Source: Goda Vänner
Date: October 7, 2016
Michael Nyqvist is a giant. The
award-winning and often acclaimed Swedish actor also
takes Hollywood by storm. But he also has a new side
project in progress: the launch of his own wines.
In the Old Town of Stockholm on a beautiful picturesque
street, I stand with my suitcase in my hand and feel
stress in my body. I have come to the right street and
the correct number but think about how to get in. I do
not need to wonder more than a few seconds before the
door opens and Mikael Christiansson greets me smoothly.
Mikael is one of the founders of Picky Drinks, a wine
supplier who, together with star actor Michael Nyqvist,
has launched two new wines on the Swedish market. But
Michael Nyqvist is late.
I say, "I'm a little nervous, I've tried to call him but
he does not answer. He usually answers."
I'm assured that I have plenty of time and get
introduced to Picky Drinks' new premises. The office on
the street is extremely modest: a table, an armchair in
one corner and a cozy kitchen, a bit like a student
But then we go down a steep, whitewashed staircase,
squeeze us under a vault and enter a basement that
directs the thought of a Bellmansk dream, with tall wax
candles, a robust wooden table, and wine from floor to
When Michael Nyqvist pops up, he's wearing the least
discreet, clear-colored train jacket I've ever seen and
with a pair of boxing shoes paired in the laces and
hanging over his shoulder.
"I've just been boxing with Mange Schmidt," he says.
Michael Nyqvist's place in the wine
world is new. He is best known of course to the general
public as an actor, one of Sweden's most famous, with
roles in films such as Mission Impossible, As
it is in Heaven, The Guy in the Grave Next Door
and as Mikael Blomkvist in the Millennium trilogy.
Most recently, he is currently at the cinema as the
journalist and truth owner Markel in the filmization of
Hjalmar Söderberg's The Serious Game.
His life trip and the journey he has
made to produce his Italian Chianti and Brachetto go
hand in hand.
"It's a tribute to my messy background," he says.
Michael Nyqvist was adopted when he was so small that he
did not remember the event. What, on the other hand, he
remembers more clearly is when his adoptive parents
declared to him that they were not his biological
"At the age of five, I knew I had Italian origins. Since
then I have always looked at Italians. I did not tell
anyone that I was adopted, but I cheered for Italy. I
loved the spaghetti and gondolas."
Michael, as an adult, made the decision to seek out his
biological parents. He began a thorough investigation
where he utilized all sorts of resources from churches
to embassies to find his parents. First, he contacted
"She turned out to be Swedish. We met for 20 minutes and
it was not good, but I got my father's name."
Thereafter, the searches continued until one day he had
a trail to the Tuscan countryside. He went there and
began to look up the pharmacy where he heard that his
father worked. But he was not there.
"I found out that he was on holiday
in Ireland. I had dressed nice in suit and tie and it
was 47 degrees. In the end, I left a letter to him in
Shortly thereafter, he went home to Sweden to his
family. Later he was contacted by his father.
"It was like the most natural thing in the world. I
answered the phone and suddenly I just said: 'Say
paddle! Como estai? Bene, e tu? '. We have a good
relationship now. He is a nice person."
Chiantin and Picky Drinks is produced in the countryside
between Pisa and Florence near Michael's father's
In the wines there is not only the
story of the past but also about the present and the
future. The labels for the bottles are made by Michael's
daughter Ellen who studies graphic design in London.
They immediately direct the idea of classical film
history with Michael Nyqvist dressed as death in Ingmar
Bergman's Seventh Seal and with a nostalgic
horror film scene.
"Before we had a design for the Brachettoflaskan and I
dressed as Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita, but the
Italians who make the wine didn't like it. So now I'm
dressed like death but have kept her famous bag," says
The wine interests have been around
for a long time, even to some extent as a tribute to the
country in which he has his roots, but it has grown
mainly in connection with his interest in food.
"I spend many hours at the stove. I enjoy preparing the
food with the wine, and seeing how happy those eating
and drinking are."
But have you been able to spend so much time at the
stove in view of your profession?
"I do not usually stay in a hotel but
in an apartment so I can cook and it's crazy. Then I can
go to the fish market in Chile and pick. When I'm free,
it's like meditation for me to cook."
Training has always been natural for Michael Nyqvist and
although his job often requires that he is in good
shape, there is also an inner drive for him to stay
"For me, exercise has always been a sense of freedom."
What do you prefer for food?
"I've stopped eating meat, but I cook a lot of fish and
Was this for health reasons?
"I felt I did not feel well, either bodily or mentally.
I became heavy. And I'm at an age when I do not think
that you should eat too much protein. It's not useful."
What do you think about getting older?
"I think the whole thing is about acceptance."