If you watched Iceland’s Eurovision Finals, you saw Greta Salóme chosen to represent Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest. The two hosts of the show, the frighteningly fit blonde duo–who are either robots or assassins, but most likely robot assassins–kept stumbling over one name, Jonathan Duffy.
Jonathan is strong-shouldered, floppy-haired blonde gentleman with a dark, striking beard and eyes which shift unexpectedly between wide-eyed and piercing. On the night of the finals, he wore a shiny blue blazer atop a long black t-shirt and stone-washed blue jeans. When he found out he was going to Sweden, as part of the team behind Greta Salóme, his hands clutched his face in disbelief.
The question is: Who the fuck is Jonathan Duffy? Jonathan, or Jono, is the art director behind Greta Salóme, but he’s also a comedian, writer, filmmaker, and a formally trained actor. He’s a recent arrival in Reykjavík, moving here from his home country, Australia. He only came here six months ago, but has already made a name for himself and made Iceland his home.
“Greta Salomé approached Ólöf Erla Einarsdóttir and me,” said Jono in the Prikið smoking section, sitting up straight in defiance of his chest infection. “We worked together to coordinate the projections of shadows with her performance. It was amazing to do. I feel so lucky. I suffer from terrible imposter’s syndrome. I was never formally trained as a graphic designer or a filmmaker. I’m just an actor.”
“Just an actor” betrays his former successes as a filmmaker. His film The Doctor’s Wife won an Award of Excellence at the Canadian International Film Festival. He also filmed and edited Páll Óskar’s last video.
“I came to Iceland after a breakup,” said Jono, refusing the offer of a cigarette. “I wanted to start somewhere new. It’s the same as moving to any city: Don’t expect people should meet you halfway. You’re the outsider it’s up to you. If you’re a doer here, if you talk about a project and actually follow up, it can happen here.”
Jono has partnered up with Hugleikur Dagsson to perform a live comedy show at Café Rosenberg called Icetralia, which will be performed in english starting in March and feature Jono and Hugleikur’s different points-of-view on Iceland, Icelanders and the tourists who come to see them.
“I’ve been watching Eurovision since I was a child,” said Jono, coughing off to the side into his fist. “This is a dream come true.”
Icetralia is at Café Rosenberg on March 15 & 22, April 4 & 13 & 20, May 5 & 26, June 6 & 9 & 16 & 23.