Actor in the Spotlight: Rasmus Kaljujarv

By Martin Aadamsoo
    2008 brought a new poster boy to the Estonian cinema in the person of Rasmus Kaljujarv, the lead role in the box office hit I Was Here.

    Kaljujarv has become a pervasive presence on Estonian film and TV screens while continuing to work for theatre.

    Kaljujarv's role as Rass, an elite school teenager who gets lost in the drug underworld, earned him a reputation as an adolescent hearthrob while retaining credibility as a serious drama actor. Kaljujarv had previously featured in the Estonian-German co-production Fed Up (2005, directed by Peeter Simm) which was largely considered a critical failure and also failed to impress at the box office. His role in I Was Here gave a much maturer performance to make Kaljujarv someone to watch in the future. The film was premiered at Karlovy Vary's East of the West section this summer and will be figure in Top 10 at domestic box office in 2008.

    Born in 1981 as a son of a well known theatre actor in Estonia, Rasmus Kaljujarv graduated from the Estonian theatre academy as stage actor in 2004 and was picked up by the presitigious Estonian Drama Theatre, a position that he soon changed for a much more rebellious NO Theatre. He has since played lead role in Tanel Toom's short film Second Coming which featured in the Corto Cortissimo competition programme at this year's Venice film festival and is a recurrent figure in local soaps and drama series.