SINCE JUNE 2004 -
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
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:
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.
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.
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!
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,
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."
IS MERYL? The final trailer has arrived for the "MAMMA MIA"
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."
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?"
film page for THE PAINTED BIRD has
been posted along with several new production photos, some featuring
co-stars Harvey Keitel and Julian Sands. The black & white WW II drama
will be released next year. Here's a photo of Stellan taken last year in
the Czech Republic outside the Lowenstein Hotel where he stayed.
Bill has just been cast in "Villains", a darkly comedic
thriller, written and to be directed by Dan Berk and Robert Olsen. The
film follows a pair of amateur criminals who, after breaking into a
suburban home, stumble upon a dark secret and two sadistic homeowners
who will do anything to keep it from getting out. The cast also includes
Maika Monroe. No release date has been announced.
and Emily Watson have been cast in HBO’s miniseries CHERNOBYL, a
co-production between HBO and Sky to be directed by Johan Renck. Written
by Craig Mazin, the five-part miniseries dramatizes the true story of
one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history — the April 26, 1986
explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in then-Ukrainian Soviet
Socialist Republic — and tells of the brave men and women who sacrificed
to save Europe from unimaginable disaster.
Skarsgård will play Boris Shcherbina, the Deputy Chairman of the Council
of Ministers and head of the Bureau for Fuel and Energy of the USSR. A
relatively minor figure in the Kremlin, he is assigned to lead the
government commission on Chernobyl in the early hours following the
accident, when the government was still unaware the reactor had
exploded. As the ranking official in charge of the effort to confront an
unprecedented disaster, Shcherbina finds himself trapped between the
realities of the political system he serves… and the brutal human costs
of battling an escalating nuclear nightmare.
Watson will portray Ulana Khomyuk, a Soviet nuclear physicist committed
to solving the scientific mystery of what led to the disaster at
Chernobyl, so that it can be prevented from ever happening again. Her
efforts put her on a collision course with those who have buried a
terrible secret, and she must risk her freedom… and her life… to see
that the truth is told, and justice is done.
Jared Harris plays Valery Legasov, the Soviet scientist chosen by the
Kremlin to investigate the accident.
The series will reunite Stellan
and Emma who starred together in "Breaking the Waves". Stellan told the
press, "Nobody would see it as a privilege to spend five months in a
dilapidated nuclear plant, unless it was to play in a script like this
by Craig Mazin, work with a director like Johan Renck, collaborate with
a producer like Jane Featherstone, jam with an actor like Jared Harris
and finally be at the feet of Emily Watson whom I have been missing for
some twenty years."
Emma said, "This is a significant piece of work and I’m honored to be
part of it. I can’t wait to get started with this amazing group of
people, and am especially excited to be working with Stellan again."
Filming will begin in Lithuania
this spring. It will air on HBO in the US, on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV in
the UK and Ireland, and on Sky Atlantic in Italy, Germany and Austria.
Berlinale interview just
appeared online with Stellan discussing several subjects - the
importance of taking children to the cinema, the positive messages
in "Gordon & Paddy", why he never looks back across his illustrious
career and why he doesn't like America. Of course, he continues to show
how naive he is when he rejects the idea of good guys and bad guys. I'm
not talking about the fictional bad guys in Hollywood movies. The real
bad guys live among us and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to
recognize evil. But Stellan is an actor so we'll give him some slack.
There's a second interview from
Filmink in Australia where "Return to Montauk" is playing. We, in
the States, are still awaiting its arrival either at the cinema or on
DVD. Stellan says he often gets the question - "Are there any films you
made that you regret?" He responds, "I made quite a few really, really
bad films, but I do not regret them, because…I’m the sum of all the
mistakes I’ve made, as well as I’m the sum of all the good decisions
I’ve made. Looking over his filmography for bad films, I would certainly
point to Waz, Dogville, Time Code, Passion of
Mind, Deep Blue Sea, Frankie and Alice and Boogie
Woogie. At the top of the list for best films, I would select
Oxen, Zero Kelvin, Kongen av Bastøy, Breaking the Waves,
Aberdeen, God afton, Herr Wallenberg and Den Enfaldige
mördaren. As a rule, I much prefer Stellan in foreign films and
rarely in American films except for Ronin.
was back at the Berlinale, the 68th edition, as the voice of a
frog in the children’s animation film GORDON & PADDY, screening
in the Generation Section. In
this podcast, Stellan
describes how different and more natural it is to go back to acting in
his mother-tongue. Giving his voice to Gordon the detective frog gave
him the opportunity of working with two women he had successfully and
happily worked with before: director Linda Hamback and actress Melinda
Kinnaman. Stellan also talks about how it was to go back to the "Mamma
Mia!" set after 10 years and the fun they all had in continuing this
film’s journey. He ends with comments on the #Metoo movement, its
positive effects and its negative sides.
have acquired sales rights to OUT STEALING HORSES
from writer/director Hans Petter Moland with Stellan
in the lead role. Bjørn Floberg
and Anders Baasmo have also been cast.
Based on Per Petterson’s novel of the same name,
the film has Stellan
playing 67-year-old Trond, who must recall
difficult experiences affter meeting a face from the past. Petterson’s
book was named one of the New York Times’ Five
Best Fiction Books" in 2007.
Shooting begins on February 19th, with the final shooting phase
in June or July.
along with actress Alicia Vikander, joined Swedish and English royalty on
Tuesday evening at a black-tie dinner at the home of the British
Ambassador. This marked the first day of a four-day tour of Sweden and
Norway by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Joined by Swedish
politicians, businessmen and a television host, the guests dined on a
starter of Scottish smoked salmon with quail egg, horseradish cream on a
bed of salad, followed by guinea fowl with stir-fried vegetables and
mashed potatoes. For dessert, they enjoyed blackberry soufflé with
chocolate ganache, before a selection of British cheeses.
At the table, the Duchess was
placed between the ambassador, David Cairns, and Stellan while the Duke
was entertained by Alicia and the ambassador's wife, Sharon Cairns.
* * * * *
Skarsgård family was well
represented at the Sundance Film Festival last week with both
Bill and Valter in attendance for their respective premieres. Bill
was in the cast of "Assassination Nation" and Valter for
"Lords of Chaos".
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