Jonathan Nossiter's post-apocalyptic film LAST WORDS opened in France on October 21. Conceived as an allegory on the impact of the climate crisis, "Last Words" unfolds in a planet that has been ravaged. Set in 2086, Europe is a vast desert and its population has been decimated by a virus. (prophetic?) Survivors are living isolated while nature has perished and culture has disappeared from the world. It will take a young African refugee to bring joy and a sense of togetherness into people’s lives thanks to movies.

Though it was a selection at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival and the Deauville American Film Festival, the French critics were not too impressed.

However, several of them appreciated its tribute to cinema. French film critic Jacky Bornet wrote, "Rarely has a film imaged such an ode to cinema." And Adrien Mitterrand wrote, "The Greek temples which populate the backgrounds testify less to the greatness of an ancient civilization than to its simple disappearance. To come face to face with them means to contemplate what will never come back - and it is this look at death that lies at the heart of 'Last Words'".

Two of the film's cast members joined director Nossiter in another film twenty years ago - Stellan and Charlotte Rampling in "Signs & Wonders". These two actors have now starred  together in six films. I believe I've seen Ms. Rampling in over 25 films and she remains high on my list of outstanding actresses.


As announced in my post yesterday, Norwegian film HOPE will premiere in Stellan's homeland on November 6th. The Swedish media reports that unlike most other Norwegian films that come to Sweden, this film will get a wide launch in a number of cinemas across the country. It has also been retitled, "Living on Hope", which both Stellan and director Maria Sødahl are dissatisfied with.

In a recent interview with the pair in Stockholm, Stellan remarked, "There is a theme in it that is seriously international. You can absorb it in all cultures." He states that it is not so common for Swedish cinemas to show Norwegian films. He continues, "If they are set up in Sweden at all, it is usually in a single cinema. There is a fear among Swedish distributors of showing Norwegian films. It's incomprehensible." Maria adds, "It is fantastic that it will premiere in Sweden at all."

When asked about casting Stellan and Andrea Braein Hovig, Maria replied, "I knew I had two great actors and I was sure they would be good together. It was a bit like an arranged marriage: they had to adjust to each other, they had no choice. I trusted them so much and in my decision that I dared to risk that. I wasn’t afraid things wouldn’t work, but I was very interested in how their energies would interact. It’s funny that at first they’re a bit comical next to each other as Stellan is very tall while Andrea is a tiny, short woman, but I liked that they’re a weird couple you don’t necessarily imagine next to each other. It is precisely what makes them believable that they are not a perfect couple."

Maria also admits that in making this film, she was against the idea of doing a kind of self-therapy. Stellan shares, "I’ve never tried to process my own personal traumas with filmmaking, but filming still has a therapeutic effect for me in the sense that it’s good for me to be able to hide in other people’s skin from time to time. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to do things I would never do in real life by hiding behind a role. It frees me to be able to play a role. However, if I’m just struggling with a specific problem in my private life, I’m never looking for a solution in filming."

At the world premiere of the film, Stellan described his role as easy because he only had to react to his wife Andrea. He explains, "I didn’t have big monologues. I didn’t have to show any big things about myself. I just sat there and reacted to what she said or did. One wants the character to be three-dimensional even if there is not too much text. At such times, I have to focus on the little nuances, which obviously requires attention and concentration, but from that, most of my business was to react to Andrea."

Stellan continues, "I hate monologues. I love acting between the lines. If you observe how I play, you can see that I just throw in the text and the emotions are visible on me before or after the text. For me, that’s what movie acting means. Television is different, everything is full of dialogues, all information comes through. The situation is similar in theater. In the cinema, the information is in the picture. It’s the kind of acting game I love. I hate it when a character has to talk about how they feel or have a long dissertation about what’s going on in the film. In a good movie, you don’t have to hear it, you have to see it.

Questioned about acting in "Chernobyl", he answered, "There, too, I was able to work with inter-line acting. It also shows how great director Johan Renck directed the episodes. I have a beautiful arc to my relationship with the character of Jared Harris, and you won’t find that relationship in the dialogues. It evolved from the way we reacted to each other, the way we looked at each other and the way we moved. Johan saw this and trusted us so much to build our series relationship on this. He could have paid attention only to the dialogues, but he saw that was not the right direction here."

Ewan McGregor spoke about the upcoming "Star Wars" series for Disney Plus on a Zoom call for BBC's "The Graham Norton Show". He revealed that production on the series, which Stellan will star in, is set to start in March 2021. The series was announced in 2019 with hopes that production would begin in 2020. However, things were delayed because of Covid-19. With how quick Disney and Lucasfilm are able to get these projects out, we might be seeing this premiere in 2022. One thing we know for certain at this point is that the series will follow Obi-Wan Kenobi. The series will be set between "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" and "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope."


After winning the European Cinemas Label Award at this year's Berlin Film Festival, HOPE (HÅP) has been released in several European countries. It had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2019 and two months later was released in Norwegian theaters on November 22nd. It was screened earlier this year in the U.S. at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. It will open in Sweden on November 6th. We anxiously await here in the states to have the chance to see it on one of our streaming services.

This heartfelt drama starring Stellan has been pre-selected for the European Film Awards and picked up two nods at this year’s Amanda Awards in Norway, including the best actress award for Stellan's co-star Andrea Braein Hovig. On the heels of its critical acclaim, the movie was sold by TrustNordisk to the U.S., Germany, Austria, Poland, Estonia, former Yugoslavia, Lithuania and Israel.

"Hope" is an autobiographically-inspired film by Maria Sødahl, wife of director Hans Petter Moland.  It is based on Maria's experiences as a working woman in a blended family whose life is forever changed when her cancer is no longer in remission. Over the period of a week, the couple prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Stellan explains, "This film is an accurate reflection of what Maria went through, but I decided from the start that I am not playing Hans Petter Moland. That responsibility would be too great for me. It is also impossible to perfectly portray an existing person. It will always be an imagination. Anja and Tomas, the characters from the film, are therefore not the real Maria and Hans Petter."

When Stellan was first approached by Maria for the role, he didn't know what to make of it. He thought "Oh no, not another cancer movie! Or does she see this as a way of self-therapy?" Stellan continues, "I didn't feel like doing that at all. Then she sent me a summary of a page or two, and it was damn funny! The main character was bizarre and strange and completely stoned most of the time, and actually not very pleasant. It was then that I realized that Maria could distance herself enough to deal with that period in her life. I immediately said yes."

Admitting that the film doesn't necessarily paint a very positive portrait of his old friend, Stellan agrees, "That's true. But he has shown himself very generous. He thinks this is Maria's version of the facts. She tells things as she experienced them. On the other hand, she has turned it into a beautiful love story. That also means a lot... Hans Pet feels a bit bad because he thinks the film does not paint a fair picture of him. He is concerned about what people in Norway will think of him now. But I told him that after this movie he will have a much better reputation than before." (laughs)

In the film, the husband seems distant because of his work and Stellan was asked if he was like his character. He replied, "Not at all. Ever since I graduated from the acting academy, I’ve been following a rule. Four months of work a year, the rest of the time belongs to the family. I never changed that."

When asked if it helped to know the couple, Stellan replied, "I tried to stick to the script as much as possible. Hans Pet's life is completely different from mine. For example, he works much harder than I do. (laugh) What I could identify with is the feeling you have as a partner of someone who has cancer. My first wife once had that diagnosis too. Suddenly everything revolves around that sick person, and as a partner you feel totally helpless. There is nothing you can do. You can't even support your loved one properly, because she is full of agony and that overshadows everything. I threw myself into all the practical worries. We had six children, and I made sure that the whole household machine kept running and that the children had everything they needed."

Since "Hope" is mainly the story of a relationship and a family, Stellan was asked what kind of father he was in real life. He replied, "Hard to say. I try to make my children feel that they have their own worth and that we love them. And I never lie to them. That's a sacred principle to me. I've never told a lie to my kids. Even if they ask for something very difficult or personal, you have to tell the truth. Or you say you are too embarrassed to answer." (laughs)


The animated film APSTJÄRNAN (The Ape Star) will premiere on December 18th in Sweden and during next spring in Norway and Denmark. The story is based on Frida Nilsson's award-winning book and the film adaptation was written by Janne Vierth with Linda Hambäck directing. Stellan provided one of the voices as well as actors Pernilla August, Rebecca Gerstmann and Melinda Kinnaman. The synopsis reads - "There is nothing the orphan Jonna wants more than a mother. The feisty young orphan girl dearly wants to be adopted. Jonna will accept anyone, really, so long as her new parent loves Jonna… and only Jonna. But when her potential new mom drives up to the orphanage in an old car, she gets a big shock when the car door opens and a gorilla steps out! Jonna is not sure she wants to leave with the big, clumsy primate at first, but ape and girl quickly overcome their physical differences. But can their newfound domestic bliss survive the scheming of a local bully who's out to separate the two?" Stellan has previously worked with director Linda Hambäck on the children's animated film "Gordon & Paddy" (2017).

Flashback to 1986:


It's time for Stellan to enter the STAR WARS world. The other day he was in London to try on clothes and a wig. In four weeks he will return to start filming an as yet unbaptized TV series that will be shown on Disney Plus. About ten years ago, he admits turning down a role in a "Star Wars" movie. He explains, "They were interested in me, but I was not interested. It was a boring role, although it would get bigger in the next film. I don't even remember what movie it was."

As always when it comes to "Star Wars", most things are kept secret, but Stellan dares to lift the veil a bit. He tells the Swedish press, "The script is written by Tony Gilroy, who wrote 'Rogue one', which is the best film in the series. It's a very good script, and it does not contain very many white plastic men running around and shooting. Instead, you get to see what it looks like in people's homes and workplaces, and that's not so common in 'Star Wars'."

The main role in the new series is played by Diego Luna, whose character died in "Rogue one". Consequently, the new series takes place before that movie. Stellan comments, "It is sometimes difficult to keep apart all the 'Star War' universes". He refers to his role as "interesting and contradictory" and concedes that there is "an option for the possibility that there will be two more seasons."

Since Stellan is not a "sci-fi guy", he was asked why he recently chose two giant science fiction stories. He replied, "'Dune' is for me more of a Denis Villeneuve film. I really like him. He creates a kind of thick atmosphere in his films and is also damn nice to work with. And 'Star Wars'... every fucking birthday, it's some kid who has wanted a costume or Darth Vader mask or spaceship, so I'm well versed in that fascinating fairytale world. This is probably the first time that all my children, from 8 to 44 years old, are happy with a role I will play (laughs)."

 In a recent interview Stellan again commented on the pandemic saying, "I’m extremely privileged. In Sweden we didn't have total lockdown. We had social distancing and it just worked very well here, so you could go shop and there would be no lack of produce in shops and you could go to a restaurant and you had to sit 2 metres away from everybody... It makes you feel guilty for all those people in third world countries and America who don’t have healthcare and they don’t have any protection if they lose their jobs. I am so privileged, I feel ashamed."

At times the Skarsgård family gathered on Ljusterö in the Stockholm archipelago. This included eight children, wife, ex-wife, the children's husbands and girlfriends and grandchildren. The first to start working was Valter who went to Iceland at the end of May to film the first Icelandic Netflix series "Katla". Then Alexander left for Northern Ireland to join the cast of "The Northman" in which he will again be co-starring with Nicole Kidman. Directed by Robert Eggers, the film is a Viking-era revenge tale. Eggers previously directed "The Lighthouse" (2019), which I highly recommend.

Back in June I reported that son Bill has been set to play Swedish criminal Clark Olofsson in a six-part Netflix series called CLARK, directed by Jonas Åkerlund. The series is a Swedish language adaptation of Olofsson’s autobiography in which the convicted drug trafficker and bank robber reflects on his criminal escapades which began in the 1960s. Olofsson gave rise to the term “Stockholm syndrome,” in which hostages forge an affinity with their captor.

Bill talked about his role, "I accept this challenge with delight, mingled with terror and think that with Jonas and Netflix in the back, we can tell a groundbreaking story with a pace and madness we may not have seen on TV before. Clark's life and history is so incredible and screwed that it would even make Scorsese blush."

Stellan adds, "I have read the script. It is a sad story but Clark is an interesting person. He does cruel things and has no morals. One should beware of romanticizing culprits, even if they look good. But if we were only to portray those who have done good for humanity, there would not be much film made. He also announced that his youngest son, eight-year-old Kolbjörn, will make his debut in the series as the younger Clark. Stellan laughing says that his son takes it very seriously. So is another Skarsgård son on his way to an acting career! Love this adorable little face!


According to The Hollywood Reporter, DUNE, previously set for a December 2020 release date, is among a slew of films impacted by the ongoing pandemic. Sources say it will be moved to October 2021. The Denis Villeneuve film includes Stellan in its cast as the villainous Baron Harkonnen.

I had the chance to see OUT STEALING HORSES and I would highly recommend a viewing by any lover of Nordic drama or Stellan fan. This is the fifth collaboration between our Swede and Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland. Anthony Francis of Screen Comment writes that the pair "seem to have found that rare magic that perfectly pairs actor and director on interesting cinematic projects."

The film was screened in competition at last year's film festival in Berlin, where it was awarded the Silver Bear for "outstanding artistic contribution". It also received several Amanda Awards given out at the Norwegian International Film Festival - Best Film, Director (Moland), Cinematography (Rasmus Videbæk), Music (Kaspar Kaae) and Supporting Actor (Bjørn Floberg).

The basis for the script is Per Petterson's international bestseller from 2003, which has been translated into fifty languages and been awarded a number of  prizes. When it was released in the US in 2017, both the New York Times and Time magazine named the novel one of the top five of the year.

Several foreign newspapers praised the film adaptation -

"An unusually beautiful and well-made film" - Dagens Nyheter
 "Engaging drama that does the Norwegian hit book justice" - Aftonbladet
"Skarsgård impresses" - Expressen
"A film you like to watch several times" - Kulturbloggen
"Suggestive and magnificent" - Moviezine
"Beautiful, with fine acting" - SVT Kultur
"A masterpiece!" - Berliner Zeitling
"Emotional, masterful and uniquely beautiful" - Dagsavisen

Stellan plays a 67-year-old widower looking back on his life from the threshold of the new millennium. It begins in November 1999 with Stellan's character, Trond Sander, remembering the summer of 1948. The film, while essentially a poem about memory, is nevertheless an eventful narrative, involving a shocking childhood shooting, Nazis and the Resistance, marital infidelity and parental separation.

This tale of love and loss, disappointment and guilt, was filmed in the breathtaking landscape of mountains and rivers between Norway and Sweden. Award-winning cinematographer Rasmus Videbaek captures moments of Malick-esque beauty fueled by deep-rooted emotion. Over and over again, reviewers mentioned the film's resemblance to the poetic visuals of famed director Terrence Malick.

In the flashbacks to 1948, Trond's woodcutter father, played by Norwegian actor Tobias Santelmann, is strongly and ruggedly handsome as if he's made out of sinew and oak. And the lush photography of fields of wheat, wild horses and torrential downpours have never looked more beautiful.

Sam Allard of the Cleveland Scene writes, "For a story as concerned with a single character's interior life, an expressive actor is necessary to communicate the depth and range of emotion without a ton of dialogue to work with. Skarsgård is adept at conveying much — grief, regret, whimsy — with subtle movements of his eyes."

The film is now available via streaming at