Stefán Karl Stefánsson is an Icelandic film and stage actor who is best known for playing the character Robbie Rotten on the television show LazyTown.
• Jay Chandrasekhar (Jayanth Jambulingam "Jay" Chandrasekhar is an American film and television actor, comedian, write...)
• Jackson Galaxy (Jackson Galaxy is a cat behaviorist and host of the television show My Cat from Hell.)
• Shawn Hatosy (Shawn Wayne Hatosy is an American film and television actor. He is perhaps best known for his rol...)» All Film actor Interviews
My short bio: Many of you know me from my role as Robbie Rotten from LazyTown. Others may have seen me playing the Grinch in the nationwide touring show. I've recently undergone major cancer surgery. I wanted to talk to you directly and let you ask me about my fight, my shows -- anything you like!
If you'd like to join me in my battle, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/2tm9tqk
Hello Stefan! I run Lazy Town Memes on facebook, its a Lazy Town fanpage (we have 73k likes and growing :D) we helped to raise awareness for your fund (we estimate we helped raise 1k+ YAY) and many of our fans have donated to you and pray you get better.
I gotta know, do you know about your internet meme status, if so how do you feel about it?
Much love, both Admins <3
Well my daughters have recently informed me of the Lazy town meme trend. I was pleasantly surprised and I have enjoyed the incredible creativity.
What is your opinion on the "cooking by the book"lazytown song featuring lil jon? For reference :https://youtu.be/G5KxZ5Lc_YA
Just watched it! Interesting...;)
Haha that was us bringing back Lazy Town memes, we didn't expect it to spread like it did! Without a doubt everyone loves Robbie more than any other character and how could they not? Hes number one and relatable! We will continue to spread word of your gofundme. We might run a page for laughs but to us your health is no laughing matter.
How creamy was that creamy cake you made?
That's always been and will be one of my favorite quotes.
Shaving creamy...It was actually shaving cream they used for the cake. Once I had to eat a piece of the cake so they used actual spray can cream. It tasted horrible – so I looked at the can...it had expired years ago...
Hello, Stefan! My name is Milena, I'm from Ukraine. I would like to say thank you for an amazing characters that you played. I saw LazyTown like about 9 years ago and I became a big fan of your character Robbie Rotten. You're such a talented person! You made me laugh so many times! I just wanted to say thank you and please get well soon!! I wish you all the best from the bottom of my heart. Really. I hope some day you could give me an autograph. I did a little artwork of your character Robbie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBMp5DCTe9U And I posted a link to your gofundme everywhere I can. I translated this text to russian and posted it for your russian and ukrainian fans. I really hope that it will help. Hugs from Ukraine. Get well soon!
Interesting to know how do you feel right now?
You are talented! Keep up the good work...Art heals the world.
I feel ok, I am recovering from surgery and preparing to do adjuvant chemo...I am optimistic that I will recover fully even if that it will take a loooooong time.
Question from my little sister: Did you ever get jealous of sportacus for doing all those flips ?
Little sisters love the show but hate you.... Lol
No ;) extremely thankful that I didn't need to do them ;)
Hi Stefan, my daughter loved LazyTown when she was younger! Does the physicality of the show take a toll/cause many injuries?
No serious injuries, minor scratches only... and I had to stay fit for the physicality of the character obviously.
I'm not even going to lie, I enjoyed that show bc it actually taught a good lesson.
Good luck w/ your fight and don't give up brother !!
Hi Stefan, I want to ask you about the different Robbies that you've played over the years. How would you describe the Robbie Rotten that you played in Glanni Glæpur í Latabæ, and how would you compare and contrast that character to the Robbie Rotten in the LazyTown television series?
There is of course a huge difference between the stage character Glanni Glæpur and the TV character Robbie Rotten even if they are obviously related ;) Robbie was more silly and less evil and more magical.
Hello! Thank you for doing this, and all of the luck in defeating this cancer! I admit to being a bit of an older viewer but this show made me grin. I have to ask - how long did it take to get into makeup for Robbie Rotten? Can you walk us through a bit of the process?
Two and a half hour every day from 7am to 9am I was in the make up chair. Sometimes I managed to sleep though – which was nice. The make-up process is on youtube. Hope you enjoy watching ;)
That was incredible to watch as someone who loves theater makeup. Thank you so much! (Also incredibly impressed you could sit through that every day!)
Thank you. The makeup artist Chad was a very talented and a great guy.
Did you ever find it challenging to play a role with such an extreme personality? Is there a certain way to prepare for an over the top kind of character like that as apposed to a character with a more "serious" personality? Thanks hope all is well!
There is no difference in preparing for Robbie Rotten or any classical serious role.... ;) Every part you prepare for you have to be honest and truthful and wholly believe that the character exists – otherwise no one will accept your acting. Kids are a demanding audience and they KNOW when something is untruthful.
How do you remove heavy metals from the body?
You need a massively huge magnet and an equally massive person to hold the magnet. No I didn't say Magnus. :)
Bless your heart Stefan, you'll get through this, all my wishes are for you to get better. Also during LazyTown, did fans recognize you in public as Robbie?
Very rarely but always pleasant. Fortunately I look a little less crazy than Robbie ,)
Hi Stefan, hope your doing well!
I was just wondering how your perspective on life has changed after you got diagnosed.
What do you think about?
What did women (or people in general) think when you told them you were on lazy town?
What's your best joke?
Being diagnosed with cancer is terrifying. I have undergone a very aggressive and successful surgery and I am hopeful that I will get through this. Thank you for asking. I think about what is important and what not. I do not fear death as I cherish life too much.
Well, Lazy Town has received world fame...Its not like I have walked around telling people that I was on this show ;) Kids were funny when they found out I was the guy playing Robbie and sometimes a little scared.
My best joke...I don't think I have an answer to that ...
Robbie rotten is god ❤️ so what do your plan to do after you recovery and has your fight in any way changed your view of things? Xx lots of love and support
I have to focus on my recovery in the next year. I want to raise awareness to this rare cancer that I have. Getting diagnosed with a life threatening cancer is terrifying, a lot of emotions go through your mind...It is tough, but I am optimistic that I will get through this.
Hi Stefan! I adore the work you've done, and I hope you'll be able to get through these hard times as quickly as possible.
The only question I have is: do you still play the accordion? :)
Yes I do, when I am in the mood.
How was the Lazytown Cast and what were some of your favorite moments with them?
On another hand, I thank you for playing the ultimate (good) bad guy.
The entire cast was fantastic. My favorite moments were when we were improvising between takes. A lot of jokes that were created in those moments became highlights in the episodes.
Do you think Robbie would like carrot cake?
The key word is "cake." Robbie would eat cake if it had sand in it.
Are you aware you're currently a quite big meme?
Here are some examples
If you are unaware what a meme is (some people are), it's basically a joke about the character/person portrayed but in a nice way, like an inside joke that a lot of people know is the best way to explain it.
Or by google they say "an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations."
Sorry to hear about the cancer btw bro :(
Yes, I've seen these lately. It's funny to see them because when we first did those scenes, they meant something completely different. And now fans take them and twist them into new things. I take it as a compliment, it means that our show was able to mean something to people.
Hi Stefan, me like many others grew up watching lazy town. Is there one particular moment on set that you will remember always?
So many...I will never forget hanging from that billboard...22 feet up in the air...with no security line...I was so scared ;)
Hey Stefan, I hope you're recovering well, I wish you the best of luck!
Im 18 years of age and I never grew up watching Lazy Town, but about 2 years ago my little half brother (son from my father's new relationship) was completely ADDICTED to Lazy town. So one day he convinced me to put it on the TV for him and I sat down and watched it with him. As a 15-16 year old at the time, it sounds silly but I enjoyed watching it with my little brother and it gave me some memories of sitting on the lounge with him, watching you on TV and seeing him laugh at every thing you did. Robbie Rotten was his favorite because even at a young age he thought it was a good idea to be a little different from the rest.
My question, is there any explanation or description of the feelings or emotions you have when fans or children tell you how much they love your performance/acting in the show?
Deep gratitude. Entertaining and making kids laugh is my favorite thing.
What Robbie Rotten song did you enjoy performing most? :P
You are a pirate...of course! ;)
My father was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 2 months ago. He's been getting chemo and is about to have the Whipple Surgery performed. His surgeon performs over 50 of them a month so the hopes are high despite the terrible statistics. Remember the goal is 5 years. But what advice would you give to me to be as supportive as possible?
Oh dear, I am sorry to hear this. My family and I have only had under a month to get used to the idea of me having cancer. I had whipple on the 4th and I am recovering incredibly well. My wife and I have had long talks about the situation and we are realistic about all possible outcomes. You have to be optimistic and hopeful and take care of yourself so you can support your dad. He will need it. Don't wear a sad face, enjoy every moment as fully as you can and have someone you can talk to. We have to live fully always – even in dire times. Hoping everything goes well for your dad. Love to you and your family
Yea most actors will look more sane IRL than their characters. Although we redditors recognize you. LazyTown was part of my childhood, thanks so much for acting as Robbie! Also I hope you feel better Stefan!
Way deep down inside, what does Robbie really think about the residents of LazyTown?
“I wish I could be their friend“
Robbie was an overgrown kid who needed friends to help keep him on a good path. So to be honest, he was probably thinking more about himself than anyone else!
I know Lazy Town's message was kind of not this, but I really felt that Robbie Rotten was my childhood's first anti-hero, and I found myself rooting for Robbie more often than the main characters. Many of my friends who also grew up with Lazy Town agrees, did you ever encounter this point of view? Especially when Lazy Town was popular.
Sure. Rooting for the villain shows you dare. Kids love exercising that power...
Older kids liked Robbie because of his mischief but we were always careful to show that he paid the price for his behavior. Now he seems popular because he was so silly, but it's hard to know why some things become admired over others.
Hi there Stefan, I've heard about your battle and wanted to let you know we're behind you all the way always :)
When first starring as Robbie Rotten, did you have any idea how popular the show would one day become? Or was it just like any other role?
I had no idea that it would be so HUGE. None of us knew.
Heya Stefan! Me and my friend Robbie are huge fans of you, (and lazy town memes) We were wonder what your workout routine was like during your time as Robbie Rotten? We hope you get better soon!
Going to the gym when I had the time. Getting good sleep and trying to eat healthy. Sometimes I managed to to this all pretty routinely sometimes not... Thanks for the well wishes.
What's your favourite kind of sandwhich?
ham and cheese
ham and cheese
Hi Stefan! I'm a huge fan, and as an aspiring animator/actor your artistry always inspires me! I was wondering... what advice you would give to young artists? your mastery of comedy, timing, physicality and character is truly amazing. Sending much love and healing thoughts your way! ❤️
Watch the great... Buster Keaton, Charles Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Wile E. Coyote. These are the best teachers out there.
Do you know that in these days "We Are Number One" song from Lazy Town is trending more and more around the internet?
Did you had fun doing that music video? :D
Also I'd like to thank you for your GREAT work in Lazy Town, it will forever be part of my childhood <3
Remember, WE ARE NUMBER ONE! ;)
YOU are number one!
I've been dying to know. We have this theory that Robbie Rotten was Number 9 (or used to be a superhero like Sportacus) and that's why he has so many inventions. What do you think?
Haha! No never a superhero...a third generation of villains and a pretty lousy villain that couldn't hurt a fly.
Hæ Stefán! Latibær leikrit og þættirnir eru eitthvað sem mín kynslóð af Íslendingum munu seint gleyma, svo takk fyrir það sem þú lagðir af mörkum fyrir okkur heima og úti :)
Q: Would Robbie wear briefs or boxers? <3
takk. Always boxers.
What was it like working on such a fun and imaginative show?
I loved watching it, every character was so wonderful and I wish my niece had been born earlier so I could have enjoyed watching it with her instead of feeling like a weirdo 20 something watching it by myself.
I wish you all the luck in the world with your fight, and have high hopes that you will come out of this stronger than ever!
Thank you for your kind words.
I'm a big fan. I watch your show with my children instead of just letting the t.v. basically babysit them. Love your character bro. If it wasn't for you I wouldn't watch it with them.
How much creativeness did they let you improvise into your character?
A good script was always my guideline but there was plenty of room for improvisation in every scene.
Hey, I was a huge fan of lazy town. Even though I was in high school when it was on. Your character was super funny, and very lovable for a villain. I especially loved the music.
What's your favorite lazy town song?
You are a pirate...of course! ;)
Hi Stefan! Sorry about your cancer, I hope you'll pull through.
So, do you think Robbie looks like Morrissey?
And what are your opinions about Morrissey and the smiths?
Ha! there is a slight resemblance. Robbie is more handsome!
Hey Stefan! Me and my friends really hope you get better! I was wondering if the role of Robbie Rotten had any impact on your life, personality, outlook, etc.? Thanks, and get well soon!
Sure. Robbie was a big part of my life for 15 years. I love the guy and getting the opportunity to entertain kids on a global scale was and is very important to me. Kids are the future.
Hello Stefan :), Recently you have been compared to Morrissey of The Smiths both physically and musically. What do you think of the comparison? Flattered perhaps?
Hi Stefan! Kids don't usually like the bad guy so much, in this case Robbie Rotten. Sportacus and Stephanie are the heroes and in the live shows it's them they look up to and want to meet, backstage. From what we saw backstage and from photos it's sometimes difficult for kids to come near you (and like shaking hands) when you are dressed as the character Robbie, because they are a bit affraid of that character. How do you feel about that?
Thats perfectly normal to be a little scared of the villain, that is the whole purpose of villain hood. Usually kids would calm down if I spoke to them in my own voice... make believe is magic!
Hi Stefan! Sorry to hear about your battle with cancer. My brother was on tour with you for The Grinch actually! My question is, what was it like playing such an iconic role on stage? Did it make you nervous in anyway? Lastly, what was your favorite memory while on tour?
Playing the Grinch has been amazing. Getting to travel across the US and play those big theaters...wonderful. So many memories, hard to choose only one.
Hi Stefan. Hope you have a speedy recovery. How long did it take to film a full LazyTown episode?
Everywhere from 4 days to 2 weeks depending on the complexity of the script. Usually a week.
What was it like to be on the set of Lazy Town? Do you still talk to any of the actors from the show?
Finally, have you seen of the combination music videos because of Lazy Town?
Hopefully you pull through and stay healthy, it's weirdly magical seeing you do this.
The Lazy Town set was a fun work place. I stay in touch with some people thanks to Facebook. Magnus and I meet up every now and then and I am very good friends with the head writer Mark Valenti.
I love the compilation music videos. I enjoy when people take Lazy town work and turn it into something new and cool. Thank you.
Hi Stefan, I was a big fan of the show during my childhood and I wanted to know how do you feel playing the role of the villain? (although you're the hero in everyones heart)
Good luck defeating that cancer!
P.S: Is Robbie's cave as cool in real life as it is in the show?
Thank you for your kind words. Robbie's cave was on a sound stage in Iceland, and it was huge. A lot of fun to shoot there, and I think many people in the cast and crew enjoyed hanging out there.
Best of luck with your fight Stefan we know you can do it I love your performance and (ironically) energy in lazy town, Do you ever get recognized as Robby rotten? And did lazy town affect your health in any way? (maybe even pushed you into exercising?)
As a stage actor I have always tried to stay healthy, you can't be on stage seven or more times a week if you are not in good shape. Someone may ask you to climb a billboard!
Why do you like ;) so much?
Hard to explain ;)
Who gave you the idea that your personality and character would suit Robbie Rotten? Did you play along with the role well at first, or did you struggle? Feel better!
Robbie was a product of many years of thinking and doing. What you see in the TV show is different from his first personality. One of the big challenges playing a part like Robbie is bringing the right kind of energy. You don't want to scare the littlest viewers but you have to bring a certain villain personality with humor.
First off I want to say thanks for all the years of laughter and fun, as someone who is British and 14 I remember watching Lazy Town since I was 4. The show would always make me laugh, and my favourite parts were definitely when Robbie Rotten changed costumes. Every time he went through all the tubes I literally fainted of laughter! Its been sad to see it cancelled and your cancer battle brought me tears :(.
On a happier note, my question is what is it like with the fame? Do you ever get stopped on the street, and does it ever bother you?
I finally want to say thank you so much for everything. Lazy town will be one of my favourite shows forever, and I hope you have a speedy recovery!
Thank you for your kind words. As many actors have said before me, being famous or well known can be nice or it can be a burden, it all depends on how you look at it. I love my fans - they have come along on this ride with me and have said too many nice things for me to ever count. I am grateful.
Hello, Stefan! Without my children, I personally would have never known LazyTown existed. I used to like Sportacus. Now, I like Robbie. My question to you is, were there any time in your life that you could have seen yourself being in LazyTown? Or, did it come unexpectingly? Do you like being in LazyTown?
As an actor in Iceland, I found good training and colleagues in the National Theatre, and none of us could have predicted the kind of fame that LazyTown found globally. When you are an actor or do anything in the arts for a career, your life will take many unexpected twists and turns.
Wow I used to love watching that show with my kids! I always thought you'd probably been inspired by Jim Carey for that awesome character, is that accurate? Stay positive friend!
Wile E. Cayote was my inspiration and Charlie Chaplin.
I started playing Robbie long before the TV show aired, so really he was a creation of many years, changing from this to that as the projects changed. I know he has been compared to Jim Carrey, and that is not bad company :)
You are one of my absolute favourite people, i truly love your work and was absolutely devastated to hear about the bad news. From the bottom of my heart I hope you're doing alright and continue to do so.
The rules say I have to ask a question, so I was wondering what your audition for the role was like?
I didn't audition. I met Magnus (Sportacus) on a plane and he explained the Lazy town concept to me. I was sold there and then.
Stefan, first off i just wanted to tell you how much joy I've gotten from watching Lazytown. I am in my mid-late twenties and have been a huge fan of Lazytown because of your character. Whenever I'm upset, I watch Lazytown for a good laugh.
What is your favorite role you've played to date (any film/show)? Can we expect to see you in any upcoming projects?
Thanks for the all laughs, from alaska. <3
Thank you for your kind words. For the immediate future I will be playing the role of cancer survivor. I have a long road ahead of me and I realize that I'm lucky my doctors were able to operate. Not everybody with my type of cancer has that option. Now it's all about resting, spending time with my family, getting stronger.
Sorry about the cancer, but I have to ask: Was Lazy Town a mistake in your career?
No. Lazy town was a big part of my life, sometimes hard but always rewarding.
Best of luck to you man! Your performance was always hilarious to watch; no wonder there's so many memes.
Though, all I wanna know is, how the hell did that chin work? What's it even made out of?
The chin was prosthetics – baked foam latex...weird stuff.
Hello Stefan. What do you think about remixes of song "Villain Number One"? Have you listened to at least one of them?
Yes I have and I have enjoyed them.
Hello Stefan! What was your favourite song to sing in the series? :)
Hard to say, we had so many fun ones. The fans seem to like You Are A Pirate the best, if we judge by Youtube hits :)
Thank you for raising the profile of shameless over-acting to the heights it deserves! Have you ever done a British Pantomime show? They have been going out of style for at least the last 50 years, but you could possibly change all that.
And have you ever met John Gilkey, another master of the trade who substitutes acting for speech particularly well? I'm sure you know of him, but if you don't, he had a huge role in Cirque de Soleil's Quiddam. The whole show is worth watching just for his work (a bit like you and Lazy Town).
Was there a backstory to Robbie Rotten that explained his unhappy personality?
Lastly, did Juliana enjoy playing her role as Stephanie? In the few non-Stephanie pix I've seen, taken from around that time, she looked surprisingly stoic, almost morose.
I've always admired the classic comic actors like Chaplin, Dick Van Dyke, Rowan Atkinson. The ones who studied and perfected physical comedy. Playing Robbie and the Grinch allowed me a chance to offer my own humble version of their genius. And really, all of that physical comedy is about the same thing, communicating emotion in a way that touches people.
Hi, Stefan! I hope your recovery and continued battle versus cancer is completely successful and that you get the contributions you need to take the time to heal.
When you've beaten this cancer, how are you going to celebrate?
Do you have advice for others who may not have thought about what it means to get a cancer diagnosis?
Thank you for your complete dedication to an over-the-top character who has given my family so much joy and laughter. Lovable villains are hard to find, and you're one of the very best at making this complex portrayal seem effortless. My daughter knew she was supposed to disapprove of Robbie's shenanigans, but you just made him too wonderful. We also looked up other performances by you because we loved your work that much. Thank you for putting yourself so completely into your craft.
I am now right in the middle of this new life -- I was only diagnosed less than a month ago and now I've had major surgery and have to start thinking about things in a new way. But I can say that this hard news comes with a lot of love from family and friends. You don't know who your friends are sometimes until you have a hard moment like this. And I very much know who cares for me, including people I've never met who have taken me into their hearts. I'm very grateful.
Have you kept up with any of the cast/puppets of lazy town? Wish you the best!
Of course we are online friends now that the show is over. Remember we shot in my home country of Iceland, and many cast members were from other countries. So we "get together" when we can. But always remain friends.
Hello Stefan! First of all, you're amazing! Thank you so much for making us laugh so much! I wanted to ask you what do you prefer? Perform for TV or theater?
Don't you feel weird dubbing yourself to the Icelandic version?
I hope you get better soon! Stay strong and never give up!
I love the theatre. Dubbing is always weird, making the words in a new language fit the mouth movements. Some people are really good at dubbing. Thank you for your well wishes.
That's amazing haha, did you know him before or was he just a stranger to you at the time?
I knew of him.
If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
Huh! I have no idea ;)
hey stefan so i wanted to ask you a meme related question
how does it feel to be made fun of in memes?(dont take this in a wrong way) do you take is as a good sign and just laugh it out or do you sometimes think that people are going too far?
it is a good sign. I love when people are creative and some of these memes show true talent and knack for humor.
Hey Stefan, I wish you the best of luck in recovery. Lazy town was a part my my childhood and my siblings still watch it. Do you still keep in contact with the other actors from the show?
yes some of them.
Hey Stefan! Huge fan! and aspiring actor myself. How did you choose to enter into your profession? And what sort of advice would you be willing to give to a young actor such as myself? All best wishes for a speedy recovery!! I'm sure you'll be back on your feet in no time!
I wanted to be an actor from a very young age. If you choose acting, stick to it and don't do anything else. Acting is serious business.
Hi Stefan, I'm really glad you're doing fine, I plan on donating on friday! When I found out I ended up printing out a bunch of pictures of you as Robbie and hanging them around town.
I don't really have a decent question, so
Do you like cookies or cupcakes more?
Thank you. My kids like making cupcakes so I guess that answers the question...
Not even a month! I know we're not supposed to think of disease as evil, since it has no consciousness, but cancer does seem evil to me. The suddenness of it is a huge part of that.
May I ask how it was discovered?
That you can see the beauty inside of the scary and painful parts of this is a good lesson for those of us who might come to this same crossroads. So glad that you are feeling cared for and supported. Vital in getting through the biggest struggles of life!
I will share that this particular cancer was caught because my wife noticed my eyes were jaundiced. We thought it was something simple but turned out to be not so simple. If you suspect something, always take the time to check it out. Not that you should live in fear but they have lots of ways to deal with problems. Thank you so much for your kindness.
Hey man, this was one of my favourite shows as a child, and I was just wondering what your favourite ever episode/scene was? (If you can remember of course).
Hope you get better soon, stay strong Stefan!
Robbie´s greatest misses.
Hello Stefan, I hope you are doing better every day. Maybe you get tired of hearing it but thank you for your fantastic performance as Robbie Rotten over so many years. You have a wonderful voice as well, I am very partial to your song Reykjavik.
I was wondering what the experience has been for you acting in different languages. Would you prefer to perform in Icelandic over English, for example? Have there been any difficulties?
Best recovery to you.
I hardly spoke English when I got the part of RR. I had a fantastic coach that taught me English and my accent improved over time. performing in your native language is...lets say… more native. ;)
Hey Stefan. It's Zach, Mark's son. Hoping for the best in your recovery. My question is what kind of acting would you like to do if you had the chance? You've acted in a very successful children's TV series, and you've acted in The Grinch play. Would you want to act in another TV series, or even a movie? Anyway, thanks for doing the Ama. Good luck!
I would prefer doing movies rather than TV. I love working as an actor.
I don't speak Icelandic, whats the story behind this video? You are so silly, I was laughing when you got up at the end! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L151PP7ltvA
This news hour is a satire program. It was just a silly interview.