SEPTEMBER 2012:

09.27.12

A couple of early movie stills have come forward on the upcoming THE RAILWAY MAN, which certainly point to the sunnier end of some tough subject matter. Based on the memoir by Eric Lomax, with a script by Frank Cottrell Boyce and director Jonathan Teplitzky behind the camera, the true story tells the tale of a Scottish second lieutenant who was captured by the Japanese in Singapore during the war, and shipped off to a camp in Thailand, where he suffered terrible tortures. The following two photos show Colin Firth as Eric and Nicole Kidman as his wife Patricia. Stellan plays Eric's best friend who accompanies him back to the scene of his torture. No release date has been announced yet.

I have some new information on the two Skarsgård wives. First, here's some business news regarding Megan. She appears to be an energetic mother and wife with varied interests of her own.

Megan Everett Skarsgård and Amy Fee are co-owners of Viken Productions, an international film and TV production company based in Stockholm, Sweden. Sally was contracted for project management and consulting in 2010 and together they are transforming a passion and vision for a web TV program and on-line community into a viable business strategy. Recent milestones have included securing the right partners, rolling out production plans, and outlining an event strategy.

 

Stellan's first wife, My, who he was married to for over 30 years, continues to speak out about alcoholism and her own struggle. In an Aftonbladet interview, she discussed her downward spiral when she began to drink after being diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1998. She says, "Stellan did not notice anything at first, but then it became obvious. The alcohol took more and more space and Stellan got further and further away." The marriage fell apart in 2006 when Stellan moved out of the family home at Södermalm in Stockholm, where their six children had grown up. My says, "I am absolutely convinced that it was the alcohol that made us drift apart. Stellan tried to help, but received no response. I had closed Stellan out  for so long - for years. The alcohol had become more important." Today she is single, independent and self-sufficient. She has remained sober and works as a drug and alcohol therapist.

09.25.12

Back in February, I announced Stellan's participation in UK's Playhouse Presents series of short plays. There was little publicity in the months that followed though "The Man" was aired on June 7th and September 27th on UK's Sky Arts. I have now added THE MAN page to the TV section, which definitely needs to be expanded. I've noticed that some webmasters like to play with graphics rather than give content, but I prefer to think Stellan fans are an intelligent lot ;-)

What can I tell you about all those superhero films? Well, Stellan says, "I have already begun THOR 2. We have done some filming in London and will continue in November. As for AVENGERS 2, I haven't heard anything. I'm under contract, so if they want me, I have no choice. My role in 'Thor 2' is about as big as the last. The new director is Alan Taylor." And how is Joss Whedon to work with? "He is an extremely intelligent nerd. He is an expert on all this stuff and his writing is terribly good. I was very impressed with the 'Avengers' script the first time I read it. Ten heroes to keep track of, and still hold the story. He was very pleasant to work with."

Stellan can be proud these days of sons, Alexander & Bill, whose handsome faces are featured large in the Big Apple as they advertise Calvin Klein and H&M. Love it!

Of course, he can be still prouder that three of the films screened at the Toronto International Film Festival this month each included one of his sons! First, we'll start with Gustaf, who starred in the Norwegian film, "Kon-Tiki", the visually striking re-creation of Thor Heyerdahl’s daring trip across the Pacific on a primitive raft. The film will open in Swedish cinemas on Christmas Day. I have no TIFF photos because Gustaf did not attend. He is presently at the Ashford Studios in Wicklow County, Ireland, where he is filming "Vikings", the new ten-episode series from Michael Hirst (The Tudors). The series chronicles the world of the Norsemen during medieval times and will be aired sometime next year on the History Channel. You can watch Gustaf do a music video for Green Peace at the Aftonbladet web site. The following is a clever endeavor from Blue Butterfly.

Next up is Bill, who did attend the festival and soaked up some media coverage. He co-starred in the film, "Anna Karenina" with Keira Knightley, Jude Law and Emily Watson. Here's a terrific photo of Bill with his brother in Toronto although, for some reason... possibly the lighting... it seems to highlight a not-so-attractive nose on Alex.

Bill also appeared on this month's cover of Swedish mag, Café, with a sizeable interview.  He relates a funny story about having a movie-star father. When he was nine years old, they were summering at their family cottage on Öland when he and Stellan went grocery shopping to buy some breakfast. In between the bread aisle and the milk aisle, Bill ran into a pair of ladies who were blushing and whispering, "Did you see Skarsgård! He was in the dairy section just now!" Bill says, "I remember noticing people looking at him a lot. They thought it was so cool, but I was just this little kid who wanted to shout at them - 'Don't look at my dad! He's my dad!'" And even at that age Bill says he already knew he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an actor. So here he is on the cover of Café magazine exactly twenty years after his father's 1992 cover. In the three short years since high school, he has landed four Swedish roles, a role in a major English-language film and now his next acting gig will be in the American TV-series "Hemlock Grove", which began filming in Toronto in July. It looks like his horoscope spells fame!

Last, but certainly not least, comes big brother Alexander. Typically, the True Blood star rocked the Toronto festival on the premiere night of "What Maisie Knew". Yes, there were shrieks from many celeb-stalking young ladies but Alexander graciously handled the crowd shaking hands and posing for cell snaps. He's his father's son! Initial reaction to the film was positive and Millennium Entertainment has picked it up for US distribution. Starring Julianne Moore (always a winner), Steve Coogan, Alex and Onata Aprile as Maisie, the film is a  contemporary adaptation of Henry James' 1897 novel, about a young girl stuck between the drama of her divorcing parents.

There's a new interview in which Stellan discusses nationalism and filmmaking. He says he would not be proud to be an American, and I guess we can say we wouldn't be proud of him either. (ha ha). The interview is same old, same old, but the photo is rather interesting. Hey, don't you wonder how he finds time to change diapers these days with his busy work schedule!

09.22.12

I've been on holiday in Nova Scotia since the last post so I apologize for the lack of updates. Time to catch up now! On September 20th, director Lars von Trier and cast members held a photocall and press conference in Germany as they began production on NYMPHOMANIAC. As you can see from this photo, the media event took place in an abandoned school on the outskirts of Cologne.

In fact, a key scene was shot that morning in the school gymnasium. This is von Trier's sixth collaboration with film company NRW at a cost of 1.2 million euros. NRW director Petra  Müller spoke, "Lars von Trier is undoubtedly one of the exceptional directors of our time. His last film, "Melancholia", succeeded as an aesthetically and socially significant masterpiece. His new film is about issues of sexual identity and biography." Stellan told The Hollywood Reporter, "The film is decidedly sexual, but believe me, it will be a very, very poor porn film... Two versions will be made - a softcore for the faint of heart and a hardcore for the rest of us." Body doubles and visual effects will be used in sustaining the dignity of the cast. When Moviezine asked him about his children seeing the film, he responded, "I'd probably be able to show it to my children. The sex is not a problem. I would have more problems if my children were watching violence than if they watch porn. Clearly there is a difference. Trier's films have huge childlike qualities. He writes in an almost fairy form, a kind of Hans Christian Andersen film." Filming will continue for 45 days. For more photos, click here.

Stellan has done another narration, this time it's a 35-minute children's animated film called, "Liten Skär och alla små brokiga" based on a series of Swedish children's books. Since he was already a fan of director /book illustrator Stina Wirsén, he needed no persuasion when she called and offered him the job. He explains, "Had I been childless, I might not have been so interested... I have read many children's books, for obvious reasons. First, I like these books and then it's the kind of thing you want to do. A lot of the movies I make have no greater value really, except for the moment. Children's movies have a colossal value for an entire generation and for our culture. How dependent are we today by Astrid Lindgren? Things shape us."

Here are several photos from the publicity event showing Stellan with director Stina Wirsén (blond) and producer Linda Hambäck. You can also watch a video interview at this link.

Since Stellan has recently become a father for the 8th time, Expressen asked him about his involvement in this new venture. He answered, "I think I've been pretty good at talking to very young children from the beginning, but it is clear that I'm getting better and better. Kolbjörn is still too small, but Ossian has seen 'Liten Skär och alla små brokiga', with great delight." Stellan says he is anxious to have his children avoid junk productions in favor of well-made, high-quality films.  He adds, "We have limited TV time so it's good if there are things that are worth seeing."

In publicity interviews for the new film, Stina Wirsén said having Stellan's cooperation was brilliant - "He is a nice and humble person. He directed himself for the most part. He's an incredibly talented and sensitive actor." The film premiered at the Lucas International Film Festival in Frankfurt, Germany, on September 6th and has received support from the Swedish Film Institute for an international launch. The film opened in Sweden yesterday. When asked about future projects, Wirsén said she was first taking a needed rest  before beginning another movie project in which Stellan has agreed to participate in.