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Lina Leandersson

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Lina Leandersson
Lina Leandersson by Malin Jones.jpg
Leandersson in November 2009
Born (1995-09-27) 27 September 1995 (age 22)
Falun, Sweden
Occupation Actress
Years active 2008–present

Lina Leandersson (born 27 September 1995) is an Iranian-Swedish actress. She played the lead role of Eli in the 2008 Swedish romantic vampire film Let the Right One In, based on the novel by the same name. Born in Falun, Leandersson started performing at an early age. She acted in local amateur theatre performances, and had a few brief television appearances in 2006. At the age of eleven, Leandersson was cast to play one of the two leads in Tomas Alfredson's film, Let the Right One In, after applying for the role through a web-based casting service. The film was an international success, and Leandersson's performance as the vampire Eli brought her widespread critical acclaim as well as several awards and nominations. She has stated that she wants to continue acting.

Early life and career[edit]

Lina Leandersson was born in Falun, Sweden.[1] She took an interest in performing from an early age, acting in amateur theatre performances, attending drama courses,[2][3] and performing street- and jazz dance.[1] One of her first roles was in amateur theatre performance, playing the mother of a spoiled girl wanting new jeans.[1] In 2006 she appeared as a jury member in the Swedish song competition Lilla Melodifestivalen.[4] The same year, she was selected as one out of five, from a total of five hundred applicants, to participate in Nickelodeon's programledarskola, which was televised in October 2006.[3][4][5]

Let the Right One In[edit]

Leandersson applied for the role in Let the Right One In through a web-based casting service. After being contacted by child casting director Maggie Widstrand, she auditioned for the role three times before finally being cast.[2][3] She was unaware that the role she was auditioning for was that of a vampire.[6] "I was shocked", she later told Expressen; "I thought it was a more usual role."[7] But as soon as she grew accustomed to the idea, "it became even more fun. I wanted to be a vampire when I was little", she said.[7]

In the film, she plays Eli, a child vampire who develops a friendship with the main character, 12-year-old Oskar (played by Kåre Hedebrant). Oskar is frequently tormented by bullies. Eli initially tells Oskar to fight back, and rescues him in the end, killing three of the bullies in the process. Because Eli is supposed to be an androgynous character in the film,[8] director Tomas Alfredson decided to overdub Leandersson's voice with a less feminine one. "Lina's voice is beautiful, but I thought it was too high in pitch", he said.[9] Eli's voice throughout the whole film was provided by Elif Ceylan.[10][11] In an interview with Dagens Nyheter, Leandersson laughingly commented that "it was actually nice to be dubbed, my voice sounds weird".[1]

I loved the movie. It is so special — a dramatic, scary movie with children in leading roles. It’s frightening yet so fantastically beautiful. It was the best thing in my life to do this movie.

—Lina Leandersson[12]

Leandersson and Hedebrant were never allowed to read the script. Instead, the director would read their lines aloud to them before every scene.[13][14] According to Leandersson, "Tomas is a good teller. I listened very carefully."[12] She identified the most difficult parts as the ones where she was supposed to be angry, and the transitioning between being normal and "crazy".[13] In an interview, Leandersson recalled how she went totally into her role, to the point of "becoming" the character Eli, but affirmed that there are few similarities between herself and her character, describing Eli as more mature and contemplative.[15] While she found it uncomfortable to film outdoor scenes in temperatures down to −30 °C, she described her experience as "the most fun [she] has ever had."[15]

When asked about the biggest challenge in making the film, Alfredson mentioned the fact that people already would have a perception of the characters and the surroundings from the novel. He especially felt that the depiction of Eli was difficult, but stated that he was "very happy about Lina".[16] On another occasion, he again commented positively on Leandersson's appearance, stating that "[w]e hardly used makeup or anything in post-production to make her like this, she is simply damn good. She's also a very special girl, which I think shows in the film."[17] He has frequently commended Leandersson for her intelligence, often comparing her to "an 80-year-old woman, very wise and very quiet."[14]


Let the Right One In was an international success. Critics lauded the performances of the young leads, often highlighting Leandersson for particular acclaim. According to Karen Durbin of Elle, she "evokes Eli's radical apartness with an air of watchful caution and a contained stillness of body that not only belies her childish appearance (...)", and "In a performance devoid of sentimentality she perfectly captures the awful solitude of a creature who exists outside time".[18] James Berardinelli also praised Leandersson for "crafting an individual who is both mysterious and compelling",[19] while Justin Lowe of The Hollywood Reporter wrote: "The youthful actors imbue even the most emotional and disturbing scenes with remarkable complexity. Leandersson is particularly impressive as the conflicted young vampire who wants nothing more than to be an ordinary girl again".[20] Luke Y. Thompson of LA Weekly compared her performance favorably to that of Kirsten Dunst as the child vampire Claudia in Interview with the Vampire. He concluded that, while Dunst "used to be the gold standard; in Leandersson, I think we have a new champion."[21] The Oregonian called Leandersson's performance "incredible", and expressed doubt that any actress in the American remake could top it.[22] While Swedish reviewers generally made positive comments about the two leads, Emma Engström of Göteborgs-Posten felt that Leandersson's character was lacking in depth.[23]

Leandersson received several awards and award nominations for her performance in the film.

Future projects[edit]

In 2012, Lina filmed for Estonian director Kadri Kousaar's movie The Arbiter and Swedish director Sofia Norlin's feature debut Tenderness.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Leandersson lives in Falun with her mother, stepfather, and two younger sisters. She is of Swedish and Iranian descent.[25][26] Leandersson has always liked to dance and play theatre.[12] Though there are several athletes in her family, she is not particularly fond of sports. "I was on a football team when I was in third grade. But I was so bad that I wasn't allowed to play in a match", she recalled.[27] She has stated on several occasions that she wants to continue acting,[2][3][7] and has indicated that she would like to try different types of roles to challenge herself. Leandersson was a student at Gruvrisskolan.[6] In an interview, she identified history as her favorite subject, because she finds it "interesting to know how people lived and died in the past".[12] She does not see school as a hindrance to continue acting, saying that she "will just have to work harder than everyone else. But school isn't that difficult, it's quite easy."[28] She is a fan of the Twilight film series.[29] In the years 2011–2014, she was studying theatre at Kulturama, a school for performing arts in Stockholm, Sweden.[30]


Year Award Category Film Result
2008 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards 2008[31] Most Promising Performer Let the Right One In Nominated
2009 Online Film Critics Society Awards 2008[32] Breakthrough Performer Won
2009 Wonder Awards[33] Best Performance By an Actress In a Leading Role Won
30th Annual Young Artist Awards[34] Best Performance in an International Feature Film — Leading Young Performers Nominated
35th Annual Saturn Awards[35][36] Best Performance By a Younger Actor Nominated
2009 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards[37] Best Actress Won
2009 Constellation Awards[38] Best Female Performance in a 2008 Science Fiction Film Nominated
Scream Awards 2009[39] Best Horror Actress Nominated
Breakout Performance-Female Nominated
Gransito Movie Awards 2009[40] Rivelazione Femminile (Breakthrough female performance) Nominated


  1. ^ a b c d "Blodet smakade sött" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. 24 October 2008. Retrieved 31 December 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c "La den rette komme inn" (in Norwegian). Sandrew Metronome AS. Archived from the original on 7 March 2009. Retrieved 28 January 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Nyfiken på Lina Leandersson — skådespelare" (in Swedish). StagePool. 12 January 2009. Retrieved 28 January 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "Lina, 11, hemma framför kameran" (in Swedish). Dalarnas Tidningar. 14 October 2006. Archived from the original on 25 February 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  5. ^ "13-årige Joakim från Björkvik blir programledare" (in Swedish). Katrineholms Kuriren. 16 October 2006. Retrieved 29 January 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ a b Lundholm, Johanna (11 July 2009). "Världens hetaste vampyr" (in Swedish). Dala-Demokraten. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  7. ^ a b c Brander, Maria (24 October 2008). "Sveriges yngsta stjärnor" (in Swedish). Expressen. Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  8. ^ "'Moriarty Sits Down With Tomas Alfredson, Director Of Let the Right One In!". Ain't It Cool News. 29 October 2008. Retrieved 18 November 2008. 
  9. ^ Hillis, Aaron (29 October 2008). "Interview: Tomas Alfredson on "Let the Right One In"". Independent Film Channel. Archived from the original on 28 December 2008. Retrieved 31 December 2008. 
  10. ^ "Låt det rätta komma ut" (in Swedish). Magasinet Filter. 17 September 2008. Archived from the original on 15 February 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2008. 
  11. ^ "Elif Ceylan". IMDb. Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  12. ^ a b c d Bochenski, Matt (9 April 2009). "Lina Leandersson and Kare Hedebrant". Little White Lies. Archived from the original on 29 December 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  13. ^ a b Gustafsson, Anders (19 September 2008). "Dödar för att hon måste" (in Swedish). Dalarnas Tidningar. Archived from the original on 25 April 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2009. 
  14. ^ a b King, Susan (19 October 2008). "Tomas Alfredson goes for the right look in 'Let the Right One In'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 14 March 2009. 
  15. ^ a b "Känd som vampyr" (in Swedish). TV4 Anytime. Archived from the original on 4 August 2009. Retrieved 27 February 2009. 
  16. ^ Bjurvald, Anton (24 October 2008). "Intervju med regissören Thomas Alfredsson" (in Swedish). Allt om film. Retrieved 14 March 2009. [dead link]
  17. ^ Lismoen, Kjetil (24 October 2008). "Svensk vampyr-sensasjon" (in Norwegian). Rushprint. Retrieved 11 April 2009. 
  18. ^ Durbin, Karen (11 July 2008). "Lina Leandersson Let the Right One In; Busting Into The Spotlight". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  19. ^ Berardinelli, James. "Reelviews Movie Reviews". Reelviews. Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  20. ^ Lowe, Justin (23 October 2008). "Film Review: Let The Right One In". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  21. ^ "High School Musical 3, Passengers, Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom". LA Weekly. 23 October 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  22. ^ Russell, Mike (13 November 2008). "Movie Review: "Let the Right One In": Vamping in Norway". The Oregonian. Retrieved 25 May 2009. 
  23. ^ Engström, Emma (23 October 2008). "Låt den rätte komma in" (in Swedish). Göteborgs-Posten. Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2009. 
  24. ^ Jensen, Jorn Rossing (15 March 2012). "Leandersson and Hiort af Ornäs to catch Norlin's Tenderness". Cineuropa. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  25. ^ Badt, Karin (3 December 2008). "Let the Right One In: New Vampire Film with a "Beat"". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 7 March 2009. 
  26. ^ Keller, Florian (1 April 2009). "Dieses Vampirmädchen darf man nicht verpassen!". Tages-Anzeiger (in German). 
  27. ^ Sundqvist, Bertil (23 February 2009). "Vampyren Linas första filmfestival" (in Swedish). Piteå-Tidningen. Archived from the original on 27 April 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2009. 
  28. ^ "Fredagsträffen" (in Swedish). P4 Dalarna. 16 January 2009. Archived from the original on 4 August 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2009. 
  29. ^ Reynolds, Simon (29 March 2010). "Leandersson: 'Right One remake will be fun'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 11 June 2010. 
  30. ^ "Lina får göra det hon älskar i skolan - spela teater" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 3 January 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  31. ^ "Chicago Film Critics Awards - 2008-". Chicago Film Critics Association. 18 December 2008. Archived from the original on 21 June 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2009. 
  32. ^ ""WALL-E" Named Best Picture in Online Film Critics Society Awards". Online Film Critics Society. 19 January 2009. Archived from the original on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2009. 
  33. ^ Biodrowski, Steve (16 February 2009). "2009 Wonder Award Winners — The Complete List". Cinefantastique. Retrieved 5 April 2009. 
  34. ^ "30th Annual Young Artist Awards — Nominations / Special Awards". Young Artist Foundation. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2009. 
  35. ^ Cohen, David S. (24 June 2009). "'Dark Knight' wins big at Saturns". Variety. Retrieved 25 June 2009. 
  36. ^ Olson, Dale (10 March 2009). "Nominations for the 35th Annual Saturn Awards". Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. Archived from the original on 29 February 2012. Retrieved 11 March 2009. 
  37. ^ Gingold, Michael (25 June 2009). "The 2009 FANGORIA Chainsaw Awards Results". Fangoria. Archived from the original on 29 June 2009. Retrieved 28 June 2009. 
  38. ^ "The 2009 Results". TCON Promotional Society. 12 July 2009. Retrieved 12 July 2009. 
  39. ^ "TV: Scream 2009 Award winners announced". Bloody Disgusting. 18 October 2009. Retrieved 18 October 2009. 
  40. ^ Bursi, Matteo (20 April 2009). "Gransito Movie Awards 2009" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 20 September 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2009. 

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