Actor Michael Nyqvist knows a
lot about having two mothers.
Source: Dagbladet.no - May 8, 2006
Nyqvist: It affects me every day, in
every role. The first chapter in my life was different
from many others. It's hard to become racist or
xenophobic for something like that, because you realize
how much life is about luck.
No, Michael Nyqvist does not talk about his new movie or
about strong experiences at the theater scene. He
discusses the drama of his life: time spent as an
orphan, about being adopted and the later pursuit of his
biological parents. These private experiences give extra
depth to the film he is promoting in Oslo -
"Mother of Mine" - a film about where you really belong.
Here he is. Sweden's sexiest man in 2004. The man who
made such a strong impression on Norwegian cinema rats
in the movies "Together", "The Guy in the Grave Next
Door" and "As It is in Heaven"...
Dagbladet: Why did you say yes
to this role?
Nyqvist: My grandfather was in Finland during the war as
a volunteer Swedish soldier. That is, my grandfather in
the family I was adopted by. I was at first in an
orphanage. I did not know anything about that part of my
grandfather's life until one day rummaging around in the
basement at home, I came across a bayonet, Finnish
medals and some kind of helmet. So I asked my mother,
"What's this?" And she burst into tears.
Dagbladet: His adoptive mother had received Finnish
children, such as Eero, during the war. She was so
seized by her fates that she later failed to talk about
them without crying. The helmet, medals and bayonet
brought back the memories.
Nyqvist: Finland's aid became a constant theme around
the dinner table at home, also because of my
grandfather's war effort. So there was already some kind
of emotional pressure when I was presented with the
Dagbladet: How was it playing Hjalmar (the father)?
Nyqvist: Hjalmar is a kind of man I do not have much to
spare. He displaces having lost a child and instead
replaces another as a patch on the wound. When I went to
school, I would try to take care of those who fell
outside. I do not quite know why, but I liked it. Once
in 8th grade we received a new student. She came from
Norway, was red-haired, freckled and thick. I was
overwhelmed - I should truly help! Later, someone called
her big, fat and nasty. I hit my fist on the table so
the gas burners fluttered and said, "Imagine if you had
looked like that!"... It was probably the worst someone
did to her. Hjalmar is a bit the same way. He has good
intentions, but ends up hurting others.
Dagbladet: Do you understand how Eero's mother sends her
Nyqvist: No, not really...
Dagbladet: When he's not doing movies
or is on the stage, Michael Nyqvist takes life calmly.
Nyqvist: I run in the woods. I'm with my kids. I enjoy a
cup of coffee and I stroll around without thinking
anything special. And then I partake in good food and
drink. Certainly Italian. My father is Italian.
Dagbladet: Your biological father?
Nyqvist: That's right. We often visit him and my
Dagbladet: Nyqvist was one and a half years old when he
came to his adoptive family.
Nyqvist: I was told about the adoption when I was five
and thought "Aha, that's why I look different." But I
did not look for my biological origin until I had my own
children. I know why it was important to me, but it's
Dagbladet: The meeting with the father became a happy
story. It was different with the mother.
Nyqvist: We only met one hour. But I can tell my
children how she realized she is Swedish - and that's
something... Biological parents, adoptive parents,
it's about how people connect to each other - just like
in "Mother of Mine." It must be up to each individual if
they want to meet their biological parents or not.
Sometimes things are going well, sometimes not. But my
experience is that it's better to know than to rely on