Most people probably haven’t heard of Tarjei Sandvik Moe before, but he’s already internationally known for his work both on the stage and on the screen — and he’s only 18-years-old.
Tarjei’s journey to fame is a pretty unique one. Back in 2015, he skipped his math class to go and audition for the Norwegian coming-of-age series “SKAM” and ended up scoring the role of Isak Valtersen — an outwardly-tough but inwardly-vulnerable teenager struggling with acceptance. Whilst Tarjei didn’t think much would come from the role at the time, he truly started to come into his own as an actor on “SKAM,” just as the show itself began to gain unexpected worldwide success.
I like to focus on just one thing: conveying a story in a way that affects people.
— Tarjei speaking with Dagbladet
Isak was the protagonist during the show’s third season, and the maturity and sensitivity with which Tarjei guided his character through his struggles with coming out, religion and rocky relationships with his parents is truly a testament to him both as an actor and as a person. He embodied so much raw and real emotion in Isak, touching the hearts of many viewers and gaining him widespread critical acclaim. His work with his co-star Henrik Holm even earned him one of Norway’s prestigious Gullruten awards, making him the award’s youngest ever winner — a truly impressive feat.
Tarjei’s on-screen career certainly doesn’t stop there.
Since “SKAM” ended back in June of last year, the 18-year-old has already taken part in numerous other projects, including a small role on the TV series “Melk” and the male lead in the film En Affære, set for release this upcoming autumn. Being able to pull off such a diverse range of characters in little over two years is no mean feat — not many other people could go from depicting an angsty teenager to playing a super-confident gym fanatic in such a short time.
“I look up to Tarjei so much because he’s such a respectful, hardworking and dedicated person. Seeing everything he’s accomplished and how much he loves his work is a huge source of motivation and inspiration for me to work toward my goals every day.”
— Peyton, a fan from the USA
The theatre has also become a home of sorts for Tarjei, most recently with him thriving as the dorky, boyish T-Bird Doody in the stage production of Grease at Chateau Neuf in Oslo. Here, Tarjei showcased his skills beyond acting and proved that he also has a flair for singing and dancing, his solo song “Magiske Toner” (Those Magic Changes) having him strutting around the stage with nothing but a towel around his waist and a guitar around his neck.
Despite having no previous dance or musical background, Tarjei truly flourished throughout the show’s two-month-long run.
The energy Tarjei brought with him whenever he took to the stage was contagious, and the way that his voice grew so much stronger and more sure of itself with every performance of “Magiske Toner” was so refreshing to hear. It’s rare to see someone as young as he is investing so much time and effort into a project in order to improve an already impressive skill-set.
“Tarjei is a true example of how working hard at your dream can pay off, and he’s so level-headed and humble. He doesn’t let negativity get him down, and he is confident in his abilities as an actor, no matter what anyone says.”
— Rosie, a fan from the UK
Having already achieved so much at just 18-years-old, the future is certainly looking bright for Tarjei.
His hard work, dedication and undying passion for his craft — all while he’s still in school — serve as a source of inspiration for so many of his fans, and the fact that he has remained grounded and humble despite his unexpected success makes him a truly admirable figure. Even when he’s faced challenges and setbacks, Tarjei has remained calm and collected and has continued to carry out his craft with maturity, determination, and confidence. He knows what he wants and just goes for it, no matter what other people think.
I want to make stories that help people to understand each other better.
— Tarjei speaking with Aftenposten
It’s not the money or the fame that drive Tarjei as an actor. What makes it so worthwhile for him is his how he can use his passion for what he does in order to have a positive impact on people. Whether he’s helping his characters through some of the most prominent issues of today’s society or swaggering around the stage in Converse and a leather jacket, Tarjei has never lost sight of what he really wants: to tell stories that truly matter to people.