JANUARY 2021 NEWS
Studios has acquired the rights to director
Norwegian film HOPE for series
adaptation, with Nicole Kidman attached to star and be executive
produced under her Blossom Films banner. With suspense, mystery, tragedy
and humor, the series HOPE will chronicle twelve days of a family’s
Christmas together, the unravelling of a marriage, with six children
between them, in this large complicated blended family drama. The series
is being adapted by Alice Bell, who will also serve as executive
posted an addition to the "Press" section. It's the May 2016 edition of
Stockholm's street newspaper Situation, which featured Stellan on
Among the excerpts from this
interview is my favorite about Stellan's experience in August 2007 when
he attended a performance of "Place" at Stockholm's Dansens Hus
starring the breathtaking Mikhail Baryshnikov and Ana Laguna.
Stellan Skarsgård started suddenly to cry. It happened a few years ago.
He sat a few rows away from the stage in Dansens Hus and saw Mikhail
Baryshnikov and Ana Laguna perform a dance, choreographed by Mats Ek. At
first he did not understand at all why he cried.
"Baryshnikov cannot do those amazing jumps he could do
years ago, but every little detail, every single muscle in his body
expresses everything he feels, all his life experience. And you cannot
resist. It is a communication between people that goes a long way beyond
language. I had not cried for probably ten years and then suddenly I
started crying. It was nothing dramatic that happened. I just became so
fucking taken, so moved."
Stellan's ex-wife My also made the
cover of Situation back in March 2013. She is a doctor and therapist
specializing in alcohol addiction having survived alcoholism and
cervical cancer as well. A very courageous woman!
have a deep aversion to Tumblr web sites for several reasons, one
being that scrolling them can give you a bad ass headache. However,
occasionally I'll check them out for unique photos. Here's one of
Stellan with Colin Firth and it's a strange one. The notes indicate it's from one of the "Mamma Mia" films - "Bill
and Harry on their way home from a icy waters off the coast of
Norway. Bill was showing Harry the fjords."
I'm still shaking my head on this one... What'd ya think?
to the Star Wars news site Fantha Tracks, a small town in the UK by the
name of Little Marlow is where the ANDOR production is taking
place. A couple of aerial photos of the set have been obtained by the
British tabloid The Sun. "Andor" will take place five years before the
events of "Rogue One", and will follow the rebel spy Cassian Andor
during some of the Rebellion’s formative years. The series is set to
debut on Disney+ in 2022, and will reportedly consist of 12 episodes.
the Spanish newspaper El
Punt Avui, Stellan engaged in another interview regarding the film
HOPE and the following were some of the
Q: Is death the most important
subject of fiction, film, theater, or literature?
Stellan; A good part of commercial cinema is about life and death, for
all the drama it entails. We cannot avoid death: we can trust it fully,
we will surely die. You can make your life longer, but you can’t save
Q: Did you work more with body
language in a story like this?
Stellan; Tomas doesn’t talk much, he’s a circumspect character, and the
audience has to understand how I feel, how angry I am, and to express
that I have my whole body. In general, I think I use my face, my eyes
and my body a lot, I don’t just work on dialogues. The thing is, my
co-star in this film, Andrea Bræin Hovig, does a fantastic job, and all
I have to do is react to what she does.
Q: How important is hope to
this family and to everyone in general?
Stellan: Hope is essential, but it can also
be disappointing. It is a positive perspective on the future, but you
need to know how to manage it. Without hope we are paralyzed, because we
find no sense in anything. Even after the U.S. election in 2016, we had
to have it, and in the management of Covid, hope is also important,
thinking that we will be able to survive, find a remedy, or other ways
of living. But hope is something that needs to be managed. If you want a
good future, you have to work to achieve it.
Q: Considering that you have a
Scandinavian soul, did you find it very difficult to jump into the pool
of madness that was "Mamma Mia!"?
Stellan: Obviously it was hard. I had to sing! [Laughs] Never in my life
would I have thought I would make a movie like this. It had nothing to
do with what I usually do, and it was a challenge for me, but it was
also an incredibly fun experience. In the process of creating the
character, his background, all that mattered was that he was funny.
a Chinese web site that has this awesome video of Stellan discussing the
film "Breaking the Waves". It
runs about 12 minutes and it's in English. It's amazing that Stellan can
express his ideas so succinctly when English is not his first language.
Check out this link.
a Spanish media site called The Objective comes another interview with
Stellan regarding the release of HOPE in Spain. Here are a few of
Q: What was your reaction when
you discovered Maria's illness? (referring to Hans Petter Moland's wife)
Stellan: They communicated it to me in a phone call. They live in Norway
and I live in Sweden, so I was not there to accompany them during this
ordeal. We all thought she was going to die, but she didn't.
Q: Your character works hard
and neglects his private life. Have you identified with him in that
Stellan: The truth is that this
role made me review my entire career. I went back 40 years to when I
started at the Stockholm Dramaten. Since then I have worked four months
a year and have spent the rest of the time at home with my children. I
am very privileged, so I do not identify with him. I have not had the
same experience. What I do agree on is that my first wife had cancer.
Q: There are journalists who
have viewed the film as a criticism of the health system in the Nordic
countries. Do you share it?
Stellan: It is a description, not a criticism, with all its flaws and
qualities. The beauty of this movie is that it shows how different care
is depending on the doctor that corresponds with you because there are
professionals who cannot deal with the horrors they deal with and they
become cold and technical, and others who turn over. It is something
Q: How often do you go online
for medical consultations?
Stellan: I don't need to google.
I've always been the type to always have an encyclopedia on hand. When I
argued with my boys, we all came to consult it so we are freaks of the
encyclopedia. I don't use Google much in general either because the
news already informs me of what is happening in the world. What scares
me today is Poland, Hungary, England and the party against immigration
in Sweden. Although it also depends on perspective: in a million years
this fucking planet will be gone.
Q: Does it bother your children
when you're being too honest?
Stellan; We don't criticize each other's projects or jobs. We only speak
positively because there is no reason to beat ourselves up: we all
practice trial and error. I try to see everything they do, but they are
so productive… I'm years behind.
Q: What kind of
conversations do you have with Alexander?
Stellan: Gossip, such as that director is a jerk, I hated him too...
Q: I imagine that you have
signed a confidentiality contract, but what can you tell us about
Stellan: It's going to be very
visual. It is a Denis Villeneuve film, but at the same time there is a
commitment that it will sell many tickets.
Q: Are you not suspicious of
remakes at this point?
Stellan: Theoretically you can't make remakes that are better than the
originals, but that happens because they are made for the wrong reasons.
When Americans remake European films, they limit themselves to adapting
the story and eliminating everything valuable from the original film,
and that's where you screw up. I don't know how many Hamlets I've seen,
and there is no problem, in principle, because you can view them from
different perspectives. The fucking thing is if you think that you can
buy the frame of a work of art and fill it with any movie shit.
Q: Moland shot himself a remake
of a Norwegian movie you starred in. Have you ever reproached him for
Stellan: We joke sometimes. I say, "What the hell, can we shoot a movie
in English for a change? You only do projects in Norwegian, which nobody
sees. Or is it that you do it and then shoot a remake with fucking Liam
Neeson and get paid double?" Deep down I get it, it must be fun to try
it again. And Liam is a very nice guy.
Comparing these two films, "Cold
Pursuit" (originally titled "Hard Powder") grossed $76 million and
scored 69% on the Tomatometer while "Kraftidioten" ("In Order of
Disappearance") grossed less than a million but scored 86% on the
Tomatometer. On the surface, the remake looks very close to the
Norwegian original, but it was actually more of an adaptation. Producer
Michael Shamberg told the press, "Only about 25% of the dialogue is from
the original film." Though "Cold Pursuit" is set in Colorado, the
principal photography was done in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada.
Personally, I dislike American remakes of European films. And I'm not
happy that Stellan was cast in the American version of "The Girl with
the Dragon Tattoo" and not the original Swedish version with Michael
Maria Sodahl's Norwegian film HOPE opened
in Spain yesterday so a few interviews with Stellan have surfaced
online. India's Pledge Times featured an interview most likely from
other sources. Most of the questions and answers were familiar but the
following were interesting:
Q: Are you worried about death?
Stellan: Not at all. Life is a
lottery that I try to live intensely. I am not a fatalist, nor do I
worry about what might create fear in advance. I guess I’m not afraid of
death because I’m not religious. I don’t believe in the devil or in
Q: Are you still excited about
Stellan: From the first to the last. Actors are very insecure
animals and winning prizes always makes us happy.
Q: Do you enjoy the fame you have achieved?
Stellan: I get bored. It is easier for me to walk in Sweden than in the
United States. There everyone asks me for a selfie. In Sweden I can
continue riding the metro.
In an interview with Spanish
newspaper La Vanguardia, Stellan again spoke about death.
Stellan; We have a culture that
spends a lot of money in denial of death. And of aging. A culture where
we are encouraged to be forever young. Especially in the networks,
today. And it is a total lie. For my part I was never afraid of death. I
am not religious, and I accept death as part of life. But what also
happens to us is that we destroy our time because of the fear of aging
Q: Can the pandemic change
Stellan: Yes, but depending on which cases. For well-educated people it
may be good to stay home and evaluate these things. But for those who
live from day to day and cannot pay rent or food, what is happening is
not a philosophical question.
to Agencia Efe, Stellan is currently filming ANDOR, the prequel
to "Rogue One" in London, from where he talks by phone with Efe. He is
concerned about the saturation of hospitals and the new strain of covid
that is rising like foam; but he takes good care of himself, he assures,
although shooting is getting more and more difficult.
"The rules change all the time in England every week. It is true
that everyone makes incredible effort with the
security measures, but it really is a surreal experience, it is becoming
harder. The good thing is that once you are in front of the camera,
everything does not matter."
Q. Can the pandemic help many
people to reconsider the truth of their relationships?
Stellan; To a certain privileged class, yes. The pandemic has given them
the opportunity to stop and reflect, but I do not think that the rest of
the people, who are millions, have been of any use to them. It is not
for them the psychological aspect that counts, but the reality that they
live, and it is not good at all.
Q. The Norwegian healthcare system is very envious.
Stellan; Yes, in Scandinavia we have a magnificent health system, but in
Sweden, where I was born, they are literally beginning to destroy it
because the neoliberal market is beginning to prevail; even so, I think
it's still the best in the world. Now, my wife has a family in the US
and the difference is terrible. There are millions of people there who
have nowhere to turn, they do not have the least coverage. That country,
in that respect, is underdeveloped, and the pandemic is revealing how
essential it is to have a functioning health system. How important it is
to spend money on health, schools and education.
In an interview with Noticias De Navarra, Stellan comments on working
with male and female directors. He answers, "Normally I do not care if
there is a penis in the pants of the person who directs. In general, I
do not notice a difference, but I think that stories headed by women are
more personal and revolve more around human relationships. It's not as
if men would not be good at that, but that explosions are better for
them (laughing) but, once on set, there is no difference, really ".
following photos were taken on August 22, 1996 when Stellan was 49 years
old. Can you believe that come June 13th he will turn 70!
added a new photo gallery from
the RONIN premiere that took place on Wednesday, September 23,
1998 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Michael Quintanilla
of the LA Times titled the evening "Fast, French and Full of Film Stars.
Wednesday night’s premiere of
"Ronin," United Artists’ action
thriller on steroids, directed by John Frankenheimer.
The flick, which opens today - and
features an unforgettable, knuckle-gripping Mother of All Car Chases
against traffic through the teeny-weeny streets of Paris
- was screened before about 800 at the Academy of Motion
Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills. Party-goers then chased
each other to Chasen’s restaurant where they buzzed about that
More than 35 television crews and 50
photographers lined the Academy’s sidewalk and lobby vying for snaps
of the film’s stars - Robert De Niro, Jean
Reno, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgård
and Sean Bean... The party was
delightful, delovely and delicious, but De Niro decided to ditch it
after the screening. But his co-stars carried on.
"The chase scene will be very popular with the audience,"
Reno predicted in his deep French accent. "It
puts you inside the car, and it was done without any computers, it’s
for real. Myself, I’m a good driver, but sometimes I am too fast of
a driver. I am less disciplined than Los Angeles drivers."
"I used to be a fast driver,"
"but after this movie I find myself being
a very, very careful driver."
Revelers at the party (hosted by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) dined on
mostly French cuisine (coq au vin, chateaubriand that melted in
one’s mouth like buttah, crepes patisserie and more) on several
buffet tables decorated with ice sculptures of the Eiffel Tower. A
dance floor was surrounded by red velvet drapes, ornate mirrors and
upholstered banquettes where couples got lovey-dovey. Others jammed
into a back room where the celebs got chummy.
Stellan was once asked if he was
impressed by working with Robert De Niro and he responded, "I
don’t look at it that way. Of course, I’m aware of what an icon he is,
but I know he’s just as nervous as anyone else. He’s a terrific actor,
but there are many terrific actors that nobody knows about. From a pure
actor's standpoint, it isn’t more of a big deal to work with De Niro
than with Pernilla August. She’s just as good." Yes,
I'm certainly aware that Pernilla August is one awesome actress and
director! And Stellan has had the good fortune to work with her on
several film projects.
new DUNE poster of Stellan -
completing the film "Täcknamn
Coq Rouge", Stellan was once
again cast as Swedish agent Carl Hamilton in a 1989 one-hour TV
dramatization called FÖRHÖRET
(The Interrogation), which is
based on a passage in Jan Guillou's book "Fiendens fiende". In
this story Hamilton is called before KU (Sweden's answer to the American
congressional hearing) to answer questions about a spy war between
Sweden and the Soviet Union. Reviewer Malin Nilsson of kulturdelen.com
wrote, "Skarsgård is perfectly broad-shouldered, handsome in uniform and
reasonably scarred. Under heavy eyelids, the gaze flutters and hints at
the emotions hidden behind Hamilton's militarily disciplined facade. The
muscles twitch discreetly when Hamilton is annoyed or attracted to
laughter without the need for any major emotional expressions. The
picturesque Skarsgård is a great contrast to the gray-clad politicians
that he verbally fights against."
When it was released on DVD in
2012, the reviewer wrote, "It is above all Stellan Skarsgård who
carries this drama. He is a pro at his fingertips and it shows. Seeing
him act and react in a reasonably military rigid way, complete with
underlying frustration, anger and powerlessness is
pure pleasure." You can view film clips at
following new photos were taken at the Stockholm premiere of
on October 14, 2020. I think Stellan looks a bit off as if he's somewhat
photo I used on my 01/01/21 post was from a photo shoot that Stellan did in
2014 at one of his favorite drinking establishments - Kvarnen in the Södermalm district
of Stockholm. Advising tourists, Stellan said, "Drink at Kvarnen, one of
the oldest pubs in the city." The following are several more photos
from that shoot.
five decades of acting, Stellan has been cast as Swedish spy Carl
Hamilton three times. Based on the novels by Jan Guillou, the main
character is an elite military officer working for the Swedish Security
agency and Intelligence agency during the end of the Cold War, residing
in Stockholm but active internationally. Hamilton has often been
referred to as Sweden's James Bond, but the plot of these Guillou novels
are centered more on politics and journalism, comparing the author to
John la Carré and Len Deighton. Guillou's first novel was published in
1986 and the series became a bestseller in Sweden with Hamilton
appearing in a number of film and television adaptations.
Our Swede first appeared as Carl
Hamilton in 1989 in TÄCKNAMN COQ
ROUGE, [Codename Coq Rouge] directed by Per Berglund. Stellan won a
Guldbagge award for Best Actor and Göran Nilsson won the award for Best
the filmmakers originally
chose Stellan to play Hamilton, author Jan Guillou had doubts that he
was the right choice and he complained that Stellan was too thin and looked
like an asparagus! Stellan shot back by calling Guillou a meatball.
Touché! Stellan trained hard for the
film and told the press a guy from the
coast guard was teaching him close combat and weapon tactics. In the
end, the film went on to become a huge international success and Stellan
was cast twice more as the Swedish spy. The same year he starred in a
60-minute TV adaptation called "Förhöret" [to be posted next week],
and in 1992 he again played Hamilton in "Den Demokratiske Terroristen".
Sweden's Hedmark Reviews wrote,
"The first film in which Jan Guillou's own version of James Bond
appeared for the first time has an effectively cool tone thanks to Göran
Nilsson's cinematography and an interesting story that takes us to the
Middle East and is rounded off with a bloodbath. Skarsgård is excellent
and the complexity of his character (a socialist with a noble background
and Navy SEAL training) is highlighted and illustrated in an
entertaining and exciting way."
Son Gustaf actually made his
acting debut in this film as a scene-stealing nine-year-old, who plays
Hamilton's nephew. As you can see in the photo below, he's adorable!
Check out this
youtube link for an old interview with Stellan and Jan Guillou.
You'll note that the young Stellan almost looks a bit cocky as he smokes
his cigarette. The interview is followed by several clips from the film.
love the following quote from eldest son Alex who described his
childhood in an interview with the Irish Times back in 2016 - "It
was this big family of these weird, eccentric, bohemian people. There
were huge dinner parties growing up. There were always people sitting
around the table drinking and talking and eating. We were quite
different from most of our friends. Today, I’m so grateful I had such a
creative, social upbringing. But I had this idea for a couple of years
that I just wanted my dad to wear a grey suit, drive a Saab, and carry a
In describing his own childhood,
Stellan has spoken about how often his family moved. Because of
the cost of raising so many children, his Dad had to take on
higher-paying jobs so he changed jobs regularly. Often they were in
other cities. Stellan shares, "It was not easy for a person to leave
friends behind. I no doubt learned during this period that I can adapt
quickly to new environments and new circumstances. We moved to a new
place about every two years, so I went to a different school and a
different class every two years. However, my family was stable around me
and they were always a sure point in my life. We could count on my
parents, but we brothers were always there for each other. Because of
them, I became so family-oriented as an adult."
he hasn't played Dr. Erik Selvig for over five years, Stellan may not be
finished with the Marvel Cinematic Universe just yet. He originally had
a four-movie deal with Marvel Studios. The first half of his contractual
obligations were used for the first two Thor projects, while the latter
half were taken up by the first two Avengers films. When asked about his
return to the big screen comics mythos, he replied, "I haven't heard
from them, but I wouldn't mind... I remember saying to Kevin Feige, 'Is
there really any money in this comic book thing?' He looked at me like I
was a f***in idiot. Which I was, of course."