August 15, 2017
WGN America has acquired three more
international drama series in the crime/thriller genre.
They include the 2015 Swedish-American thriller
CODE. Developed by Academy Award winner Bobby
Moresco, "100 Code" stars Michael Nyqvist and Dominic
Monaghan. The 12-part serial originally debuted in March
2015 in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden on HBO
Nordic, and in Germany on Sky Deutschland.
Though the two leads are scripted to
be combative in their roles, in real life they two
became rather good friends and even compared "war
injuries" with each other. Dominic had to get 40
stitches after being bitten on the arm of one of the
wild animals that he sought in the BBC series "Wild
things" earlier in 2014. Michael's retort was, "Though
he was bitten by a venomous lizard, I still win,"
pointing to a scar on his forehead, a souvenir of "John
Wick" when he was injured in a stunt scene and had to
get 80 stitches in his head. The accident took its toll
on him. He said, "It hit me more on the inside than on
the outside. I had tremendous luck. It was a really
scary experience. I have suddenly realized that people
don’t live forever. Life is short and I just want to do
what I think is interesting and fun, along with people I
enjoy. I have gained a greater curiosity."
During filming, Michael told the press, "I’ve invited
Dominic to celebrate midsummer with me in the
archipelago. I have exaggerated our celebration a little
and said that we dance around a phallic symbol and take
a sauna naked. I think he is a bit tense (laughs)."
Later when the midsummer festivities
were over, Dominic was asked about Michael. He replied,
"Incredible guy. but I do not think he is a classic
Swede, but rather European. Actually a little Italian
and French. He is funny and generous. I was invited to
his house during midsummer, and we sang and danced like
crazy around the bar, singing about small frogs. Ate
herring and caviar."
In a German
interview with Henning Harder, Michael was asked what it
was like to make an international production in his own
country. He answered, "It's fun. I may sound like a
nationalist, but the tradition that we have of Ingmar
Bergman and others is a long tradition of filmmaking.
And something happened a few years ago when we were
shooting the "Millenium" trilogy. Suddenly, the people
came to us and they found that we have great actors. I'm
not talking about myself, but about my colleagues. For
me, it is great to be here. And I am proud to show that
are doing things we believe in and not for money.
Collaborations are always fun because you have to
translate your own thoughts into another language and
And how dark is
your role as Mikael Eklund?
Michael: "The gloom is mainly in him. This can be
compared with the later works by Clint Eastwood. It
comes from the heart and head outwards. The dark side in
Mikael revolves around guilt and anger."
So the great Swedish subject of guilt?
Michael: "Yes, we are very good at it. I do not know
why. But he (Eklund) has also done some bad things and
was very close to the abyss. And, as for this dark side,
I have found out that I myself carry one in me. That's
why I'm often called when it comes to dark scripts. So
it's just a bit of myself."
the photo shoot taken for the interview with Henning
Harder in the first photo. Be sure to check out the
press photos as the
series premiered in France, Germany and Austria.
August 12, 2017
There's an excellent video interview
with Michael on the set of "Du Forsvinder"
at this link. The DVD will be released at the
end of this month on August 31. For more information,
visit the film page.
Michael's widow Catharina posted a
photo of herself with stepdaughter Ellen as they
vacationed at a yoga retreat in the Sierra Nevada region
of Spain last week. It's good to see them smiling.
August 8, 2017
up on the box-office and critically acclaimed hit
Underbara Älskade (Suddenly),
Johan Brisinger wrote and directed the 2010 film
ÄNGLAVAKT (Among Us)
starring Michael, Izabella Scorupco and Tcheký Karyo.
Mysticism weaves its way through this Swedish drama
about love and the power of hope. Cecelia and Ernst's
well-ordered and predictable life is suddenly thrown
into emotional chaos by their son's playground accident.
Nine-year-old Alexander is hospitalized and ends up in a
coma. In an attempt to deal with the situation, an
undermining rift in their relationship arises as Ernst’s
rational approach counters Cecelia's search for a deeper
meaning. In the midst of this enters a stranger named
Walter who speaks French, sings and brings world-class
wines to dinner. Is Walter an angel?
And do angels really exist? They do
in films, at least. Personally, I'm not a fan of angel
movies so the premise here was a challenge for me. When
Michael was offered the lead role, he said, "When I
first read the screenplay, it seemed like a mixture of
Woody Allen and Wim Wender's 'Wings of Desire'.
Michael wasn't one to shy away from
the supernatural and commented, "I'm not remotely bothered. People die, and there's a
kind of no man's land between life and death. What does
bother me, on the other hand, is superstition. I think
it's quite dangerous, and I'm not a fan of new age. But
I do think we're lacking a spiritual dimension, and it's
sad to see celebrity culture taking over from thoughts
about life and death. We're becoming one-dimensional,
where the only things that matter are what you can buy
or the rubbish you watch on television on the weekends.
It's a worrying trend to see diversity given over to
Brisinger said he
wanted a Swedish actress who had not worked with Michael
so that wasn't easy. He finally asked Izabella who
was living in Los Angeles and she liked the script and
wanted to join. In working with Michael, Izabella told
the press, "It feels absolutely wonderful. Can you feel
anything else with Michael? I have only known that he is
Sweden's absolute sex symbol. He is such an incredibly
good actor and a wonderful person to be with. It feels
like we've known each other for 20 years."
Michael agreed, "Yes, it does. Strange... It was in
mid-December when we met and ate dinner. I had seen
Izabella in movies and thought 'we will never meet'
because she was so far away doing James Bond and all
that stuff... When we met, we talked about everything -
children, jobs, etc. No barriers."
The film's religious overtones will remind some of
Så som i
It is in Heaven), which I absolutely adored.
Brisinger's film is more melancholic and its
dysfunctional element adds to its somberness and also
its tension. Rather than bringing joy with the sometimes
poetic performance of Turkish-French actor
Tcheký Karyo, he can annoy an audience. I mean who wants
to dance when your son is dying! That was certainly
* * * * *
* * * * *
Here is an especially sweet photo of
Michael and his wife. I would guess it was taken about
15 years ago.
August 4, 2017
Here are some new photos of Michael
in his scenes from the Danish film, "Du
Forvinder". He looks so distinguished as a
In real life, his father was a
lawyer and encouraged his son to become one. He
didn't think much of an acting career but when his
father died, Michael cleaned his apartment and found
a closet full of clippings and posters. They
weren't just from local sources but also from
England and Germany. Unbeknownst to Michael, he had
been carefully following his career. That was a
Isn't it amazing how Michael
always became the person he was portraying. Take, for
example, the geeky tech guy he played in "I.T."
He is suddenly meek and quiet as if he draws his
whole body inward. Even while waiting for his next
The tech thriller did not fare
well at the box office and I certainly agree with
the critics. I don't know why Michael's agent
offered him the script. He had many more impressive
turns than this underwhelming supporting role. The
film begins with an interesting premise but doesn't
offer anything new and director John Moore should
have toned down Brosnan's over-the-top performance.
At least Michael adds some clout as the terse
intelligence spook but nothing can save this
disappointing movie. Don't bother renting it.
August 1, 2017
Today I finished creating the movie
page for ARN: The Knight Templar
(2007). The Arn films are based on a trilogy of novels
by Jan Guillou about the fictional Swedish Knight
Templar Arn Magnussonand. This was the most expensive
film production in Swedish history. It included two
theatrical releases and a television series as well.
Michael, who plays Arn's father, did not appear in the
second film - "Arn: The Kingdom at the End of the Road".
The cinematography and settings of
this medieval fantasy adventure are spectacular. Despite
the budget, there are no huge battle scenes to satisfy
the blood lust of many cinema goers, and the emphasis is
more on a thoughtful look at Arn's beliefs and how he
overcomes the obstacles that bar him from the woman he
loves. It stays as close as it can to the original books
and works on a personal level rather than as a
wide-sweeping historical epic.
Here's a photo of Michael in his
chain mail looking rather uncomfortable. It was actually
made of aluminum and was thus lightweight but in the
heat, it probably felt very hot.
Just ten years ago, Anna Warner of
Mariestads-Tidningen interviewed him in connection with
the ARN production. On June 8, 2007, the press was
invited to the set. Michael spent a few days filming in
Skaraborg. Though the interview took place several years
ago, the interview stuck with Anna. She says maybe it
was because he was a famous actor, but maybe even more
because he was special to talk to.
She says he had an interesting way of
floating away from the subject at hand, lose some
thought, look a bit absent, and then return directly and
be fully focused on the interview. She thought him kind
and calm. He told her that he was interested in history
but that Skaraborg's historical sites were unkown to
him. He said he thought they were beautiful and that he
would come back to look at the old stones. He also told
Anna that he liked the mood of the film team and
explained how he wanted it to feel. He said, "The best
thing for me is when I get really good contact with the
situation in the scene, and I feel it's trustworthy and
Anja Praesto, who worked on the ARN
project, commented, "We met a few times, most
superficially, yet enough to perceive him as humble and
kind. He was open and accommodating and a very talented
person. He seemed to be a nice type. Michael filmed a
lot at the Stenbrottet in Kinnekulle but also in
different scenes in other places in Västergötlan."
The Swedish premiere was held on
December 19, 2007 in Stockholm and was attended by
Michael and his children, Ellen and Arthur.