After celebrating his 34th birthday with a naked photo shoot last March, Fil-Norwegian actor Markki Stroem said doing his “Adam in Paradise” pictorial was not the biggest deal for him or his family.
“Nudity isn’t really a problem in my family. When I was seven years old, I distinctly remember being on a speed boat in Norway, and asking my dad why all the girls were topless. It turns out, they were just getting an even tan. It is so normal over there, that nudity on TV is considered PG13 or G rated. Guns and violence are considered Rated R. Sex Education is also very important for people over there, we understand the complexities of youth pregnancies and Sexually Transmitted diseases. Now, let us look at the cases of unplanned pregnancy, HIV prevalence and gun violence in the Philippines compared to Norway,” he explained in an exclusive interview with PUSH
Stripping down on stage and on screen has also been something normal for Markki who has had his share of roles from top local theater companies like Atlantis Productions and Repertory Philippines.
“Shade aside, for me, if it is a requirement for a character to have sex or go naked for a series or movie to make more sense, I will do it. I have also been a professional theater actor for 11 years now, working with some of the finest actors of our generation. When a director tells them they need to take off their clothes for a scene, there is no malice, it is part of the story, and it needs to be told. Sex is part of life, there is no need to be shameful of our bodies. We were all born naked, and the rest is drag,” he explained.
In his latest project Love At the End of the World, Markki takes on another acting challenge with his role as Mark.
“I have been cast for a variety of different roles, from a hippie, to someone with Autism Spectrum Disorder, a closeted married Mormon, to a conquistador. Of late, I have been playing roles that lean more towards being an anti-hero or the villain of the story. This project made me embrace a character who is more altruistic by nature, it made me a more caring and understanding person. I am also excited for everyone to see my emotional scenes, and maybe something… I haven’t shown before in one of my love scenes,” he said.
For his future endeavors onscreen, Markki said he is open to giving life to more daring roles onscreen after Love At the End of the World.
“Yes I am open to doing projects like this in the future. The LGBTQIA++ population need a voice, and these stories help shape a more authentic understanding of the community. Interestingly enough, I did the first part of a play called Angels in America a couple of years ago, and there is a scene in the second part where I have to be on stage completely naked. This has been something I have been preparing for, but due to the pandemic, it had to be moved. Again, if I fall in love with a story, and I see potential, I will give my 100% for the story to manifest the way my director envisions it,” he added.