By Jackie Shannon

“I just want to make things real and honest,” Danish film director, Susanne Bier, told FilmInk in 2007. “I keep asking myself, ‘Is this really truthful, or should we do it differently?’ If you have that as a mantra, and the whole crew knows about it, then it’s no good for them to come up to me with colourful, beautiful costumes or anything like that. I’m going to tell them to go and make somebody look worse – or really ugly – if that looks more real. I’m much more of an emotional director than an intellectual one.”

Best known for her harrowing homeland-shot dramas, Open Hearts and Brothers, as well as the Academy Award-winning In A Better World, Susanne Bier has quietly but effectively worked her way to the forefront of female directors on the international stage. Working with big names like Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence (Serena), Halle Berry and Benicio Del Toro (Things We Lost In The Fire), Pierce Brosnan (Love Is All You Need), and Mads Mikkelsen (After The Wedding), Bier has made a habit of endearing herself to actors without ever having to take a backward step. “She’s challenging, she’s demanding, she’s bossy, she’s infuriating,” Pierce Brosnan told FilmInk of his Love Is All You Need director, before adding with a broad smile that she’s also “sexy, vivacious, beautiful – and she gets away with blue murder!”

So when international company, Georg Jensen – the Danish design company renowned for artistic boldness, superior craftsmanship, and visionary collaborations with leading artists and designers – was looking for independent, stand-alone women to feature in its latest campaign, Susanne Bier was an obvious choice. “At Georg Jensen, we’ve always encouraged women to be themselves and make their own success,” says Georg Jensen CEO Eva-Lotta Sjöstedt, who was appointed the first female CEO of Georg Jensen earlier this year, and today leads the senior management team, where 50% of the members are female. “Our campaign is the extension of that very philosophy, and the women featured are the embodiment of that. Georg Jensen is for women all over the world who embrace their voices and create their own path, and don’t let anyone else define them. We wanted this campaign to transcend ideals about beauty, putting focus on personality first. The women featured are powerful role models, and we’re very proud to be featuring them in the campaign.”

Susanne Bier for Georg Jensen
Susanne Bier for Georg Jensen

Featured alongside world champion welterweight Norwegian boxer, Cecilia Brækhus; award winning Australian comedian, Sarah Kendall; professional Iranian motocross rider, Behnaz Shafiei; and acclaimed American chef, Dominique Crenn, Susanne Bier is an equally vital example of independence and strength. “I probably am demanding,” Bier – who just picked up her first Emmy Award for directing all six episodes of the acclaimed drama, The Night Manager – told FilmInk in 2012. “But as a director, there’s no avoiding that. You have to be tough on set. The only way that actors can dare to go to dark places is to know that the director has a certain relentlessness. In a way, what makes actors nervous would be the thought that I would be weak…they would be super frightened about that. So yeah, I’m probably tough. I’ve learned to have a certain attitude to both success and failure, and I’ve realised that I’m not defined by how the world sees me – I need to have the integrity from within.”

It’s that integrity that makes Susanne Bier the perfect inclusion for the latest campaign for Georg Jensen, which was founded in 1904 by master silversmith, Georg Jensen, and creates world-class Scandinavian designed collections including sterling silverware and flatware, fine jewellery, watches, accessories, and a home collection. “In this campaign, we celebrate five demanding, strong, provocative, loud and ambitious women, who don’t compromise about who they are”, ends Eva-Lotta Sjöstedt. That’s Susanne Bier, without question. “Any project that I do has to be vibrant, and it really has to make me curious,” the director told FilmInk in 2007. “I have to feel like I might break my neck making it. If you don’t feel that, then why do it?”

For more on Georg Jensen, head to the official site.


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