Trending News

An interview with Petrie Willink from Oppenheimer

Who knew the Nutley Drama Club could be a springboard to Hollywood? Petrie Willink sure did, transforming his Sussex childhood memories of stage fright into a dazzling portfolio of roles. 

From playing a Leiden University student in World War II for Christopher Nolan’s upcoming film, Oppenheimer, to wearing multiple hats as the writer, director, producer, and actor of the gene-editing saga Krispr, this versatile actor is catching the spotlight.

We were lucky enough to snatch some moments with the actor, and our questions were answered with aplomb.

Petrie, you have a couple of exciting projects in the pipeline. Can you share more about your role in Christopher Nolan’s upcoming film, Oppenheimer?

I play a student in Leiden University in the Netherlands during World War II.

How was it to be a part of a film directed by Christopher Nolan, and what did you learn from this experience?

It’s the chance of a lifetime to be a part of such a famous director, cast and crew. I am grateful for the opportunity. 

In your feature film, Krispr, you play a scientist who makes a breakthrough in gene mapping and cloning. How did you prepare for such a complex role?

I spoke in an American accent for two months to prepare for my role. I also wrote the script, which took five weeks. 

What challenges did you face while juggling multiple roles as a writer, director, producer, and actor for Krispr?

It was very challenging to direct a whole cast, while being featured in the scene. When you’re directing, you have to be very critical and if you’re acting in the scene, the last thing you want to do is be judging or you’re dead in the water. 

Your character in Krispr brings a clone home to meet his family. Can you tell us more about how this storyline develops and what viewers can expect?

It’s based on Crispr Cas9 Gene Editing Technology. I watched a documentary with my EP in Amsterdam on Netflix about Gene Editing and Crispr. 

You’ve also just wrapped up filming for a horror film, Footage. How was your experience filming in Austria?

It was amazing filming in Gumpoldski, Austria. The movie is in post production.

Can you share any memorable moments or experiences from the sets of Footage?

We had a very challenging production schedule due to the many night scenes set in the forest. It was in the Baltic region.

You’ve successfully auditioned for various roles, including Harry Potter. What do you think is the key to a good audition?

Personally, I much prefer auditioning in a room of people.  I’m able to channel my stage nerves into the performance, and the result is electric.

You’ve shared that you enter the stage with a certain joie de vivre. How do you maintain this enthusiasm and passion in the face of challenges and rejection in the industry?

If there were any alternative, I would have taken it a long time ago. I feel a fanatical need to play characters and tell stories.

You grew up in Sussex and began acting at a young age. How did your early experiences in The Nutley Drama Club shape your acting career?

Like with every project, the people you work with become a little family. This is how I felt doing amateur stage productions, and short films for The Nutley Drama Club, I had found my people.

You have a strong foundation in acting, writing, producing, and directing. Which of these roles do you find most challenging and why?

Directing and producing is the most challenging due to the extra time spent on making a film, as opposed to just acting, you’re the last to show up and first to leave a production.  

You’re also passionate about various social issues like environmentalism, social equality, and energy revolution. How do these passions influence your work in the film industry?

The messages of my social and environmental passions are subtly woven into my screenplays. That is my weapon for pushing the evolution of human consciousness.

You practice transcendental meditation and yoga daily. How do these practices support your work as an actor and filmmaker?

I have a morning meditation routine with various types of meditations. Without this, I wouldn’t feel grounded through the day.

It seems you had quite an adventurous upbringing, with a lot of outdoor activities. How have these experiences influenced you as a person and an actor?

I’ve definitely had an abundance of adventurous experiences growing up, constantly drawing upon them when creating stories and characters. \

You learned to navigate adulthood while backpacking across Europe. How did this experience shape your worldview and your approach to life and acting?

I would often seek out life threatening situations to feel alive. A creative performance in front of an audience is just a continuation of that thrill seeking.

Two of your brothers have founded their own tech startups, and your sister is a computer programmer. Has their tech expertise influenced your filmmaking in any way?

Not as such, but is my brothers’ block chain platform, where I ultimately plan to distribute Krispr on as well. 

You speak Dutch. How does being bilingual benefit you in your career?

Well I play a Dutch student in Oppenheimer, so being able to nail a perfect Dutch accent was paramount for me booking the job.

You’ve mentioned that you’ve faced a lot of rejection in your career. How do you bounce back from these setbacks and keep pushing forward?

It is tough bouncing back from close misses, as all my actor colleagues can assure. But writing and producing my own content, puts me back in the driver’s seat of my career. 

As you look ahead, what are your hopes and dreams for your career? Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

With a blossoming a-list career and working with all the top studios, I plan to create a non-profit aimed at conservation and catalyzing the energy revolution. 


How do you want Petrie to leverage his blossoming A-list status to make a difference in his passion projects around conservation and the energy revolution? Let us know in the comments!

Share via:
Sponsored Post
No Comments

Leave a Comment