MARCH NEWS 2009:
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
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.
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!
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."