MARCH NEWS 2009:

03.25.09:

button_box.gif (205 bytes) To jumpstart the Norwegian production of REGNSKAP (Accounting), director Hans Petter Moland and his "dream team" held a press conference and conducted a number of interviews on Monday. Here are the video links to the three Norwegian interviews: Vgtv.no, Dagbladet, and Nrk.no. The photo below shows (left to right): Bjorn Floberg, Bjorn Sundquist, Aksel Hennie, Jorunn Kjellsby, Hans Petter Moland, Jannike Kruse, Stellan, Kjersti Holmen and Gard Eidsvold.

Stellan has previously worked with some of these Norwegian actors. Both Gard Eidsvold and Bjorn Sundquist co-starred in ZERO KELVIN and Bjorn Floberg co-starred in INSOMNIA.

More details of the film's story were released. Bjorn Sundquist plays a garage owner who gives Ulrik (Stellan) a second chance, offering him a job as a car mechanic after he emerges from 12 years behind prison walls for murdeirng his wife's lover. Kjersti Holmen plays Stellan's ex-wife. Sundquist says, "My character is a caring and warm person who works on behalf of social welfare."

Moland believes his cast includes the best actors from Norway and Sweden. Apparently the script lanquished for a long time before the Norwegian director recognized the potential in it. Moland says, "This film is something I had to do. It is an irresistably funny dark comedy." He has nothing but praise for his lead star - "I think Stellan  is an incredibly gifted actor. I will be very content working with him. I can dare to be bold because we have a chemistry with each other and we're able to take chances that will affect the outcome."

Stellan jokingly announced, "I do not have to sing and dance this time!" This film was an easy choice for Stellan who greatly admires Moland. He says, "We're like an old married couple and I have separation anxiety... I think the script is incredibly funny and I have time now. Hans Petter and I have just expected that we would find something together. I think he is one of the world's best directors. He gives clear direction, knows what he wants and you still have a large degree of freedom when you work with him.. He lets you know what you are when you stand in front of the camera." As far as his co-stars, Stellan explains, "It will be nice to work with the two Bjorns and Gard again. Showing no traces of disappointment in having to leave Hollywood for Alnabru, he adds, "What matters are the people I work with."

Stellan makes the point that audiences have seen him in almost all of the Hollywood films he's made, but not the small independent films. He explains, "Films that do not have millions to spend on publicity are often not seen and this trend is forcing people to see films they're really not interested in. They see the big-budget films because everyone sees them which is creating a sad development."

Working with the famous Swedish actor is a dream come true for co-star Askel Hennie, who finds Stellan very generous and relaxed when working. He admits that usually a good script is his first priority but a chance to work with Stellan won him over immediately. He adds, "I believe he is the world's best male actor for his age."

When Stellan was asked what young actors like Hennie must do to cross borders, he explained, ""If you are flying to Los Angeles to do a movie, you end up in a pot of 40,000 unemployed Americans. I worked in Scandanavia until I got an offer, which is the best Hennie can hope for.

Filming began today with an expected premiere date of January 2010.

03.12.09:

button_box.gif (205 bytes)More information has surfaced on Stellan's next film project REGNSKAP, which is now being described as a black comedy. Although Moland has made many funny commercials, this will be his first feature film in the comedy format, "says one of the film's producers, Finn Gjerdrum. Director Hans Petter Moland discussed his upcoming film in a recent interview.

"Comedy is extremely difficult." says Moland. "But it is not completely foreign to situations that can be funny, even in serious films." Two weeks ago the director was awarded $6.5 million by the Norwegian Film Fund with the film budgeted at a total of just over $16 million. Moland admits that after five dramas, he's more than ready to tackle a comedy. The screenplay is by Danish writer, Kim Fupz Aakeson. Described as ”a unique story about people who no longer have great dreams, but still fight for their dignity”, the film follows Ulrik who has just been released from prison after serving 12 years for killing his wife’s lover. His son is about to start a family and will have nothing to do with his father who was never there; his former colleagues expect him to get back at the man who ratted on him. What will he do?

Moland say that he is very excited to work with Stellan again. Acknowledging that the Swede had previously worked on MAMMA MIA!, he adds, "It's a long way from a Greek paradise to Alnabru." He explains that Alnabru is the industrial section of Oslo. However, producer Stein B. Kvae has promised Stellan good food! The film, with a cast that includes Aksel Hennie (Max Manus) and Bjørn Floberg (Kitchen Stories), will start shooting on March 25 and continue through May. Domestic distribution through Scanbox is set for February 15, 2010. BTW, if you haven't seen the Swedish film "Kitchen Stories" (Salmer fra kjøkkenet), I highly recommend it. For a film with virtually no dialog between the stars for the first half and where nothing really happens for much of the movie, “Kitchen Stories” is a remarkably warm, funny and thoughtful piece of cinema delight!

03.01.09:

button_box.gif (205 bytes)On February 15 Stellan joined several cast members of ANGELS & DEMONS for a photocall at St. Marta Church in Rome, Italy. Posing with Stellan are Thure Lindhart, Pierfrancesco Favino, Ayelet Zurer and Ewan McGregor. On February 12 Switzerland's CERN hosted a visit from actors Tom Hanks and Ayelet Zurer and director Ron Howard as they unveiled some select footage. When Sony Pictures first contacted CERN early in 2007 about filming part of their film there, the laboratory quickly saw an opportunity and was excited to participate. "The fact that 'Angels & Demons' is a best-selling novel and now a Hollywood movie gives us the opportunity to show how exciting the reality of antimatter research is," said CERN Research Director Sergio Bertolucci. "It's been a privilege working with CERN," said director Ron Howard.

In a recent interview, the gang behind the film were all unequivocal in their praise of Stellan. His director called him a very talented actor and a very pleasant person. Howard adds, "He is the type of actor who captures the audience and creates a character of flesh and blood." Co-star Tom Hanks described Stellan as always being very curious while co-star Ewan McGregor related how he and Stellan would gear up for confrontational scenes by cursing each other in the face. Stellan says he tries his best to create a good atmosphere when filming and he admits that having fun is certainly an element that can lure him to answer yes to a role. As far as the Dan Brown sequel, he says, "I don't think a movie like this means so much for my career, but I get paid well. Many years ago I said I would like to work with Ron Howard. I think he is a good director. And this was a fun project, even if it meant a long time in LA, where I don't thrive as well." Stellan has previously been quoted as saying, " If I spend too much time in Los Angeles, I feel like it's Groundhog Day. You wake up to the same sunny day every morning and it's kind of annoying."