button_box.gif (205 bytes)25th Toronto International Film Festival - September 2000


With co-star Charlotte Rampling on September 10, 2000

Newsday article - September 13, 2000

Just to accentuate the fact that the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival is an International film festival: Hollywood's favorite Swede, Stellan Skarsgård, was sitting on the veranda of a foreign-owned hotel opposite English actress Charlotte Rampling and a U.S. journalist, being served French wine by an Italian waitress and trying to bridge the vernacular gap wherein dangled the check.

"Your name, sir?"





"Room 624."

"Very good, sir."

"But not in this hotel," the actor said under his breath, as the waitress
exited, stage right. 

Skarsgård of Insomnia, Ronin and, most famously, Breaking the Waves, and Rampling, whose filmography ranges from The Night Porter to The Verdict, are among many actors here who appear in multiple festival films. Skarsgård and Rampling, however, are likely the only two playing dysfunctional couples in two separate movies (and two of the better-regarded entries in this 25th anniversary festival): Jonathan Nossiter's Signs and Wonders and Hans Petter Moland's Aberdeen. Nossiter's film came first, and depending on whom you believe, between two actors who sound like an old married couple ("two old married couples,"  Skarsgård corrected), Moland wanted them together again.

"He wanted you before he wanted me, actually," Skarsgård said to Rampling. "I said, 'That's ridiculous. We can't play man and wife in two films in a row.'"

"That's right," she said, "but he never let up, Hans Peter."

"By then, I was used to you," Skarsgård said. "It probably helped us."

Said Rampling: "It probably did."

In a way, Skarsgård and Rampling (who's actually in three films, counting Francois Ozon's Sous le Sable) represent a lot of what's exciting about film festivals in general, Toronto in particular: He's a rising star of international cinema, working constantly all around the world; she is an actress who, while more than a bit reticent about why her once-prominent career has lay dormant so long is coming back with a vengeance.

September 11, 2000

With Zap2it's Mike Szymanski