I find it a bit strange that none of the Swedish press carried any publicity on Stellan's appearance at the Sarajevo Film Festival. In any event, I have found some added information. During the festival an interviewer described Stellan as incredibly easy to talk with and entertaining as well. No surprise here, eh? Here is what Stellan had to say about his choice of career: "I simply love acting. I was never educated to be an actor. I was unable to enter the Swedish Academy. I peeped into plays, stole from various actors and now it is difficult for me to tell what I have learned from whom. I even wanted to be a diplomat, but I think that they would have fired me quickly for my big mouth. I have been acting since I was seven, professionally since I was sixteen. Perhaps when I grow up, I might become a diplomat after all. There is always hope."

When questioned about working with Danish director Lars Von Trier, he responded, "Von Trier is sensitive, vulnerable and, above all, a fun director. I know that he has a reputation of a complicated director but this is not the most important form. We have a special relationship which is best described by this claim that when he calls an actor to work with him on film, he is, in fact, inviting them to participate in a big film feast."

Stellan also discussed working in film - "I want to do different things. That is how I rest from previous projects by taking new, completely different ones. After working in blockbusters and Hollywood, you certainly need a break because such projects are primarily about industry and money. The more money, the less freedom you have, but you also get to be in a film such as  "Mamma Mia". I had never done musical before and that is why I accepted the role. That was fun, especially when I realized that the aim of the female cast was to add three men who couldn’t sing in order to humiliate us. Film is great fun if  you take it that way. The only thing that makes me sad is that the art film always loses the battle because of the larger film industry. “The Godfather” opened in 150 cinemas in the USA. Today, we have premieres in 4000 cinemas. A film has to earn money in the first week."


It looks like our Swede brought his young family to the Sarajevo Film Festival for the past couple days. Enjoy the photos showing wife Megan and four-month-old Ossian! You can tell what a proud Daddy Stellan is by the way he is simply beaming. His children from his previous marriage were quite blond but you can tell this little guy favors his Irish mother. Typically there were interviews and lots of picture taking. Check out all the festival photos. As curator of the Katrin Cartlidge Foundation, Stellan spoke about Juanita Wilson, this year's scholarship winner - "I saw her movie several months ago and I was immediately thrilled. What I saw was beautiful, first of all, because Juanita allows peoples' faces to master the screen. None of the other movies impressed me so much. And that is why it was easy to give her the award." He also spoke about his friendship with Katrin describing her as "an exceptional actress, always full of energy." Her death was such a surprise. Stellan says, "She went to the hospital and we all thought that some less dangerous illness was at stake. Two days later, she was gone." For a rare interview in English plus some excellent video footage from the festival, follow this link.


button_box.gif (205 bytes)A celebration of the music of ABBA will take place on Sunday, September 13th in London's Hyde Park. Participants will include Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus along with the full West End Cast of the musical "Mamma Mia!". Several of ABBA's memorable songs will be sung by a variety of singers  - Lulu, Chaka Khan, Elaine Paige, Jodie Prenger, Sharleen Spiteri, Nerine Pallot and Beth Nielsen Chapman. The hosts of the night include lyricist Sir Tim Rice, and our very own Stellan Skarsgård! The event will be broadcast live on Britain's Radio 2 from 6.30 to 9.30 pm on the 13th.


button_box.gif (205 bytes)Stellan will be making an appearance at the 15th Sarajevo Film Festival, which runs from August 12-20. As this year's curator for the Katrin Cartlidge Foundation, he will present an award to Juanita Wilson for her performance in "The Door".  The Katrin Cartlidge Foundation is a charitable foundation established in memory of actress Katrin Cartlidge, who died suddenly and unexpectedly in 2002, at the age of 41. Through the foundation, set up by her family, friends, and esteemed co-workers, support is provided to emerging filmmakers. The British actress co-starred with Stellan in "Breaking the Waves" and was slated to also star in Lars Von Trier's "Dogville", another Skarsgård film. She was to play the pivotal role of Vera, eventually played by Patricia Clarkson and the film was later dedicated to Katrin.


The Edinburgh Film Festival premiered BOOGIE WOOGIE last month. Critics agree that it's sometimes difficult to find a real plot from watching the film, but on paper it's a series of stories that all intertwine around one main thread, a classic painting called the Boogie Woogie. This painting is owned by an old man who just won't give it up and apparently a number of people will stop at nothing to get their hands on it. Film critic Allan Hunter of Screen Daily writes, "The stellar cast might prove an attraction for an older demographic but it is difficult to discern a theatrical audience for Duncan Ward’s debut feature. It is easy enough to snigger at these shallow lives and grasping individuals but the film struggles when it requires them to be taken seriously. Hunter did single out Stellan's performance as the wry, rueful Bob as "one of the most naturalistic and engaging in the ensemble." Leslie Felperin of Variety points out that Moynihan's novel was originally set in the New York art scene and the relocation of the story to London may explain why its tone feels several shades off the mark throughout. Check out the film page for full reviews and movie stills.


The BBC/Masterpiece Theater presentation, GOD ON TRIAL, has become available on DVD. Have you ever wondered about the nature and existence of God, the nature and necessity of faith, the role humans occupy in the universe and, most important, how to reconcile the idea of a loving deity with the tragedy of war and genocide? Well, this is the film for you! Besides Stellan, the cast is packed with a list of fabulous British actors like Stephen Dillane and Rupert Graves. Written by Frank Cottrell Boyce, the screenplay feels like an old-fashioned play adapted for television back in the fifties. It is powerfully intellectual, heavy on dialogue, light on action and unfolds almost exclusively in a small, grim barracks where a newly arrived group of prisoners demands that an equal number of the older ones be chosen for extermination. Don't miss this gem!

Today marks the fifth anniversary of Stellan Online. It has been a pleasure to maintain and update this unique web site where one can access all aspects of Stellan Skarsgård's career from film reviews to interviews to movie and publicity photos. It has also been an honor to hear from Stellan himself and know that he appreciates my efforts on his behalf. It is my intention to not only publish the latest news but to continually expand this archive, adding more information on his previous work as well. I thank all of you who have sent kind messages and appreciation for my endeavor.


button_box.gif (205 bytes)After last weekend, the box office international tally for ANGELS & DEMONS reached over $400 million despite the fact that the film received poor reviews, ranking around 36% on the Tomato Meter. Definitely not the popcorn movie of the season. I've uncovered a couple more interviews with Stellan regarding last month's premiere of the film. The first is from SVT.se, which includes some hilarious comments from co-star Tom Hanks, who incidentally does a delicious impersonation of our Swede. Hanks ultimately calls Stellan "an absolute puppy......a total sweetheart." The second interview was taped the same day and shown on Norwegian TV.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)As previously announced, Stellan's next project will be THE GALAPAGOS AFFAIR co-starring Kristin Scott Thomas. The film's screenwriter, William Boyd, had these interesting thoughts last month as the Cannes Film Festival came to a close:

A film I have written, '"The Galapagos Affair", is being set up there, I fervently pray, in which, to our incredible good fortune, we have cast Stellan Skarsgård and the luminescent Kristin Scott Thomas. What makes this more than just another hopeful film project among the thousands of other hopeful film projects in Cannes is that I wrote the first draft of the script almost 25 years ago.

"The Galapagos Affair" has therefore become, for me, a symbol of the unique travails of the film industry - of the way the art form requires reserves of near-superhuman stamina and persistence (by all parties) in order actually to make a film. We seem tantalisingly close but I've been here many times before so I try to keep calm.

There seems, aptly for a film with this title, a Darwinian struggle involved to bring this true Thirties story of murder and mayhem in the Galapagos to the screen. I made the mistake of telling the producer, Michael Kelk, such was my desperate zeal, that if the film ever got made, I would have an iguana tattooed somewhere on my body.

I receive a text from the Croisette: "Know any good tattoo parlours?" I never specified the size of the iguana, I realise with relief. Perhaps I could have a tiny one tattooed under a big toe.