Aftonbladet
Interview with Stellan
July 17, 2000

This is what the world wants to know about Stellan.

The superstar Skarsgård is not that known outside Sweden.

Stellan Skarsgård has a schedule filled with appointments. This year he is preparing for ten different movie and television projects. When Aftonbladet visited him on one of his shoots, there were lots of questions from the journalists.

Stellan Skarsgård has done great movies such as Breaking the Waves, Good Will Hunting and Ronin. But abroad people don´t know that much about the Swede.

Aftonbladet visited a production shoot where Skarsgård met film journalists from around the whole world.

"Ingmar. His name is Ingmar, not Ingemar," Skarsgård corrects when questioned about what he's learned working with Ingmar Bergman.

Amused the Swede looks at the gathered group before he continues.

"Nothing."

The journalists from Australia, Italy, Mexico, Germany, Brazil and Austria squirm with discomfort. It´s not that often they meet someone who is as outspoken as Skarsgård.

The Swede meets with them during a break in the production of The Glass House.

He uses the stairs up to the second floor in a small old house at Sony Pictures in Culver City. The dark brown wall-to-wall carpeting looks like it's from the '70s and the simple wooden furniture is in the same style.

"Cozy," says Skarsgård and makes his way to a chair, after which the shooting team will return to production in a nearby hangar.

Skarsgård shake hands with everybody before sitting down.

Working with public relations is part of his weekday and the Swede is a professional. He doesn't mind that the journalists aren't prepared and he kindly answers all their questions about his family to his political opinions. At the same time he occasionally manages to put in a line or two about his latest movie. Skarsgård acts as a businessman, who together with his wife (Diane Lane), take care of two children who have lost their parents in a car crash.

"I'm not allowed to reveal if I'm acting as a scoundrel," he says.

But he's not sure if the motives of the adults are noble. Skarsgård's character is in the hands of tough lenders. Is he maybe after the children's inheritance from their parents?

The production team is halfway through the production and the working days are long. But Skarsgård doesn't complain. He has his whole family with him in Los Angeles and has rented a house in the city. This fall he will go will off to Europe for a new production And in all probability – new questions.

This is how he answers the questions.

Do you have children?

"Yes, six of them."

Are you a good father?

"I don´t know. I´m not a hockey dad who drives the kids around. It´s not possible with six children. When I'm off duty, I'm standing by the stove cooking."

What does your wife do?

"She's a doctor. It took her twelve years to pass because she got pregnant all the time."

Do you prefer to shoot in the USA rather than in Europe?

"It doesn´t matter as long as the project is interesting."

Which character do you prefer - a scoundrel or a hero?

"Preferably I like to be cast as an interesting person. I don't believe in the simplified picture of one being totally corrupt."

In Brazil there are actors who have became well known internationally and are being accused of selling themselves. Has that ever happened to you?

"I have not sold myself. I still live in Sweden and pay taxes there. I just do a few movies here. But maybe I sell myself once a year (laughter)."

Are you not attracted to Hollywood?

"Not exactly. I understand that it can be comfortable to live there. But I'm not the type. I drive an old Volvo."

What is it that makes you continue living in Sweden?

"It's a good society, even though it's on its way down. The schools are free and that's good for me with six children."

Anything else?

"Here you have work around you all the time. You can't grab a cab without someone giving you a script. Where I live, people still read books which aren't made into movies."

Bearing in mind your charisma, have you ever thought of becoming a member of parliament?

"I would never fit in. The risk is that I will become considerably less charismatic as a politician."

 

[Kindly translated by Camille Hultén with our sincere thanks]