In an interview with Collider while at the Toronto Film Festival last month, Stellan spoke about DUNE director Denis Villeneuve. He told the press that full creative control of the film was in Villeneuveís hands. Stellan, who is playing the movieís villainous Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, indicated that Warner Bros. has not been getting in the way of Villeneuveís vision. Stellan explained, "I've always wanted to work with him partly because heís such a wonderful man, but also because heís a brilliant director. Itís fun when you get one of those big sci-fi movies and you know itís going to be directed by a true filmmaker. Itís not going to be directed by the studio. It seemed like they were giving him pretty free hands. And you have to because his personal stamp on the film is paramount for the success of it."

Stellan added, "What heís really good at is creating this strange atmosphere with his imagery and this cinematic poetry that is his trademark and that will add so much richness to the pretty simple story." Principal photography for the film has been completed. The cast also includes Timothťe Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Charlotte Rampling and Javier Bardem.

Blast from the Past! A very young Stellan with shades of Alexander.


The EMMY ceremony was held tonight. Alas, Stellan did not win for Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. However, CHERNOBYL won for Best Limited Series as well as director Johan Renck and writer Craig Mazin. Stellan was accompanied by his wife Megan, who was wearing a somewhat unusual robe.

Chernobyl was nominated for a total of 19 Emmys. The series received three awards in the Limited Series category at the Primetime Emmy Awards, which included Best Limited Series, Outstanding Director and Outstanding Writing. It also picked up seven awards at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards.


The first week of September proved to be quite busy for Stellan as he attended two film festivals! He was at the premiere of Vaclav Marhoul's adaptation of the classic Jerzy Kosinski novel THE PAINTED BIRD. That took place on September 3rd at the 76th Venice Film Festival and four days later he attended the premiere of Hap (Hope) at the Toronto International Film Festival.

One reviewer described THE PAINTED BIRD as "a brutal, harrowing & merciless three-hour journey filled with gruesome acts varying from extreme beatings, brutal rape scenes and eye gouging." It was reported that some of the audience headed for the exits. Stellan, who plays a Nazi officer in the film told the press, "The film depicts Europe at a very dark time, but it's a dark time that is not specific to that time, that is sort of existing today all over the world in many places. During the most horrible times there are moments of compassion and we as humans can be monsters of brutality but we can also be very compassionate and we all have it in us, if you're not a psychopath."

The following are some questions he answered regarding the film:

"The Painted Bird" was an unusual production as Vaclav Marhoul shot across Eastern Europe for several years. Did you know the unorthodox filming plan when you signed on?

Stellan: "Yes, and perhaps itís an even longer project than you realize. Vaclav called me nine years ago when he obtained the rights and told me about his plans and I knew immediately that I wanted to be part of it. It was extremely hard to finance and I think itís fantastic that he got this film made. Itís hard to get any film financed these days and this one is so ambitious and risky. But Iím so happy with how it turned out and I know itís all worth it."

Had you filmed in the Czech Republic and Slovakia before?

SS: "Yes, I did a TV series about Strindberg and we filmed in Bratislava back in the Soviet days. I remember that I was not a big fan of McDonaldís, but when I was done shooting I couldnít wait to go to McDonalds! But the region has completely changed and all for the better."

At the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Stellan joined director Maria SÝdahl and co-star Andrea Brśin Hovig at the premiere screening of  HOPE as well as photo calls the next day.