Finnish actor Jasper Pääkkönen has been a big surprise for his parents for more than a year.

Now it can be revealed: the role-playing character he plays in the new Vietnam drama directed by Spike Lee has got his first name from Jasper’s actress Seppo - and a last name from his mother!

In Da 5 Bloods, Pääkkönen plays Finnish activist Seppo Havelin, who and his colleagues are clearing dangerous mines left over from the war in Vietnam.

- I have deliberately concealing the name, Pääkkönen says on the phone from his home in Helsinki to Ilta-Sanomat.

Lee had originally written the character as an Australian named Travis. When the director asked for the role of Headpiece, the nationality changed.

- I would assume that it is his own humor and the feeling of Finland that he has clearly had in the air since Blackkklansman, Pääkkönen laughs.

For Jasper Pääkkönen, there were a total of 12 filming days in Thailand. The filming created a “camp school feeling” among the actors. Activist Hedy is starring Mélanie Thierry.

Photo: David Lee / Netflix

The duo's joint journey began with Blackkklansman, Spike Lee's previous feature film, in which Pääkkönen played a cruel racist.

Blackkklansman, which made its world premiere at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, finally brought Lee the first Oscar of his career this spring, for script. Before that, in the autumn of 2018, the director visited Finland at the Helsinki Love & Anarchy Film Festival at the invitation of Pääkkönen.

- Spike also met my father then and has sent him greetings since then, Pääkkönen says.

Before Da 5 Bloods ’filming in Thailand began in the spring of 2019, Lee asked a Finnish star to write three role-name options on a piece of paper in the script.

- The first two were names that easily fit in the mouth of an English speaker as well. The last was Seppo.

- Spike looked at the list, pointed to the name and found that this is the name of your sun fai! He immediately said this is good, let's go!

Da 5 Bloods follows the journey of Vietnam War veterans to former battlefields. The trip is made by David (Jonathan Majors), Melvin (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), Eddie (Norm Lewis), Otis (Clarke Peters) and Paul (Delroy Lindo).

Photo: David Lee / Netflix

The name selection Pääkkönen calculates your indication of the insider humor of the director's legend. After seeing his list of last name options, Lee immediately asked if any of the names meant anything to Pääkkönen.

- I said, well, that last one is my mut's last name. He said, well, that's definitely the name here!

- Stuff like that in a small twinkle in the eye always seems to be fun for Spike.

The role of Seppona in Da 5 Bloods is relatively small - so no measure of Blackkklansman’s racist role. Its actual protagonists are black American war veterans, played by Delroy Lindo, Norm Lewis, Clarke Peters and Isaiah Whitlock Jr.

Pääkkönen can also say a couple of replicas in Finnish in the film, when Seppo sees an American veteran drunk in a Vietnamese bar. One of the cremations is “Smashed like a cuckoo” and the other is “V ** known Americans”.

- Although the character played by Jonathan Majors does not speak Finnish, it had to be something so easy to understand that he understands what it is all about.

Seppo, presented by Pääkkönen in English, continues that Americans are wasting their time “watching reality TV and electing reality TV games as president”. Donald Trump is not mentioned by name in Lee’s reply, but the subject of the director’s criticism does not remain unclear.

Melvin (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), Eddie (Norm Lewis), Otis (Clarke Peters), Paul (Delroy Lindo) and David (Jonathan Majors) search Vietnam for treasure hidden in the country during the war.

Photo: David Lee / Netflix

In today’s rather serious-minded story, a group of veterans head to old war scenes to reminisce about wartime, to search for the body of their old teammate (Chadwick Boseman), and the gold bars hidden in the ground.

In his film, Lee takes a stand on the plight of black Americans in the Vietnam War. Information strikes on the achievements of black soldiers as well as their outright oppression and racism have been sprinkled on the plot's holiday.

Pääkkönen was in Thailand in the spring of 2019 for a total of six weeks. The actual shooting days were twelve.

Pääkkönen received the job offer by text message on the morning of Christmas day 2018. No trial descriptions were needed. The Blackkklansman collaboration was enough to prove it.

- Spike usually works with the same actors year after year, Pääkkönen describes.

Of the curves on the novelty produced by Netflix, at least Delroy Lindo, Paul Walter Hauser and Isaiah Whitlock Jr. have appeared in other Lee films as well, the last two like Pääkkönen at Blackkklansman.

The Finn states that they have become part of Lee's film family.

- Once you have worked with Spike and the cooperation has played, many times it is not the first and only time.

In the filming, the group of actors was close, as there was a lot of free time together and everyone lived in the same hotel.

- We were all far away from home blowing coal together. A camp school vibe was born there.

The director of Da 5 Bloods, Spike Lee (left), asked many of the veterans who had acted in his previous films to join his film. Leaf to the right are Clarke Peters, Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors and Norm Lewis.

Photo: David Lee / Netflix

Had the coronavirus not caused a global pandemic, the world premiere of Da 5 Bloods would have been celebrated like Blackkklansman in May at the Cannes Film Festival, where Spike Lee had been invited to chair the jury.

In an interview with Screen Daily in May, Thierry Frémaux, the festival’s artistic director, confirmed that the plan was to present Lee’s novelty outside the race series.

- In March, Spike played excitedly that the new tuxedos had already been ordered and that we would go to the red carpet again, Pääkkönen says.

When the Cannes Film Festival finally had to be canceled, the premiere parties became, in the spirit of the times, a remote party.

- We watched the film with the team via the internet link and then made a group call. Spike sent everyone a bottle of champagne home.

- Instead of stepping on the red carpet in Cannes, the gang was on their couches around the world on their home sofas and we squeaked virtually, Pääkkönen laughs.

The forced stop also did good for Pääkkönen. Although the announcement in January of the cancellation of Amazon’s big The Dark Tower series once had time to reset the spring schedules, the tool calendar quickly filled up again.

- I had quite a lot of work-related trips during the whole last winter until spring. I had to be all over April and May in London for work meetings and auditions, which naturally canceled.

The Finnish Seppo, played by Jasper Pääkkönen, collides with David (Jonathan Majors, right) at the Vietnamese bar, who is supporting his war veteran father. Other activists include Mélanie Thierry and Paul Walter Hauser.

Photo: David Lee / Netflix

He still hesitates to look for the good sides of the corona pandemic.

- That's where I actually got to be the work after the cancellation of paikoillani and received much needed rest, as much energy has gone from crisis to monitor and thinking about the tragic sides of the crisis.

Despite the stagnation of the world, Pääkkönen's calendar is not completely empty.

- I've been doing some screen tests in international stories that might still go productions during the summer. There is still nothing concrete yet.

The summer months include summer cottages and saunas, fishing and moving around in nature - ie a traditional Finnish summer holiday.

- I wouldn't change the Finnish summer to anything. Especially in the midst of such an interest rate crisis, I could not come up with a better place than Finland. This is the best place in the world to be. It would seem downright awful to be somewhere else.

Da 5 Bloods, premiere on Netflix on Friday 12.6. More about Jasper Pääkkönen and the making of the film in IS Tv magazine.