Questions from his Fans

February 2002

button_box.gif (205 bytes)SARA: I am a student in Toronto. I just wanted to commend you on the wonderful work you consistently deliver. Particularly impressive is in "Breaking The Waves", how you make Jan's eyes look at Bess so adoringly and with a smile. You are truly a unique talent. Thank you for lighting up the screen.

Thanks Sara, Emily Watson is very easy to look adoringly at... and with a smile..

button_box.gif (205 bytes)SANNE: When you did "Breaking the Waves", what was your favorite thing to do?

Except for the pleasure of the work and the joy of playing with my friends on the set; definitively taking off the sideburns at the end of the day…

button_box.gif (205 bytes)BRENDA: I just happened to see your movie "Passion of Mind" with Demi Moore & was so impressed with your acting abilities!!! Your timing along with your sensuality was superb!... I have lots of friends in the industry & am blessed with doing their clothing.......and I promise you that I will tell everyone about your talent... Good luck & please let me know what you're working on.......

Thank you dear Brenda. Last year I did three films, an English comedy: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, a thriller for Sony: "The Glass House" and a drama with Harvey Keitel: "Taking Sides", directed by Istvan Szabo. Next I'm taking off for Cambodia to do a film with Matt Dillon, James Caan, Natasha McElhone and Gerard Depardieu; "Beneath The Banyan Trees."

button_box.gif (205 bytes)FUSAYOSHI: In Japan, nobody knows right pronunciation about your name, so teach poor Japanese...

OK Fusayoshi, try STELLA like in Italian for star and add N Then SKARS like in the scars life add to your soul and GARD like in guard your innocence.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)BENJAMIN: I am a huge fan of yours. I am trying to master your dialect so I can impress my friends with my Stellan Skarsgard impression. It's coming along. What I wanted to ask you is; are you really reading this?? Please respond ONLY if you are, in fact, Stellan himself.

Yes, I'm really reading this, not on a daily basis but sooner or later.  Good luck with your Stellan impersonation... just don't do it too well. I'm not sure the world needs too many of me.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)SHEILA: I had never heard of you until I saw "Breaking the Waves". I was so taken by it... Did you have advance training? I am going to watch everything you are in from now on as I know you are an excellent actor.

Thank you. No I didn't have any advance training. I left it to my imagination.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)GEORGES: Im an actor too and when I saw "Time Code", your work with this particular character touched my soul. This character is so deep to show as you do, and now Im a big fan of yours... I really want to know what process you did, how you became 'Alex Green'. What is your work process with some new character? Did you read Stanislavsky? Brecht? You are magnificent!

"Time Code" was incredibly fun to do. We had no script, just a sort of time plan, you knew where you had to be and when, and that you for instance had eight minutes to fight with your wife and then ten to make love to your mistress.. All the dialogue was improvised but of course you had some lines figured out just in case you couldn't come up with anything. When it comes to process I really don't know. Yes, I've read Brecht and Stanislavsky but I don't think I have any conscious method in my acting and I don't prepare a lot, except reading the script over and over and trying to see the function of the part in the story. Most of it happens with the other actors in front of the camera, that's where your role hopefully comes to life.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)WERNER: Do you, as an actor, feel that the Hollywood technique of making films, is as rewarding as working in your homeland of Sweden? I would also like to take this time to thank you immensely for your inspiring performances! You are the most realistic performer I have ever seen.

Thank you very much Werner, In European, or American independent films you usually find the most daring material and the most complicated and challenging roles. The big Hollywood Studio productions are less surprising and more built on a formula they think will guarantee successful recuperation of their huge investments. Can still be fun to do now and then though...

button_box.gif (205 bytes)ISABELLE: I just saw "Breaking the Waves" on, and I must say it overwhelmed me. Is that true that sometimes, Lars von Trier hypnotizes actors?... I love this kind of film which give us energy, creativity.

Belle Isabelle, Thank you. No he doesn't hypnotize the actors and I don't think he would dare to suggest it to me at least. If he ever tried it I wasn't around.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)GUZMAN: I guess I would like you to know that I saw "Good Evening Mr. Wallenberg", and God knows it ruined my life for weeks. I felt and still feel miserable whenever I think about him.... You really made me connect with the character. I can't begin to imagine all that he was as a person, but am trying because what he was and what he tried to do and did should be remembered and if I fail at everything else, the least I will do is remember... It is definitely not a perfect world, but we shouldn't let that stop us from trying to make it so.

Thanks Guzman. No, it's not perfect and will never be, but your right, lets work to make it a little less bad..

button_box.gif (205 bytes)GIOCONNDHA: For me is a great pleasure to write you. I'm a girl from Costa Rica. I love so much your work and I love you. I have three questions for you, What is a whole Life for you? What do you think about a Kiss? Do you think you can send me just one?!!!

Your questions are probably the most difficult for me to answer.
1: I don't know but I feel it when it's there.
2: There are all kinds, but the good ones... !!!!

button_box.gif (205 bytes)JENNIFER: I think you are a great actor and would love to know whether you are a stage actor as well or strictly film. In addition, are you shooting any films in the US in the near future? I live in New York and would love to come to your set one day. Take care and keep up the good work!!

My next project will be in Cambodia and I will not be back in the US until late April to do some promotion on a film I did in LA last summer and maybe try to catch the opening of "Aberdeen". I never shot in NY but would love to. I'll keep my eyes peeled for a NY flick.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)CAROLINE: I'm from Quebec city, and excuse me I'll just say the name of the film in French.."L'amour est un pouvoir sacr" of Lars Von Trier and Emily Watson. You're beautiful in this film reality I don't know :) but I imagine you're sexy in your soul and body... Where do you live?

Thank you, merci... I still live in Stockholm in Sweden... a very civilized place..

button_box.gif (205 bytes)JAMES: Your performance in "Insomnia" was unsettling, riveting, and intense... How does your preparation differ from film to film. What has been your initial training as an actor? And what are your favorite films you've made? Directors? Do you like working with American actors? Which ones do you admire? I know this is more than just one question, bare with me. I'm a little insane...thanks for the work thus far.

My training as an actor was just working as one from my early teens. I also spent sixteen years in the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm performing every day, wrestling with all the big guys, from Strindberg to Shakespeare, from Chekov to Ibsen and doing lots of more modern plays as well. I think I could make a list of about ten of my films that means more to me than the rest maybe and the same goes for the directors I've worked with but I will not mention them, not to hurt the ones left out. American actors... if they are good, generous and truthful I don't care about their nationality. How do you know you're insane?

button_box.gif (205 bytes)ANITA: Have been a big fan since I saw you in "Breaking the Waves". Wonderful, wonderful!! Is "The Simple-Minded Murderer" ever going to be available in the US? A lot of your earlier Scandinavian work is available here ("Wallenberg", "Slingshot", "Women on the Roof"). Also, you should have been Oscar-nominated along with Robin Williams for GWH. Just wonderful. I noticed your "math is like a symphony" ad-lib scene (flirting with girl before scene with George Plimpton) was a line you had in the movie "Wind". I had to laugh recently when I heard that Harrison Ford is thinking of doing an American remake of "Insomnia". How ridiculous!! Ford is an adequate actor, but he does not have your range. Aside from that, Hollywood does not understand that the "white nights" (whatever you call that) of Norway were a major part of the story, thus making it impossible to transfer the story to the US. Anyway, you have many fans in NYC. Come do some theater here.

Thank you. You've really seen a lot. I'm flattered. After reading your mail I contacted the producer of "The Simple Minded Murderer" and asked them to try to get it out there again. It's really a nice film. Would love to do some theater in NY.. don't know if I have the courage though...

button_box.gif (205 bytes)PAT: All your filmographies begin with "Bombi Bitt"1968, TV. Would you tell how you auditioned for the role? What sort of story was it? Did you act in plays during what we'd call high school (age about 14-18)? How did your family react to this professional breakthrough? And if you had not become an actor, what career did you expect to follow? Thank you for accepting questions.

"Bombi Bitt" is a sort of Swedish Huckleberry Finn that I got through auditioning after answering an ad. I did also a lot of stage work from very early age, and professionally from the age of 14. My family were very cool and made sure I stayed sane even when I got all the attention of a pop star. I originally wanted to become a Diplomat, don't ask me why, but I just kept on working as an actor, never really decided to become one. I guess I won’t have to decide what to become until I grow up.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)CHARLI: In your films you often portray characters from countries other than Sweden. Do you vary your accent for these characters, or are you pulling a Sean Connery? :-)

Yes, I often pull a Sean... but sometimes I push my accent a bit in different directions, just to enjoy myself a little.