July 17, 2018
On February 6, 2010, Michael was a
guest on Norway's NKR with talk show host Viggo
Johansen. You can view the interview
at this link. The purpose of his appearance was
to discuss his first book.
He told the host that he had written
the book to avoid talking about his adoption because it's a heavy
subject. I found this surprising because through the
years, he would bring up his orphaned beginning and his
Italian roots in almost every interview. Adoption
doesn't necessarily have to be traumatic if a child
feels loved; however, the decision to locate the
biological parents is at risk and, in Michael's case,
brought further pain. When he finally secured an address
for his mother, he wrote a letter to her but she refused
to meet him. He tried again a year later when she agreed
to see him. That was their one and only meeting. It did
not go well. Her alcoholic husband was involved and
Michael realized that it was a very difficult topic for
all involved. At least his locating his Italian family
on his father's side was much more successful. If you've
read his books, you know the story.
These are some of the photos shown in
the program. The passport photo is adorable!
July 13, 2018
The newspaper article below is from
ETC, dated July 15, 2014. It begins - "Abandoned,
adopted, doubtful, struggling - but finally a film star.
Michael Nyqvist's life could have been an American
success story. He himself prefers Lars Norén instead of
Hollywood, and talks about the art of being human."
Journalist Anton Borgström reports
that they meet at Söder in Stockholm. Michael has spent
the previous night filming "100 Code". So far they have
recorded three of the twelve episodes. He apologizes if
his mind is a bit foggy but he gives the impression of
being driven and present. Michael suggests that rest is
not good and quotes Jacques Brel that rest is a bastard,
a quote he agrees with. He's asked if he ever feels
satisfied and he answers, "No, never. On the other hand,
one can feel harmony."
As usual, he expresses his pride in
being a Swedish actor. His experience in Hollywood has
shown him excess. For example, he once worked with
an American actor who was followed around constantly by
an assistant with food just in case he might get hungry.
Michael likened it to a scene from the Roman Empire. I
agree that there's little reason to be enamored with
Hollywood mega stars.
As to his role in "John Wick", he
announces, "There is not a single nice person in the
movie, but I'm the worst." And just because he played
the baddie didn't mean he deserved to look like this!
This is, of course, a photo of Michael taken right after
his accident with a stuntman resulting in a head wound
needing many stitches. I think this is a selfie he took
right after they bandaged him up.
I don't believe the following "John
Wick" poster was an official one, probably more of an
art project, but I fancy it for its originality.
July 9, 2018
Here are some photos taken on
September 28, 2013 when Michael attended Gothenburg's
annual book fair in regard to the publication of his
book Dansa för oss.
* * * * *
In 2013 forty Swedish celebrities
participated in a project to support Doctors Without
Borders. Michael was among them. Without compensation,
they contributed to a photo book, edited by brothers
Christian and Carl-Johan Brandt. The pair captured
unscripted moments from some of Sweden's well-known
artists with the proceeds of the book donated to the
international organization. Michael is shown below in
his photo in a fun perspective, pointing with his middle
finger at the camera.
This second photo was taken by the
Brandt brothers while he was rehearsing for "John Wick"
in NY in the fall of 2013.
As long as we're doing "middle
finger" pictures today (laughing), I might as well post
this interesting one. I have no background on it as far
as where it was taken but my guess is maybe at a New
York art gallery because it was published in the fall of
July 5, 2018
Another theatre piece, written and
directed by Lars Norén, is UNDER,
which was staged in 1999. It was written specifically
for Michael, Göran Ragnerstam and Shanti Roney, all
contributors in "Personkrets 3:1" except these three
characters are even more outside society than those in
that play. The theme is about total uncertainty with
three men who do not remember what they are called, who
do not know where they are or where they are headed.
"Under" had a premiere at the
Sagateater in Umeå on March 30th. Then it toured Gävle,
Sandviken, Lund and Örebro before it had three
performances in April in Hallunda. It was performed at
Dramaten's Elverket in Stockholm in May.
After the first performance, producer
Isa Stenberg remarked, "You cannot say what the play is
about, but it has a very special language. When we
performed it for the first time yesterday, there were
actually many who laughed." And indeed, the play was
described as comic, but brutal.
* * * * *
Among Michael's many humanitarian
works was his alliance with UNICEF in October
2015 along with production agency Edelman Deportivo and
Swedish musicians Block 44. Michael became the voice of
Unicef's new campaign to protect children's rights to
speak about their particular situation. In a film
Michael talks about his experiences as a child and his
long search for his biological father. His wish was to
highlight the problems that may arise for children where
adults do not listen.
He shared, "My name is Michael
Nyqvist. When I was little, I hoped that someone from
the adult world would understand me. But instead of
speaking with me, decisions were made about me. And I
felt lonely and insensitive. I had no opportunity to
change. And this is so for many children today. The
children are allowed to sit on the bench and be
spectators in their own lives. It is enough now.
Unicef wants the children's voices to be heard. Even
on a talking bench. Children must be entitled to decline
when their rights are violated." You can view the video
at this link.
July 2, 2018
In 1998, Michael was part of the
ensemble for PERSONKRETS
3:1 (The Human Circle),
a play written by Lars Norén, one of Sweden's leading
dramatists and directors. The production was staged with
66 performances by Riksteatern, Sweden's National
Touring Theatre, beginning on November 2. It was also
aired as a TV
film later that month on
November 21. In this play, the first in what was called
the Morire di Classe trilogy, Norén portrayed the
socially dismissed who lack a voice in society, such as
prostitutes and drug addicts. The book was published the
same year with this unsettling cover.
The Swedish Film Database notes that Michael was
featured in several of Norén's
productions - "With his dark radiance, he almost focused
on picking up the darkest sides of mankind by portraying
frustrated, communication-less men who can only react
with aggression and anger. Such was the case with 'Personkrets
Michael regarded the man in the highest esteem.
Unfortunately, it wasn't mutual. In 2008, the playwright
published a 1,680-page diary in which he lambasted
several of his colleagues, including Michael accusing
him of acting like a "bad amateur". Michael refused to
comment on the book and Norén's comments. The
attacks were vicious and
revealed a man poisoned by his immense ego. If there's
one quality that stood out in Michael's character, it
was certainly his humility.
The above two photos show Norén (center)
with his actors during a presentation of "Personkrets
3:1". You can view the entire play at
this youtube link.
June 29, 2018
The Michael Nyqvist Foundation has
re-designed its web site and has announced it will give
an annual award each year. The amount was not specified,
only that it would be given to "someone" who works in
Michael's spirit, defined by the belief that acting can
create understanding and diminish conflict. Rather than
the actors, I believe it's the authors, often
screenwriters, who accomplish that goal since they're
the ones writing the dialogue. I suppose they will
include the international community, not just Sweden. I
would recommend German director/writer Michael Haneke.
The first award will be announced on November 8, 2018.
I'm not too crazy about the photo used by the foundation
because it exaggerates Micke's Italian roots and that's
not how we remember him on the big screen.
June 27, 2018
It was exactly a year ago today that
into the loving embrace of God. This 1910 poem
by Henry Scott-Holland called "Death is Nothing At All"
reminds me of what Michael would say to us today:
Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Nothing has happened.
Everything remains exactly as it was.
I am I, and you are you,
and the old life that we lived so fondly together is
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always
Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of
a shadow upon it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just round the corner.
All is well.
Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we
* * * * *
It has been almost a
year since the the
Michael Nyqvist Foundation was created and,
unfortunately, I have nothing to report on its activity.
The intention was good, but perhaps it became too
difficult to implement.
* * * * *
Jonas Gardell is a
writer, artist and co-worker on Expressen's cultural
side. Upon the death of his friend Micke, he wrote:
"Care and joy,
seriousness and childhood, self-awareness and
self-esteem. At the same time. Most of all, he was
loving. And calm. And smart... Another thing with him
was that he was so formed. Had read everything. Could
everything. Had met everyone. He could write as well."
And then this Arseny Tarkovsky poem was presented:
I am a candle.
I burned at the feast.
Gather my wax when morning arrives
so that this page will remind you
how to be proud and how to weep,
how to give away the last third
of happiness, and how to die with ease—
and beneath a temporary roof
to burn posthumously, like a word.
* * * * *
In the fall of October
2013 Michael and his wife attended the premiere of Jonas
Gardell's show at the Maxim.
* * * * *
It was mid-afternoon on June 27,
2017 while I was researching information for
Michael's web site that his death came up in a
Google search. At first I thought it was a hoax. I
had been gathering photos and news articles since
March in preparation for launching his web site
right before the premiere of Du forsvinder in April.
I noted a lack of activity since the beginning of
the year and was further alarmed by Michael's
appearance. Yet there was no press coverage of an
illness and Michael was attributing his loss of
weight to becoming healthier. So, in the end, I was
prepared and not prepared for the sad report of his
passing that day. I was honored that the New York
Times acknowledged the Michael Nyqvist Archives in
his obituary even though I had only put two months
of work into it. I made the decision at that time to
continue in my efforts to create an online archive
celebrating his life and work as an actor. I thank
those of you who continue to express your gratitude
for this endeavor.
June 22, 2018
Today I'm posting a 2012 interview
with Michael by Volkswagen magazine. He chose the place
for the interview - the Urban Deli, a
trendy store with a shop at Nytorget in Söder,
Stockholm. He has lived in the neighborhood for many
years so he had to say hello to many acquaintances
before reaching his table. First off, he ordered a shrimp
salad. Micke Nyqvist claims he is easily interviewed,
but Volkswagen magazine indicates he is not easy to
interview. And I totally agree. I would have done a full
English translation but often the conversation is
difficult to follow though his humor shines through with
his jocose responses.
Much of what he says in the
interview has been written about many times before.
For those who understand Swedish, you can read the
entire article above. In
regard to his working abroad, he says, "It's fun,
mainly because I meet other people with other
preferences... The playing field has been expanded
from Sweden to the whole world - Taiwan, Germany,
Italy, England, South Africa, Egypt. Hollywood
is not necessarily the target." He does see the
benefits of Sweden and says, "We have great actors
and we are not dependent solely on commercial means
for our productions."
As far as his own performances,
he points out, "I really liked my role in
Together, but I'm proud of the 2.5-hour
monologue called If This is a Man. Yes, I'm
really proud of that." However, he does admit he
will never be satisfied. In fact, he wrote on
Twitter - "I do not want to die satisfied, live
happy, or be satisfied". I assume he preferred
viewing his journey here as a continuous challenge.
In regard to his second book
describing his childhood, he claims he hit his
father once because he was not named Gunnar. Oh, my!
I'm surprised he didn't give his son that name since
he liked it so much.
Michael deems his curiosity as
his best trait with impatience as his worst. When
anyone's conversation becomes repetitive, he says he
becomes extremely impatient. His motto is "one step
forward, one back." He believes it's important to
think things through again. Because he travels so
much, upon returning to Sweden, he prefers to spend
time in his country home, maybe cooking and
pretending to be on a food show.
June 17, 2018
In an interview with FLM
magazine in December 2009, Michael spoke with journalist
Andre Johansson. Andre told Michael that his mother
was a major fan and thought his best role was as the farmer Benny Söderström
in "Grabben i graven bredvid" (2002). Such a
lovable character! And obviously, he grabbed the
hearts of many, thus winning the Guldbagge for Best
Lukas Moodysson's "Together"
was still the movie Michael most liked. He said,
"I liked the subject, the political and the nostalgia. I
liked the character's honest intent and his strange
life. I can actually recognize myself. You want to.
There's a blues I'm close to."
Andre told Michael that when the
Nyqvist name is mentioned among middle-aged women, they
become completely soft. He said it's because he
represents a modern man type, a blend of classic male
qualities and the sensitivity that exists in several of
the actor's roles. Michael replied, "Micke Blomkvist has
that. He is empathetic."
Before giving his autograph for
Andre's mother, Michael explained it was his dream to
play Willy Wonka one day and do a French film about the
curse of infidelity. Well, he never played Willy Wonka
but he did do a French film about infidelity with
Here's the photo of Michael writing
to Andre's mother:
* * * * *
Another theatre page has been added
to the Michael Nyqvist Archives. On January 26, 2002
(Dream of Autumn) premiered at the Swedish
Dramatic Theatre followed by 64 performances. The play
was written by Norwegian author and dramatist Jon Fosse
with the original title of "Draum om hausten". Sadly, I
found no photos from the play. Director Stefan Larsson
had previously performed with Michael as a gay couple in
"Angels in America" back in the '90s as seen in the
June 14, 2018
About a month before Michael died,
he posted a photo of himself, which showed his head
covered in some blue goo. He appeared to be having a
sculpture made and this month a photo of the completed
project was posted by self-taught sculptor Sussanne
Snoeck. The bottom half of his face looks more accurate
than the top half.
* * * * *
I have added a new photo gallery
featuring several photos from
Books & Dreams events
that Michael participated in. His first interview
with Carina Nunstedt was in 2010 when she hosted the
show "Book Your Life". Visit the
youtube link. He was again interviewed by
her when she went on to host "Books & Dreams" in
at this link, and then the last interview
September 27, 2013.
June 10, 2018
On June 30, 2013, Jenny Lindh and
Mark Levengood hosted a program on Sveriges Radio called
"My Bookshelf - At Home with Michael Nyqvist". We
have often read that Michael was enamored with French
novelist Marcel Proust so it comes as no surprise that
"In Search of Lost Time" sat on his bookshelf. Michael
told his hosts, "Sometimes I dream of what I'm reading.
It's like a hug in the dream. With Marcel Proust, it's
as though he's writing to make us dream." The 27-minute
Swedish interview can be accessed
at this link. Here are some of his favorites:
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
Ulysses by James Joyce
The Rules of the Game by Jonas Karlsson
Soldiers: About Battle, Killing and Death by Harald
Welzer and Sönke Neitzel
Love poems by Francesco Petrarch
Song of Myself & Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
That is definitely a list of some heavy-duty reading.
The photo below shows Michael with hosts Jenny Lindh and
* * * * *
The photo below comes from a 2010 TV
program hosted by Kajsa Ingemarsson, who interviewed her
guests in a restaurant. In the photo is (L-R) Sigge
Eklund, Kajsa, Kattis Ahlström and Michael. Since both
men had written books about their childhood, much of the
conversation related to that subject as well as the
topic of "uncertainty". The Swedes can't stay away from
June 7, 2018
For those of you in the US,
FORSVINDER (You Disappear) is now available for
streaming via Amazon.com. Though the film received
decent reviews in Scandinavia, Dennis Harvey of Variety
wrote, "There’s an irresistible fascination to the more
peculiar regions of neuroscience and related
dysfunctional behavior. That doesn’t mean every such
disorder is a natural for dramatization, however. It
certainly doesn’t mean the discussion of such disorders
is inherently dramatic. Strenuously failing to convince
otherwise on both counts is 'You Disappear,' an
initially absorbing, increasingly exasperating study of
a family man whose actions grow inexplicable and
indefensible after it’s discovered he has a brain tumor.
To what extent can those actions be defended as direct
results of his condition? It’s an interesting question,
but not as posed over and over in a mix of arid
courtroom testimony and earnestly plodding dramatic
conflict, all of which presumably worked better in
Christian Jungersen’s original novel."
As previously discussed in my April 3rd posting, I
absolutely agree with this review. I anticipated
watching an enjoyable film but, despite the top-notch
performances from its stars, I found the dialogue dry
and the courtroom scenes repetitive and boring. But,
ladies, Michael's sex scene is definitely worth a look!
* * * * *
Another play has been added to Michael's theatre work.
Å ENA SIDAN (On the One Hand) premiered
at the Royal Dramatic Theatre on April 12, 2001 for 49
performances. It was a comedy and rather unusual
in that the audience was divided into two groups sitting
on either side of the stage. One half of the audience
watched the restaurant scene while the other half
witnessed the kitchen. After the break, the audience
changed places and the same performance was played
once more. Dagens Nyheter called Michael "irresistible".
* * * * *
These three photos were taken at the start of filming
MIN SÅ KALLADE PAPPA in
June 3, 2018
In 2005 Swedish television stations
SVT, TV3, TV4 and Channel 5 came together to create an
award similar to America's Emmy Award called the
Kristallen (Crystal). The first award ceremony was held
on September 13, 2005 with the TV film "Om stig Petrés
Hemlighet" winning as Best Drama. Michael, who played
the lead, revealed that he received inspiration playing
the panic-distressed CEO from all his years of theater
tours in small Swedish towns. So much anxiety. The
photos below show the celebration that took place that
evening. The man sharing the award with Michael is the
director, Harald Hamrell.
* * * * *
Imagine Tom Hanks recording a scene
on the streets of Los Angeles without any barricades or
security guards. The filming of the "Millennium Trilogy"
in 2008 actually took place on the streets of Stockholm
without closing off areas. This photo shows Michael, one
of Sweden's greatest actors, acting in front of the
cameras while people walked past ten yards away!