In 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.

Blast from the Past! A very young Stellan with shades of Alexander.


The 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.

Chernobyl 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 on?

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 it."

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 better."

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.


Hans 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 that?

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 worst.

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.

Regarding 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 children."


Stellan 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."



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