SINCE JUNE 2004 -
an interview with Collider while at the Toronto Film
Festival last month, Stellan spoke about DUNE director Denis
Villeneuve. He told the press that full creative control of the film was
in Villeneuveís hands. Stellan, who is playing the movieís villainous
Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, indicated that Warner Bros. has not been
getting in the way of Villeneuveís vision. Stellan explained, "I've
always wanted to work with him partly because heís such a wonderful man,
but also because heís a brilliant director. Itís fun when you get one of
those big sci-fi movies and you know itís going to be directed by a true
filmmaker. Itís not going to be directed by the studio. It seemed like
they were giving him pretty free hands. And you have to because his
personal stamp on the film is paramount for the success of it."
Stellan added, "What heís really
good at is creating this strange atmosphere with his imagery and this
cinematic poetry that is his trademark and that will add so much
richness to the pretty simple story." Principal photography for the film
has been completed. The cast also includes Timothťe Chalamet, Rebecca
Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Charlotte Rampling and Javier Bardem.
from the Past! A very young Stellan with shades of Alexander.
EMMY ceremony was held tonight. Alas, Stellan did not win for
Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. However,
CHERNOBYL won for Best Limited Series
as well as director Johan Renck and writer Craig Mazin. Stellan was accompanied by his wife
Megan, who was wearing a somewhat unusual robe.
was nominated for a total of 19 Emmys. The series
received three awards in the Limited Series category at the
Primetime Emmy Awards, which included Best Limited Series,
Outstanding Director and Outstanding Writing. It also picked up
seven awards at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards.
The first week of September proved
to be quite busy for Stellan as he attended two film festivals! He was
at the premiere of Vaclav Marhoul's adaptation of the classic Jerzy
Kosinski novel THE PAINTED BIRD.
That took place on September 3rd at the 76th Venice Film Festival and
four days later he attended the premiere of Hap (Hope) at the Toronto
International Film Festival.
One reviewer described
THE PAINTED BIRD as "a brutal,
harrowing & merciless three-hour journey filled with gruesome acts
varying from extreme beatings, brutal rape scenes and eye gouging." It
was reported that some of the audience headed for the exits. Stellan,
who plays a Nazi officer in the film told the press, "The film depicts
Europe at a very dark time, but it's a dark time that is not specific to
that time, that is sort of existing today all over the world in many
places. During the most horrible times there are moments of compassion
and we as humans can be monsters of brutality but we can also be very
compassionate and we all have it in us, if you're not a psychopath."
The following are some questions
he answered regarding the film:
"The Painted Bird" was an
unusual production as Vaclav Marhoul shot across Eastern Europe for
several years. Did you know the unorthodox filming plan when you signed
Stellan: "Yes, and perhps itís an
even longer project than you realize. Vaclav called me nine years ago
when he obtained the rights and told me about his plans and I knew
immediately that I wanted to be part of it. It was extremely hard to
finance and I think itís fantastic that he got this film made. Itís hard
to get any film financed these days and this one is so ambitious and
risky. But Iím so happy with how it turned out and I know itís all worth
Had you filmed in the Czech Republic and Slovakia before?
SS: "Yes, I did a TV series about Strindberg and we filmed in Bratislava
back in the Soviet days. I remember that I was not a big fan of
McDonaldís, but when I was done shooting I couldnít wait to go to
McDonalds! But the region has completely changed and all for the
At the Toronto International Film
Festival (TIFF), Stellan joined director Maria SÝdahl and co-star Andrea
Brśin Hovig at the premiere screening of Hap (Hope) as well as photo
calls the next day.
Petter Moland's film, OUT STEALING HORSES,
premiered back in February at the Berlin International Film Festival. It
has since opened in several countries. James Mottram of FilmInk posted
an interview with Stellan last month regarding the film.
Is there some nostalgic element for you in the
story of "Out Stealing Horses"?
Stellan: Not nostalgia, Iím not very
nostalgic, but when I was a small child, I remember the horses pulling
the logs in the forest, but as it said in the film, thatís what you do
in the winter, not in the summer.
But no countryside specific connections?
Stellan: No. Iíve lived in the countryside,
and then in the city, and then in the countryside, but I belong in the
city. But of course, I have the smell of the forest, the sounds of the
forest Ė all that, I have, but Iím not as connected to nature as Hans
Petter fortunately is, because heís an outdoor man and he has the
relationship to the Norwegian nature.
So, you need the city?
Stellan: I need the city. I like people, I
like good food, I like that I can walk to see new people, to get to a
restaurant, to see a film, to go to the theater, and I like the pace of
the city. If you look at me and Hans Petter, weíre totally different in
terms of pace. Heís really slow, and Iím pretty fast.
Your character is really a man of few words. Is it hard to adjust to
Stellan: No, because since
the Italian Neorealists and the Nouvelle Vague in France, we abandoned
the word as the main communicator in cinema to the image, which is
fantastic, I think. It took us away from the theater and the literary
heritage. Hans Petter and I did a film called A Somewhat Gentle Man,
I was playing the lead, and when I read the script Ė 40 pages, I didnít
say anything! It was wonderful. And I know other people that read the
script and said, ĎWell, heís not in there, this characterís not in the
script!í I knew he was in there.
Had you read the novel by Per Petterson that the film is based on,
and was it something that you think could be adapted into a film?
Stellan: I had read a couple of attempts at
transferring it into film, before Hans Petter was involved in it, they
were not very good, because if you just do actually whatís happening in
the book, then itís nothing. It has to have the poetry and the presence
of nature that Per Petterson has in the novel, and Hans Petter had that
in the script. It was obvious that he was aiming for that, and knowing
his relationship to nature, and knowing his skills, I was not that
worried. But it was a risk; it could be your best film, it could be your
And on a more person level,
Stellan is asked about his favorite food.
Stellan: I donít have one favorite
dish, I eat everythingÖ except, Iím not fond of the Swedish dish called
SurstrŲmming, which is rotten herring. They have something similar in
Iceland which is rotten shark that you pee on first and then bury
underground for a while. It comes out of poverty, butÖ I didnít like
tripe, for instance, for years, but it was such a complex taste, so I
thought that if I only find the key Iíll enjoy it, and it took me 10
years, and then I found the key, and now I like it. But with that rotten
fish, nah. Iíve given up on that.
his Emmy nomination for CHERNOBYL,
Stellan told the press, "It is very fun that a series of this kind that
deals with serious subject matter such as Chernobyl - and even about the
world today, has received so much attention. It has neither zombies,
supernatural things nor shooting." Stellan is now nominated in the same
category in which his son Alexander won two years ago for his
contribution in "Big Little Lies". Will he match this? Stellan replied,
"Haha, this is a lottery. But I try to follow in the footsteps of my
has received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor
in a Limited Series or Movie for his performance as Boris Shcherbina in
the mini-series CHERNOBYL. The
disaster drama swept up 19 Emmy nominations, which included nominations
for each of its three leads and director as well as for casting,
production design, hairstyling, makeup and prosthetic makeup, writing
and cinematography. Producer Craig Mazin said that he was "thrilled"
adding "Our show was a labor of love by so many, so it was particularly
gratifying to see how our cast and crew was acknowledged across the
board. We all worked so hard to bring Chernobyl to the screen,
and we're overwhelmed by this recognition by our colleagues."
Stellan has previously praised
Johan Renck, the series' director stating, "He's amazing. You know,
normally two or three directors work on a TV series like this, but he
took it all and carried it on his shoulders with tremendous energy and
desire. Then he has put together something that is very musical in some
way. He has done a fantastic job."
OTHER COYMOON CREATIONS:
The Vincent Perez
The Sam Shepard Web
Peter Coyote Official Web Site