Q&A with Stellan - October 2004


button_box.gif (205 bytes)Early acting...

"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."

button_box.gif (205 bytes)Watching movies...

"I’ve always loved films but have a problem with the lack of privacy in the theatre. At home I watch DVDs but never television… I’d rather read a book..."

button_box.gif (205 bytes)Why a desire to become a diplomat...

"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…"

button_box.gif (205 bytes)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."

button_box.gif (205 bytes)Struggle with fame...

"There are moments when you can’t 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."

button_box.gif (205 bytes)Political issues...

"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, there’s the American election that I follow closely….so wish I had a vote to cast…"

[In 2001 he signed the appeal Swedish Film Workers for Peace and Freedom in an Independent Palestine]

button_box.gif (205 bytes)Why a hippy eccentric...

"I have no clue… didn’t 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."]

button_box.gif (205 bytes)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."

button_box.gif (205 bytes)Holly Hunter...

"I love her as a person and actress. She has a fantastic combination of strength and vulnerability, intelligence and absolute truthfulness….and taste..."

button_box.gif (205 bytes)Which role in Downloading Nancy...

"The lover/killer. The plan is to start in April when Holly is done doing theatre….but you never know..."

button_box.gif (205 bytes)Any character closest to the real Stellan...

"No. None…I hope."

button_box.gif (205 bytes)Being vulnerable...

"Aren’t we all? Men are just by culture supposed to hide their vulnerability but my job is to show what’s 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 Nossiter]

button_box.gif (205 bytes)From Nilsson to Skarsgård...

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 and Anderssons.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)"Vodka-drinking champion of the world," says Paul Bettany...

"It’s very sweet of Paul. He always describes me as more impressive than I am."

["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]

button_box.gif (205 bytes)Sober in Aberdeen...

"It would have been impossible for me to do Aberdeen if I hadn’t been sober. Again…it’s acting, not being…"

button_box.gif (205 bytes)Shooting Beowulf and Grendel...

"Weather was tough. We had a couple of hurricanes when we couldn’t 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..."