In this series of stories, well-known Finns tell about the most important insights of their lives.


"Grandparents' support is important"

“My parents got me young.

The mother had only turned eighteen, the father was a few years older than him.

Their young age contributed to the fact that I did not experience a big difference between the generations.

I was born in Southern Savonia in Kangasniemi and lived my childhood and part of my youth there.

After me was born my sister, who is nine years younger than me.

We lived on my father’s parents ’farm, where everything was cultivated.

We also had a little cattle.

Dad was hard at work in addition to farm work.

Among other things, he was involved in forest machine work.

Grandfather Lauri Hämäläinen was important and close to Janne. Photo: Janne Reinikainen's home album

In high school, I lived with my mother’s parents.

It was more convenient because the school was closer than my own home.

My grandparents were close to me and I believe their involvement in my life made my parents ’daily lives easier.

I guess parenting was definitely quite a lesson for my parents.

I had many close adults in my life.

They were also my mother's sisters who took care of me, and we often visited my father's sister in Espoo.

Now my 72-year-old father is terminally ill, and it currently defines my own life as well.

It is sad to watch a close person struggle against an illness. ”


"Encouragement is crucial"

“I am not particularly local and I moved to Helsinki a couple of years before I got into the Theater Academy.

I didn’t experience any loud adolescent rebellion, I felt more of a silent rebellion inside me.

I piled up my own inner worldview and my world, and I didn’t open it to other people.

Salty and sweet film in 1995. A young man ready to conquer the pops. Photo: Janne Reinikainen's home album

When I got to the Student Theater, it was my main job all evenings and often even days.

I was there for a couple of years and it was just the right time.

I decided that if I didn’t get to the Theater Academy, I would do something else.

I didn’t want to remain a semi-professional, and on the third try I passed the entrance exams.

Our course was a close-knit outfit.

Our inspiring teacher was Kari Heiskanen.

There have been no other Actors in our family, but I was already inspired by acting in elementary school performances.

The class teacher instilled my passion, and at the right time, he was able to strengthen my faith in my abilities.

Encouraging feedback can be crucial.

My enthusiasm for acting dates back to my childhood, when I watched all the black and white Uuno Turhapuro films and the Little Big Man western film directed by Dustin Hoffman, directed by the hilarious Arthur Penn, numerous times on a vhs cassette.

In Helsinki, the Group Theater did a great theater, and I saw the stuff done by the Group actors on TV.

As a recent graduate, I was later on stage myself. ”


“Bad conscience confuses relationships”

"I have two children.

My 19-year-old daughter Selma af Schultén is studying journalism at the Svenska social- och kommunalhögskolan, and my 17-year-old son Alvar af Schultén is in the second grade of high school.

We went together with the mother of my children in 1997 and divorced in 2010.

Now Selma is already on her own, and Alvar lives for two weeks with her mother, two weeks with me.

She enjoys music non-stop and has also done modeling.

At the turn of the year, just before the corona, he was invited to a Prada show in Milan.

I was there with him.

He also had time to visit London magazine for filming and appear in Hugo Boss’s screening.

It has been interesting to follow this modeling job, as well as how good a still photographer Selma has become.

I am the proud father of my children!

I did a lot of work when the kids were little.

For all parents, everyday life with young children and a career is certainly a difficult equation.

It easily leads to a bad conscience.

After the separation, I felt a bad conscience when I was a distant parent, but such feelings don’t help anything.

They can confuse other relationships and lead to completely unnecessary redress.

However, I was still with my kids at the time as much as I could and I remember endlessly long times at playgrounds.

Fairy tales were read aloud to them over the age of ten, and it was an important time together.

Suddenly you notice that the children have grown up - one is already an adult, the other almost.

However, caring for a parent is never interrupted.

Daughter probably would say that I have been tighter father to him than his his brother.

I've gotten from the feedback!

When I taught him to drive a car, we sat in the car for a long time.

It was a nice step. ”


"Age difference does not affect interaction"

“I’m living a great phase of my life right now.

We have been a journalist with Sonja Saarikoski for a couple of years.

We met each other through the dating service Tinder and face to face very soon in Kamppi at a bus stop designed by Stefan Lindfors.

It was both going right away.

Meeting Sonja has been a groundbreaking change in my life.

I was broken from a previous four-year relationship, but Sonja’s entry into my life and living together has been a huge turnaround that has taught me to rejoice in life.

In fact, life has been reorganized.

"Meeting Sonja has been a revolutionary change in my life," says Janne from her cohabitant Sonja Saarikoski. Photo: Janne Reinikainen's home album

Sonja is a really intelligent and versatile talented person who has experienced a lot in her life.

We have an age difference of twenty years, but it doesn’t feel any way in our interactions.

For years, Sonja ambitiously played the cello, which changed to writing.

It is rewarding that we are not in the same field.

It’s important to me to give Sonja room to do what he wants.

I admire how he brought up the harassment in classical music in his extensive article in Image magazine.

The whole #meto talk is a revolution where everyone wins.

It is a very important and big step towards equality.

The public debate is moving to the next stage, focusing instead on convicting individual perpetrators, focusing on the observation, reflection and wider change of structures that perpetuate inequality. ”


“Every actor is different”

“Before the play All About My Mother, I hadn’t been on stage for seven years, but directed and done TV work.

I have an outright famine on the scene, even though I have done interesting Kekkonen's role thumb-TV series.

In the play All About My Mother, I play a transvestite, which is very interesting.

The role makes it possible to present different genders with very quick and surprising changes, which is rare material for the actor.

The fuss that arose during the premiere of the play clarified the terminology and hopefully increased the understanding of gender diversity, and the position of transgender people gained more visibility.

Translaki is a violation of human dignity and it is incomprehensible that the legal confirmation of one's own gender identity requires sterilization in today's Finland.

Suomenlinna Summer Theater 2007. Janne played the role of the Unknown Soldier in Rock. Photo: Janne Reinikainen's home album

Theater is the number one thing for me in my work.

Being on stage is the hardest and most demanding part of an actor’s job, and in a theater, the actor has the opportunity to control the whole thing unlike in front of the camera.

The actor has to re-perceive the situation and events every night, reach the story and the audience.

Every time is completely different and the audience is new.

That's how I wake up in the morning and how I experience my feelings, my condition and physical hurts affect tonight's show.

For me, theater work is not repetition, just as no day repeats itself.

When there’s a performance tonight, I don’t consciously think about it, but it’s still subconscious.

I've also directed, and acting, as well as understanding of the acting process is a good starting point counselor.

Every actor is different, that I have tried to understand the director.

Just as I like acting in the theater, I like directing in the theater. ”


“Understanding your own limitations makes it easier”

"I've played sports from a young age, even if there has been a long breaks.

I played ping pong with my son for a long time, but he progressed to a level I didn’t reach.

After that, my hobby of ping pong remained.

Now I take care of my fitness by jogging, and since we don’t have a car, I cycle a lot.

We live in the city center, so I can get to work quickly by bike.

And everyday exercise also keeps you fit.

Theater Academy 1993. The series Dreams was directed by Petri Lahtinen.

Janne played and sang. Photo: Janne Reinikainen's home album

I feel aging mostly as mild shoulder and knee pain, but luckily I can move well.

Starring heels All About My Mother stage play at the National Theater, I noticed that the shoes weigh more heavily on the toes.

After all, it was surprisingly easy to learn to walk in heels!

Age brings certainty when you have had to accept your own limits.

Understanding your own limitations, shortcomings, and weaknesses makes it easier for many to realize that so few things can be controlled and the only way is to let go.

In the same breath, I must say that I am still stupidly stuck on many things.

We eat healthy at home, and I cook.

The diet is largely vegetable-focused and we also eat some fish, but not meat at all. ”

Values ​​of life

"Basic honesty is important"

“Some of the values ​​of life are to withdraw from my childhood home, some to take shape with age and experience.

My parents and grandparents taught caring and caring.

Basic honesty is important, as is respect for other people.

Sonja is an extremely honest person, and trustworthiness and honesty are important values ​​in our relationship.

Making theater is not just about presenting fiction.

Acting must be honest in what it does and get the viewer to believe and identify with the story, whether it is fiction or truth.

When it comes to awkward situations with people, I always try to find a glorious way out.

It's not always easy, but human dignity must be respected. "

Summers at Grandparents' cottage in Puulavesi were a little boy's dream life. Photo: Anna Huovinen


"Good surprises can come"

“In my twenties, I had work-related dreams, as many have.

However, I was very realistic and thought that three times the entrance exams to the Theater School would be enough.

When I got there, I was pretty young, only 22 years old, and I actually got inside at just the right time.

If I had gotten there earlier, a couple of years might have been wasted growing up in the midst of pain.

Bonnier's Journalist Gala 2020. Janne's spouse, Sonage Saarikoski, CEO of Image, was nominated for Journalist of the Year. Photo: Janne Reinikainen's home album

Now I want to live a good everyday life with my family and get to do all sorts of things with my family.

I don’t have big dreams for work.

The main thing is that I get to do the work I enjoy.

I have had to do so a wide range of work in theater and television, I can not complain.

Good surprises come if you have to come.

I live such a good life now that I don’t have to reach far.

The huge surprise and fulfillment of the dream was Sonja’s entry into my life, and I don’t have the feeling that something is missing. ”

Janne Reinikainen

Born in Kangasniemi on March 10, 1969.

Acts in the Finnish National Theater's play All About My Mother and in the Karppi and Fist TV series.

Lives cohabiting with journalist Sonja Saarikoski.

Two children, 19-year-old Selma and 17-year-old Alvar from the previous union.