NEWS: MAY-JUNE 2019
Martha Coolidge's film, "Music, War and Love" has been given a new title
- I'LL FIND YOU and will premiere next month at the Taormini Film
Festival in Italy on July 5th. Inspired by stories of Polish
musicians from the thirties and forties, the film is an uncommon love
story; its romantic heartbeat is sustained by the love of music that
draws its characters together. Two young lovers, Robert, a Catholic
opera singer and Rachel, a Jewish violin virtuoso, dream of one day
performing together at legendary Carnegie Hall. When they’re torn apart
by the German invasion of Poland, Robert vows to find Rachel, no matter
what the war may bring. His search leads him on a life-threatening
journey through the heart of Nazi Germany, to a reckoning that Rachel
may be lost to him forever.
It appears from the photos that
Stellan has the role of a conductor or singer named Benno Moser. It was
filmed in Poland in the fall of 2015.
February filming began in Trollhättan for Norwegian writer/director Maria Sødahl's film
HÅP (Hope) starring Stellan
and Andrea Bræin Hovig.
The first photo shows Stellan
during an interview at Trollhättan. I believe the second photo is a
scene from the film.
The critics have given HBO's
CHERNOBYL the highest marks claiming the mini-series
to be hugely successful on all levels. Taylor Antrim of Vogue says,
"It's the scariest thing I've seen on TV in ages." And I agree.
"Creator Craig Mazin and
director Johan Renck hold a magnifying glass up to one of the worst
nuclear disasters in history with Chernobyl. Most adults are
aware of the disaster, and likely know the basics. But Chernobyl
digs beneath the radiated earth, pulling up alarming truths that
often come across as depressingly timely.
Because Chernobyl isn’t just about a disaster on a technical
level. It’s about how the stubbornness and willful ignorance of
humanity can bring about terrifying results. The end result is not
easy to watch – but it is a must-see.
Harris, a marvelous actor who
seems to specialize in playing doomed characters, carries almost all
the weight of the miniseries on his shoulders. But he’s matched by
Watson and Skarsgård. Watson’s character is no-nonsense to the
extreme, and often gets delegated to exposition duty. But the
actress knows just how to make all of this work, delivering a
grounded, honest performance in the process. Skarsgård is fantastic
as the party man who slowly comes around to doing the right thing.
His arc, as he goes from hard-nosed bureaucrat to heartbroken
truth-teller, is a true highlight."
stars Pernilla August, Melinda Kinnaman and Stellan have joined the
voice cast of The Ape Star, an upcoming animated feature
from director Linda Hamback, who will reteam with her Gordon & Paddy
screenwriter Janne Vierth. The film, an adaptation of Frida Nilsson’s
award-winning novel, is set to start production next month and wrap in
November 2020. The story is about an orphan girl named Jonna, who gets
adopted by a mother gorilla.
Pernilla will voice the lead gorilla character. Stellan will play a
local crook who tries to disrupt Jonna and her adoptive mother's
newfound happiness. Linda plays Gerd, the matron of the orphanage. The
role of Jonna is still being cast. The film has already presold to
France (Les Films du Préau) and Benelux (In the Air).
a collection of new photos I've amassed of Stellan's first wife
My, mother of his first six children:
from a Philippine Star interview with Stellan about the HBO series
"It was a very big production. The
resources were great. You could see it with the amount of people
involved — 104 actors and some of the greatest actors around. The
clothes were specially made to look exactly like they did. My clothes
were even made in original fabrics from that time, and with detail."
"We had five months to do five
hours (of filming), which is like shooting a big movie. And the
wonderful thing is when we shoot something like this, it would never be
made this way as a film by a big Hollywood studio because there’s too
much fear, too much compromise to make the financiers happy. It’s
extremely courageous to make something wonderful and serious and spend a
lot of money on it, and they don’t have to sell it like a pop thing, you
know. It was such a pleasure to work with such big resources and so much
talent, and doing something that meant something and not just
"Of course, I fell in love with
Emily Watson when we made Breaking the Waves and I wanted to work
with her so bad again because she’s a fantastic actress and finally this
opportunity came and it was just irresistible. The situation is quite
different now, compared to Breaking the Waves, because for one we
didn’t make love in this one (laughs). We kept our clothes on, but still
it was great to work with her."
"I can’t grade the
challenges of all the things that I’ve done. But you would think that,
OK, you’ve done a hundred films, you should know how to do it now, but
you don’t! Every film is unique, which means that the moment I say yes
to a project, I panic because I really don’t know how to do it (laughs).
And then I try to find a way to do it."
"I had to wear my
first fake eyebrows in my entire career. I was very happy
getting rid of them."
On his acting sons: "They’re all
doing very well. But I’m proud of them because they’re really good
people because how your career works in this world is a bit of a luxury.
I’m happy that they’re good actors, but I’m most happy when I see them
together and how they treat people. I’m just as happy when I hear
people, who just worked with them, say that they’re wonderful people and
generous and tolerant. That makes me happier than any awards that I
are some excerpts from a Collider interview with Stellan regarding the
HBO series Chernobyl:
Why he signed on: "First of all,
it was a very well-written script, and it was not sentimentalizing the
story. It was very true to the story, but also true to the people that
were involved. It was not trying to put strength and sugar on
everything. It’s very, very well written. But then, I also wanted to
work with Emily Watson again, whom I haven’t worked with since we did
Breaking the Waves, some 20 years ago. And I wanted to work with
Jared Harris, who is a fantastic actor. I also knew the director, Johan
Renck. We were supposed to do his first feature film together, many
years ago, and it never happened, so I was looking forward to working
with him, as well.
Working in Lithuania: "It’s
very nice, and a very modern country. It’s just a really lovely place to
shoot in. They have a good infrastructure, they have good crews, and the
people are wonderful. Of course, there’s a very difficult history,
having been a part of the Soviet Union. They also have a very spotted
reputation for their actions towards the Jews during the war, but that
is common for a lot of countries in the region. I had a wonderful time
being there, and even though the material is very serious, that doesn’t
mean that you’re extremely serious, yourself, when you’re doing it. You
have a lot of fun doing it. And working with actors like Emily and Jared
was really rewarding, fun and beautiful."
his role as Baron Harkonnen in Dune:
"It’s a fun character to
play. I don’t have to shoot that many days, but I have to spend six to
eight hours a day in make-up. That makes it really hard, but
interesting. If you work with good
prosthetics people, the main thing that’s important is that your eyes
are free to express themselves, and also that the material you’re
working with makes it possible for you to physically express yourself
with your body.
"It’s a very long novel,
and it’s really hard to compress into film because usually
it’s short stories that are better to make films out of. So, some
might be disappointed that some of their favorite things are no longer
in the story, but I also think they will be fascinated by Villeneuve’s
way of visualizing that world that they have had in their mind for so
long. And there are a lot of good actors that can be very pleasant to
Skarsgård’s pulled off some fine villainous characters throughout his
storied career. Just to name a few, he played a despicable monster in
David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and a real
slimeball in Lars von Trier’s Melancholia. He’ll embody the big
bad in the upcoming Dune reboot, but Skarsgård’s Chernobyl
role is a more decidedly nuanced one. Although his Soviet government
official, Deputy Prime Minister Boris Shcherbina, sits on the wrong side
of the radioactive debate and makes some disastrous decisions, there’s
much more at work, as viewers will discover. Skarsgård makes a
compelling turn alongside Jared Harris as scientist Valery Legasov, and
the duo helps HBO launch its post-Game of Thrones programming
future. The miniseries is a sweeping one,
written and executive produced by Craig Mazin, about one of the worst
man-made disasters — the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant explosion in
Ukraine, Soviet Union on April 26, 1986 – and all the radioactive and
political fallout that follows. Here are some excerpts from a
Chernobyl review & interview with Stellan by uproxx.com:
Stellan: "I read a lot of
historical materials, but I’m a nerd in the sense that I like to know
what’s going on in the present world as much as what has led to the
present world. What are the parallels between history and now? In that
sense, I am. The last book I read is the beautiful book by John
Williams, who wrote Stoner. He’s fantastic, and he wrote a book
about Augustus, that emperor, so if you get a chance, you’ll have to
look at it."
"I knew about the explosion, of course. I was
living in Sweden in April 1986 when it happened. And we got a lot of
radioactive downfall in Sweden, and we couldn’t eat berries or mushroom
or reindeer for years. So I was very well aware, but I knew nothing
about what led to the accident, not the technical side or of the
problems with the Soviet system that led to it. [It] was handled very
badly, and they were secretive because the West knew much more than the
Soviets wanted the West to know at the time."
"I’m the kind of actor who
loves working with other actors, which means that I hate monologues. And
I have a long, technical speech, which is just explaining technical
stuff in the court scene in the last episode. That’s a lot of words and
technical stuff, and I don’t have any help from any other actors, so
that is always the worst thing for me to do. It’s incredibly hard. And
then after me came Jared, and he spoke for 45 minutes, and it seemed so
easy for him, and I was very envious."
Of the three leads, The
Atlantic writes, "All three actors are titans, and they
manage to carry off dialogue that could be cumbersome in lesser hands.
Skarsgård and Harris both exude weariness like perspiration, with
Harris’s features stretched permanently into a grimace and Skarsgård so
craggy, he seems carved out of granite. Watson has
the quieter, subtler role, but there’s rarely a scene in which her
presence doesn’t command attention. She plays Khomyuk with a gentle,
semi-Slavic intonation that serves the character."