Kim Bodnia, star of hit crime drama The Bridge, has said that growing antisemitism in Scandinavia was part of the reason why he decided to quit the Swedish-Danish series after two successful seasons.
The announcement that Mr Bodnia would not be part of the third season of the series, which is shot in Copenhagen and Malmö, came as a bombshell. The Danish-Jewish actor cited disagreements over his character's development as the main reason for his departure. However, in a recent Israeli television interview, Mr Bodnia said that growing antisemitism in Denmark and Sweden made the decision to leave easier.
“It’s growing,” Mr Bodnia said in the interview for Walla, “especially in Malmö... It’s not very nice or comfortable to be there as a Jewish person.” Mr Bodnia suggested the fact that he did not feel safe as a Jew in Malmö made it easier for him “to say no to work in Sweden”. He also spoke of last year’s terrorist attack in Copenhagen , where a young Jewish man was killed while standing guard outside the city’s synagogue.
Mr Bodnia gave the interview while in Israel to promote his new show, an Israeli drama called Hostages, which he said he chose over the third season of The Bridge.
Mr Bodnia said he did not rule out returning to the Swedish-Danish series in the future. Season two ended with his character, Danish cop Martin Rodhe, ending up behind bars. He said he has suggested to the scriptwriters that a potential future plot line could be for Rodhe to go undercover in prison to deal with antisemitism among the prison population.
“Hatred of Jewish people is growing inside prisons,” he said.
It is believed that Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, the terrorist who carried out the Copenhagen attack, was radicalised in prison.