SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2014 NEWS

10.07.14

As reported in March, Stellan will be leading the cast for the BBC One drama series, RIVER. This week the full cast was announced. Created and written by Emmy Award winner Abi Morgan, the series will feature Stellan as John River, a brilliant police officer whose genius and fault is the fragility of his mind. The character is haunted by the murder victims whose cases he must lay to rest. Nicola Walker will play his colleague and confidant, Detective Sargeant Jackie "Stevie" Stevenson. Other cast members include Adeel Akhtar as Detective Sargeant Ira King, Lesley Manville as their superior, Chief Inspector Chrissie Read, Sorcha Cusack as Bridie, Stevie’s mother, and Georgina Rich as police psychiatrist Rosa. Eddie Marsan also joins the cast as a notorious killer who haunts River.

Abi Morgan said, "A show like 'River' needs broad shoulders and I can't think of anyone better than Skarsgård to take on this challenge and lead this brilliant cast." Jane Featherstone, Chief Executive of Kudos, added: "I can’t tell you how chuffed we are at Kudos to have been able to assemble such a magnificent group of actors led by the extraordinary Stellan Skarsgård, all attracted by the quality of Abi’s script." Directed by Richard Laxton, the series will comprise six hour-long episodes. It is currently being filmed in East London and will be telecast on BBC One next year.

09.13.14

Back in Sweden, Stellan began making news last month with his participation in a short film presented together with Stigenberg Group. He has plunged into Stockholm's lock debate explaining his dissatisfaction with the city's plans. In the municipal elections, he says he intends to vote for a party that wants to tear up the decision on the "New Slussen" because the project will destroy the beauty of the city. Both the Stockholm Party and the Swedish Democrats support him. You can watch the video at this link.

Here's a photo I just came across that was featured in July by Sweden's Stoppa Pressarna in an article showing Swedish celebrities with much younger partners. The "25" on the photo indicates the difference in years between them.

09.05.14

As previously reported, Stellan was in attendance this week at the Venice International Film Festival where the director's cut of NYMPHOMANIAC was screened. The paparazzi had a grand time with their cameras and we have the photos from the photo call and premiere posted in the Venice gallery. It's just come to my attention that Charlotte Gainsbourg has a strong resemblance to a younger Patti Smith. Agree? I do admire her chutzpah for showing up for photo shoots without styling her hair or donning make-up or how about jewelry. Hey, maybe she has allergies.

Co-star Uma Thurman was also on hand for photos though she chose to do solo shots. Co-star Willem Dafoe was at the festival as well but only attended events for his new film, "Pasolini".

According to Sweden's Expressen, the Volvo Car Group is continuing its campaign to feature Swedish superstars in their commercials on television and the Internet. Starting this fall, the advertising campaign for the new Volvo XC90 will have Stellan as their front man. He will show how easy the car is to maneuver. The message is "Simplicity". In the commercial Stellan drives on a highway in Dalarna and, in the end, he undresses and jumps into a lake for a swim. Expression surmises that the actor most likely will be given the car in addition to the usual fee. The car is said to be worth 900,000 crowns.

With the death of Robin Williams, The Telegraph (UK) reprinted their 1998 review of GOOD WILL HUNTING. Film critic Quentin Curtis wrote, "The other outstanding performance is Stellan Skarsgard's as the driven MIT professor both inspired and chagrined by Will's brilliance. The Swedish Skarsgard, riding the waves he made in 'Breaking the Waves', also shone in last week's 'Amistad' and here he conveys that prickliness unique to a certain kind of slightly disappointed academic."

Lauren Bacall passed away the day after Williams but it didn't occur to me at the time that Stellan had also worked with her on the big screen. It was another Lars von Trier film called DOGVILLE. The photo below shows Ms. Bacall on the set with her director. She was one of the most beautiful actresses ever!

Here are a few quotes from some of Stellan's recent interviews:

"My wife doesn't even consider me as a man really. She says I am a big girl."

"I pace all the time; I am never still. But I don't exercise."

"I've never liked snow. It gets into your shoes and into your argh! I don't like to be outdoors, I don't have winter clothes. I stay indoors between October and April."

"I was born naked and I have a very relaxed relationship to my own nakedness. My parents often walked naked in the apartment when I was a small child and I take off my clothes frequently when I get home."

"My career has had very few A Star is Born moments.”

"Most of my acting in general is about what's going on in the head and the lines are just something that comes out. I enjoy saying as little as much as possible and feeling as much as possible."

"We grew up on Monty Python. We grew up on Billy Wilder. But there's a Scandinavian thing about seeing the comic side of misery. I think it might have something to do with the long, dark winters here. You've got to be able to laugh at the ugliness and misery and everything (laughs)."

"I think what we have to recognize is that we are cavemen and we have a thin veneer of civilization that we have to be very protective of, and in Nils's case (In Order of Disappearance), the veneer cracks and out comes the caveman - the very primitive reactions – but we should know that we're all capable of committing the most horrible atrocities. If you look at Yugoslavia, which was a very similar country before the break up of it, just a year later people are savage and killing each other. We have to know that the bad guys are not different from us in the world."  [Really, Stellan? I have to confess I have never thought of chopping someone's head off. Yes, think ISIS. Believe it or not, pure EVIL does exist in this world.]