|Q&A with Stellan - October 2004
"I started acting as a child in various amateur groups and did my first role on a
professional stage at the age of 14 in Malmö Municipal Theatre."
"Ive always loved films but have a problem with the lack of privacy in the
theatre. At home I watch DVDs but never television
Id rather read a
Why a desire to become a
"Well, no idea really
I guess I had some romantic idea about solving
important problems all over the world. An urge I sometimes relapse into
A teenage idol...
"I enjoyed it and had a lot of fun. Fortunately my parents were very sane people
so I very early on realized the shallowness of fame and the frightening gap between the
public image of you and who you really were."
Struggle with fame...
"There are moments when you cant stand not being anonymous in public, when
the attention and the gazes etch and burn but most of the time I can live with it."
"I am a member and contributor to both Amnesty and Doctors Without Borders. The
erosion of democracy and widening gap between the poor and the rich due to globalization
and unfairness in trade worries me as well and I support Attac
..and then, of course,
theres the American election that I follow closely
.so wish I had a vote to
[In 2001 he signed the appeal Swedish Film Workers for
Peace and Freedom in an Independent Palestine]
Why a hippy eccentric...
"I have no clue
didnt even know I had that epithet. Being naked is no
problem, I was born that way."
[1997 interview - "The 46-year-old actor, who lives in Stockholm with his wife and
six children, is known as a hippy eccentric. He likes to walk around the house nude. 'I
mean, sometimes my kids complain about it when they bring friends home, but I don't do it
all the time,' he says."]
Staying in character...
"I never stay in character in the sense that I become somebody else, and I always
try to be normal between the takes, but I do keep up a certain energy and concentration
the entire working day even if I joke and chat a lot... Staying in Engström [Insomnia]
an entire day would have been horrible."
"I love her as a person and actress. She has a fantastic combination of strength
and vulnerability, intelligence and absolute truthfulness
Which role in Downloading
"The lover/killer. The plan is to start in April when Holly is done doing
.but you never know..."
Any character closest to
the real Stellan...
"Arent we all? Men are just by culture supposed to hide their vulnerability
but my job is to show whats going on inside
["Stellan is really one of the greatest actors of the world. He is the only one
able to bring an absolutely undeniable force of vulnerability to the male species. It
makes me think of William Holden." ...Signs and Wonders director Jonathan
From Nilsson to
I'm related to all Skarsgårds in Sweden, none in Norway. My grandfather changed the
name on his three sons at a time when everybody in Sweden were Nilssons, Larssons, Olssons
champion of the world," says Paul Bettany...
"Its very sweet of Paul. He always describes me as more impressive than I
["Stellan and his wife kidnapped me and took me to
Paris and kept me drunk for about five days. He is the kindest, warmest man you're likely
to meet with an insatiable appetite for trying things, tasting things. He's the all-time
heavyweight vodka-drinking champion of the world, so we have a hell of a time
together." ...Dogville and Kiss Kiss co-star Paul Bettany]
Sober in Aberdeen...
"It would have been impossible for me to do Aberdeen if I hadnt been
its acting, not being
Shooting Beowulf and
"Weather was tough. We had a couple of hurricanes when we couldnt shoot, too
much rocks and debris flying around smashing up cars and blowing away sets, but we still
worked in rain winds around 100km/hr and I once saw Eddie Marsan being picked from his
mark up by the wind and blown straight at me. Food was kind of challenging as well like
smoked puffin, raw whale, rotten shark and pickled sheep testicles..."