Vecko Revyn (Swedish magazine) - August 19, 1986


Changing light from Skagen.
Stellan Skarsgrd on his way to a tragedy.

Stellan has the leading role in a new movie by Kjell Grede. A positive tragedy about the famous colony of artists in Skagen. He plays the artist Soren Kryer, who wanted to be the happiest man in the world.

The beach is being cleaned from footprints and garbage. The big film crew is ready to film in the harsh wind. Behind the camera, director Kjell Grede does a last minute check to see that everything is correct. But once again the actors get a last minute instruction to move a couple meters to the right. Everything has got to be perfect for the filming of this big Scandinavian filming project, Hip hip hurra!

The budget's film is about 15 million Swedish kronors and should be enough to keep everything going for almost three months. Most of the crew are living in the built-up hamlet in Skagen, Kanderstedene. A hotel, which has served its time, acts as the filming studio. Outside there are standing barracks which were recently placed there and in them live the film's crew and actors. Some of them who have a lot of filming days have rented their own houses.

The language is mixed and changes between Swedish, Danish and Norwegian. On this particular day the languages from all  three countries are mixed down at the beach. Everybody has been able to get to know each other and knows where there can be problems and what they should watch out for.

The Swede Kjell Grede, who directs and has written the script, is getting used to it. Filming is getting on well and Kjell is happy with the takes so far. But there are lots of technical problems with the sudden changing light of Skagen.

"Its noticeable at the border at Frederikshamn," says Kjell. "The light will change noticeably when you get north of the town. The light is able to change character and intensity in seconds. You have to spend the time well. Most of the time there's nothing else to do but wait for good conditions again."

"When I started to think about this filming idea after a visit here many years ago, it struck me that one hundred years ago people were living here who were happy. There was a colony of artists who came back every year. One of them had to be the lead in the movie, Soren Kryer. But it could likely have been one of the other artists. Its Kryer's painting Hipp, hipp hurra which became the theme of the movie. The artist who decided to be the happiest man on earth.

Stellan Skarsgrd is playing the great role of Soren Kryer. The script was written especially for the 35-year-old successful actor. Now he's taken time off from Dramaten for two years because of the filming of Hip, hip hurra! and other upcoming film projects.

"It's nice to be able to act as something other than strange characters," says Stellan while he smokes a cigarette. "This role is so positive, even if there is tragedy in the end. I was born in Stavenger in 1851 and then I died here in Skagen in1909. Before that I had lots of happy moments. I was the most beloved artist in Denmark and then also the richest. That was before Kryer began to fail."

The social life was prospering as never before when Soren Kryer went to Skagen, giving parties between periods of hard work with painting. The infant prodigy from nowhere. The year was 1882.

He had already been accepted at the Academy of Art at the age of 13 and was regarded as a child prodigy. He left Copenhagen some years later and traveled around Europe learning more. As a fully- fledged 30-year-old, he returned to Denmark. His real name was Peder Severin Kryer. Now he was the centerpiece of the artists in Skagen and Scandinavia.

"It is nice to be here in Skagen and experience the child prodigy. I am here with my family. We're staying in a house. It is great to come home and have a good Danish beer and light a cigarette," says Stellan.

He takes off the white coat that protects his white suit and walks away on the beach to do a scene in the film. It will be a fateful day for Stellan in the movie. He will lose his lovely and beloved wife. The Swedish composer/artist Hugo Alfvn will upset his happiness and will disappear with his wife Marie.

"It's one of these days when everything should be dramatic," Stellan continues. "It has to be a very tragic moment when Hugo disappears with Marie Kryer. It was after this moment that the life of Soren Kryer was broken into pieces."

"It's nice to be away from the theater and able to experiment with this kind of film. But I won't stay away from theatre. The contact with the audience is priceless."

For Marie Kryer, played by Pia Vieth, there were many years of happiness before it was interrupted by her new love, Hugo Alfvn. Pia thinks the new Scandinavian project is exciting. She is known by the Danish audience for her work in television, where she has played many different roles She debuted in 1982 in Den ubemarksomme elsker. She is now playing  the most beautiful woman in Denmark during this happy time in Skagen.

"To act opposite Stellan is a really fun experience. I understand why he is popular in Sweden. On the whole, it's a very nice atmosphere among the actors here in Skagen."

[Kindly translated by
Camilla Hultn with our sincere thanks]