For those of you with HBO, you might want to check out TIMECODE, scheduled throughout May. Released in 2000, it's a very unusual film. The action of the film takes place in four different places, and four different cameras were used to simultaneously film 93 minutes of action. Then the screen is divided into four vertical slices and these four films are shown at the same time. There was no script but rather the actors were given outlines for their characters and situations. They were also told where they had to be at crucial moments, and the performers improvised accordingly. Besides Stellan, the cast includes Holly Hunter, Salma Hayek, Kyle MacLachlan, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Julian Sands, Danny Huston and many more.
Last month THE PHYSICAN (aka Der Medicus) became available on DVD. The English language German film tells the story about one man’s quest for knowledge and his obsessive need to heal. In 11th Century Persia, a young man with an unusual talent travels across the middle east to study at the hand of the world's most famous physician Ibn Sina (Ben Kingsley). At the traumatic passing of his mother, the young man discovered his gift of foretelling death, and while growing up with a barber (Skarsgård) who suppressed his talent, as an adult he travels to Persia to find the doctor of doctors in the city of Isfahan, who can help him develop his special powers. As word of his talent spreads throughout the city during times of a looming war, the young apprentice becomes a target of persecution in this sweeping epic of biblical proportions portraying battles of good and evil, faith and superstition.
Sweden's Café Magazine is a monthly men's magazine focused on fashion, style, and culture, including articles on food, movies, fitness, sex, music, travel, sports, technology, and books. The magazine is comparable to U.S. publications such as Esquire and GQ. And over the years, four of our Skarsgård men have made the cover!
Stellan was in NYC this week with the purpose of taking part in the "Good Will Hunting" Retrospective at the Tribeca Film Festival. On Wednesday afternoon he joined director Gus Van Sant and co-star Minnie Driver at the SVA Theater. The panel also included psychiatrist Paul Browde and Columbia University professor Brian Greene. We know why Robin wasn't present but where were Matt and Ben?
Conversation eventually led to the subjct of the late, great Robin Williams. He was often known to go off script and improvise like no other. Stellan told the audience, "He was constantly improvising and I liked that because if you prepare properly, it is trashed totally by somebody else improvising. And that's really good, because you usually get a little stiff, too skillful, and too elegant if your performance doesn't get f—ed by someone."
But Robin wouldn’t just improvise his lines. He would go completely out of character and do his lines while impersonating different celebrities. Stellan tells this little story -
"It was the beginning of a rather big scene that ends with him calling me an 'arrogant prick' or something unfair like that and the first take I came in and it wasn't him. It was Jack Nicholson and he talked like Jack Nicholson. He behaved like Jack Nicholson. I tried to play the scene with him because I'm really bad at improvising, so it became very strange, and then everybody laughed. We had to do it again and I came in and it was James Cagney. I think it was five or six takes with a different person I met in that part every time. And then gradually he'd do something more and more like the character in the film."
As for his role as a mathematician, Stellan admits, "John Mighton actually tried to teach me and make me understand those things, but it was impossible. I did the only thing I could - act."
The film would go on to gross $225.9 million worldwide and win two Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor (Robin Williams) and Best Original Screenplay (Ben Affleck and Matt Damon).
On Tuesday evening Stellan attended the New York premiere of "Adult Beginners" hosted by The Cinema Society and Brooks Brothers. After the screening Stellan joined director Ross Katz and his cast for cocktails at the James Hotel.
On Thursday the paparazzi caught Stellan leaving the Bowery Hotel waiting for his taxi. The way he's holding his phone, I bet he was using Uber or Hailo.
Marvel's AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON will have its official premiere in Los Angeles on Monday, April 13th. The film will receive a full release in the states on May 1st. Over the next two weeks, Director Joss Whedon and some of his cast are expected to attend several premieres around the world, which will include the UK, Italy, Korea and China. Since his role as Eric Selvig is minimal in these Marvel films, Stellan does not usually participate in the publicity. He has previously been cast in Thor, Thor: The Dark World and The Avengers.
Next month Stellan will be the guest of the 8th edition of the Festival of PKO OFF CAMERA in Krakow. Audiences will not only meet with the actor, but as part of a specially prepared retrospective, they will see six films with his participation. They include: Goya's Ghosts, King of Devil's Island, A Somewhat Gentle Man, In Order of Disappearance, Breaking the Waves and Dogville. The festival runs from May 1-10 when over 100 films will be screened, ten of which will be in competition.
There has been little news for OUR KIND OF TRAITOR since it was shot last fall in London. It has recently been announced that Marcelo Zarvos has been tapped to score the spy thriller based on the John le Carre novel. Besides Stellan, its cast includes Ewan McGregor, Naomie Harris, Damian Lewis and Jeremy Northam. The film follows a couple who get embroiled with a Russian oligarch and high-profile money launderer while on holiday in Marrakech. It is currently in post-production and is expected to premiere in the fall in Germany, Denmark, Sweden and France but there are still no release dates for the US or the UK.
FRANKIE & ALICE is now available via streaming to Netflix members. This film is inspired by the remarkable true story of an African American go-go dancer “Frankie” with dissociative identity disorder who struggles to remain her true self while fighting against two very unique alter egos: a seven-year-old child named “Genius” and a Southern white racist woman named “Alice.” In order to stop the multiple voices in her head, Frankie (Halle Berry) works together with a psychotherapist (Stellan) to uncover and overcome the mystery of the inner ghosts that haunt her.
Stellan's acting sons continue to make careers for themselves. Twenty-five-year-old son Bill has been starring in the lead role of Roman Godfrey in the Netflix drama series, "Hemlock Grove". Its success led to three seasons. He has also completed two more films, which will be released this year. The first is "Battlecreek", directed by Alison Eastwood (Yes, Clint's daughter). Written by Anthea Anka (Yes, Paul's daughter), the film is a love story about reconciling the past and finding the future. Bill will play a gifted young painter with a rare skin disorder, which forces him to live his life at night due to his affliction. Production began in October in Mississippi. The second film is called "Emperor", helmed by New Zealand director, Lee Tamahori. Bill has the role of Philip II of Spain. His co-stars include Adrien Brody, Rutger Hauer, Oliver Platt, Thomas Kretschmann and Paz Vega. "Emperor" starts in the early 16th Century and follows the reign of Europe’s Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and the young woman who blames him for the death of her father. Filming took place near Prague last fall.
Now that the True Blood series has ended, eldest son Alexander has plenty of time to devote to his film career. "Diary of a Teenage Girl" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and has received much praise. Marielle Heller's adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckner's semi-autobiographical novel stars Bel Powley and Kristen Wiig. The coming-of-age dramedy is about a teen artist living in 1970s San Francisco who enters into an affair with her mother's boyfriend. The film will have its theatrical release in August. "Hidden", written and directed by the Duffer Brothers has been completed but no word on a release date yet. Alex takes on the lead role in the 2016 summer blockbuster "Tarzan", which should bring him lots of publicity. Now in post production, the re-make will premiere on July 1, 2016 with a cast that includes Christoph Waltz, Margot Robbie and Samuel L. Jackson.
It appears that 34-year-old Gustaf's role has been confirmed for a fourth season of the History Channel's "Viking" series. He plays the weird and tormented boatbuilder named Floki, and the madness of this character has generated much of the success of this series. Definitely a fan favorite.