SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 NEWS

10.12.16

Stellan's son Valter, about to turn 21 later this month, is taking the next step in his acting career by accepting an international role for his next project. He tells the press that he's leaving this week but, unfortunately, cannot say anything more about the upcoming film. He says, "I think it might be fun to work in English. Then you also have the chance to work with more people and you get even more options. It's hard to just stick to Sweden. There are not so many projects."  Valter is currently in the new Swedish TV thriller series, "Svartsjön" (Black Sea), which will premiere on October 20th on TV3 and Viaplay. He says, "It is rare to see this kind of Swedish production. It makes me think that this series can have impact. It comes with something new, and it is, if I may say so myself, well-made."

I couldn't resist posting one of my favorite pics of Valter taken during the filming of ATT DÖDA ETT BARN, directed by older brother Alex back in 2003.

10.05.16

Yesterday a press conference for BORG/MCENROE was held in Gothenburg, Sweden. In attendance were Stellan, Sverrir Gudnason, Shia LaBouef, Tuva Novotny, director Janus Metz Pedersen and writer Ronnie Sandahl, who says the film obviously will be about the great Wimbledon match in 1980 but its primary focus will be on the relationship between  Björn Borg and John McEnroe. He adds, "It's about two very young and lonely men with the entire world's weight on their shoulders. The only one who really understands what they are going through is their rival, and that's what creates the tension between them. It's a very character driven movie."

Stellan was questioned about his comeback since his role as Borg's coach Lennart "Labbe" Bergelin is his first Swedish role in almost ten years. He says, "There hasn't been anything interesting before, but this script was really there and Janus Metz's brain is good and he is very persuasive."

 

10.02.16

Production has been delayed on THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE due to financing issues. Terry Gilliam has revealed that his passion project, which he has been working on for almost two decades, has stalled but he insists it will still go ahead. Speaking on BBC radio, he said: "I had this producer, a Portuguese chap, who claimed he’d get all the money together in time. And a few weeks ago, he proved that he didn’t have the money. I am still marching forward and the film isn’t dead. I will be dead before the film is." Besides Stellan, cast members include Adam Driver, Michael Palin, Olga Kurylenko and Willem Dafoe.

Oldest son Alexander will soon travel to Berlin to shoot the WWII drama "Aftermath", which also stars Keira Knightley. He says he can't wait to use his new base to get back to his extended family in Stockholm. "I have a four-year-old brother and a seven-year-old brother and a two-year-old nephew", he says. "And I haven't seen them since Christmas. And I miss them. Being away from them really sucks. I'm hoping to get an apartment in Stockholm. I haven't had a place there for 12 years. It's too long." His latest film "War on Everyone" screened at the Deauville Film Festival on September 8th and will open in the UK on October 7th. The film is a black comedy set in Albuquerque, NM that was both directed and written by John Michael McDonagh. Besides Alex, it stars Michael Peña and Theo James.

In a recent article in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, ex-wife My  Skarsgård discusses her life path. As a trained physician with experience of her own alcohol abuse, she has become one of the most influential voices in the conversation about alcohol and sobriety. We salute My for her courage and commitment.

09.28.16

BREAKING THE WAVES becomes an opera! Reported by James C. Taylor, NJ.com:

It's not hard to see why Lansdale, Pa.-born composer Missy Mazzoli was drawn to adapt Lars Von Trier's 1996 film "Breaking the Waves" into an opera: a strong, complex heroine, a wrenching moral drama — not to mention its high profile cultural visibility. Indeed, there are moments in Mazzolli's opera where you feel that this new work, that received its world premiere last weekend at Opera Philadelphia, could have the same break-out qualities of the film, which launched the major international careers of its director and two stars. The composer's second opera, "Breaking the Waves," is a powerful new work. Its potent drama and compelling music are only enhanced by James Darrah's compact but insightful staging at Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater (with additional performances scheduled for Thursday and Saturday nights). Mazzoli's adaptation is faithful to Von Trier's epic passion play about a woman's twisted bargains with god and her paralyzed husband. Most importantly, though, it effectively translates the emotions and story from Danish Dogme 95-style cinema to the lyric stage.

Magnolia Home Entertainment has announced that IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 6, 2016.  Those in the US who didn't see it in theaters and don't want to wait until December, can view it via Amazon streaming video at a rental of $6.99. It's worth it!!!

09.23.16

As filming began on BORG/MCENROE, the press met up with Stellan on location to talk about his role as Borg's coach. He explains, "Playing a well-known figure like Lennart Bergelin is a bit like doing Hamlet. Everyone has their idea of how the role should be played. Björn, his wife Mariana and Lennart lived in a very strange symbiosis where they often shared a room together and the relationship between  Björn and Lennart was pretty complex. He was like a father figure who sees a great genius and lives through him."

Stellan remembers the dramatic television images from the Wimbledon final in 1980 at his in-laws' summer home but has never taken up tennis. His only contact with the sport was when he was forced to play two games of tennis in the role of a Russian mafia banker in John le Carré thriller "Our kind of traitor" which premiered last spring. He says, "I was completely useless. Although I trained every day for three months, I could not hit the ball. Therefore, I am incredibly impressed by Sverrir who learned to play so fast - and got a brand new body. He was a bit flabby earlier."

09.10.16

While Norwegian film IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE opens in theaters across the country, wonderful reviews continue to pour in. Tirdad Derakhshani of the Philadelphia Inquirer perhaps sums up the film perfectly. Here are some of his comments:

Swift, fleet-of-foot, and efficient, with clean lines and a sleek finish, the Norwegian black comedy In Order of Disappearance glides through the world like a perfectly engineered car or a gorgeous piece of modern furniture.

Set in the sparse, blindingly white snowfields of the Scandinavian winter, Hans Petter Moland's violent, satirical crime thriller is assembled with such formal rigor and visual poetry that it throws into high relief the messy, sweaty, almost repulsively human drama that unspools.

The film's knockout power is due in no small part to the contributions of cinematographer Philip Øgaard and leading man Stellan Skarsgård, who have worked with the writer-director on two of his best-known features, A Somewhat Gentle Man (2010) and Aberdeen (2000).

Though he's backed by a strong ensemble cast... Skarsgård dominates the screen with his 6-foot, 4-inch frame, his outsize rage and grief, and the gigantic snowplow truck he drives...

Like the Coen brothers' best flicks, In Order of Disappearance gets its gruesomely comic momentum from a domino effect of unintended consequences put into motion by the hero's actions... Operatic, absurdist, and scathing, Moland's story rages on with tremendous force and speed, never slowing down for extraneous junk like backstories, explanations, or tiresome exposition.

In Order of Disappearance will no doubt invite comparisons to similarly stylized, violent black comedies by Quentin Tarantino and the Coens. Yet, like 2011's murder farce Headhunters by Moland's Norwegian compatriot Morten Tyldum, In Order of Disappearance has an utterly unique feel, a certain Scandinavian crispness that's impossible to duplicate.

About two years it was announced that the Volvo Car Group had hired Stellan for their advertising campaign for their new Volvo XC90 continuing the company's efforts to feature Swedish superstars in their commercials on television and the Internet. Stellan was to show how easy the car is to maneuver. The message was "Simplicity". We were told Stellan drives on a highway in Dalarna and, in the end, he undresses and jumps into a lake for a swim. For months I looked for that commercial and found nothing. Finally, Expressen ran an article this week on that campaign. Our Swede was indeed commissioned and the commercial was made and he was reportedly paid a rather handsome sum, but no one saw it! Per Carleö, marketing director at Volvo Car Sweden, is not forthcoming and simply states, "There are many projects that may not see the light of day." Expressen also contacted Stellan's agent, Aleksandra Mandic, who indicated he could not comment and any inquiries should be made to Volvo's global advertising agency Grey. For what reasons the commercial was never aired will remain a mystery but I think it would have been grand. Even better than Matthew McConaughey's Lincoln ad where it falls backward into a pool, but fully dressed!