It has come to my attention that Stellan's wife Megan wrote a children's book called "Utslängd från Zoo", which was published last year and there may be another one in the future. The book was originally written in English so the Swedish translation was done by Lotta Olsson with illustrations by Maria Nilsson Thore. You can watch a youtube interview at this link.

In an interview with Qanda magazine last fall, Megan explained the background of the story - "I have a big family home in the states and my niece Emma came over to stay here with us in Sweden a few years ago. She was in her twenties then and my thought was that she would come out and experience all that Europe had to offer. I even dressed her in my leopard shirts and sent her to parties with friends of my stepchildren. She was very patient with me but that was not her thing. After she returned to the states, I started to reflect a little, that maybe everyone doesn't have the same idea as to how to live life. I wrote the book as a tribute to Emma and to admit the absurdity of my behavior."

It certainly doesn't sound like a theme that children would readily pick up on. When my six children were young, I entertained them with the humorous books by Swedish author Barbro Lindgren with darling illustrations by Eva Eriksson.  "The Wild Baby Goes to Sea" was one of our favorites. These stories have also continued to delight my 18 grandchildren through the years.

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In a recent interview, I found the following comments from Stellan very interesting. In the late 1980s, he traveled to Budapest to record Kjell Grede's film "Good evening Mr. Wallenberg", which was about Raul Wallenberg and his work to save Jews from the Nazis. The film became a turning point for Stellan.

He says, "People came to me, cried openly and they just wanted to hug me. Not because they thought I was Wallenberg, but for all that I symbolized. After that movie, I stopped working for a while. I thought nothing was worth anything."

He read script after script with the same reaction - why should I do this? He did not work for almost a year, borrowed money to manage and found out that he was comfortable with being at home with the family.

Stellan explains, "Eventually, I felt that I might be able to work for fun instead - and then I became less pretentious in my choices and started doing lighter material as well. You do not have to do an immortal masterpiece every time, but instead you can do a silly comedy and then a remarkable independent movie that's totally innovative."


I have been on holiday this month so I have some catching up to do since MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN had two premieres. The first one was in Stockholm on July 11. Cast members, including Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried and Stellan, joined Abba's Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson at the Grand Hotel to reveal details about the follow-up film, which serves as both a sequel and a prequel to the 2008 original. The new edition includes younger versions of the key characters in the flashback scenes. Stellan  related that he met Josh Dylan, who plays a younger version of his character Bill. "We met and he said, 'Is there anything I should do to play you?' I said, 'Just have fun.' He sings better than me, he looks better than me, he’s an improvement," joked Stellan, who added that he was "not a natural dancer."

These photos are from the Stockholm premiere. The last one shows that Stellan's children Valter and Eija also attended the event.

The following are photos from the London premiere at the Hammersmith Apollo theater on July 16. For more photos from both premieres, check out the gallery.

As suspected after various trailers were released, Meryl Streep has just a cameo in the film as a ghost since her character has died from unexplained causes. Obviously, Meryl did not want to do the movie! The reviews have been favorable so audiences seem to never tire of those ABBA songs. Stellan said he was relieved to get to set and have significantly less dancing and singing to do than he did in the first film. "On the first one, I remember rehearsing for a month and a half dance steps for 'Voulez-Vous.' But this time I just had a few pieces of 'Dancing Queen.' I worked hard on those pieces." He also adds that his experiences recording with ABBA's Benny Andersson likely reduced his singing responsibilities. "I looked at him through the window and I could see the pain in his eyes. One week later I got a new script and there wasn’t any song for me any more."


Priyanka Roy of India's edition of The Telegraph recently spoke to Stellan over the phone for an interview. Here are the more interesting excerpts:

"Honestly, I never look back at what I’ve done. I just approach every project as if it’s my first and my last. I don’t watch my own films very much. I really enjoy my work, but I don’t see it as a "body" of work or anything that’s monumental by any means. Though I have never been interested in a career, I have always loved being an actor. When I work with other actors, I always look at what they give me and what I can give them and what we can create together. I am as happy as a child in a sandbox when that happens."

"The wonderful thing about working with him [Lars Von Trier] is that he always makes films no one has seen or attempted before. He doesn’t copy anyone… everything he does is original. Whether you like his films or not, they all have a distinct voice. Also, it’s the most relaxed set you can be on. He’s the friendliest man and there’s no hierarchy on his set. Everybody is allowed to say what they think. On his set, it’s like being with siblings — good siblings — and you just enjoy the process. And I know that I can always trust him with the final product."

"I went to India to do a film ("The Perfect Murder", 1987) with Naseeruddin Shah several years ago. I come from a very secluded and unpopulated part of the world — Sweden — and it was a shock to see the crowds in India. But I really loved it. I met Madhur Jaffrey on that trip and she cooked some of her recipes. I have those recipes and I cook them sometimes. India is not a country… it’s a continent, and it’s fascinating."

In another interview, Stellan looked back at the time when work brought him to India, and he saw a world embracing diversity in its true sense.

"When I was working in Mumbai, it was in the 1980s... What I loved about the city and India was that it was not very violent. You could walk in the middle of the night and didn't have to fear of getting attacked or robbed or anything. There were a multitude of different approaches of religion and approaches of life and they were all tolerated."

He knows his political opinions have created trouble for him in the past, but that doesn't deter him. Recalling an incident, he said: "I always say what I have on my mind. And it is not always appreciated. I did an American horror film and on the premiere at the red carpet, somebody asked me 'What scares you?', and it was at the time of George W. Bush. I said the reign of this country scares me and that had repercussions... But you still have to express yourself."

Personally, I would prefer Stellan to keep his political opinions to himself. He embarrasses himself with his naiveté. Voicing whatever is on your mind is behavior that can lead to hostility and disharmony.

Here are some new recent photos:

With the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Ingmar Bergman's birth around the corner, Stellan was asked how he sees the person who for decades was Sweden's by far the most influential film maker. He says, "I despised him as a person."

He continues, "I worked with Bergman twice. The documentary, which premiered in Cannes, reflects very much my view on him. It shows a fantastic creative man. But it also shows a man who could be extremely brutal and behave in a way no one should behave. Had it been today, I'm not sure that he would have been able to get away with his behavior. However, I was very impressed with him as a filmmaker."

With this interview was this photo of Stellan with Aftonbladet's Magnus Sundholm.


The DVD and Blu-ray release date for "Borg vs McEnroe" is set for July 3, 2018. It became on Digital HD from Amazon Video and iTunes on April 12. When asked about the two famous tennis players, Stellan told the press, "They’re very much alike, actually. But they handle their poor sportsmanship in different ways. Bjorn puts a lid on it, partly thanks to his coach Lennart Bergelin, the part I’m playing. McEnroe doesn’t. But Bjorn, when he was younger, behaved exactly the same way as McEnroe did. It’s something. If winning is the most important thing in your life, you become an anti-social person. In that way, I think McEnroe and Borg are very much alike." You can watch a video interview with Stellan at this youtube link. The second photo below shows a make-up artist working on Stellan for his role.

Who knows for sure if this is for real, but I came across a web site that sells these sweatshirts with different celebrities skateboarding. What next!


A new indie film! Stellan will star in a Norwegian film called HOPE, directed by Maria Sødahl. The film, which is based on a true story, follows Anja, who comes home for Christmas after touring around the world with her dance company. Her companion, Tomas, their three children and other children from previous relationships are having a pre-Christmas celebration. Anja suddenly finds out she has a life-threatening brain metastasis. Her relationship with Tomas is put to the test as both try to find medical miracles. Andrea Bræn Hovig will play Anja while Stellan will play Tomas. TrustNordisk has picked up the film for world sales. Filming is scheduled to begin in mid-January 2019 with a release date set for October 2019.


After so many years, against all odds, Terry Gilliam ultimately succeeded in bringing THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE to the big screen. The film premiered at the closing ceremony at the Cannes Film Festival on May 19th. Attending were the director and cast members Jonathan Pryce, Jordi Molla, Rossy de Palma, Adam Driver, Olga Kurylenko and Stellan. Typically the day included a press conference, photo call and then the screening. Check out the Cannes photo gallery.

Gilliam told the press, "I met Stellan for the first time at the European Film Awards in Copenhagen. He gave such a funny speech to Mads Mikkelsen that I immediately knew that one day I would work with him." Stellan's comments included, "'Don Quixote' is a fantastic book. I find it very human, understandable and quite beautiful. I don't think it has aged that much. We constantly have discussions about the importance of alternative realities and alternative facts... The script was very Terry. Of course, I liked it. I like Terry's universes. He makes films that don't look like anybody else's. I would probably have taken the role even if I hadn't liked the script, just because I wanted to work with Terry."

When Stellan returned from Cannes, Aftonbladet asked him about how he landed this role and he replied, "I do not remember if Terry rang or not. It was no remarkable role but I have admired him ever since Monty Python. He is a f**king funny guy."

Aftonbladet also questioned about an old friend in the movie business. At the time that 86-year-old Hans Alfredson passed away last September, Stellan laid low but now he says he can talk about Hasse commenting, "It's awful when funerals become like red carpet funerals". How true! Stellan told the newspaper, "I met him the last time on his 80th birthday. Even then he wanted to die. He did not have fun anymore and he was one who had the need to have fun. Hasse was very important to me. We made several movies together. And wrote one together - 'Jim and piraterna Blom'. And 'The Simple-Minded Murderer' was the film that got me an agent and started my international career."

Finally, Stellan recalled his presence at Cannes through the years saying he'd gone "more than five times, less than ten". He continued, "The first time was for 'Breaking the Waves'. Emily Watson called up Lars von Trier so he could hear the standing ovation on the phone as he had left before the gala show ended. It's a nice memory."


WHERE IS MERYL? The final trailer has arrived for the "MAMMA MIA" sequel at this link.  Scott Medelson of Forbes writes, "Meryl Streep is still nowhere to be found in the 'present-tense' footage of this new trailer. It’s a little ghoulish to consider that Universal/Comcast Corp.’s marketing campaign is essentially using 'Is Donna dead and how did she die?' as a kind of mystery to drive interest in this musical sequel."

Chris Evangelista of Slash Film writes, "Based on this trailer, I’m assuming Meryl Streep’s character is dead, or possibly in the witness protection program. Perhaps the actress was too busy to film a full part... There’s approximately .03 seconds of Ms. Streep, while the rest of the original cast (and some new faces) dance their asses off. "

Finally, Yohana Desta of Vanity Fair writes, "What’s going on with Meryl Streep’s character in 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again?' This trailer focuses mostly on flashbacks to Donna in her younger years as she first journeyed to the Greek isle of Kalokairi... As the trailer flashes back and forth between the past and present, we also get a look at certified daddy Andy Garcia, who’s joining the sequel to play a character named Fernando. Though the corresponding ABBA song “Fernando” is about two old friends reminiscing about war and life on the battlefield, it seems like the film will remix its meaning and turn it into a lovelorn ballad sung by Cher (who plays Sophie’s domineering grandmother, Ruby). Fernando and Ruby also do a sort of gentle two-step together as fireworks go off in the distance, further evidence that something romantique is brewing between these two. All in all, everyone is having the time of their life in this trailer—except for Donna. Who’s definitely dead. Right?"


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