Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson who denied Lionel Messi has now become a movie director | Football News

As Iceland host Armenia and Liechtenstein in Earth Cup qualifying, one particular common deal with is noteworthy by his absence. For just about the 1st time in a decade, 37-yr-previous goalkeeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson will not be amongst the Iceland squad.

Rather, Halldorsson is fast paced with yet another enterprise. He is marketing Cop Top secret, the new movie that he has directed and co-prepared. It is becoming revealed at the BFI London Film Competition on the South Bank possessing currently been positively been given across Europe.

It is an incredible turn of situations for just one of the heroes of Iceland’s Euro 2016 journey, the guy who marked their Planet Cup debut by saving a penalty from Lionel Messi in the opening match versus Argentina. “People today find my story inspiring,” he tells Sky Sporting activities.

“Currently being a decreased league sporting activities participant and heading on to save a penalty from the finest player in the earth in the very first recreation that a little place experienced at any time played in a Earth Cup. It is an unusual story. Individually, I assume it seems like a poor script of a cliched sporting activities motion picture.”

Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson saves a penalty from Lionel Messi of Argentina at the 2018 World Cup
Hannes Thor Halldorsson saves a penalty from Lionel Messi at the 2018 Entire world Cup

Halldorsson’s new film is alternatively superior. An motion-comedy, devised in collaboration with some of the country’s most popular tv personalities, it is one thing of a national in-joke. Nevertheless, the film has struck a chord with a substantially wider audience.

“Never ever did we consider in a million years that any individual outside the house of Iceland would ever see it,” states Halldorsson. “There are so several issues in it that only the locals will have an understanding of but people today continue to seem to be to relate to it. There is a thing authentic about it, maybe.

“We experienced this notion of having around-the-best action, supervillains, every thing that we do not have in Iceland, and having it perform out in the peaceful city of Reykjavik.

“It has similarities with Very hot Fuzz, if you keep in mind that motion picture, wherever you just take the best cop in London and spot him in a very small village in England in which nothing at any time happens. That is the elementary supply of comedy in the motion picture. It is speedy-paced but it has coronary heart and soul.”

The soul arrives from the subversion of the rough-guy cop trope as the key character is wrestling with his sexuality all through. It is an appealing strategy that elevates the movie previously mentioned the typical fare, incorporating depth. “It is what can make it so initial,” adds Halldorsson.

“It presents this action-movie archetype a twist and shines a light-weight on some critical topics. It will make the movie a little bit a lot more interesting. We tried to take care of the subject with as significantly regard as feasible. The film is about him coming to conditions with himself. I am glad we did it.”

The kernel of the strategy arrived a 10 years in the past, a movie trailer that was played for laughs. “Folks wanted to see the total motion picture,” he clarifies. Get the job done started on the script but was halted. “We put it on the shelf and I definitely did not think it was going to take place.”

That was because Halldorsson’s soccer profession commenced to consider off. It was one that so approximately never ever commenced supplied that he did not even perform soccer concerning the ages of 14 and 19 as a result of shoulder dislocations. The qualified video game felt a long way off back again then.

Movie-making was usually his enthusiasm. “I begun creating short movies when I was 12 decades aged. I joined the video club in my substantial university. When I graduated from enterprise faculty, my pals held functioning in economics but I stored functioning in the film market.”

It was only when he returned to the game in his early twenties that momentum started to create. “I decided to give it 1 very last go and I went all in with both of those football and film-earning but the real truth is that I never anticipated that football would end up on top rated,” he suggests.

Hannes Thor Halldorsson celebrates Iceland's victory over England at Euro 2016
Hannes Thor Halldorsson celebrates Iceland’s victory around England at Euro 2016

“I was doing work as a filmmaker and enjoying in the reduce leagues of Icelandic football. If you are in the decreased leagues of Icelandic football you do not get much reduce than that in environment football. But it went effectively and I managed to go rapidly up the ladder.”

He was 28 several years outdated when he built his intercontinental debut for Iceland. “Men and women assumed it was bizarre that I was so outdated. They had a lot of concerns.” He was 30 when he moved abroad for the to start with time. “That was a enormous particular victory. I did not assume it.”

Moves to Norway, Holland, Denmark and Azerbaijan seemed to mark the conclusion of his filmmaking profession. “It was all getting much too a lot,” he admits. “I experienced been balancing soccer and filmmaking for eight several years. We were owning our first infant.”

Hannes Thor Halldorsson celebrates qualifying for Euro 2016
Hannes Thor Halldorsson was aspect of the Iceland workforce that qualified for Euro 2016

Focusing on football brought fame and a selected amount of glory. Iceland ended up the story of Euro 2016 and his magic minute with Messi will continue to be with him endlessly. But the journey arrived to an finish as he retired soon after the recreation towards Germany in September.

“I sense relieved actually. I am proud of my career. There are no regrets.”

In fact, there are only opportunities. He can only smile as he recalls his excursion to Switzerland for the 74th Locarno Film Festival. “That was a completely new experience for me,” he suggests.

“Have you observed the clearly show Entourage? It was like staying dumped in an episode of Entourage wherever all of a sudden you are in the center of this film-star earth in which every little thing is fancy and entertaining. It was incredible and individuals gave us a lot of compliments. We have been buzzing.”

Former Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson at the Locarno Film Festival
Former Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson at the Locarno Movie Pageant

For now, he proceeds to participate in for Valur in Iceland’s prime division but it is apparent that his thoughts have presently turned to this new existence soon after soccer. “I have a single year left on my contract so I am not concluded however but I sense that the conclude is closing in,” he provides.

“I am finding really worn out of not managing my plan and getting to be someplace every afternoon. I assume it is holding me again as a filmmaker so I am going to welcome the opportunity to dive into the movie industry full power when the time will come.

“There are far more doors opening than I imagined. I want to make the most of it.”

Cop Secret has its British isles premiere at BFI London Film Pageant

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