First, some updates on the Skarsgård children. Second son Gustaf, who can be seen on the TV series "The Vikings" and "Westworld", is presently filming a Swedish film called "438 Dagar", a true story in which he plays journalist Martin Schibbye. It was seven years ago when Schibbye and photographer Johan Persson were arrested in connection with an assignment in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia. They were sentenced to eleven years in prison for terrorism. Their case was given great attention, and after being detained, the Swedes were acquitted and released. Back in January, Gustaf was on the cover of Swiss magazine BMQ. Great photo!

Fifth son Valter has joined the "We are Next" campaign for Zalando, a German electronic commerce company. Fostering its close ties with Scandinavia, the Berlin company is featuring five young Scandinavian talents - including Valter. These particular models were chosen because they are all on the verge of establishing their careers and fearlessly stepping into the spotlight.  Valter also appeared in the September 2018 issue of Café magazine. The introduction is about his current projects including his fashion campaign for Zalando. In the interview they ask him what clothing and style means to him and he says that it’s a way for him to express himself but that he doesn’t follow trends and only wears what he likes. When he's asked what's the most stressful thing about growing up in Sweden's most internationally recognized family, he replies that it's answering ten questions about his family in every interview! When he dies, he thinks his headstone should read "He died doing what he loved". Good answer - the way his Dad thinks.


Eldest son Alexander will be off to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) next month for the premiere of two of his movies - "The Hummingbird Project" and "Hold the Dark". You may remember a very bald Alexander in the past year and so, ladies, you might want to skip "The Hummingbird Project". The synopsis sounds even worse - "In the hopes of striking it rich, two scheming cousins try to build a thousand-mile-long, four-inch-wide tunnel from Kansas to New Jersey that will give them a one-millisecond edge on transactions at the New York Stock Exchange." The second film is an adaptation of William Giraldi’s novel "Hold the Dark" and is a Netflix original. It is an intense tale of fate, family, and revenge set in the remote Alaskan wilderness. When a child is taken from his village by a pack of wolves, an expert hunter is summoned to track and destroy them. The New York Times has called the novel "extraordinary - an unnerving and intimate portrayal of nature gone awry," and the Boston Globe proclaims that "it stands out as one of the decade’s best books."

Fourth son Bill may also be packing for Toronto if he has any free time! Under the "Midnight Madness" program at TIFF, "Assassination Nation" will make its Canadian premiere on September 11 and ten days later it will have its theatrical release in the US. With the success of Stephen King's "It", Bill signed on for the sequel, "It: Chapter Two", which will premiere a year from now on Sepember 6, 2019. Sticking with the thriller master, Bill joined the cast of Hulu's series "Castle Rock" based on characters and settings from the stories of Stephen King. The series premiered on Hulu on July 25 and just three days ago, it was announced that the series has been renewed for a second season. The first photo below shows Bill in "Castle Rock" playing an inmate at Shawshank and the second one shows Bill at Comic Con International 2018 on July 19 promoting "Assassination "Nation".

Here's an update on Director Václav Marhoul’s WW II thriller, "The Painted Bird", which Stellan participated in last summer.  The latest is that the film is aiming for a Cannes premiere in May 2019, and should arrive in Czech cinemas by September 2019. Here are some new movie stills:

Two autographed photos of our Swede looking quite handsome.

The following article on the Skarsgård family was published in a recent Expressen Sondag magazine. Sorry there's no translation today.


It has come to my attention that Stellan's wife Megan wrote a children's book called "Utslängd från Zoo", which was published last year and there may be another one in the future. The book was originally written in English so the Swedish translation was done by Lotta Olsson with illustrations by Maria Nilsson Thore. You can watch a youtube interview at this link.

In an interview with Qanda magazine last fall, Megan explained the background of the story - "I have a big family home in the states and my niece Emma came over to stay here with us in Sweden a few years ago. She was in her twenties then and my thought was that she would come out and experience all that Europe had to offer. I even dressed her in my leopard shirts and sent her to parties with friends of my stepchildren. She was very patient with me but that was not her thing. After she returned to the states, I started to reflect a little, that maybe everyone doesn't have the same idea as to how to live life. I wrote the book as a tribute to Emma and to admit the absurdity of my behavior."

It certainly doesn't sound like a theme that children would readily pick up on. When my six children were young, I entertained them with the humorous books by Swedish author Barbro Lindgren with darling illustrations by Eva Eriksson.  "The Wild Baby Goes to Sea" was one of our favorites. These stories have also continued to delight my 18 grandchildren through the years.

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In a recent interview, I found the following comments from Stellan very interesting. In the late 1980s, he traveled to Budapest to record Kjell Grede's film "Good evening Mr. Wallenberg", which was about Raul Wallenberg and his work to save Jews from the Nazis. The film became a turning point for Stellan.

He says, "People came to me, cried openly and they just wanted to hug me. Not because they thought I was Wallenberg, but for all that I symbolized. After that movie, I stopped working for a while. I thought nothing was worth anything."

He read script after script with the same reaction - why should I do this? He did not work for almost a year, borrowed money to manage and found out that he was comfortable with being at home with the family.

Stellan explains, "Eventually, I felt that I might be able to work for fun instead - and then I became less pretentious in my choices and started doing lighter material as well. You do not have to do an immortal masterpiece every time, but instead you can do a silly comedy and then a remarkable independent movie that's totally innovative."


I have been on holiday this month so I have some catching up to do since MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN had two premieres. The first one was in Stockholm on July 11. Cast members, including Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried and Stellan, joined Abba's Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson at the Grand Hotel to reveal details about the follow-up film, which serves as both a sequel and a prequel to the 2008 original. The new edition includes younger versions of the key characters in the flashback scenes. Stellan  related that he met Josh Dylan, who plays a younger version of his character Bill. "We met and he said, 'Is there anything I should do to play you?' I said, 'Just have fun.' He sings better than me, he looks better than me, he’s an improvement," joked Stellan, who added that he was "not a natural dancer."

These photos are from the Stockholm premiere. The last one shows that Stellan's children Valter and Eija also attended the event.

The following are photos from the London premiere at the Hammersmith Apollo theater on July 16. For more photos from both premieres, check out the gallery.

As suspected after various trailers were released, Meryl Streep has just a cameo in the film as a ghost since her character has died from unexplained causes. Obviously, Meryl did not want to do the movie! The reviews have been favorable so audiences seem to never tire of those ABBA songs. Stellan said he was relieved to get to set and have significantly less dancing and singing to do than he did in the first film. "On the first one, I remember rehearsing for a month and a half dance steps for 'Voulez-Vous.' But this time I just had a few pieces of 'Dancing Queen.' I worked hard on those pieces." He also adds that his experiences recording with ABBA's Benny Andersson likely reduced his singing responsibilities. "I looked at him through the window and I could see the pain in his eyes. One week later I got a new script and there wasn’t any song for me any more."


Priyanka Roy of India's edition of The Telegraph recently spoke to Stellan over the phone for an interview. Here are the more interesting excerpts:

"Honestly, I never look back at what I’ve done. I just approach every project as if it’s my first and my last. I don’t watch my own films very much. I really enjoy my work, but I don’t see it as a "body" of work or anything that’s monumental by any means. Though I have never been interested in a career, I have always loved being an actor. When I work with other actors, I always look at what they give me and what I can give them and what we can create together. I am as happy as a child in a sandbox when that happens."

"The wonderful thing about working with him [Lars Von Trier] is that he always makes films no one has seen or attempted before. He doesn’t copy anyone… everything he does is original. Whether you like his films or not, they all have a distinct voice. Also, it’s the most relaxed set you can be on. He’s the friendliest man and there’s no hierarchy on his set. Everybody is allowed to say what they think. On his set, it’s like being with siblings — good siblings — and you just enjoy the process. And I know that I can always trust him with the final product."

"I went to India to do a film ("The Perfect Murder", 1987) with Naseeruddin Shah several years ago. I come from a very secluded and unpopulated part of the world — Sweden — and it was a shock to see the crowds in India. But I really loved it. I met Madhur Jaffrey on that trip and she cooked some of her recipes. I have those recipes and I cook them sometimes. India is not a country… it’s a continent, and it’s fascinating."

In another interview, Stellan looked back at the time when work brought him to India, and he saw a world embracing diversity in its true sense.

"When I was working in Mumbai, it was in the 1980s... What I loved about the city and India was that it was not very violent. You could walk in the middle of the night and didn't have to fear of getting attacked or robbed or anything. There were a multitude of different approaches of religion and approaches of life and they were all tolerated."

He knows his political opinions have created trouble for him in the past, but that doesn't deter him. Recalling an incident, he said: "I always say what I have on my mind. And it is not always appreciated. I did an American horror film and on the premiere at the red carpet, somebody asked me 'What scares you?', and it was at the time of George W. Bush. I said the reign of this country scares me and that had repercussions... But you still have to express yourself."

Personally, I would prefer Stellan to keep his political opinions to himself. He embarrasses himself with his naiveté. Voicing whatever is on your mind is behavior that can lead to hostility and disharmony.

Here are some new recent photos:

With the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Ingmar Bergman's birth around the corner, Stellan was asked how he sees the person who for decades was Sweden's by far the most influential film maker. He says, "I despised him as a person."

He continues, "I worked with Bergman twice. The documentary, which premiered in Cannes, reflects very much my view on him. It shows a fantastic creative man. But it also shows a man who could be extremely brutal and behave in a way no one should behave. Had it been today, I'm not sure that he would have been able to get away with his behavior. However, I was very impressed with him as a filmmaker."

With this interview was this photo of Stellan with Aftonbladet's Magnus Sundholm.