As reported in June, Stellan spent last summer working on the Cinemax drama pilot QUARRY, based on the series of novels by Max Allan Collins. Directed by John Hillcoat, the series is set in the 1970s and centers on a Marine sniper who, upon his return from Vietnam in 1973, finds himself shunned by those he loves and demonized by the public. Combat-hardened and disillusioned, he's recruited into a network of contract killers and corruption spanning the length of the Mississippi River. Stellan plays The Broker. No word yet as to when it will be aired. Author Max Allan Collins was on location meeting the cast and crew and on his blog, he wrote, "Stellan Skarsgård is supernaturally right as the Broker. He’s also friendly and funny, a very charming guy. I pointed out to him that the Broker wasn’t as evil as the guy he played in 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo', and he said, 'So I am progressing.' I brought him a vintage copy of 'The Broker' and he was quite taken with the sleazy paperback edition and pleased to see his character get top billing." I'm posting today to show you some photos taken during that shoot. The first one shows Stellan with author Collins and the second shows Collins with actor Logan Marshall-Green. No ID is given in the last two, perhaps fans.


KRAFTIDIOTEN opened today in theaters across Norway to more praise. Kjetil Lismoen of Aftenposten wrote, "The film is steeped in craftsmanship, particularly Philip Øgaard's photography of the snow-capped mountains. Not since Arne Skouen's 'Cold Tracks' has snow been given such importance in a Norwegian film with the many cameras on Skarsgård's snow plowing." The film continues to be compared to "Pulp Fiction," "Fargo" and "Twin Peaks" - all my favorites. Remember "The owls are not what they seem."

Stellan made some interesting comments to Aftenposten about how ticket sales for Norwegian films in his own country are usually quite minimal. Norwegian blockbusters like "Headhunters" and "Kon-Tiki" were each seen by over 200,000 in Denmark, but in Sweden, "Headhunters" sold 37,000 tickets and "Kon-tiki" sold just over 25,000. Norwegians love Swedish film, while Norwegian film does miserably in Swedish cinema and Stellan says much of the blame lies with the Swedish Film Industry's position in Sweden. He explains, "A number of films which I'm convinced would do well in Sweden have not done so. One thing is that Swedes are less familiar with the Norwegian language than Norwegians with Swedish. But it probably  plays a more significant role in the distribution situation in Sweden. There's a group that has the largest film producer, the largest distributor and they own almost all cinemas. It's disastrous." He refers to it as a near monopoly situation in the cinema market for AB Svensk Film Industry and its sister company SF Bio.

Stellan thinks SF has got it into their head that no one in Sweden should see a Norwegian film. Could this be due to some cultural arrogance? Stellan replies, "No, I think not. In Oslo there has always been Swedish TV. In Sweden we have not seen Danish or Norwegian TV. Norwegian sounds a little strange to us. If the Nordic Council had done something wise when television signals were still analog, they would have ensured that all the Nordic countries would receive each other's channels without these strange boundaries."


Back in September I reported that someone had finally taken FRANKIE & ALICE off the shelf and blown off the dust. The movie was shot in December 2008 and had a limited release in Los Angeles in December 2010. Star Halle Barry was even nominated for a Golden Globe. But the film never managed to earn a widespread release and languished on the shelf for nearly three years until Lionsgate's Codeblack Films picked up the rights to give it a theatrical release on April 4th.

Co-starring Stellan, Chandra Wilson and Phylicia Rashad, and directed by Geoffrey Sax, the 1970s-set drama centers on a young woman with a personality disorder who struggles to contain her racist alter-ego. Because "Frankie & Alice was never properly released, it doesn’t have many reviews. However, the ones it has are mostly negative and it’s currently pulling a 14% on Rotten Tomatoes. Granted, that’s with only 15 reviews in, but it’s hard to imagine this will ever get much acclaim other than for Halle Berry's performance.

I have posted many more photos in the Berlin Photo Gallery for "Kraftidioten." Here are a few of Stellan hamming it up. Such a clown!


The people of Beitostølen, Norway, were excited last night to welcome back the production team of KRAFTIDIOTEN to launch its Norwegian premiere under the stars. The film had been shot last year at the ski resort, a village of 300 inhabitants 900 meters above sea level. A large canvas of over 40 square meters was set up on a plateau at the top of the hill with stands created for more than a thousand people, who sat on reindeer skins. Attending the screening was director Hans Petter Moland, Stellan, Anders Baasmo Christiansen and Chris Hivju. Stellan, who flew in from Stockholm to Oslo to the Fargernes Airport, said it was nice to be back. Though there were some technical issues at first, the audience took it all in good spirits and were clearly proud to be the first in Norway to see the film.

Before the screening, there was a dinner for the film's participants at the Aasgaard Stogo restaurant and the night before there was a reunion party. Visit this photo gallery for all these events.

The awards were given out last night at the Berlin Film Festival and, as Hans Petter Moland expected, his film did not win the prestigious Golden Bear Award. The award went to China's stylish film noir "Black Coal Thin Ice" by Diao Yinan.


During the Berlin promotion for IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE (aka KRAFTIDIOTEN), Stellan told the press that hopscotching across cultures and languages was good exercise for an actor. "Of course it's always easier to work in your mother tongue," he said. "You have to work harder when you work in a foreign language. But I feel more and more comfortable in English." As for working in Scandinavian films, he quipped: "The Norwegians think I'm a Norwegian with a speech impediment." Love his sense of humor!

It sounds like Stellan had fun driving that snow plow. He said, "It was like being a kid again. It's an amazing feeling when you power across the snowy expanses of 70 km and run the plow into the pile of snow flying high in the air." Of course, the cold was a major factor in filming. Stellan explained, "I've never been so frozen. There were days when the temperature was minus 28 degrees plus there was a good amount of wind. It was almost impossible to move your face because it hurt so much. But Bruno Gatz and the Serbian guys had it much worse. They had a whole day to be outside and were dressed only in black suits."

When asked if he ever held an ordinary job, Stellan replied, "I had some proper jobs. When I was fifteen, I worked for some time at sea. I've also toiled in a slaughterhouse, a restaurant kitchen and a hardware store."

After the film was screened, the press responded. Italian film journalist Valentina D'Amico commented, "The movie was amazing and intelligent. The script is wonderful. There is a lot of violence, but fun all the way. And, of course, the Norwegian winter landscape is a very exciting backdrop to the story."

Gunnar Rehlin of the Swedish news agency TT believes the team of Moland and Skarsgård has once again made a solid film - "It certainly lived up to my expectations. Great fun and brutal, and a consistent black humor."

Danish radio host Per Juul Carlsen described the film as "the Coen brothers' 'Fargo' in Norway. Jet black comedy."


Another busy day for our Swede as he promotes IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE (Kraftidioten) at the Berlin Film Festival. Check out the  gallery for photos from the photocall, press conference and red carpet premiere.

In the evening Stellan, along with co-star Bruno Ganz, presided over the festival's annual European Shooting Stars Awards Ceremony honoring the best and brightest young acting talent in Europe. The event was held at the prestigious Berlinale Palast. Ten actors  were presented with an award honoring their outstanding artistic achievements in feature film. Click here for the photo gallery.


Today NYMPHOMANIAC (Volume 1) was screened at the Berlin International Film Festival. A press conference and photocall was followed by the red carpet screening in the evening. Director Lars Von Trier was surrounded by cast members Stellan, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, Stacy Martin, and Shia LaBeouf, whose antics at the press conference confirm that he's on the celebrity path to self-destruction. Von Trier, wearing a Cannes T-shirt with the words "persona non grata", attended the photocall but did not stay for the press conference, continuing his vow of silence.

Here are some photos from the red carpet. Note that Stellan's wife accompanied him wearing what looked like a maternity dress though I have read no baby news. Could she have sewn the dress herself from the same material seen two years ago at the London premiere of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"? (see right photo below) Guess she likes geometric designs and sweaters.

Red Carpet

Visit the Berlinale Photo Gallery for today's events

Screen International is reporting that Stellan is in talk to join OUR KIND OF TRAITOR, the John Le Carre thriller. Ewan McGregor will star in the international spy thriller as one half of a couple who gets mixed up with a Russian ligarch and major money launderer. Caught up in his plans to defect, they are soon positioned between the Russian mafia and the British Secret Service. Susanna White will direct with screenplay by Hossein Amini. Filming should start before the summer.


In today's Guardian, journalist Xan Brooks shares his interview with some of the cast members of NYMPHOMANIAC. Stellan discusses his experience working with the Danish director - "The biggest enemy of any actor is fear, and with Lars, you don't have any fear. There is no preparation, he just starts shooting. And the atmosphere on set is such that mistakes are a good thing, because they show you've tried something." He concedes it might not work for everyone. "There are the people that I call 'mirror actors'. The ones who perfect their performance in the mirror and then polish it for weeks before arriving on the set. They're the ones who are f**ked." 

Brooks writes, "The actor claims to have had enough of liberal hypocrites and the PC police; of cowardly festival factotums and of cynical hacks who deliberately misconstrue jokes. It has reached the stage, he argues, when people are afraid to say or do anything for fear of the backlash. It's a sorry state of affairs that we find ourselves in. All of which may be true. But isn't that all the more reason for Von Trier to stick to his guns? By zipping his lip, he has only ceded the ground. By hiding away, it's as though he's admitted defeat. I like von Trier, warts and all, but I'm not sure that I like him in his coy current guise. The Trappist robes don't suit the man. He's probably sitting in the damned next-door room. I can't understand why he won't come out and speak. Stellan pulls a pitying face. He obviously feels that I've missed the point entirely; that I have learned absolutely nothing from the past few days. 'But he did speak,' he tells me. 'He made the f**king movie.'"

We finally get our first peek at HECTOR AND THE SEARCH OF HAPPINESS. The new trailer can be viewed at this link. Stellan plays Edward, a rich and jaded banker in this dramatic-comedy alongside Simon Pegg, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, Rosamund Pike and Jean Reno. Pegg plays Hector, an eccentric yet irresistible London psychiatrist in crisis: his patients are just not getting any happier. He’s going nowhere. Then one day, armed with buckets of courage and an almost child-like curiosity, Hector breaks out of his sheltered vacuum of a life into a global quest to find out if happiness exists. More importantly, if it exists for Hector. And so begins a colorful, exotic, dangerous and hysterical journey. A fall 2014 UK release date has been announced but no word yet on a US release. Adapted for the screen from the bestselling novel of the same name by François Lelord, the film is a German/Canadian co-production. The film was shot from April to June last year in Vancouver, London, South Africa and China.

What's up with those younger Skarsgård actors? Here's the latest scoop on their careers. Alexander is presently in San Francisco filming "The Diary of a Teenage Girl", which stars Kristen Wig and Bel Powley. The screenplay, based on Phoebe Gloeckner’s graphic novel of the same name, centers on a brutally honest teenage artist living in San Francisco in the 1970s as she attempts to navigate her way through an affair with her mother’s boyfriend, Monroe, played by Alex. He was in Cape Town, South Africa, in December wrapping up his role in the upcoming science fiction film, "The Giver", starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep (major names!).  The synopsis reads, "In a perfect world where there is no conflict, racism or sickness, every member of society has a specific role, and 12-year-old Jonas is selected to be the Receiver of Memories. As Jonas uncovers the truth behind his world's past, he discovers that many years earlier his forefathers gave up humanity in order to have a stable society." Alex has the role of Jonas' father. The film already has a release date of August 15, 2014. And as many of you already know, HBO's vampire drama, "True Blood" will be ending its run after its final season this summer.

Gustaf has a Swedish gangster thriller called "The Fat & The Angry" (Ettor Nollor) premiering on Swedish television next week. For TV fare in the US, Gustaf can be seen in the second season of the adventure drama, "Vikings", which will premiere on February 27 running for 10 episodes. While you can't see him, you can at least hear his voice in the new documentary, "The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden". He shares voice credits with Cate Blanchett, Sebastian Koch, Thomas Kretschmann and Diane Kruger. The film will be screened this month at the Berlin International Film Festival in their Berlinale Special section. The documentary interweaves an unsolved 1930s murder mystery with stories of present day Galapagos pioneers in a parable about the search for paradise. Some years back, I read John Treherne's "The Galapagos Affair", which I found quite intriguing so I eagerly await this documentary. Some of you may remember that Stellan signed on for the movie version in May of 2009. Kristin Scott Thomas was also cast but, for whatever reason, the film never got made, much to my disappointment.

Bill can be seen in the second season of "Hemlock Grove", the American horror thriller TV series from Netflix.  Based on McGreevy's novel, the show premiered in April of last year with 13 episodes. Netflix renewed the show for a second season of 10 episodes to air in 2014. You can watch a video interview with Bill and co-star Penelope Mitchell at this link. When Bill was asked a few months ago how he liked to spend his free time, he responded, "I don’t have that many hobbies but I’m a social guy, so I like to hang out with my friends and family. Therefore, it was really important to have these great guys to be spending time with in Toronto for me as well. They became my friends and family when I was there. I like to cook food and have dinners with friends and family." Like father, like son!!!

On January 20th, youngest son Valter was on the red carpet at Sweden's Guldbaggen Awards. Back in November he attended the Stockholm International Film Festival where he was one of six rising-star nominees. His most recent film project has been the German docudrama, "Odins Töchter" ("The Viking Women), which will be aired on French and German television in the spring.