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an interview with Stellan this month in Total Film magazine, the
reader is again treated to same old, same old that I won't bother
repeating. Don't film journalists have more interesting questions to
ask? Here are a couple new quotes:
On receiving invaluable advice: "I
got a very good one from Ingmar Bergman, who said to me, 'Don't forget
On working on mini-series: "I've moved onto my first continuous series,
for ANDOR, but they've promised to kill me whenever I want so I
can get out of it. It's an interesting role with many faces. I was
challenged and I got to play with Diego Luna, who I love. But I hope
that the art of cinematic-telling doesn't die."
to Stellan for becoming a grandpa once again! Son Gustaf
decided to make an announcement on his Instagram account
indicating that he has a daughter, who was born on November 15, 2020.
There is absolutely no mention of this baby's mother. This is Stellan's
third grandchild with Sam and Bill already parents. Gustaf posted these
sentiments - "Eternal gratitude to the most high for bestowing
upon me the greatest gift of my life: her life. One year ago tomorrow
she came and brought a dimensional shift to my universe. Today is my
first Father’s Day. Love is too futile a word."
News from Turku, Finland where
WHAT REMAINS is being filmed:
He looks familiar when he
walks briskly to the shopping center in the center of Turku. So half
familiar, so that for a second you think about whether it is someone
you should recognize and visit, or if it is someone you have often
met, until you realize that it's the actor Stellan Skarsgård.
Swedish Yle's film editor
Silja Sahlgren-Fodstad calls him an actor who blends in everywhere.
He can be sympathetic, unsympathetic, macho, sensitive, insecure,
smart, clumsy or agile, take up a lot of space or just support
But who would have thought that he would show up in Turku?
Right now, the psychological crime drama "What Remains" is being
filmed in Turku and the Turku area. The film is supposed to be about
the dependence between doctor and patient, but most of the film has
been kept secret. The main role as a patient is played by Gustaf
Skarsgård, while Andrea Riseborough plays the female main role, the
doctor. Stellan plays a minor role as a police officer.
The film team has lived in the Turku area for three weeks already,
but due to the corona pandemic, no one is allowed to meet them. They
are divided into four bubbles. Only the director and the film
photographer are allowed to move between the bubbles, says Teija
Raninen, who is the film commissioner in Western Finland and one of
those who worked most intensively to attract the film team to Turku.
It all started more than two years ago, when Chinese director Ran
Huang had googled pictures of Pemar sanatorium. He called Raninen
and asked how quickly you could get permission to visit the place.
The next day he flew to Finland, and immediately decided that the
sanatorium would be the main location in the film.
Everything was ready for recording, but in February 2020, all plans
were canceled just a week before the start. The corona pandemic
struck in China, and although the situation at the time was not
critical in Europe, the Chinese producers chose to suspend it.
But now it has succeeded. Filming has taken place in Pemar, Turku
and Salo, among other places. On Friday, they filmed in Brobacka in
Pargas, and next week they will also record in the capital region.
Director Huang is impressed by
the professionalism and efficiency of the Finnish team - "In China,
a film like this would have about 300 team members. Although our
team is smaller than usual in a Chinese production, the
professionalism and efficiency of the Finnish team guarantee that
Stellan and the other actors
live in apartments in the center of Turku, but they follow the
Screen Actors Guild's strict corona rules not to meet outsiders.
They are not allowed to meet anyone, and no interviews are given.
It's an expensive movie, and
if someone were to get Covid-19, the movie would be delayed and be
even more expensive. In addition, it would affect the timetable for
the next film project for both actors, filmmakers and director.
Fortunately, you can walk in the center of Turku without being
recognized by everyone, so you do not have to stop for autographs or
selfies with movie fans.
the news media picked up details on Stellan's upcoming film project -
WHAT REMAINS. It was announced that 40-year-old British actress
Andrea Riseborough ("Birdman") will star alongside Stellan and son
Gustaf in this psychological crime drama. Filming will take place in
Finland within the month. It will mark the feature directorial debut of
Huang Ran, a mainland Chinese artist-turned-filmmaker.
The English-language film is being produced by Film
Service Finland and Huang through his production company Fake Action
Truth, with financing from iQIYI, a leading video streaming platform in
China. CAA Media Finance arranged the film’s financing and represents
the North American distribution rights. The picture will be launched at
this week’s virtual American Film Market (AFM).
Mexico's La Prensa, 10/13/21 [edited]
Stellan Skarsgård is not concerned about leaving an
acting legacy, as he only seeks to enjoy his work and his family. It is
difficult to think that any movie fan, in America or Europe, has not
seen on screen Stellan Skarsgård, one of the greatest actors of his
generation. In Hollywood, for example, the 70-year-old Swedish
interpreter has left memorable roles in both Oscar-winning films and
musicals. On the other side of the Atlantic, his resume stands out as a
fetish for one of the most prestigious, lauded, and reportedly
complicated filmmakers to work with: Lars Von Trier.
Stellan dismisses, simply and quickly, the word "legend" applied to him,
and incidentally assures that he has never thought about his acting
legacy. "The legacy does not interest me. I will die and it will be too
late. I always live in the present and love my life. I feel that I am
one of the luckiest men there is. I work four months a year and I have
an incredible time on the sets, because I work with brilliant people.
With what I earn, I do charity work with children. Also, I have a
fantastic family. That's all that matters to me,"
He has his reasons for
calling his family "fantastic" - sons
Bill, and Valter.
Stellan, great patriarch of Swedish entertainment, denies having pushed
his offspring to adopt acting careers, much less instruct them in them.
"They never ask me for acting advice and I don't give it to them...
I can give lectures on acting, but I prefer not to,"
On a professional level, 2021 will be for Skarsgård the year in which he
introduced to the world one of the most disturbing and fascinating
villains in science fiction: Baron Harkonnen in Dune, the adaptation of
Frank Herbert's acclaimed novel, the character is a great schemer of
intrigues, as greedy and cruel as he is hedonistic. "Definitely, I was
inspired by Marlon Brando from Apocalypse Now. The previous story of him
is not explained, nor are reasons given for his nastiness. It's a small
role, but it's visually scary. He casts a shadow that spans the entire
film." He is morbidly obese, so Stellan underwent, throughout the shoot,
characterization sessions that lasted eight hours in placement, and one
to remove it, in addition to training for mobility. "For the first time
in my career I had a personal trainer to be able to express myself
physically in that suit, which required a cooling system. You die of
heat in it. Everyone is talking about the possible sequel now. I just
met one of the writers and I said, 'Please give me a few scenes, not
many,'" he jokes.
Behind the prosthetics, Stellan had to find room for a subtle and
memorable performance, the kind that didn't need dialogue. "The type of
acting I do is on the edges. The dialogues are already there and have
their own message, but I always focus more on what is silent, on what is
not said, on the eyes, on how he behaves. my body. Those are my tools."
seems that every day more information is released on DUNE
regarding the Baron's makeup. Today there's an exclusive
behind-the-scenes look at how the villains were brought to life. This
new video clip explores all of the makeup and prosthetic work
that went into realizing these unique characters.
Director Denis Villeneuve comments on Stellan's character - "It
was difficult, because I didn’t want the Baron to look like a
caricature. I wanted to feel a menace of that massive human being and
that weight. Stellan was quite frightening as the Baron, fantastic
performance." And Stellan says, "I had long discussions with Denis about
where I wanted to go with it, and that he looked different, that he had
a presence that you hadn’t seen before... People are hungry to see
a fantastic, well-told, interesting story and I hope that they see
something they didn’t expect to see."
shooting DUNE for an intense two weeks,
Stellan's only interaction with the production people was working with
the director, makeup chief Donald Mowat and prosthetic designers Love
Larson and Eva von Bahr. Stellan explains, "For an actor, that’s
wonderful because you want the process on set to be as creative as
possible. So Love and Eva created a clay figure, which was huge, but you
could see the muscles underneath the fat, muscles starting to turn into
fat. I thought it was great and Denis too. In the movie, the first time
we see him he’s in a sauna and hidden by the steam and you only see a
silhouette and parts of him, which is very atmospheric."
"Mentally I can do it because it’s fun to watch prosthetic
artists work. But physically it’s very hard. You have to sit still for
seven hours. They put layers and layers on me. The most important part
was the face that required extremely delicate work. Then came the full
body prosthesis, with a cooling vest underneath and sometimes a harness
for the wired scenes. And they had to paint the spaces between the fake
skin on the face and the hands and the suit. It was extremely
After 74 reviews, the Rotten
Tomatoes Meter shows the film with a 91% rating.
of Stellan's comments about the film industry that he made at last
year's Gotenburg Film Festival have surfaced online this week. He was
responding to a piece by Martin Scorcese in the NY Times which claimed
that Marvel movies aren't really art. With the debut of "Dune", in an
interview director Denis Villeneuve accused Marvel movies of turning
audiences into "zombies". Stellan argued, "The real problem isn't Marvel
specifically, or relative upstarts like Netflix, but rather the fault is
that we have for decades believed that the market should rule
everything. And the rich get richer, and that is the root of it all."
In Stellan's opinion, many
different distribution and cinema companies have been lost to monopolies
throughout Hollywood, but the real damage to the industry has come as a
result of new leadership that prioritizes profit over art. He explains,
"They’re run by big
corporations that want to have 10% back on their invested capital, which
means that as long as they sell popcorn, it’s fine, That’s why all the
mid-range films, the films that are lower than $100 million dollar
budget, and over $3 million dollars, they don’t exist anymore. It’s only
$100 million dollar films and $3 million dollars, and nothing in
pointed to HBO, which is owned by AT&T, as an example of a
studio's financial priorities getting in the way of art’s development.
He continues, "What will happen eventually is that the diversity in
terms of voices will end. HBO is now bought by AT&T, and they’ve already
been told that you can’t do what you’ve been doing because what you’ve
been doing is, yes, you’ve made money, but you’ve made quality stuff,
which means you haven’t made that much money."
a very short interview with Stellan at
comicbook.com. He's asked about his "Dune" makeup and costume.
Evidently he was able to give his input into what the Baron should wear.
He preferred wearing this silky gown to a bunch of armor.
Stellan was asked about his eating habits, he responded, "I think
everything I eat I should indulge in, so I have no guilt whatsoever. The
closest I get to fast food is making my own hamburgers, but when I make
a hamburger, I make it from very good meat, adding bone marrow like
Richard Corrigan would to make it even fattier." For those unfamiliar
with Corrigan, he's a well-known Irish chef. Stellan also admits to not
eating desserts so that certainly helps him from becoming overweight.
we all know from the many interviews Stellan has given, he is "not a
singing and dancing man" - his own words. And it doesn't help
when others point that out. About 20 years ago when he was in Mexico
filming "Powder Keg", the short film
from the BMW series, he went out one night to party with the film's
director. The Oscar-winning Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu
told Stellan flatly that he "danced like a German." Stellan
said, "That wasn't nice to hear!" knowing though that he lacked that
Latin vibe. Yeah, Iñárritu
was right. Our Swede is right up there with Kate Gosselin when
she appeared on "Dancing with the Stars". Her partner said dancing with
her was like moving a refrigerator across the room. [laughing] Well,
you can't succeed in everything in life, Stellan!
If you haven't yet seen "Powder Keg",
check it out at
this youtube link.
Iñárritu's films are well known
and respected and this short film has his signature mark on it. Among my
favorites are "The Revenant", "Babel" and "21 Grams".
lot has been said recently about Stellan's lengthy time in the makeup
chair - up to six hours - for his Dune role as the greatly
rotund Baron. When he did the "Pirates" films as Bootstrap
Turner, he again had to endure hours of makeup. Stellan claims that
director Gore Verbinski had promised that all of his special-effects
makeup would be applied after the fact, via computer-generated imagery.
Though Bill Nighy was granted this option, shooting his scenes in a
sweatsuit covered with dots, every day Stellan sat patiently with two
makeup artists applying all those barnacles and whatnot. However, he did
admit, " I had the advantage of using my own face, but the disadvantage
of spending four and a half hours in makeup."
I believe Stellan has great
respect for the wonders that makeup artists perform. When he won his
Golden Globe for "Chernobyl", he announced, "Hair, prosthetics,
and makeup designer Daniel Parker, this trophy is dedicated to you!" And
when he played his overweight brother in the "Mamma Mia" sequel,
the makeup folks praised him with "He was a joy to work with - a
And that praise was reiterated a
couple days ago from the Swedish team that was assigned the task of
designing the Baron. The team consisted of Love Larson, Eva von Bahr,
Oskar Wallroth, Mattias Tobiasson and Hanna Holm.
Eva von Bahr explains, "Our
assignment was to cover the entire Stellan Skarsgård, but you would
still see that it was him. He would also be huge but still able to
levitate." Stellan's upper lip and nose would be his own. Bahr
continues, "When we were asked to work with Dune, I just
said, 'What is it?' But those we work with in the studio cheered
and said, 'It's like doing Darth Vader'."
The request came from the head of
the Dunes makeup department, Donald Mowat. From the beginning, he
just wanted help with a little make-up and a tummy. But the mission grew
"It was still completely crazy that we took on this, it was a huge job.
When we were going to do the test make-up and it took six hours, I just
thought, 'I can't stand it, just shoot myself, this is terrible'", says
Eva von Bahr.
After seven months of hard work in the small room on Kommendörsgatan in
Stockholm, it was time for filming in the summer of 2019. They had built
a special oven the same size as Stellan to be able to burn molds for the
suit. Love Larson drew and sculpted the figure and kept in touch with
"It was very complex. Harkonen's face consists of different parts in
silicone and for the body we created a thin skin of foam latex. In the
space between it and Stellan's body is a layer, which can be called a
'fat suit', which was sewn by seamstresses. Under the suit there was
room for a cooling suit with a pump with coolant." says Love Larson.
"When Denis Villeneuve looked at
Stellan after the first test make-up in Budapest and said, 'Oh my god, I
do love this make up'", says Eva von Bahr and continues, "Then we
received an order for six such suits. So when we sat on the plane home,
we thought that that would be a success but also a disaster."
Love Larson continues, "It was
difficult to admit that it was the world's largest filming. It was such
a huge construction. There we stood, a small team of Swedes and did our
thing. The funny thing about Stellan is that he is so fond of makeup. He
was really involved and demanded a lot from us as well.. Oskar Wallroth
adds, - "It's very fun to work with someone who is so knowledgeable"
All the body parts are presently
being stored in a warehouse in Budapest until it is (possibly) time for
part two of Dune.
header of the day -
opened in Norwegian theatres this past Wednesday and Filmweb.no featured
Stellan's role as Baron Vladimir Hakronnen with this photo. "Dune"
author Frank Herbert described the Baron as "so violent and enormously
fat that he requires anti-gravity equipment known as suspensions to
carry the weight". Stellan comments, "The character should first and
foremost be terrifying. The whole work consisted of giving him a
physicality that was different and dangerous and threatening." In a
recent interview with Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson, she was told
that Stellan thinks she is brilliant in the film. She responded, "Oh, my
God. He. Stellan's game. His appearance, he is grotesque, strangely
sexual and beautiful. He's amazing!"
I have a couple new photos to post. The first one is a publicity photo for
Women on the Roof") and was taken on August 31, 1988. He's not sporting
the mustache his character wore so I assume it was probably fake. This
is a role that won Stellan his second Guldbagge.
This second photo shows Stellan with
one of his favorite colleagues, Holly Hunter, at the premiere of
HARLAN COUNTY WAR in Los Angeles on June
6, 2000. They had the chance to appear together again the same year in "Timecode".
banner of the day -
week it seems as though every Skarsgård tumbler account has news
of Stellan's music videos from 1991 and 2011. If you're a fan, you
surely would have been aware of these videos with singers
Li and Eva Dahlgren. I can't tell if it's just one crazed fan that uses
multiple names or several with tumblr accounts who are obsessed with
regurgitating old news. I believe it was February 2011 when I posted
this info so it's been passed around for over ten years. I guess with
the pandemic a lot of folks have decided to take that government check
instead of work and have too much time on their hands.
an article on Monday at LeftLion Ltd, journalist Hanna Flint was asked
who has been her most interesting interviewee. She responded, "Stellan
Skarsgård. I interviewed him for The Painted Bird. That movie is
four hours of pain - I do not recommend it! But I really enjoyed
speaking to him, because he had a really dirty sense of humor. I was
laughing so much the whole time." Empire magazine published Ms.
Flint's interview which you can read here.
I never quoted her in the film's reviews as she reacted with a typical
feminine response writing, "But even with its aestheticizing filter of black and
white, The Painted Bird is a bleak marathon of torture porn that
is exhausting to endure." For some reason the UK edition (partial page)
used a picture of Stellan from one of his press conferences while the
Australia/Asia edition used one from his "Hope" photo shoots. Ms. Flint
posted that one on Twitter and chose to blur the page.
In this intervew, Stellan is asked if he's ever walked out of a
film and he admits to having fallen asleep during "Looking for Mr.
Goodbar" (1977), one of my favorite Diane Keaton films. Nominated for
two Oscars, the film also boasts an awesome performance by a very young
Richard Gere. In the 73 years I've been going to the movies, there was
only one time I actually fell asleep - and that was during "The
Avengers" (1998). I think I'm excused for a movie that only received 5%
on the Rotten Tomato Meter.
Finally a film page for
SAVIOR! Set in 1993, this war drama about the
Bosnia conflict does not feature a major role for Stellan although he
cuts a striking figure in his uniform and beret. After a few
minutes into the film, he gets killed by a hand grenade and poor
Natassja Kinski gets killed even quicker. Some critics questioned the
throwaway roles for both Stellan and Natassja. Wasted talent! The film
had a limited release in both Los Angeles and New York theaters in late
1998 in hopes of earning an Oscar nomination for Dennis Quaid, who
plays the starring role as a mercenary soldier. But the movie drew such little attention that
it made its debut in the rest of the country on tape on April 20 the
following year. Derek Elley of Variety wrote, "Onscreen virtually
the whole time, and never once relaxing his features into
the trademark grin, Quaid is immensely impressive as a man
who has jettisoned everything in an attempt to erase the
past and restart from zero; it’s not an easily likable
performance, but it’s undoubtedly a career highlight."
I haven't seen any of Quaid's films in the past 20 years,
but he performed well in "The Big Easy" (1986) and
especially as Jerry Lee Lewis in "Great Balls of Fire"
the many fan sites for Bill is billskarsgardsource.com - creative
banner of the day - "And all day and all night and everything he sees is
just blue" ...Eiffel 65
previously reported, Stellan's next acting gig will be a minor role in
the Ran Huang-directed film "What Remains", which starts
production in Finland in November. He will play a policeman named Soren.
The script has been co-written by his Ohio-born wife Megan and Chinese
artist Huang, who has been described as a multidisciplinary artist,
known for his painting, sculpture, drawing and film work. This film
would mark his debut as a feature film director though he drew attention
with a short film that was selected for the Palme d'Or at Cannes in
2014. I found the poster seen below on a Chinese web site featuring
recent news on Huang.
The film was supposed to have been
shot last year, but plans were canceled after stakeholders from the
Chinese film industry withdrew due to the pandemic. Stellan commented,
"It is difficult to finance smaller films nowadays."
Megan's entrance as a screenwriter to the cinema universe has certainly
been made possible through her marriage into the internationally famous Skarsgård family.
She reminds me of
Swiss actor/director/photographer Vincent Perez's wife Karine Silla. She
too was able to fulfill her dreams of becoming a screenwriter, director
and novelist. It helped that Karine was married to France's heartthrob,
had a child by Gerard Depardieu and had a sister who married
producer/writer/director Luc Besson, who could offer aid in financing
her film projects, such as Un Baiser Papillon. In that case, in order to
stay within budget limitations, Karine enlisted some of her family as
actors in her film - her husband. two children and ex-lover Depardieu.
Megan has engaged both her husband
and stepson Gustaf in "What Remains". It was originally announced that
the female role would be played byVicky Krieps, who received her
breakthrough in Phantom Thread; however, we'll have to wait to see if
she will be available a year later.
You may remember that about ten
years ago Megan hosted a food and wine web site called
LoveFoodShare and made several videos that you can still view at
youtube.com. Reading through her CV, I noted that she began Viken
Productions in 2009 when Stellan announced he would executive produce
the English-language feature film adaptation of late journalist Stig
Dagerman's "German Autumn". Viken Prods optioned the rights to the book
from Dagerman's estate. Megan announced, "We are extremely proud to work
with such an important collection of war journalism, and to take on the
daunting talk of bringing the ideas of such a treasured Swedish writer
to a larger international audience." There has been no follow-up as to
why this project did not move forward.
In the past ten years Megan wrote
two children's stories, which were translated into Swedish and published
by Norstedts Förlag. Though she is credited with writing a screenplay
for "Fisher of Souls" and as co-writer for "The Vault", "The Sport of
Kings" and "Ringmen", all of these scripts remain in development. The latter
project takes place in rodeo circles in the USA and expectations are
that Hans Petter Moland would direct with Stellan, Gustaf and Bill among
the cast. Perhaps someday...
I reworked the film page for JIM OCH
PIRATERNA BLOM (1987) and added several more images. The
film ended up being quite a family affair. First of all, it was
co-written by Stellan with the film's director Hans Alfredson with the
story based on a cartoon strip. Not only did both of them also star in
it but Stellan gave his wife My and toddler son Sam cameo roles. You can
watch the entire film (minus English captions) at this
youtube link, but their cute scene is at the very beginning
about 3 1/2 minutes into the film.
It's understandable why Stellan
appears in the film as the ghost of Jim's dead father in full chef
costume. Knowing what a foodie he is, it was probably his idea. You'll
laugh watching him in the kitchen showing his son how to sharpen knives
or chop up onions. Personally, I think this is one of Stellan's silliest
performances and it's fun to watch his slapstick antics. In March of
this year, Netflix offered it in several European countries so it's
still considered a worthy film for both young and old audiences to
come across several Skarsgård family
headers created by fans. The one I'm sharing today of Alexander is
aesthetically splendid! One of the best!
& son - Artwork by Duong Dam
Following in the footsteps of
his father - It was 24 years ago when Stellan had a guest appearance
in director Lars Von Trier's Danish TV mini-series "Riget" (aka
The Kingdom) playing advocate Stig Helmers. According to Swedish media,
son Alexander has a minor role as an attorney in the final series called
"Riget Exodus". Trier’s series about a
haunted ultramodern hospital in Copenhagen
ran from 1994 to 1997 with the two seasons
consisting of a total of eight episodes. The
Danish director would have liked to continue the story with a third
season, but in the meantime several protagonists died, so Trier
abandoned the plan. More than two decades later, however, the
opportunity to continue arose again, and now Trier’s production company,
Zentropa, has announced that the third, finishing season will be
completed in five installments. The series is scheduled to be unveiled
on Viaplay in 2022. The following publicity
photo was featured at moviezine.se. Yes, that's actor Mikael Persbrandt
who will be playing one of the physicians.
in the process of updating film pages since some have not been touched
since they were first created as far back as 17 years ago. Today I
worked on ÅKE OCH HANS VÄRLD.
most of you know, this was Alexander's debut into the cinema world. He
didn't nab the lead role, but as Åke's best friend Kalle Nubb, the
seven-year-old showed he had screen presence. That was
over 37 years ago in 1984. The IMDB has the film's US premiere at
the Chicago International Film Festival in October 1985, but this
information is erroneous because it actually premiered earlier that year
in April at the San Francisco International Film Festival.
Stellan had a minor role in the
film as a character named "Ebenholtz, a recluse who occasionally comes
out of the shadows to talk about his murderer-father while he himself
does his level best to look like Boris Karloff on an off-day." That
description comes from Variety journalist Keith Kellar. Since Stellan had a history of working with
director/actor Allan Edwall, we have to assume
"Dad" was instrumental in Alexander landing this role. Stellan and Allan
had just finished two productions the previous year just before casting
began. There is a clip with Alex from the film with English captions at
The little boy named Martin
Lindström who starred as
Åke did not go on to a stellar
acting career like his co-star. He made only two other feature films,
both starring Stellan within a three-year period. He was adorable with
youtube interview with the cast of DUNE with the actors
in their respective hotel rooms while in Venice. Stellan had some
interesting comments about his Baron character but host Jake Hamilton is
a bit over the top for my tastes.
Warner Bros. Studios
has released a new featurette for the film
revealing more footage from the movie and clips from behind the
scenes of its production. Director Denis Villeneuve and the film’s stars
offer insights regarding key characters and the roles they play
within their respective factions. Check out this
Though the film will be released
in most of Europe a week before its theatrical release here in the
states, it will have its US premiere on October 7, 2021 at the New York
Film Festival. Its North American premiere will take place this Saturday
at the Toronto International Film Festival.
night Stellan and his wife attended a Valentino party at Venice's
famous hot spot - Harry's Bar. The event was thrown in celebration of
Zendaya, a Valentino Ambassador, who also stars in DUNE.
Note that each of them is holding
a mask in their hand. Good for them! I also found a video of Stellan
with his DUNE cast at the premiere. This photo is not that clear since I
captured it from a miniscule video. He appears to be the only one
wearing a mask. Better to be safe than sorry!
surfaced today of Stellan staying on in Venice and now we finally have
proof that wife Megan is with him. Thoughts for the day - I can't figure
out why she favors kaftans, usually saved for much larger women or
Indian women. I am beginning to realize that her gray hair is not
natural and I can understand the reason is probably to bridge the age
gap. I'm not sure I've ever seen Stellan with an iPhone in his hand and
I salute him for that though he probably has one tucked away in his pant
pocket if you look closely at the photo. I like that he's holding
I admire Stellan for his tolerance
and kindness toward the paparazzi and his fans, generous with the
autographs. Love that smile!
can watch the DUNE red carpet coverage at this
youtube link. For more photos from Venice, check out the
Updated 4:10 pm
and Megan will be returning to Stockholm tomorrow after spending
three days at the Marriott Hotel. It's just been announced that our
Swede has captured another award. This time it's an Italian cultural
award, which goes to someone who has often filmed in Italy or in
other ways has had good relations with the Italian film industry.
The prize is called the Premio Internazionale Cinearti Chioma di
Berenice. Other recipients have been Oscar-winning photographer
Vittorio Storaro and director Abel Ferrara. Stellan will place his
new award in his office where he stores all his others. He comments,
"I did not know that I have contributed to Italian culture, but I
have, of course, filmed at their studio Cinecitta several times. I
am very honored." He, however, can't help but joke that "it is a
prize for those who will soon die."
He tells the press that he
will be headed to Finland in November for the film "What Remains",
written by his wife and helmed by Chinese director Ran Huang.
Production has previously been delayed due to the pandemic. The film
is about the dependent relationship between doctor and patient. Son
Gustaf has the main role with Stellan in a minor role.
past week Valter attended the Stockholm premiere of a new series,
"Två systrar" (Twin Sisters), which will premiere tomorrow on Viaplay.
These two photos show him with actress Roshi Hoss - one at the premiere
and the other an older shot. Valter is definitely more handsome as a
blonde. His comment on the premiere photo was "I love
that I’m stone cold sober and
this was at like 7pm but I look like I’m at the end of a 3 day bender".
Yeah, you got that right, kiddo! Get rid of that hat!
our first photo of Stellan arriving on a beautiful day in Venice. The
DUNE cast are all staying at the luxury hotel JW Marriott Venice
Resort & Spa on the island of Isola delle Rose in the lagoon. His wife
Megan has accompanied him.
Stellan complains about these arrangements saying, "It's damn
boring. You want to hang out at Hotel Excelsior... During the day, I
will mostly sit in my hotel room in front of a TV screen and do digital
interviews with journalists around the world." Stellan says he does not
think he will attend the press conference today. Not everyone gets a
place on the podium and his role as Baron Vladimir Harkonen is quite
small though important. The red carpet gala premiere will be held
Stellan flew to Budapest a couple
times for the shoot and worked a total of ten days with several hours in
makeup alone. He says, "They made a suit that is like a silky nightgown
over the naked body suit, which weighs 40 kilos. You will see that it
is me, but with a huge body. It's not a character with a deep
psychological mind, but it's fun to visually try to create someone who
might be unforgettable."
press conference and photo call were held this afternoon without Stellan.
You can watch a video of the press conference at this
youtube link. In the photo below is director Denis Villeneuve
with actors Javier Bardem, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Timothée
Chalamet, Oscar Isaac and Josh Brolin.
the Hollywood Reporter: "Reviews won't
be out until after the film's official world's premiere tonight, but
early buzz emanating from the first press screenings has taken the Lido
by storm... Marvin Wiechart of Germany’s Yorck Kinogruppe cinema chain
said the film was 'out-of-this-world in every sense of the word and a
theatrical experience unlike any other.''
However, Brian Truitt of USA Today
wrote that the film "is an odd bird and a mixed bag". He continued,
"'Dune is impressively ambitious in scale, like Villeneuve mashing up
the worlds of 'Star Wars' and 'Game of Thrones,' but with that
unmistakable signature style he showcased with 'Arrival' and 'Blade
Runner 2049'. While the film has a lot going for it, including a pretty
stellar cast, real-world metaphors and an intriguing twist on a
war-movie aesthetic, it's lacking in character development and aspects
of the book's substantial mythology are tossed in to keep your head
swimming over 2½ hours... Even with its imperfections, 'Dune' as an
experience is awesome, with astounding special effects, great production
design and a propulsive Hans Zimmer score." Truit describes Stellan's
character as "a slovenly mix of Jabba the Hutt, Colonel Kurtz and the
Emperor from 'Star Wars'."
David Ehrlich of IndieWire,
describing the film as a "massive disappointment" points out that the
characters with less screen time make more of an impact, especially the
gluttonous robber-baron Harkonnen. He writes, "Stellan Skargård is the
undisputed MVP as Baron Harkonnen himself, whose performance finally
answers the question - What if 'The Island of Dr. Moreau'-era Marlon
Brando could fly."
1:40 PM -
First photo of Stellan on the red carpet -
PM - More photos are located in the
With 26 reviews already
in, Rotten Tomatoes scores DUNE with a score of
85%, which is a good sign that the film will do well at the box
From Alex Noble, The Wrap:
hailing Denis Villeneuve’s ambitious adaptation of Frank
Herbert’s 1965 novel as a transporting viewing experience —
but with about 100 asterisks attached, mostly pertaining to
the flatness of the screenplay and a lack of direction to
where this mission is exactly headed.
Steve Pond’s review
for The Wrap calls 'Dune' both 'dazzling and frustrating,
often spectacular and often slow. It’s huge and loud and
impressive but it can also be humorless and bleak,' adding
that 'it tries valiantly to address the problems of taking
on Herbert’s complex epic, which requires a director to
spend lots of time setting things up and explaining the
world before they can even get the damn thing off the
Scott Collura’s critique for IGN noted that the story
essentially 'ends at Act 2,' arguing that there’s 'a
shapelessness to the latter part of the movie that drags it
down and distracts from its beauty.'
Even the more positive reviews, like Leah Greenblatt’s for
Entertainment Weekly, admit that the film adaptation’s
handling of the complex plot is 'mostly prologue.'
Still, Greenblatt insisted that Villeneuve’s famous remarks
that watching 'Dune' on television would be like 'driving a
speedboat in your bathtub,' were not self-aggrandizing BS
but right on the money, hailing the flick as 'the kind of
lush, lofty filmmaking wide screens were made for; a sensory
experience so opulent and overwhelming it begs to be seen
big, or not at all.''
78th Venice Film Festival got underway yesterday with a slew of
Hollywood stars expected on the red carpet for the September 1-11 event.
According to Variety, the "entire 10-member cast" of Denis Villeneuve's
DUNE are headed to the Lido on Friday.
That obviously includes Stellan so I guess we can look forward to his
presence in Venice. And here I am 45 years ago enjoying my gondola ride
through the city's canals. Great memory!
Sunday, DUNE had an ultra hush-hush press screening at the
legendary WB parking lot. Journalist Jeffrey Wells managed to get three
anonymous critics to share their brief reactions on the film:
First Person: "I tend to like epically scaled movies, even flawed ones
or those that are hard to follow [as Dune] has a number of distinct
characters weaving in and out. What Dune viewers need to do, in other
words, is get themselves into a place in which 'flaws' don’t especially
matter and 'following the action' isn’t all that vital."
Second Person: "I loved Dune and went into something of a trance and was
mesmerized from beginning to end. Seeing it on a big screen was
fabulous, and I might well see it again sometime just for the immersive
Third person: "Dune‘s not bad. It just makes no sense. But that’s okay —
it’s a mood piece. Good to see if you’re really stoned. Greig Fraser‘s
cinematography is quite mesmerizing and you can coast along on that
aspect to your heart’s content. The plotting was too complex and it
seemed as if everyone was speaking some kind of foreign tongue. This
sense of being lost and adrift had not, to put it mildly, coagulated
into anything special."
has previously attended the Venice Film Festival several times, most
2009 for "Metropia", in 2014 for "Nymphomaniac" and in 2019 for "The
came across another well-designed banner for Alexander. Love
knowledgeable are you about the films Stellan has starred in? Have
you seen most of them? I've seen 62. Here's a quiz on his famous co-stars. Name the
film. The answers are at the bottom of this page right before the news
archive. Good luck!
| 1. Gerard Depardieu
2. Lauren Bacall
3. Salma Hayek
4. Uma Thurman
5. Sean Connery
6. Ben Kingsley
7. Daniel Day-Lewis
8. Matthew Modine
9. Tom Hanks
10. Robin Wright
11. Keifer Sutherland
12. Bruce Dern
13. Demi Moore
14. Matthew McConaughey
15. Cate Blanchett
was interested in how many films with Stellan had been screened at the
Cannes Film Festival and found these 7 films:
To my surprise, I wasn't aware of
"The Film Worker" shown in 2017. It's a biographical documentary
centered on the life and career of Leon Vitali and his working
relationship with film director Stanley Kubrick. Among those interviewed
was Stellan who knew Vitali as the assistant director for the 1985
Swedish TV production of "Hamlet".
"Leon had a lot of knowledge not only about filmmaking, but also about
literature and everything. And at the same time, he was a workhorse. Uh,
he'd do anything. I mean, he'd carry logs for you. Film workers are
slightly different than other people. And that goes for theater workers
too. They're usually there for the love. They work the worse hours.
They're usually not at home. And they do all this with a fantastic
capacity of creating a functioning social unit that is extremely
intimate within hours."
Stellan is asked - "Are you obsessive about creativity too?
"I don't know. I don't think about it. I am creative. I work a lot. And
when I'm not working, I'm cooking. And when I'm not cooking, I'm
fucking. It's all creative work. (Stellan laughing) I worked as an
assistant for a very, very good Swedish director in the Royal Dramatic
Theatre for several years. I did small roles in his plays. And I
assisted and did a lot of assistant work. And I loved it. And after a
while, you feel how he feels. You think how he thinks. And you learn to
see what's going on with his eyes. And that's a fantastic revelation as
I had a very small image of a 1992 issue of Cafe magazine featuring
Stellan on the cover. I can now post a much larger photo.
is a unique photo taken in either late 2002 or early 2003 during the
filming of "Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist".
The translation of the caption says Stellan is in Rome taking an
opportunity to shop for such things as artichokes. He is happy with food
and happy cooking. In the evening he plans to cook osso buco for his
family and director Paul Schrader. Notice the dangling cigarette!
ANSWERS: City of Ghosts,
Dogville, Time Code, Nymphomaniac, The Hunt for Red October, The
Physician, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Wind, Angels & Demons, The
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Melancholia, The Glass House, Passion of
Mind, Amistad and Cinderella.