believe that David Fincher's THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATOO
is unnecessary given the recent worldwide success of the original
Swedish trilogy of movies, even if Fincher and the others involved -
including Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara - are doubtlessly talented in
their own right. You can count me among this group. However, Stellan
argues that Fincher’s remake isn’t a needless effort at all.
not always happy when Hollywood does remakes of films, but that’s
usually when they have a very, very, very good film and they take away
anything controversial from it and make it flatter. I don’t think that
will be the case here. David Fincher is a fantastic director and Steve
Zaillian is a great writer. I have hopes that it will be an
improvement.” He went on to praise the work of his Dragon Tattoo
co-stars, particularly Rooney Mara as she takes over Noomi Rapace’s
iconic role of Lisbeth Salander. “I’m convinced she can take it on,” he
said. “I’ve only had a few very short encounters with her. Most of my
scenes are with Daniel Craig. But, I think she’s good enough. I think
Noomi Rapace was fantastic, and this is another kind of Lisbeth
Salander. I think [Rooney Mara] will do something beautiful with it.”
Frankly, I think the only improvement would be the ability to watch the
film without reading subtitles.
Pictures and Marvel Entertainment released the
official trailer for THOR earlier this
month. Kenneth Branagh reveals he took on the job of directing
the forthcoming superhero movie because it reminded him of
the works of the greatest
English playwright. The actor/director, best known for his
adaptations of Shakespearean plays,
says, "I read the script and saw an epic
adventure with human dynamics
at the center, which for me is what really works in comics.
I looked at the relationships and saw brothers, mother, father
and sons: the tight royal circle. When you get down to it, this is pure
Shakespeare. It's a great drama about familial
problems concerning those who possess great power."
In a recent interview, Stellan explained why he took on the project - "I
chose 'Thor' because of Kenneth Branagh. The script was nice and we got
to rehearse and talk to the writers and do some collaborating in the
process to make it fit us." Read more of this interview
In another interview our Swede was
asked what it was like working on the "Thor" set. He responded, "I had a
great time. I also had a great director there. Kenneth Branagh is one of
the funniest directors on the set. You laugh a lot. He’s very skillful.
We were also allowed to have rehearsals before we started, and we would
discuss the dialogue and change the scenes. It felt like you were
invited to a very nice collaboration... I was not familiar with the Thor
comics at all when I started but Kenneth gave me comic books and stuff
and educated me."
Which poster do you think should
win out? I personally favor #1 and #5.
There's good news for Stellan this
week. Co-star Halle Berry received a Golden Globe nomination for her
lead role in the psychological drama, FRANKIE
& ALICE. This now gives the film more credibility along with
putting Stellan's name in the limelight. Ms. Berry reacted with,
"This movie a month ago was on the shelf. We got a distributor at the
11th hour. This nomination means that we can open in a big way. We might
actually have foreign distribution now. That's what this kind of thing
means to me." The Hollywood Reporter lauded the film, with
praise for Berry, Skarsgård, Rashad and the director: “Berry is
spellbinding as Frankie…Sax’s astute guidance and the intelligent,
nuanced performances of Berry and Skarsgård…the supporting performances
are rock-solid." Ms. Berry previously won an Oscar for "Monster's
Ball" in 2001.
The premiere of
KING OF BASTØY
took place on December 15th at the Colosseum Cinema in Oslo with Stellan and
wife Megan in attendance. The film opened today in Norwegian
theaters and its rights have already been sold to several European
You can view a video clip of the premiere
at this link and also another interview about the film
at this link.
Stellan gave several interviews to the Norwegian
media while promoting the film this week. Much of the reason he agreed
to participate in this project was because of director Marius Holst's
decision to cast his film with young boys with little acting experience.
Stellan explained, "I've wanted to work with Marius for some time. I've
known him for many years. The last script I received a little over a
year ago was a really good film. Marius chose to work with mainly
amateurs and I thought it was very exciting." He adds, "Several of the
boys have lived a rather hard life, and it makes them that much more
genuine in what they do in front of the camera. For me, it's a challenge
to create the same feeling of authenticty that they do...
It's very good to play with inexperienced people. Unlike theater,
are often better than professionals on film. The only deciding factor is the
pressure, gravity and
veracity. Dedication, not skill, is what determines the
Stellan on location with director Marius Holst
Apparently the film's star, star
Benjamin Helstad, was still in drama school when he was offered the
role. The school's rules dictate that during the year of training, a
student is not allowed to take advantage of any acting opportunities
outside the school. When presented with this dilemma, Helstad naturally
opted for the film. Stellan's response was, "What a silly rule!
You get your chance of a lifetime
but you have to sit in school and listen to what teachers are
saying? It's completely bizarre! I have never heard
of anything so fucking stupid!" Helstad has
since entered his theater training for a second time but admits it was
hard auditioning again. A second audition?? You gotta be kidding!
Besides accepting the role, Stellan decided to invest some of his money
in the film as well. Therefore, you will see his name listed as
executive producer. He admits, "I don't think I will get rich from it,
but I do this often with smaller films. Commenting on his role as
schoolmaster in the film, Stellan said, "The challenge was to
find a balance where I could be awful enough without losing
the humanity in the character. Bastøy
was dysfunctional not
because of the
manager's evil, but because of
regard to his other proejcts, Stellan was asked if it was scary
to perform in a new version of the Stieg Larsson thriller right after
its foreign release. He answered, "I don't see it that way. For me, it's
a new movie and a role I'm doing for the first time... Usually Hollywood
will weaken the action of a European film remake by making it less
dangerous but, in this case, I think it is quite the opposite." He will
play the role of villain Martin Vanger, who was played by Peter Haber in
the original. Note the resemblance. Stellan hopes to live up to that
Haber's performance.Always on the move, he will be spending Christmas in
Los Angeles where filming will continue.
When questioned about eldest son
Alexander being a candidate for the role of Thor Heyerdahl in the
forthcoming effort, "Kon-Tiki", Stellan had little to say but when he
was informed the lead actor must speak Norwegian, he replied, "He (Alex)
learned the American accent in a short time, but Norwegian is a
difficult language. There are certainly many Norwegian actors who can
fit the role."
Stellan was again quizzed about
why he's been doing Norwegian films to which he replied, "One reason has
been Hans Petter Moland, who has given me some of the best roles in my
career. There has been interesting material and very exciting roles. I
don't care about the nationality of the projects I do. In Sweden they
have not come up with something interesting. The Danes have. The most
important thing for me is the project... There are a lot of good
Norwegian actors I've worked with many times and they beat most in
Hollywood. I personally wish it was a little warmer in Norway, but the
human world is fine here."
to Stellan, Scandinavia is
"the best place on earth" and that is
why he still chooses to live
in his native Sweden. "I live in Sweden all the time. I've never lived anywhere else. My
whole family, family and
friends are here. But it's also because I think Scandinavia, for now, is
the best place on earth. We have high taxes
but free schools and hospitals. It is an
unselfish society." He admits he's not so happy with the glamor life
in Hollywood - "It doesn't suit me. It's more about
the job. It's much quieter over here, more relaxation and less
hierarchical." He tells the press that he
plans to work as long as possible and that he has no desire to retire.
"I'll hold on until I die, but it could be tomorrow for all I know. I've
never planned my career. It's difficult to plan your life. I am
surprised all the time," he chuckles.
On November 14th the 24th
Braunschweig International Film Festival honored Stellan with the "European
Actors Award". He received the award for his outstanding artistic
performances and contribution to European film culture. The prize money
of 10,000 Euros is donated by the festival's main sponsor, Volkswagen
AG. The laudatory speech was given by Norwegian director Hans Petter
Moland, whose film, A SOMEWHAT GENTLE MAN, opened the film festival on
November 9th. Stellan was honored with a retrospective of the following
films, "Breaking the Waves", "Signs & Wonders", "God Afton, Herr
Wallenberg", "Mamma Mia", "Goya's Ghosts", "Taking Sides", "Aberdeen",
"The Eiffel Tower", and "Torte Bluma".
to set the record straight, those dime-a-dozen celeb sites should show a
little respect and quit the hype. Alexander should be referred to as the
son of Stellan Skarsgård. Aren't you
tired of Stellan being called Alexander's dad as if Alexander is the one
with the 38-year acting career! It's obvious who's riding on whose
added more photos to the Cannes 2010
page and the Venice 2009 page.
was recently interviewed at the 2010 Nordic Film Days in Lubeck,
Germany. Read the full interview here
and check out the photos. On the question of his favorite roles, he
answered, "There are about ten films, which I
particularly like. None of them are absolutely perfect but there are
some characters that are remembered in the long term. Hans Petter Moland
has given me three of the best roles of my life - the really evil guy in
"Zero Kelvin", the alcohol-dependent father in "Aberdeen" and the role
in "A Somwhat Gentle Man". They were all close to my heart. Well, so was
the character in "A Simple-Minded Murderer" for which I received the
Berlin prize in 1982. There are also other movies that I like. "Breaking
the Waves", for example, which I'm proud of. Also, "Good Will Hunting",
"Insomnia" and "Good Evening, Mr. Wallenberg". Most of the films that I
look back to proudly are European productions. The more money involved,
the less brave the filmmaker. The more money put into a project, the
more input from the financers.
Reporter Anna Lindberg of
Stockholm spent some time with Stellan last month and put together a
brief interview with the famous Swede.
It's heartwarming to come across a contented man. Stellan explains, "I
think I've had an incredible life. Sometimes it has been difficult and
painful, as it should. There is no man I envy
and whose life I would rather have lived." We also
learn that his hidden talent as a good cook is enhanced by the fact that
he has a keen sense of smell.
November 17, FRANKIE & ALICE had a
special screening in New York City. No, Stellan did not attend, but
plenty of Halle Berry's friends were there. The film will open in both
NY and LA on December 17th before its regular theatrical release on
February 14th. The psychological drama is based on the harrowing true
story of Frankie Murdoch, a woman suffering with multiple personality
disorder in early 1970s Los Angeles. In anticipation of the release of
the film, AFI Fest 2010 featured a "Conversation on Acting with Halle
Berry" on November 9th at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
"Bringing this story to the big screen has been a challenging, yet very
satisfying, filmmaking experience," stated Halle. Producer Vincent
Cirrincione stated, "We are thrilled to have this film finished,
completed and ready for release. 'Frankie & Alice' was a real labor of
love for Halle and me, and we look forward to sharing this very personal
and gripping true story with audiences." You can click on the photo
below to view a clip in which Stellan as Dr. Oz speaks with his patient.
presented Gus Van Sant with the Visionary Award at the
Stockholm International Festival on November 20th. You might remember
that one of Stellan's more famous American roles was in "Good Will
Hunting", directed by the talented director. Holly Hunter also read a
tribute to Van Sant.
an update from Dagbladet on Stellan's latest film,
KING OF BASTØY,
which will see its premiere in Norway on December 17th. As reported back
in May, producers were in Cannes promoting the film with twenty minutes
of footage showing four scenes. Its international title is "King
of Devil's Island". According to director
Marius Holst, there are high expectations with the release of this
blockbuster starring Stellan, Kristoffer Joner and Benjamin Helstad.
The action is based on events from real life, where dozens of
boys between 10 and 20 years rebelled at the prison-like school at home
in Bastøy in 1915. "These events are an example of raw abuse of power
among people in authority in the Norwegian society," says producer Karin
Julsrud. "The state responded by sending an armored ship with 150 armed
soldiers to restore order in Bastøy. It's a dramatic epic film, which we
hope can reach a wide audience, both nationally and internationally.
We've already done several European sales of the film with Sweden,
Denmark, Poland and France." The film was shot on a peninsula in Estonia
and is one of the most expensive Norwegian productions. The screenplay
is written by Dennis Magnusson, and is based on an original story by
Lars Saabye Christensen and Mette Marit Bølstad. You can view the
at this link.
You may have caught the following
video on the Internet, but in case you haven't, you have to see it!
Follow this link. It's from Swedish TV back in 1987 and shows
Stellan preparing dinner for his family while also helping Alexander
with his homework. By the way, for those who may not be familiar
with nasi goreng, it's considered the national dish of Indonesia. The
fried rice dish was one of my favorite meals during the year I lived in
Holland. Stellan made my mouth water!