, the legendary actor that played Hannibal Lecter in “Silence of the Lambs.” In this film, Mikkelsen stars as a bodyguard who is hired to protect the wife (Kristin Scott Thomas) of a hit-man (Johannes Haukur Johannesson) who is having an affair. For more information, check out my article here.
Atli Örvarsson is a talented musician and former member of the Icelandic band Sigur Rós. He has also released a couple of music videos for his songs, and they feature some of the most famous actors in Hollywood, including Tim Roth ( Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction ), Vincent D’Onofrio ( Daredevil, Kingpin ), Seann William Scott ( American Pie, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story ) and Uma Thurman ( Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill: Vol 1 & 2 ).
I am privileged to be beside Atli Örvarsson today as he discusses his new movie, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. In truth, I’ve been fortunate to be the one asking these questions, as he’s a very entertaining man, who is passionate and insightful, and has a great deal to say.. Read more about the hitman’s wife’s bodyguard 2020 and let us know what you think.
Recently I had the chance to speak with Atli Örvarsson about his work on The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. Atli’s credits include composing and orchestrating music for some of Hollywood’s biggest projects, including the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Angels & Demons, The Holiday, The Eagle, Vantage Point, Babylon A.D., Thick as Thieves, The Fourth Kind, and Season of the Witch.
Atli’s achievements include winning the HARPA Nordic Film Composer Award for his acclaimed score for Rams, several ASCAP and BMI Film and TV Music Awards, a “Breakthrough of the Year” nomination with the IFMCA Awards in 2009, and a “Discovery of the Year” nomination with the World Soundtrack Academy for his score for Babylon A.D in 2009 and his score for Ploey: You Never Fly Alone in 2010.
I hope you enjoyed our conversation about this movie!
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me! How did you get started as a composer, first and foremost? I’ve been composing music since I was a kid, but it wasn’t until I discovered Berklee College of Music’s film music department that I became “serious” about it. I’d always been fascinated by cinema music, ever since I saw the first Star Wars film as a child, thus this area of study piqued my attention and has been my path ever since.
I know you created the music for The Hitman’s Bodyguard in 2017, but was it always expected that you would return to soundtrack the sequel? Yes. Right after the first picture was out, Patrick Hughes, the director of these flicks, and I began talking about a potential sequel.
What were your thoughts on returning to the universe of The Hitman’s Bodyguard to write additional music for it? Was it simpler to score this picture since you wrote the music for the last one? I’m not sure whether easier is the appropriate word, but having so many motifs from the first film to work with was a bit of a luxury, and it simply made sense to reuse them.
In a similar vein, how did you and the director discuss the score while you were putting it together? In the sequel, did you expand on the musical themes from the previous film or did you come up with something entirely new? A little bit of both. In this film, there is a new evil villain who required a new theme, as well as some new characters and plotlines. Salma Hayek’s character had a larger part in this film, which necessitated the use of new music. There is a lot of recycling and recreating ideas from the first film since the two major characters are the same.
Are there musical themes for particular characters, since we’re on the subject of themes? Yes.
I’m aware that this picture is classified as an action comedy. How did you strike a balance between action and humor in the score? It’s generally fairly obvious if a scene is mainly an action or comedy moment, but there are a few sequences in this film that mix the two. In these situations, I typically score the sequences as if they were serious action scenes since the humor speaks for itself, but there is no hard and fast rule. It all depends on the situation and what seems natural.
How long did it take you to complete The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard? Because the Covid epidemic kept disrupting the timetable, I had plenty of time, but once we got started “for real,” things moved quickly. I’d guess it took around 2 months from the time I started scoring to the time I recorded with the orchestra.
How much did the music for The Hitman’s Bodyguard 2 be influenced by the prior score? Quite a bunch, in fact! As I previously said, I did utilize themes from the first film, but the greatest difference between the two is that the sequel has more music and less songs.
Is there a particular musical point in the soundtrack that you enjoy? It’s difficult to say… I had a lot of fun composing some of the comedy cues centered on Bryce’s personal history, especially when the music takes a serious tone over the humor, such as when we first meet his stepfather and for the flashback about his mother.
Finally, is there any particular musical element you hope audiences will notice when they watch this film in theaters? There were a lot of areas when I geeked out and attempted to hide my themes. I’m hoping someone notices that!
I hope you liked our conversation on The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’s music.
My Thoughts on The Bodyguard of the Hitman’s Wife (2021)
Interviews with Composers
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I have always loved movies. I especially loved movies that were made in Iceland. Over the years, I would always think about how the actors and actresses came to Iceland for their roles and how they were able to pull off creating a character to seem so real and convincing. I have talked about this before, but I would not be typing this out if it were not for my interest in the movie The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. The movie was an Icelandic film that came out in 2011. I was able to talk with the actress who played the main character, Atli Örvarsson. Atli is the daughter of the director of the film, Árni Þór Jóhannsson. During our conversation,. Read more about the hitman’s wife’s bodyguard trailer 2020 and let us know what you think.
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