|INTERVIZYON - Turkish interview
About World Cinema and
November 28, 2004
is Sweden's gift to World Cinema
following the Ingrid Bergman
and Ursula Andress tradition.
I like the cinema as most people,
but due to
my attention to business in the
last four to five years, I havenít followed
it as I would like to, though some actors
and directors still grab my
attention like the one I will try to introduce you to
in this article.
According to his filmography, he became
internationally known with Lars Von Trierís Breaking the Waves.
first noticed him in Taking Sides. It was a true story.
He played the role of a maestro,
who had been very famous in Hitler's
time. The movie showed him
being questioned as a war criminal
by an American officer. Stellan
showed many emotions - fear,
pride to be an artist but also some regret and anger.
At a glance at his unoffical web site
(www.stellanonline.com), there are
so many movies in his filmography. In
Turkey we had the chance to see Ronin,
Good Will Hunting, The Hunt for Red
October, Deep Blue Sea, Dancer in the Dark,
Dogville and nowadays Exorcist:
The Beginnning and King Arthur.
When I tried to reach him over
the Internet, he soon
replied. He is interesting and different from other stars,
such as having six children, a long-lasting marriage and political opinions.
What motivated you to
become an actor as a teenager in 1968?
A coincidence or a conscious choice? You said
you wanted to become a diplomat. Why?
As a young boy, I had a romantic idea about being a
diplomat. It sounded very important dealing with matters of war and
peace, travelling the world, nice parties....I actually never decided to
become an actor. I just started as a child and kept on working and still
donít know what to become when I grow up.
Could you tell us about your Royal Dramatic
Theatre years. You worked together with big names in those years like
I had a fantastic sixteen years at the Royal Dramatic
Theatre, mainly working with great directors as Alf SjŲberg and Per
Verner. I came there very young and stole as
much as I could from the older and more talented actors, making sure I
took a little from each one so nobody could trace the lot and believe I
was copying anybody. I got all my theatre training there, and I had a
lifetime contract when I quit, mainly because I had differences with the
new head of the theatre.
Most actors can't maintain a marriage, but you are an
exception in that matter with a long-lasting marriage and
six kids. Would you tell us your opinion about
marriage and kids generally, and
specifically what is your secret and opinion
about your marriage and kids?
No clue, we all do what we can... and Iím not
perfect in any way....
Your two sons are following
in your steps with a career in movies. Do you like that?
Iíve never interferred with their choices in life. All you can do is
give your children as much love and self esteem as possible when they
are small, and then life has to be in their own hands.
Though I must say it worried me at first since it is a tough business
but I held back and once they had shown their talent, it only made me
happy. Itís a beautiful profession and they bring something very good to
How do you define your career? What kind of movies or
dramas do you like to do? We see you
in both popular American
movies like Ronin and interesting projects like
Breaking the WavesÖ
I really enjoy having this
privilege to be able
to choose between so many different projects. As an actor, I usually find
the more interesting roles in the smaller films, the European and
American independent films, but itís also a lot of
fun, and sometimes
refreshing, to do the big American studio
projects..... And be like a child playing with guns and swords and not
have to worry too much
about the psychology of the character.
What is your opinion of todayís world? I mean
wars, weakness in political systems and political
environmental problems. You are member of some public organizations
Doctors without Borders.
The state of the world worries me a lot, of course,
as it does anybody who isnít blind. I actively support Amnesty
International, Doctors without Borders and Attac.
And yes, I could talk about it for hours....
About the stupidity of the American foreign policy...
About the danger of mixing
politics and religion... About the way the
western world steals from the poor through
WTO, the World Bank and the general idea of Friedman economics...
the negligence of human rights all over the world and the lack of
tolerance and willingness to see reality through any eyes but your
Exorcist is a kind of fantastic and unrealistic movie. What is
your opinion about this kind of movie?
I see it as a fairy tale meant to be entertaining,
but also about losing faith in a wider way... Not necessarily religious.
Personally I donít worship any god, but I try to do good.
And if there is
a god, and a good one, he
or she will not be vain enough to judge
me by my worship, but by the good I do
among my fellow humans.
Could you tell us about your awards and
I donít know... You canít compete in art, but itís
always very nice when you are appreciated. It doesnít mean there
arenít a lot of fantastic actors that were just as deserving...or more..
Check the IMDB site
if you want some of them.
What are your plans? We read
that you are in three new projects.
Could you tell us about them?
I just finished a very interesting shoot in Iceland,
a film based on the old Anglo-Saxon poem
Beowulf. Had a lot of
fun under very hard conditions. Two hurricanes and one volcano
eruption was just a part of it. But the role was great fun and lovely
people to work with.
The next project planned is an American independent film with Holly
Hunter and William Hurt called Downloding Nancy,
a very dark,
different and well-written project, planned to start in April. Iím now
reading scripts to see if there is anything interesting to do before
then but still havenít found anything... Might just stay home and cook
for a couple of months.
Do you like to play in historical movies?
Doesnít really matter. There are more important
things than the clothes.
Do you think as a Swedish actor that you've
had enough chance to show your talent? Do you
think you became internationally popular at a later
time? Would you like to be an American actor? Why?
Iím so happy the way it is. Iím an international
actor with a lot of interesting work to choose
I have enough
problems getting around without being recognized.
Could you compare the European Cinema to
American movies? Which advantages do they each
Thereís not much difference when you work with the
smaller budgets. But when you get into the big studio productions with
budgets sometimes a hundred million dollars and more, youíre in for more
industrial work than art and the scripts unfortunately look very much
What do you like to do in your spare
Cook.....sometimes even Turkish.
I havenít done much Turkish cooking so if you know a
site with recipes in English, please let me know. I have made some kŲfte,
kebab and different salads. I do a lot of Moroccan cooking since I have
been there on three films.
Do you have any knowledge about Turkey and the
Oh, I follow politics and read my history. Very
grateful to AtatŁrk for his laws on secularism and equality between men
and women, but still have some way to go though.
Very pleased that you have entered the civilized world and abolished
the death penalty. I also hope you will enter the EU so we can become the same
Would you like to play in a Turkish movie?
Would love to... if itís good.....