Nina Bergman’s moment is here. She carries the weight of the Jesse V. Johnson film Hell Hath No Fury (November 5, 2021, Limited release), wearing mainly an undergarment slip and shorn hair.
At the end of World War II, French people (primarily women) accused of collaboration with Germany endured this humiliating act of revenge, their heads shaved in public. Writer and screenwriter Katharine Lee McEwan and Romain Serir penned authentic dialogue for Bergman, whose chilling performance captures all the indignities and more with the film’s revenge twist. Her character, Marie DuJardin, survived an incredible journey after that event and was able to resume what seemed to be everyday life as she navigated a hellscape of Nazi-occupied France during World War II.
Danish actor Bergman is a highly educated and trained thespian in film, T.V., theater, and a singer and songwriter. Her haunting tour de force performance in Hell Hath No Fury is memorable, as this World War II historical female-empowering action drama features Nina as Marie, a French resistance fighter who falls in love with an S.S. officer who suddenly becomes a prisoner of a rogue group of corrupt U.S. soldiers.
The film’s premise shows how greed and the spoils of war make monsters of all men, as Marie fights to stay alive and manipulate the turned tables to her favor, allowing her character a bit of sweet revenge. Bergman’s costars include Daniel Bernhardt, Timothy V. Murphy, Louis Mandylor, Dominique Vandenberg, Josef Cannon, and Charles Fathy.
Though Danish by birth, Bergman is the granddaughter of Russia’s most outstanding actor Pavel Kadochnikov. Nina spent her early childhood traveling around Europe with her Russian Gypsy grandparents and speaks English, Danish, Russian, Swedish, and Norwegian. Bergman honed her acting craft and attended some of the world’s most distinguished institutions.
At age 14, she received a scholarship to the Urdang Academy in London. A year later, she enrolled at the Bolshoi Theatre. From there, Bergman moved to New York City and entered the N.Y.U. Tisch School of the Arts and also studied at Juilliard.
Not only possessing a sterling CV, but Bergman takes on extreme physical challenges. She became an amateur boxer, a skillset that later helped her book movies like The Car, a remake, and Doom, both by Universal Pictures. Her latest work includes Seize the Night, playing the lead “G.G.” based on a 90’s goth singer directed by Gene Blalock. She is currently preparing to star in his next movie, The Deafening Silence, an homage to Beethoven, playing the acclaimed piano player.
Signed to Warner Brothers in 2011, Nina worked on soundtracks for Lionsgate Films, singing the theme song for Catacombs, Repo the Genetic Opera, and Sharknado. She sang the end title song in Black Limousine and was the voice on the soundtrack for All About Her. Additionally, she performed live for the World Series and the N.C.A.A. College Football Season. Her work in music videos includes a starring role in Gnarls Barkley’s video for Gone Daddy Gone, Sick Puppies video for All the Same, and Trey Songz video, Foreigner.
In addition, Nina is an avid animal rights activist with an active voice for the ethical treatment of all animals.
Exclusive interview with Nina Bergman
Monsters & Critics: This film was a real twist on a World War II premise. How did they find you?
Nina Bergman: I worked with Jesse V. Johnson when I first came to Los Angeles on a Wonder Woman project before the Wonder Woman film was in production. He wanted to interpret that character, so we did a short film trailer that went viral. He put it online, and it got millions of views. Jesse had a little more of a darker take than what they went with, and I auditioned for it, but they went in a very different direction. So that’s how we met.
We’ve been trying to find projects to work together. Jesse was in preproduction on this particular movie during COVID[-19] and had attached a prominent European actress. However, I still auditioned because she couldn’t get into the country because of the pandemic.
I volunteered to do the table read, came super prepared, and then the whole cast pushed for me like crazy. The producers ended up hiring me to work with some of the other actors, and I knew Timothy V. Murphy and Louis Mandylor and had worked with them before. So I came prepared for my table read. I wanted that part.
M&C: Your character Marie DuJardin, Was it all based on a true story?
Nina Bergman: Yes. Initially, it was a French comic book that took a lighter approach, and then they made like some movie, very Indie and under the radar. So Jesse was looking for a script to do during COVID[-19] that he could shoot, and he just fell in love with the writing and the actual story.
So for this film, he created the characters and took the essence all based on a true story, and he made it into a serious piece, what it is now. Jesse tried to honor all the angles so you understand the action from every side. He’s trying to show it from everyone’s perspective.
So there’s no bad guy, per se. They were all in it together, allies in greed. Because that is what war is, right? And I loved the beautiful backstory and love story between my character Marie DuJardin and Von Bruckner (Daniel Bernhardt).
M&C: At the end of the film, Marie does not trust anyone at that point. Regardless of love, regardless of loyalty to any country, your character is just done with all of them.
Nina Bergman: At the end of the day, Von Bruckner killed her parents. The gold that he stole for him and Marie to have a future could very well have been melted down from her dad’s watch and her mom’s dental work or a gold tooth. She couldn’t put that behind her, no matter what. In a perfect world, they should have been together. They fell in love. But, she made a promise to do the right thing for her parents’ sake.
M&C: You are likely to be the most academically trained actor in the room at any given time. Talk about your grandparents taking you to all these different countries when you grew up?
Nina Bergman: My dad is Russian, my mother is Danish, and I grew up in Denmark. When I was young, I would travel around at age four to six with my grandparents, they were gypsies, traveling around and singing and performing, and I would do my thing.
I started doing ballet and theater, and my dad was a professor at the Danish film school, so I’ve always been around the arts. And then, at 14, I got a scholarship for the Urdang Academy in London. My parents divorced when I was 10. So that I cut and sold it. And when I went to London at 14, I looked like how I looked now when I was that age. People thought I was an adult at 13, 14 years old.
I don’t recommend it, but everything is just so fun and exciting when you’re a young teenager. I didn’t realize how dangerous it was. I started my journey and because of ballet which is all about education and training. I kept that throughout my life and treated everything that I did the same way. It’s like a craft, like becoming a doctor or anything. I still take [ballet] classes.
M&C: Will America be the place where you put down roots or are you open to working anywhere in the world?
Nina Bergman: I’m open to working anywhere, but I left Denmark so young, I have a bit of an accent, and I think I’m more Americanized. I feel at home here, the Russians and Americans. They think very much alike, where the Danish people have a completely different mentality.
Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world, and less is more, and it’s very simple, and everyone is equal. And we all think about us, and America and Russia are bigger, and somehow I feel more accepted here than I do in Denmark. I’m very different from the Danish people. They’re just happy and want to have their families. It’s really beautiful. But I have this drive that makes me not fit in.
M&C: When did you start with amateur boxing?
Nina Bergman: I couldn’t pay for college when I was accepted at N.Y.U. Tisch and I worked as an actor and model, but at $30,000 a semester, I had to do something else to make money. I was very athletic, so they sent me to boxing, and then I was one of those angry teenagers who were just very good at it, and then I started training and making and making more money doing that.
So that’s how I supported myself through college for two years. I had also danced for the Bolshoi theater, and I was hired as a backup dancer for many pop stars and a couple of great performers.
M&C: Tell me about Seize the Night. Are you playing the lead G.G.?
Nina Bergman: Yes, this is a Requiem for a Dream sort of movie, and without giving the movie away, G.G. has one night before she has to go, and she meets the love of her life, and they go on this crazy journey and adventure together and has her last night here. She was a goth singer, all based on a true story.
So a lot of the music is all the original music that I used and wrote, and the director wanted to use it. It’s perfect because that was my life. I was in a goth punk rock band most of my life. I was the lead singer, wrote all the music, toured right before the pandemic, and even signed to Warner Brothers.
And as an actor, sometimes not being able to play the parts I wanted to play, I needed a creative outlet, and music was my outlet. I’m a performer. I need to express, whether through my music or amazing writing, I need something authentic.
M&C: What were some of your musical influences?
Nina Bergman: When I started boxing, I discovered Nine Inch Nails. I was very late in the game, but I was like, ‘Wow, a guy who doesn’t have tattoos like me who says what I feel without even blinking twice about it?’ Trent Reznor said everything I felt.
This [music] is what I want. I want that. And at that time, I worked as an undercover animal rights activist. My true calling, I think, and I have a passion for being the voice for the voiceless, seeing what I saw in slaughterhouses, mink farms, under underground dog fighting. So the boxing and the music, I needed an outlet. I think that’s why I gravitated to boxing. I think that’s why I was drawn to hard rock music. I needed the outlet.
There was this underground band Kidneythieves that lost their lead singer. I auditioned and joined the band. We became Shocknina, made an E.P., and toured. Then I formed Dead Rose Beauty and toured. Then Rob Cavallo signed me to a six-album deal with Warner Bros Records as N.I.N.A.
M&C: You’re still an animal rights activist, and you’ve been to some of these horrible places. What are you hoping to raise awareness regarding this?
Nina Bergman: My approach is not promotional because many people think vegans are weak and malnourished. I feel like my purpose here is to show people you can still be fit and strong.
My Hell Hath No Fury character Marie was skinny by design because of the deprivations of World War II. I wanted her on the slimmer side. Usually, I’m a little more buff to be an amateur boxer, do action movies, and do all that stuff.
I wanted to show people that choosing not to eat animals doesn’t mean you will be weak and skinny. I eat what the strongest animals eat. So I just wanted to reverse the stigma because of all of the protein diets people are on. Our kidneys can’t digest all that protein. There are so many documentaries about how all athletes are changing to a vegan diet because they get better results, health-wise.
And I try to go to downtown Los Angeles every Sunday to the Farmer John slaughterhouse, and we give the baby pigs water. We stand outside, they process 10,000 pigs a day, and the police are there. They let us do it, and we filmed it. I filmed these trucks with these six-month-old pigs that come from Arizona, all over.
And, sometimes, they drive them to California with no water. Sometimes they’re dead in the trucks. They are babies still, yet they’re humongous, fed with all sorts of growth hormones, but they become sick and deformed.
They are babies and then drive them into the slaughterhouse, sick and tortured like that and we film and try to raise awareness for people to make the connection, you’re eating torture, cancer, hormones.
So I want people to wake up, and then you can make your choice. Maybe eat less, just cut it down in half or know what you’re putting in your mouth because there’s a disconnect, right?
People say they love animals. And I’m like, ‘no, you don’t, you love pets.’ Pigs are more intelligent than dogs. You love your pet, but you don’t love other animals because you’re not going to eat your dog, right?
My goal while I’m here is to expose their suffering and the unhealthy aspects [for people who eat these meat products], and then people can make their choices and do whatever they want, but at least make that connection. See what is happening. That is my passion.
Hell Hath No Fury is available in theaters on November 5 and on Digital on November 9, 2021.