month the in-flight magazine of Sterling Airlines
ran an interview with Stellan.
Sterling Airlines is an Icelandic owned low-fare airline,
based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Our Swede claims,
“I am at my happiest and most comfortable when I am making films.
In fact, when things are going well on a movie
set, it feels like I’m in heaven.”
I wonder how many of us could say that about our
jobs! Yes, Stellan is a lucky man who manages to make a living having a
helluva good time. And we also find out how he rates his cooking skills.
He says, "I’m a good chef, yes. I cook everything from all over
the world. I’m very fond of Italian cuisine, but also French dishes with
a lot of stock that can stand and bubble away for days."
So what about the catering on shoots? Well, yes, he gets upset when the
catering is bad. He admits that when he filmed
didn't care what they paid him as long as the food was good!
Yes, if you click on the ABERDEEN
link above, you will be taken to the new film page for this superb 2000
family drama directed by Hans Petter Moland. The film reunites Stellan
with Moland, who directed him in the equally compelling
ZERO KELVIN in which Stellan played
a Greenland fur-trapper, a brutal, caustic man enduring a terrible
secret. It also reunites him with Charlotte Rampling, memorably teamed
in the extraordinary "Signs and Wonders." Stellan
has often cited his performance as Tomas Heller as being one of his
favorite, adding that the character will always be like an "old, dear
friend." If you haven't yet seen this extraordinary film, rent it soon!
are a couple new posters from MAMMA MIA!
Riddled with humour and emotion, the film bids to strike the same
tone as its stage-bred progenitor, a deliriously happy, feel-good ride
that ensures those that have witnessed its musical delights leave the
auditorium in a state of giddy elation. For American
cinemagoers, the opening date is July 18th. Did you know there
are more productions of the play
being staged around the world than any other
musical? Over 30
million tickets have been sold worldwide, the show grossing over $2
billion at the international box office. Obviously, any film will
struggle to generate quite the same return, but none would refute the
fact that there is a ready-made market for the film.
While filming last year, Stellan admitted,
“I’ve never done anything like this before.
Now I’ve been dancing for four days! I’ve probably moved more than I did
in the last four years put together. It’s hard work, like boxing, and
with the exception of us few old timers, everybody else is
20 years old and professional. Still, it is very good fun and
working with Lloyd (film's director) has been
great. She’s very aware of getting into the
frame what she wants in the frame and she has a fantastic coolness.
She doesn’t raise her voice or anything. She’s not stressed, she
just walks around and she finds out what she wants and she goes in and
she just says the most necessary words, and as a theatre director she
is, of course, very good with actors. I just
hope they go with Colin’s idea for an Abba detox once we’re through.
I’m going to be singing this for months!”
opened on Friday in UK theatres, therefore prompting several interviews with
Stellan. There's an audio interview done by Jason Solomons at
Guardian News and one by Simon Mayo at
BBC's Radio 5 Live. There's also an interview with
Time Out and a lengthy one done
with Den of Geek's Martin Anderson.
The film will open in Spain on Friday and in Swedish theatres on April
18. In this photo of Stellan taken last week, you'll note that his hair
is cut rather short. That's because he just finished shooting the BBC
television film, GOD ON TRIAL In one of his interviews, he
comments that an upcoming project may include an American independent
film. He also comments on MAMMA MIA! indicating that his singing
in the film is confined to singing just parts of songs, namely Our
Last Summer, Voulez-Vous and Take a Chance on Me.
month Stellan was in Glasgow, Scotland, filming BBC's
GOD ON TRIAL, which should air in late
2008. In the 90-minute TV drama, written by Frank Cottrell Boyce, the
charge is that God has broken his covenant with his chosen people to
protect and care for them. The trial takes place in a camp blockhouse
over the course of one day around a selection of those prisoners who are
going to be taken to the gas chamber. In a bid to minimise the likely
controversy, the producers took soundings from Daniel Cohen-Sherbok, the
US-based leading theologian for the Holocaust, as well as other leading
rabbis, and came away reassured that it was an interesting examination
of an important issue. It is expected to air in late 2008.
is among the cast of METROPIA, Sweden’s first animated feature
film for adults. The $32 million kronor ($5 million) production is
directed by Tarek Saleh and has been in development for four years. The
story is set in a not-so-distant, terrifying Europe. The world is
running out of oil and the net of undergrounds has been connected,
creating a gigantic web underneath Europe. The film will combine
animation and live action and will be released sometime next year.
Stellan will do the voice of Ralph. Other voices will be provided by
Vincent Gallo, Juliette Lewis, Udo Kier, Sofia Helin and Stellan's
eldest son, Alexander.
a photo taken in 1983 of a very young Stellan with famed Swedish
director Ingmar Bergman.
the release of WAZ in the UK next week, The Times recently
featured an interview with Stellan
regarding his latest screen projects.
month Stellan appeared on a new Swedish talk show called "Närbild"
which means "Close-up". The weekly show premiered
at the end of October and on December 28th Stellan was a guest with host
Fredrik Sahlin. You can view the program at
this link at Sveriges Television though you won't understand a
word he says unless you know Swedish! What a shame....
But you will see some clips from his 1982 Den Enfaldige mördaren
for which he won Best Actor at the Berlin International Film Festival,
receiving the Silver Berlin Bear as well as receiving Sweden's Oscar, a
Guldbagge. Clips are also shown from Täcknamn Coq Rouge,
Breaking the Waves and Pirates of the Caribbean.
I do have a video of Stellan speaking in
English! It has come to my attention that he
had promoted Goya's Ghosts
with an appearance at the Film Festival
Maastricht (FFM) in Holland on March 25 of last year. The film
opened the festival with an introduction by both Town
Mayor Gerd Leers and Stellan. Just click on
the photos below to access the video, which includes an interview and
footage at the festival.
In his interview Stellan remarks that he feels like
one of the most privileged actors in the world because he can go between
doing small and complicated independent films, sometimes films that no
on will ever see but where the material is very rich, to doing "big,
fluffy souffles". He continues, "There's a lot of weird, psychological
reaons why you become an actor. One of the reasons that I probably like
to get into a role is so that I can do things that I, Stellan Skarsgärd,
would never have the courage to do. And maybe I want to be loved... I
don't know..." You do make us love you, Stellan! Here are some photos
from that Dutch visit that appeared in the Maastricht newspaper last
This is the updated film
schedule for ARN according to SF's (Svensk Filmindustri) Head of
Production, Johan Mardell: "We will release the second feature film in
Scandinavia in August 2008. Parallel to that, we'll have an
international version of ARN. What we're doing
now is editing the feature number two as well as the international
version which is a compilation of ARN one and
two. We didn't want to go with two feature
films internationally because the story is not that well
known outside Scandinavia. The international version will be two and a
half hours long. It should be available August/September 2008."
According to the UK's Herald, most of the film was actually shot
in Scotland because there are so few surviving medieval buildings in
in September while Stellan was filming MAMMA MIA!
in Greece, he was invited to give a two-hour talk on acting at the
Academy of Cinema (AOC) in Athens. This academy is an international
English-speaking film/video school based at the Karamanos Studi and each
year the AOC holds professional workshops. A three-page feature artice
on the workshop appeared in the leading Greek Sunday papers.
Check out the gallery for photos taken
in Greece in September.
Recently Phyllida Lloyd was asked
about her experience in directing the film. Did she have
sleepless nights during the 10 weeks of filming at Pinewood followed by
a further five weeks on location on the Greek island of Skopelos?
She replies, "I got through it by taking up sleeping pills,
intravenous caffeine and a certain amount of vodka.
To put it in theatre terms, the whole process was like trying to
open a show when you haven't finished the technical rehearsal, you've
never had a full run-through of the play, everyone's having a nervous
breakdown and the audience are waiting to come in. And it's like that
every day. It's ulcer-inducing."
Is Phyllida happy with what she has captured
on film, as she begins editing? She answers,
"There are no excuses for me now. We've got
the most fantastic performances, an incredible score, a wonderful
screenplay and beautiful photography. The big question is whether I can
put it all together." I'm betting that with a $65
million budget and the clout of Universal Pictures behind it, this
movie will become the feel-good hit this summer.
Stellan had joked that his
biggest concern was Daniel Craig, the new, ruggedly macho 007 agent,
brandishing a gun, might cross paths with Pierce wearing spandex pants
from the musical's1970s inspired numbers.
Stellan is always funny. But what about his dancing
skills? Well, Anthony Van Laast, who choreographed the original
stage production, had the same responsibility
in the movie version and had the the very
challenging task of teaching ah-one, ah-two to Pierce, Colin and
Stellan, guys not known for their terpsichorean skills.
Before filming began in London, Anthony admitted, "We have
challenges with Stellan," deadpanning to
laughter. "I am sure that by the time we film, he'll be absolutely fine.
My assistant is working very hard with him at the moment. The thing
about 'Mamma Mia!' is that a lot of the movement comes from people as
they are. It's not a musical where everyone does the same moves. So if
Stellan moves in a certain way, I have to incorporate that. There's no
point trying to impose on something he can't do -
that's a polite way of saying it."
So, we'll have to wait a few more
months before we can decide for ourselves on the singing and dancing
talents of our favorite Swede. As I mentioned before, the international
trailer features Stellan in so many more scenes - and includes one
hilarious one in which he's twirling around like a fool with something
over his head and it definitely inspires belly laughing. And anyone who
has watched his performance in KISS KISS
(BANG BANG) knows he can be a real cut-up.
Pictures Home Entertainment will release
GOYA'S GHOSTS on DVD
in the US and Canada (Region 1) this February 26th. The only
extra will be: a "Behind the Scenes Featurette." The
film has a running time of 113 minutes and is rated R for violence,
disturbing images, some sexual content and nudity. Critical
concensus is that this is an artistic misfire from Milos Forman, one of
cinema's true virtuosos. You'll note that the DVD cover differs from all
the previous international copies and if you ask my opinion, the artwork
is terrible (and that's not just because our Goya isn't shown!) Were
they aiming to make Natalie Portman as unattractive as possible? They
use a nice soft photograph of Javier Bardem and then go on to add a
cartoon-ish image of Natalie. And trying to capture sales by pointing
out that Forman was the producer of the "The English Patient" is a bit
what will Stellan be doing this year? Well, according to Swedish
sources, he was going to be part of the Guldbagge
jury this month for their
annual film awards. He is now being replaced by
Pernilla August as he is taking on a new project in England. Hat Trick
Productions is making a drama for the BBC2 based on the true-life
attempt by Auschwitz inmates to put God on trial. GOD ON TRIAL
will be set over a single day in which the concentration camp prisoners
test their faith by putting God in the dock for turning his back on the
Jewish people in their hour of need. Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, who
witnessed the trial, used the story as the basis of his play, "The Trial
of God." The 90-minute drama has cast Stellan and Stephan Dillane
(co-star from "King Arthur"). Andy de Emmony will direct with a script
by Frank Cottrell Boyce, frequent collaborator with Michael
Winterbottom. Hat Trick head of drama Mark Redhead, who will executive
produce, said he had had the project in mind for more than 20 years, but
believed the issues it raises have become more relevant in recent years.
"It wrestles with the question that is always asked during wartime: how
can there be so much suffering in the world?" he says. "With the attacks
of September 11 and the Iraq war, religion is now centre-stage in ways
that it simply hadn't been in my lifetime." Hat Trick has employed a
rabbi to consult on the script, which Redhead said aimed to raise
challenging philosophical issues. It is expected to air at the end of