the Oscar nominations will be announced and we're all rooting for
Director/writer Maria Sødahl's
HOPE to be among them. In a recent
interview, Maria was asked about casting Stellan as her husband. She
explained, "I try not to have anyone in
mind while writing. And, quite soon, I realized there was only one guy
who could do Thomas’s part…In a sense, his part is more challenging,
than hers. Because to be that character who’s not 'acting,' has to have
very small things, body language, and have this inner life that you can
read. That needed a great actor. And, of course, I wanted my husband to
know a great actor would portray him. (laughs) …I know Stellan. I know
that he’s had similar experiences from his own life. He’s got a blended
family of eight. I have a blended family of six…and he’s also had a wife
who had cancer. He has been in Thomas’s shoes. So he could make his own
character. He wasn’t going to play my husband; he was going to portray
his Thomas. So I didn’t think of anybody else for his part."
3/15/21 UPDATE: So
disappointed that "Hope" did not make the final Oscar nomination list
today. However, Danish director Thomas Vinterberg received two
nominations for "Another Round" - Best International Feature and Best
Director. This is a terrific film and Mads Mikkelsen gives another
awesome performance. Check it out!
an interview last year, Stellan commented on Indian cinema. Personally,
I'm not a huge fan but I do favor UK films about the colonization of
India by the British, such as "Heat and Dust" (1983). Stellan said that
the impact of Indian cinema as popular entertainment
stretches from the west of India to the Mediterranean countries such as
Morocco and covering all those countries of the Middle East.
Having traveled to many film locations around the world, he remarks,
"All over the eastern part of the world, there is a Hindi film playing."
He believes, "There is no
American star who is as loved as an Indian star is."
Stellan recalled the time when he was filming "My
Son the Fanatic" with the late Indian actor Om Puri, who was
mobbed with fans in England - "Walking through Bradford (in Western
Yorkshire where they were shooting) with him was insane!"
He added, "I made
one Indian film called "The
Perfect Murder" many years ago with
Naseeruddin Shah. It was a very interesting
experience, but the film
didn’t turn out well. However, I
had the chance to meet a lot of Indian actors."
week Stellan did an interview via Zoom with UK's Eye for Film from his
London hotel room. He started off by saying he had been out to the
studio ("Andor" production) that day to do some tests though they
weren't shooting. He added, "I'm really tired of hotel rooms."
HOPE, which is shortlisted for the Oscars,
Stellan was asked about acting opposite real doctors and health
professionals in the film. He responded, "Film I think is very different
from stage acting. Stage acting is so much technique to make it even
visible twenty meters away or audible twenty meters away. Also, on stage
you are in the same room as the audience which means it is real, even if
it’s stylized, even if it’s a heightened reality. But on film, the
camera is so revealing. It tells if you’re just relying on your tools.
It can tell immediately that you’re lying. That’s why sometimes amateurs
are brilliant in front of the camera. I mean, when Björk won the prize
in Cannes as best actress [for "Dancer In The Dark"], she’s never acted
before. But her presence in front of the camera was so vivid. And those
doctors we had here knew exactly what they were doing. They were not
trying to portray anything. They weren’t trying to do anything strange
or displaying a whole character in many dimensions. They were doing what
they were doing every day. And they were alive in front of the camera
and it was fantastic to see. And they’re all different. Different
characters that sort of stand out. Beautiful."
And did the film change any of
Stellan's ideas on death?
He replied, "Well, I thought about
death when I was three years old and realized that I had to deal with
it. And I haven’t thought about it since. Because I was fine with it. I
can’t say that this project taught me more about death. But it reminded
me of life and the importance of life. And even the family that we had
in this film, which so much resembled in many ways my family and with
all the kids and the big apartment and with all of this life - it
emphasized the thing that I already knew. That this was the most
important thing in my life."
added two more pages to Stellan's theatre history. The first is
(The Years of the Butterfly), which was staged at Dramaten
in 1978. If this photo looks somewhat silly, it may be because the play
The second play is an
earlier one in 1969
that was staged at
Malmö Stadsteater. Titled
ALLA HAR TRÄDGÅRD
in Swedish, its English
title is "Everything in the Garden" and it was written by
Edward Albee. The photo below shows a scene with a very
young Stellan with actor Bengt Brunskog,
who plays his father.
you call it, Scandinavian Noir or Scaninoir or Nordic Noir, it's a crime
thriller from one of the five Scandinavian countries.
It is typically a dimly lit aesthetic with a mix of bleak
naturalism and desolate locations. Add some melancholy to that mix as
well. Often the settings are snowy and the police detectives seem rather
morose. When commenting on this subject, Stellan said, "Nordic Noir got
a great push from the 'Millennium Triology'. That is a really mediocre
crime story but it has really interesting characters." You may remember
that he played the bad guy in the American version of "The Girl with the
Stellan admits, "I don't even know
what Scandinoir is. I probably did one of the first - "Insomnia" - many
years ago but now almost anything that comes out of Scandinavia is Scandinoir, which is sad."
Here's an old NYC ad for the movie;
As a seasoned cinephile (at 77
years old), if you're into Nordic Noir, I highly recommend the Icelandic thriller "A White, White,
Day" (2019) starring Ingvar Sigurdsson. That name may be familiar to die-hard Skarsgård fans because he was
Stellan's co-star in "Beowulf & Grendel". Yes, he played the monstrous
our current family knowledge of Stellan, he plays grandfather to two children. Sam,
the doctor, and his wife Sanna have a seven-year-old son and Bill
(30 yrs.) has a daughter (28 mos.) named Miracle (is that really true?), whose mother is Swedish
TV actress Alida Morberg (36 yrs). The pair have not gone through the formality of
a marriage for whatever reason. Bill is very private about his personal
life, but Alida is fond of social media and thus posted this photo of
mother and daughter on Instagram. Perhaps this child may have inherited her
daddy's beautiful eyes.
Bill's acting career continues to
soar with these upcoming films - "Naked Singularity", "Emperor" and
"Gilded Rage". He will also be starring in Netflix's "Clark" series.
Netflix has not announced a release date yet.