There's a UK Empire magazine article that says, "Stellan is a welcome addition to the cast" of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2, and "his laconic charisma should play nicely against Johnny Depp’s more manic Capt’n Jack Sparrow and Bloom’s dashing Will Turner." In Sweden's Metro publication, Stellan indicates, "I've been promised to get at least one real sword fight." It's good to know all his hard training in King Arthur can be put to good use again. He also adds that he's only read the script for the second film and believes they're still working on the third one. It's been reported that British actress Naomie Harris (After the Sunset) has also joined the cast and will play a gypsy queen.

In an interview last summer in the Swedish magazine, Cafe, Stellan compared how he developed his own character in King Arthur to Johnny Depp's personal creation of Jack Sparrow. Stellan says, "I wrote my dialogue before production and so we filmed... The team was nervous since Bruckheimer didn't get to see the changes, but he evidently approved the results... It was the same thing with Pirates of the Caribbean. The film company wanted to give up Johnny Depp when they saw how he staggered around like Keith Richards, but Bruckheimer stood up for him." That's true and he was indeed fashioning his character as a cross between Keith Richards and cartoon skunk Pepe Le Pew. Depp was quoted as saying, "They were worried that I was ruining the movie. I told them: 'You hired me to do a job. I know this character, and I think I can build a character you'll like. But you've got to trust me. And if you can't trust me, you've got to fire me.'" The studio backed off, but there were still plenty of raised eyebrows over Depp's freehand characterization. Writer Ted Eliott said, "If I were forced to choose between the Jack Sparrow I wrote and the Jack Sparrow he created, I'd pick what he did. But it was nothing at all like I imagined." Well, Johnny boy was right and again he proved how brilliant he is. So, the question is how will Stellan play old Bootstraps? Certainly with panache! And will he once again say, "Overacting doesn't exist"?

The 13-minute award-winning short film, Eiffeltornet (2003), is still on the film festival circuit, and will be screened in France at the 27th Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival, which runs January 28 thru February 5. Stellan's other short film, Torte Bluma, which he did last August in NYC, has not been featured at any film festivals yet. Directed by Benjamin Ross and also starring Simon McBurney, the film is about Franz Stangl, the Nazi commandant at the Treblinka, an extermination camp in Poland where a total of 870,000 Jews were killed. This is the third role that Stellan has played that relates to the Nazi era.


The news of Stellan's role in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2 has spread like wildfire on the Net. Here's a bit more info- Stellan told Swedish publications that "we are going to shoot (beginning February 28) around the Los Angeles area as well as in the Bahamas and the West Indies... It should be fun. I enjoyed the first one." Guess the long hair and a possible mustache and/or beard will return once more, but hopefully he won't be missing any teeth!  Stellan's character, Bill "Bootstrap" Turner, was mentioned in the first film, and the story goes that Will's father had been tied to a cannon and dropped off a ship to the bottom of the ocean. While some movie fans believed him dead, popular opinion was that he was still alive and would surface in the sequel and indeed he has returned as the long lost father.

The 2003 original, subtitled The Curse of the Black Pearl, was based on the Disney theme park ride and became such a box office success that producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski and writers Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio have all returned to do back-to-back sequels along with their three leading stars. Negotations continue to have Geoffrey Rush return as Barbossa in the third film. Both Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley are looking at $12.6 million each for both films while Johnny Depp may be getting as much as $20 million. The first film made over $600 million worldwide and received numerous awards and nominations. It will be remembered as one of the greatest "sleeper hit" blockbusters of all time, thanks in part to Depp's extraordinary performance in creating the magnetic and delightful rogue, Jack Sparrow, a role which won him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.


News just in at 5:45 AM!! Stellan informs me he'll be joining the high-sea adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) in the second and third sequels to PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. He's been cast as Bill "Bootstraps" Turner, Orlando Bloom's father. So, he'll be teaming up once more with two of his King Arthur pals - producer Jerry Bruckheimer and actress Keira Knightley. They've already announced the release date of July 7, 2006. The shoot begins next month and will run through the end of the year. However, since his role isn't that big, he says he will have a long break during the spring and summer to do another film. Production for Downloading Nancy hasn't been confirmed yet for an April shoot, but Liv Ullmann's A Doll's House has been scratched.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)The film page for DEN DEMOCRATISKE TERRORISTEN (1992) has now been posted. Stellan plays the Nordic James Bond character, Carl Hamilton, a role he's played twice before in the theatrical release, Täcknamn Coq Rouge, and the 60-minute television film, Förhöret, both shown in 1989. They were all directed by Per Berglund and based on the novels of Swedish journalist and writer, Jan Guillou, who gained international fame with his spy hero, the count Carl Gustaf Gilbert Hamilton, alias agent Cog Rouge (the red rooster). Other Swedish actors who have played the Hamilton role include Peter Stormare, Peter Haber and Stefan Sauk. Guillou's autobiographic novel Ondskan was also transferred to the screen becoming a 2003 Oscar-nominated film starring Stellan's son Gustaf, who also joined his dad in Täcknamn Coq Rouge.

While browsing the German film sites, I came across these complimentary words about our Swedish thespian: "Stellan Skarsgård does not only create films, he has also created a family. He has six children with his wife My, a doctor, and he calls himself a family man. He is glad to be a contemplative Scandinavian who enjoys good meals and long walks on the beach. Nearly everyone who comes in contact with him is impressed by his contentment and by the joy in his life which he radiates. He remains popular in his Swedish homeland, but also does films in Hollywood and elsewhere. He says he earns so much more money that way but will not let the system devour him. He continues to do smaller art films as well as the big adventure films, and thus is able to move between the two cinematic worlds with considerable success."

This is a new photo from the 2002 Toronto Film Festival. The photographer just had Stellan in the shot. Isn't it a great profile?

When Stellan was asked if he had any advice on rearing six children, he suggested that children should sleep in their parents' bed. "When my oldest son was six, he decided, 'Okay, I'm big now' and he went to sleep in his own bed. The first night he did it, I went into his room, brought him, asleep, and put him back in our bed. It felt so strange without him." By the way, there were two other children also in the bed. Stellan says, "It can be crowded".


button_box.gif (205 bytes)I have no updates at the moment as far as Stellan's film projects as he's in discussions, but check back in a couple weeks to see what's on for 2005. There is some news about his eldest son, Alexander. You can see him in Will Smith's new movie Hitch, premiering February 11th. And he'll be appearing on American TV in an episode of the new NBC drama series Revelations starring Bill Pullman and Natasha McElhone (who starred with Stellan in Ronin).

button_box.gif (205 bytes)In the 1982 DEN ENFALDIGE MÖRDAREN (The Simple-Minded Murderer), Stellan gives one of his finest performances on screen, perhaps even his best. And it's a very important film since it was pivotal in his career. His award-winning role gave him an international presence which led to securing an agent and a PBS American Playhouse film called Noon Wine, which aired on US television in January 1985.

Swedish writer/director/actor Hans (also known as Hasse) Alfredson wrote several books, one of which was En ond man (An Evil Man) published in 1980. The screenplay for Den Enfaldige mördaren was loosely based on this book, which describes the relationships and changing destinies of several characters who encounter this evil man. Not only is Alfredson the film's screenwriter and director, but he also plays the brutish Höglund, the wealthy factory owner and landowner, whose decadent and abusive behavior wreaks havoc upon those around him. Stellan plays the soulful character of Sven, an emotionally fragile young man born with a harelip deformity that impairs his speech so that many regard him as a simpleton.

In some films you'll see an actor take on nervous tics or a peculiar walk or look for such a role, so visually they may succeed, but in Stellan's case, he embraces the character so deeply that he reaches the good and kind and tortured soul of this man, thus offering an exceptional and absolutely unforgettable performance. The best comparison I can make is to Billy Bob Thornton's portrayal of Carl Childers in Sling Blade. Both are bullied and wounded creatures who become avenging angels in tragedies resonating with spiritual overtones. In Sven's case, his reading of the bible not only brings him comfort but eventually leads to prophetic visions.

Fellow actor Paul Bettany has remarked, "Maybe some day I'll be able to act as Stellan did in The Simple-Minded Murderer. Be an actor who doesn't act."  Well said...

"I think that the idiot Sven is a man who lives on in my life in a special way."

...Stellan (April 2004)

For more more information along with reviews and photos, visit the newly posted film page. The image to the right is from a Swedish publication at the time the film was released. I know that some of you have written inquiring about how to obtain a copy of this film if living outside of Sweden. I admit I was fortunate one day to hit upon an online Swedish bookstore that had one DVD copy in its inventory. When and if I find another resource, I will certainly post it here at stellanonline. And you gals probably want to know if our Swedish thespian doth disrobe again. He doesn't disappoint. In a delightful scene he's frolicking through the woods in a rare moment of joy. And his pants begin to fall down, and he does this perfectly-timed somersault to reveal his bare arse as he rolls over. And then in a wrenching scene when he is forced to wear a dress and makeup, he is paraded around Hoglund's neo-Nazi friends who taunt him and play with him. When he returns to the barn and looks at himself in the mirror, he tearfully rips off all his clothing trying to rid himself of the humiliation he has suffered. The intensity of the scene reminded me of The Elephant Man, where the crowds chase John Merrick and he struggles to say, "I am not an animal. I am a human being. I ...am ...a man!"

button_box.gif (205 bytes)Some lucky folks in Toronto will be privy to a sneak preview of BEOWULF AND GRENDEL on January 27th. The Icelandic Canadian Club of Toronto will present Sturla Gunnarsson's comedy, Rare Birds. Sturla will be present to answer questions and for the first time will show a short preview of his Norse epic!

button_box.gif (205 bytes)For those  fans who think they're Skarsgård movie experts, here's a challenger - Name the film in which he recites the following William Blake poem:  Click here for answer.

O rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy,
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

Are they dusting the cobwebs off Paul Schrader's version of EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING? First we were told that it would be included in the DVD release of Renny Harlin's version. Wrong.... The producers aim to recoup every last penny to make up for blundering its way to almost $100 million for two productions. Several weeks ago Morgan Creek said they plan a limited 2005 release in US theatres. Seems they have a habit of changing their minds. Remember it was MC chairman James Robinson who said he chose the angst-ridden, cerebral creator of Raging Bull and Affliction because "the movie needed someone who didn't do the standard horror-type movie". Stellan will tell you, "With that director and that cast, you should know that you'll get a $40 million art-house movie. But they were surprised. The producers panicked and said, 'no - we gotta do re-shoots, we gotta make it scarier, and throw in monsters and shit!' It was more a psychological thriller. They wanted a horror film." In the end Stellan's not complaining and his fans are curious to see him play Father Merrin twice. Stellan continues, "I went back to Rome and put on the clothes I had on a year earlier. I recognized the stench (laughing as he smells his armpits). Everybody was there, as if nothing had happened. My dressing room was half of the apartment that Fellini used to have on stage 5. My sister (Åse) visited me, and she was so impressed that she had me take a photograph of her hugging the toilet, because she said, 'Fellini shat here.' That's my sister for you (mumbling with a smirk)."  Look for the March 5th release of the Harlin version and stay tuned...

button_box.gif (205 bytes)I don't know how many of you have seen the KING ARTHUR DVD, but I decided to devote a special page on the DVD featuring comments about his role, as well as some stunning black & white captures of the many faces of Cerdic.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)There are more photos posted from the 2002 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.


button_box.gif (205 bytes)Happy New Year! It's been rather quiet as far as January news. I've been working on Stellan's biography and his film pages. I must admit it's been slow going with some of the Swedish translations and I'll have to ask for help though "Essentials of Swedish Grammar" is beginning to be useful. I've been fortunate to have the chance to see a couple of Stellan's older films - Den Enfaldige mördaren (The Simple-Minded Murderer) from 1982 (which won him the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and a Guldbagge) and then Den Demokratiske terroristen from 1992. You almost wouldn't recognize that he played both roles - first there's Sven, a young man born with a cleft palate that results in a speech impediment, and he is indeed simple, but an absolutely sweet and tragic character, and then there's the sexy, savvy and suave Stellan Skarsgård as Carl Hamilton, the Swedish James Bond! Quite a spectrum. Both of these film pages will be added shortly with reviews and photos.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)I've been trying to get my hands on some Swedish publications and have managed to purchase a few. How do you like the wacky photo below? For now I've erased the Swedish text in the picture and added my own. It's from OKEJ and there's a seemingly zany interview that goes with it that may provide a clue to the picture. All will be posted as soon as it's translated though I warn you that some parts may be X-rated. "Puberty was hell... I was a late bloomer..." 

button_box.gif (205 bytes)Stellan quote on Los Angeles:
"I couldn't live in LA - you wake up and the weather's always the same. It's like Groundhog Day!"