Journal Ellen ENG

Interview with Ellen Hillingsø

For actress Ellen Hillingsø, spring and light bring a whole new energy. This year, the brighter days mean something very special.

What does spring mean for you?
Most importantly, it means light! The way the light changes and the joy it brings with it. I think about that every spring. You think: it can’t be six o’clock – it’s still light! You’re taken aback with joy. It’s so beautiful – suddenly it’s just there.

What does it mean to you that more light is on its way?
Light nurtures hope, and you start to think differently about things. Light is overwhelming and it just fills you with hope. My mood lifts and my heart feels lighter. My social life improves – I go out more, and everything goes at a new pace that just doesn’t exist in winter. During the winter months I can be more introverted and wrap myself up a bit, but when spring comes I naturally have more energy to be outside.

“It is a kind of philosophy of life I have that one must preserve dignity and adhere to the rituals, even though times are different.”

Is spring particularly special this year?
Spring is a blessing every year! When spring arrives, you can feel how things are improving. That said, I think spring means something special to most people this year. We’ve all had a harsh winter – there has been a collective duvet covering us, and it’s been so dark. But suddenly it’s brightening up and we’re becoming more optimistic.

What do you love most about spring?
That I’m filled with hope – and amazement that everything is growing and springing up. Creative juices start to flow, and the revitalisation is so delightful. All the dark and heavy clothes we’ve been wearing all winter – well all of a sudden, you can’t stand them! I think in the spring everyone has a sort of change in personality almost.

Do you have any spring traditions?
I have some very classic traditions every year: The terrace furniture is taken back out into the garden, we have Easter dinners, we pick snowdrops, clean the windows and pack away the winter wardrobe.

What are you hoping for right now?
‘Waiting and hoping turns many people into fools’, is what I usually say. But this spring, hope has taken on a different meaning for me. I dearly hope that we can get out and be together again – that we can meet for an Easter dinner. I don’t think that’s completely unrealistic. I suppose it’s really quite a modest hope, but maybe hopes are actually best when they’re a bit modest.

What does Easter mean to you?
Easter means a lot to me – there is something special about this holiday. Easter and Christmas are the two times of the year when everything is quiet. There is nothing quieter than Good Friday.

What Easter traditions do you have in your family?
I always decorate our home for Easter with a beautiful damask tablecloth, Easter eggs, branches in a vase, daffodils and so on – I just love it. We usually play games and drink tea outside, regardless of the weather – either with lots of clothes on and blankets around us or just in T-shirts. Usually we invite guests round for a big Easter dinner in our summer cottage, and the children hunt for Easter eggs in the garden. It’s also a solid tradition that we paint Easter eggs, because my husband is an expert.

How will you celebrate Easter if we still can’t meet up with others?
We’ll celebrate Easter anyway. I’m going to do lots of decorating and go all out! If you can’t do something big, you have to do something small in a big way. I have the philosophy that we should keep our dignity and maintain our rituals even when times are different. So bring out the family silver, set a beautiful table and make it special! We need it now more than ever.