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Sep 12 14 2:46 PM
ohvaI have tons of friends. They're just all online.
Sep 15 14 2:09 PM
“Haven’t we met before?” We hadn’t, but Stellan Skarsgård’s friendly greeting immediately sets the tone for an encounter which is so relaxed that thoughts of the explosive Nils, the quiet man who boils over in In Order of Disappearance, almost evaporate. How did this affable, chatty and thoughtful Swede become a man who kills repeatedly and so gruesomely on screen?
Balancing this with his role as a world-weary banker in the recentHector and the Search for Happiness and, less-recently as possible-dad Bill in the Mamma Mia! film as well as his recurrent portrayal of Dr. Erik Selvig in the Thor and Avengers films, it’s apparent that Skarsgård isn't an actor who sticks to one type of role. In person, it transpires, his outlook is as diverse as the many styles of films he appears in. The conversation of course takes inIn Order of Disappearance, but also what it is to be Scandinavian, the spread of violence throughout the world, Lars von Trier and surprising references to Monty Python.
In London to promote In Order of Disappearance, he is brim-full of energy, looks younger than his 63 years, is snappily dressed (nicely cut purple trousers and a dapper striped blue shirt) and radiates a healthy glow. He has a spring in his step.
As well he should. He is one of Sweden's most succesful exports. Although he was first seen in an American film in the mid-Eighties, international recognition really came with 1990’sThe Hunt for Red October. In 1996, withBreaking the Waves, he began a long association with Denmark’s Lars von Trier. Skarsgård balances the mainstream with the art-house. (Pictured right, Stellan Skarsgård takes time out to meet the press while filming In Order of Disappearance.)
Hans Petter Molland, the Norwegian director of In Order of Disappearance, is another long-term collaborator. They first worked together on 1995’s Zero Kelvin. In Order of Disappearance is their fourth film and follows 2010’s A Somewhat Gentle Man, which also told the story of a quiet man pushed beyond the brink.
Filmed in Norway's snowy north, In Order of Disappearance castsSkarsgård as Nils, a Swedish-born, Norway-dwelling snow plough driver who, after his son dies, is pitched into an underworld where competing drug gangs don’t – initially – know that he is the source of their new woes. The boss of one of the gangs, of transplanted Serbs, is played by Bruno Ganz. Evidently, whatever its level of violence and dark undertone, Skarsgård had a ball making the film. He seems to have a ball making every film.
KIERON TYLER: What was driving the snow plough like?
STELLAN SKARSGÅRD: I actually learnt to drive it and had a lot of fun doing it. It was fantastic. But the conditions were very hard, we had temperatures down to minus 28 degrees. You can see in some shots where faces can’t properly move. It was horrible conditions to shoot under. I’m such a city boy, an indoor person. I do very well with a glass of wine in front of the fireplace. (Pictured left, taking the wheel of the snow plough in In Order of Disappearance.)
What do you make of the contrast between Nils as an archetypal quiet Swede and the revenge-fuelled obsessive he becomes?
Scandinavia has been a very peaceful corner of the world for quite a while. Sweden, for example, hasn’t been to war for 200 years. Norway has been occupied, but that wasn’t their fault – Germany had its own ideas about how to run the world. It’s not a very violent culture in Scandinavia and it’s interesting with Nils is what happens when you don’t have the tools to handle a devastating situation that’s emotionally very challenging. You lose your child, you can’t communicate with your wife. Out comes the very primitive reaction. The veneer of civilisation just falls away, even if it’s as thick as the Swedish or Scandinavian veneer. Out comes the caveman. That is something we should be aware we are capable of. Yugoslavia was a much civilised country and then suddenly it fell apart and incredible brutality erupted. We are capable of horrendous actions.
Does the lawlessness going on under the surface in In Order of Disappearance reflect anything real?
With Scandinavia in general, crime has changed in all of our countries. Crime is globalised nowadays and we are becoming more and more part of the world. Until [Swedish Prime Minister] Olof Palme was shot [in 1986], our Prime Minister walked the streets like anyone else. The violence of the world has finally arrived in the secluded paradise that Scandinavia was. It is a different society to what it was 30 years ago, in Norway as well.
In Order of Disappearance’s humour is in the darkest places…
I like it. I don’t think the violence that Nils is executing is justified. I’m against capital punishment and revenge especially. Morally you have to condemn Nils even if you understand him. But I find that humour is very close to fear. Take Monty Python and the Holy Grail: somebody chops off the arms of this guy and he stills wants to fight. It’s very funny. The brutality of it makes it even funnier. It is horrible but comedy negates the horror of it. There’s a feeling of hilarious freedom. It’s also good if you don't know how to react to what you see. (Pictured right, a shared moment of humour before Stellan Skarsgård's Nils deals with one of his victims in In Order of Disappearance.)
You haven’t appeared together in a film before, is this your first encounter with Bruno Ganz?
I’d met him briefly before at an European Film Academy event. I’ve always thought he is a fantastic actor. Unfortunately, we don’t have much to do with each other in the film. But I knew Nils Petter wanted to have me and Bruno Ganz in a car together at the end of the film, it was a dream of his.
This is your fourth film with Hans Petter Moland, what keeps you coming back?
We’ve developed not only a great friendship but our collaboration is almost shorthand, we have a lot of fun together. You have a few people you work with where you work with them again and work doesn't seem to be work. It’s more playing in the sandbox – it makes you braver. It started with Zero Kelvin which we shot in the Arctic, in Svalbard. It’s so fantastic, so beautiful up there but so dangerous (polar bears roam freely). Hans Petter is the outdoor man, he puts on his skis, follows the reindeer over the mountain for three days, slays it and carries it back. I don’t do that kind of stuff. We are very different. But we meet in a place of work. And I know what he’s good at and what he wants, and he knows what I’m good at so it’s always back and forth. We did well with A Somewhat Gentle Man and In Order of Disappearance is the continuation of investigating the possibility of humour and taking it in different directions – being violent, disgustingly violent. And funny at the same time. (Pictured left, Stellan Skarsgård in Hans Petter Moland's A Somewhat Gentle Man.)
You produced and appeared in King of Devil’s Island, which dealt with a difficult episode in Norwegian history. Do you have an affinity for Norway?
They have good filmmakers in Norway, I have friends there. I think I’ve done one Swedish film in 20 years. There are differences in culture between Sweden and Norway. There was a survey of CEOs of big corporations in different countries and in Sweden 80% of the CEOs said it was very important for you to have humility and be humble. In Norway 20% said it was good to be humble and have humility. They are very different cultures. Norway broke loose from Sweden in 1905 and they are terribly nationalistic. In Sweden we haven’t had any invaders since 1500-and-something so we are more secure. The first time I came to Norway in the late Sixties it was a very poor country and very religious – Norway was one of the few countries which totally banned Monty Python's Life of Brian.
As well as Hans Petter Moland, you’ve also worked regularly with Lars von Trier, most recently inNymphomaniac. What’s that relationship like?
Just as with Hans Petter, we are very good friends although they are different personalities. Lars is hyper-intelligent, hyper-sensitive and extremely funny. A very good person. Also, to a certain extent, childish. If you look at all his films, they are fairy tales, the dialogue has a nursery quality. He often asks you to improvise and it's very hard as the dialogue he likes is so childish. He’s very direct and says everything he thinks, which can hurt people of course. But you can say everything you think to him too, so it’s a very open relationship we have. I’d work with him any time, the working process is so much fun. Really pleasant. The most unhierarchical set you can be on. The runner can come up to Lars and say "that’s a stupid idea". He’s really generous, you have absolute freedom to try what you want. You can’t be on a better set.(Pictured right, Stellan Skarsgård in Lars von Trier'sNymphomaniac.)
You make films which are historical-set fantasies – say Pirates of the Caribbean – and films set in the gritty world of today. Which do you prefer, real-life settings or the fantasy?
My favourite film as a kid was Les enfants du paradis which is a melodramatic fantasy. I like the big strokes of the melodrama.Breaking the Waves is melodrama. But I like the big strokes as long as they are tuned in to real life, so they can become grounded. Life can be melodramatic, but you don't have to play it that way. You like it to be about real people. It really does matter if it has a human truth to it. Elem Klimov’s film Come and See is about this boy in the Second World War and is extremely brutal and extremely hard to watch but beautiful because of the real life. With Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella (released next year), that’s a fairy tale. Kenneth is doing the right thing, not trying to do a dark version of the Cinderella story, so it’s like Breaking the Waves – it’s a film about a really good girl. There is a human truth I want, whether it’s a fantasy film or a kitchen sink drama. But I cannot say there is a specific genre I prefer.
You make a lot of films. Do you think you’ll ever burn out?
I do make a lot. I like it. I thrive on working.
Sep 15 14 4:02 PM
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Sep 20 14 8:23 PM
The actor Paul Bettany once said some things about you and I wanted to check if they are accurate. Is that OK? Sure.
He said: “In every city he knows the best place to eat oysters…” Yeah, probably. Not the best, but at least I know a couple of good ones. In London, I often go to Bentley’s not only because I like the oysters but also because I like Richard Corrigan’s cooking.
He went on: “He knows how to cut meat properly, so you get the best flavour out of it…” I know how to cut meat, yeah. I know how to cook basically.
“He has untold numbers of children and he’s never wanted his children to respect him.” That’s true, I don’t want them to respect me because I’m their father. The only respect you should have is the one you earn. Respect is such a weird word. I like them to appreciate me for what they think is worth appreciating me for, but not just because I put my penis into their mother. That doesn’t earn me much respect does it? It happens all the time.
You actually have eight children aged between 38 and two – four of them have ended up as actors, including Alexander, the star of True Blood. Why do you think that is? Probably because they’ve seen I enjoy it. Even with limited success as an actor you usually have a more interesting life than in many other professions, so it’s not an unreasonable choice. But they also don’t have any illusions about it: they don’t think it’s glamorous; they don’t think fame is something worth achieving.
And seven out of the eight children are boys. Has that been especially challenging? No, I think girls can be just as challenging. I don’t know what it indicates. A monotonous love life? Obviously I’m doing the same thing every time. I slipped once. I don’t know. But now I’ve snipped it, so no more.
One last thing Paul Bettany said about you: “In the absence of Jesus, he’s a very close second.” Aww, Paul, I don’t think so. No, I’m much more fallible than that. But I think Jesus was pretty fallible too, probably.
After 9/11, you read both the Bible and the Qur’an. What did you learn from that experience? It’s frightening. Everybody says that all the ideas of goodness in the world come from the Bible. That’s absolutely bullshit. The Sermon on the Mount is a very nice piece about being good, but most of the Bible is a very revengeful, childish, brutal God. It’s fantastic stories, but there’s no rational reason to believe anything in it. I didn’t care about religion before 9/11, but I thought I should take a little look at it, because not only did the people who flew into the World Trade Centre claim they had God on their side, but then George W Bush stood up and said he had God on his side as well. So everybody who is religious has God on his side, which is terribly dangerous. And nobody should be sure they have God on their side.
Is there anything you have taken from it? If you read the Bible, you realise that it’s actually good not to cut off the foreskin until it’s necessary. God came to kill Moses in the desert and Moses’s wife saved him by cutting off the foreskin of his child and rubbing it on Moses’s body and then God didn’t kill him. So always have a small child with a foreskin nearby so you can protect yourself against the wrath of God.
In your latest movie, In Order of Disappearance, you play Nils, an upstanding citizen who goes on a killing rampage after his son is killed by drug dealers. Did you identify with him? Well, he is not like me. He is a man who does not have the tools to handle the emotional disaster that he encounters when his son dies and he can’t communicate with his wife any more. So it comes out that he starts killing people. And it’s a very immature and not very reasonable way of reacting of course. But totally understandable on the other hand. If you have children, you know how easy it is to imagine how the caveman in you comes out if they are hurt.
Humility is very important in Scandinavia: the influential Law of Jante dictates that the community is more important than the individual. Is that something you feel personally? You mean, you shouldn’t think you are something just because you are a famous actor? I don’t feel it. Like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is a very good football player, the Swedes are very proud that he’s Swedish. And I think they are proud that I’m Swedish when I’m doing work abroad. The Swedes will look at you twice and then look away because it’s a shyer culture. In America, people come up, “Oh my God, it’s you!” In Sweden they don’t do that, unless you are out in a bar at 2am, because then everybody is your best friend.
This is your fourth film with the director Hans Petter Moland, and you have made multiple films with Lars von Trier. What do you like about these repeat experiences? It’s like children who have good playmates: you meet in the sandbox and have fun together. With Lars, I’ve also benefited from it professionally in a way that I’ve been so encouraged to try things and be brave. That’s when it becomes fun, because it’s much more creative than if you are there to deliver something you decided on beforehand. Then you could work for Royal Mail.
What did you know about Nymphomaniac before you agreed to be in it? Lars called me before he wrote it and said: “Stellan, my next film will be a porno film and I want you to play the lead in it.” Yes, Lars, I will be there. “But you will not get to fuck.” Yes, that’s fine, I’ll come anyway. “But you will show your dick at the end and it will be very floppy.” It’s OK, Lars, I’m coming.
So you’d say yes to Von Trier whatever he was doing? Yeah, I want to play with him. I want to join him in the sandbox. I don’t work only for the results. I spend so much time of my life on a set, I want it to be fun, creative. You never know what a film is going to turn out like anyway. You do your best to make it as good as possible, but that is secondary to the process to me.
In Order of Disappearance is out now
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Thanks to Askars Library for the find.
Here is a link to the video--video of My, pictures of the children, and I presume more details.
Alkohol terapeuten My Skarsgård, 58, was on Sunday invited to SVT's Agenda to talk about co-dependent.
For her, is co-dependency a parallel development with the chemically dependent.
– You become dependent on another person's consciousness, of trying to change, and sometimes scared, someone else at the expense of yourself and your needs, "she told Aftonbladet.
My became co-dependent already as a child. At times parents drank did the mother not to handle the alcohol, she says.
"She became a personality unscaled in a horrifying way, which meant I went with a lump in his stomach and was afraid, says My Skarsgård.
She describes how her mother when she drank sometimes became psychotic.
– Often threatened her with that kill herself. my role, I thought, was to prevent her and to keep her. I was a kid then, so it was pretty heavy. Emotionally, it was really hard.
The day after, it was as if nothing happened, and certainly no one was talking about, "says My Skarsgård.
– It made me insecure. It was also very shameful. I had no one to talk to about this. I had a lot of katastroftänk and was very afraid if my parents would go away, because then I had no track. I understood much later how deep tracks this put in me.
In adulthood became My own alcohol addiction. When she received a cancer diagnosis, she started drinking to numb her death anxiety.
Which in turn affected her own children.
I drank rarely as I was drunk, or so it seemed. I got the high tolerance. But what they experienced, when I talk to them today, was I more and more fell down into a deep depression. They couldn't reach me. I slipped away from them. I couldn't link to them and not they to me.
My Skarsgård think medberoende personer is often forgotten – and forget themselves.
"It's so tragic, for all the focus is on saving and control another person. As long as the proceeds are also usually dependence continue. For those who are living with an addict, it is dangerous not to do anything about it, "says My Skarsgård.
– It is important to be aware of their co-dependency. It is important to be sensitive to their needs. And it is important to realize that I will never be able to change a different person – to let go of their dependency and let the other person take responsibility. It's not up to me. We need to start setting limits, she says.
Oct 6 14 7:23 PM
Oct 6 14 8:56 PM
"Rehearsing with Stellan Skarsgard. Honour to be working with this man!"
-Fady Elsayed (October 6, 2014)
Nicola Walker and Eddie Marsan join Stellan Skarsgård in Abi Morgan’s BBC1 thriller River (x)
Production starts on BBC One’s River starring Stellan Skarsgård (x)
Oct 6 14 11:08 PM
purpleshadow wrote:Wasn't there already one announcement about Stellan in BBC's River like months ago? Or it was just rumor? Any way I'm glad we will have chance to see Stellan in good old BBC crime drama.
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