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