Source:  [translated & edited]

Date: March 2015

At the start of the new series "100 Code", we met the Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist for an interview and talked to him about the differences between American and Swedish dating, Sweden crimes and murder fantasies. The latter purely hypothetical, of course.

In a relaxed atmosphere, the 54-year-old proves that he not only knows about thrillers, but also has an excellent sense of humor. Even before we can ask the first question, we are excited by the open nature of the sympathetic actor.

Nyqvist: Oh, you are from a fashion magazine. As you can see, I love fashion. (He's wearing black jeans and a black T-shirt.) I came from Stockholm yesterday and staying at the Bayerischer Hof in Munich where I already stayed at the end of last year. I filmed a movie here in Munich with Emma Watson and Daniel Bruehl ("Colonia"). I walked around the area a bit and had dinner in the Koi.

What did you order?

Nyqvist: I ate some delicious sushi and fantastic meat. Then I went back to the hotel and actually fell asleep at nine. I was so tired. Very strange at this time.

Let's talk a bit about the new thriller series "100 Code:". In it you play a Swedish investigator who has to work with an American colleague to solve a case. Your character is very grumpy and not in a good mood. What's wrong with him?

Nyqvist: He's really funny, but a good investigator. He is very complicated. He quickly gets angry and starts to fear his job. He has already seen too much in his work as a police officer. He is at a turning point in his life. These are all reasons why I wanted to play him. If he gets a case, he has to finish it. When he meets his American colleague, he begins to be interested in the case. He feels he knows more than the American.

His American colleague is played by Dominic Monaghan, who fulfills every American cliché in "100 Code".

Nyqvist: Yes, he eats with his fingers and the two do not get along very well. The thriller deals a lot with unfounded guilt.

"100 Code" really seems to be a dark thriller. Like the Millennium Trilogy in which you played, it falls into the genre of the "Scandinavian Film Noir". What makes the Scandinavian crime genre different from American? Both  are very popular.

Nyqvist: They are indeed. However, the typical Swedish thriller is also interested in the deeper background of a crime. We Swedes do not just want to know who the killer is. We also want to know why he committed the crime. Besides, we are very direct. I lived in the United States for a while and the people around me always felt very distracted. At parties I was told, "Oh, I love your last movie." Then I always asked what they meant and they couldn't answer me because they had not seen it. It works differently in Sweden. We are much quieter, but also honest. Americans have a different kind of social behavior. For this I have a great story for a women's magazine! When I was seventeen, I was an exchange student in Omaha. I polished my English there. I have always practiced with my neighbor who actually came from England. That's why I speak today with a British accent. But back to history: In my first week, I had a new girlfriend. She was a cheerleader.

After only a week?

Nyqvist: Yes, and she was charming and very pretty. She also had a green mustang. One evening she drove me to a river.

That sounds like an adolescent fairy tale. So surreal!

Nyqvist: No, you'll see that this story can only be real. When we sat by the river, she asked me if I knew the Sudbury Show. I was a bit confused and thought, "Wow, that sounds like it has to be some extraordinary American sex thing". I asked her what it was all about. I really wanted to know because in Sweden we are very liberal in this regard. So, she told me that Sudbury Show is another way of kissing. I must have looked a little disappointed because she asked me, what do we do in Sweden on a first date. So I told her: "In Sweden, we light a candle and f**k." She then threw me out of the car and we broke up.

Today you can laugh about something like that.

Nyqvist: Yes, today, but she was totally shocked then.

Swedish bestselling author Henning Mankell once said that detective fiction looks at our society like a broken mirror. What do you make of it?

Absolutely, in our reality we choose to perceive the bad only conditionally. But when you open a newspaper, you read the most terrible stories.

On German television, thrillers occupy most of the airtime. Why are we so fascinated by crime?

Nyqvist: People are often interested in things that they're unfamiliar with and that they would never do themselves. Crime thrillers provide a thrill, as do some nightmares.

We are less interested in crime stories for motive and crime but we urgently want to see the resolution. We want to see justice. Is it important for you that the good guys win in the end?

Nyqvist: When the good ones end up losing, it forces us to stay more active in the real world. In reality, there is no justice so we always want to see it on TV, but that makes us lazy.

If everything goes wrong, what makes a person become a murderer?

Nyqvist: I think a lot of frustration and also fear.

Hypothetically speaking, how would you kill someone?

Nyqvist: I pray to God that it will never come to that. But if I killed someone I hate, I would strangle him with my bare hands. Brutally. I would not use poison or call the mafia. But it would never come to that anyway! I could not do that. Besides, I already see the headlines in front of me. I am a very peaceful person. I have never had a fight.

No way?

Nyqvist: I did a lot of Thai boxing for a while, but I never really needed it because everyone always thought I was very strong. But I can get very angry.

So you've never been the type to get drunk into a fight? Normally, most of the beating begins by doing so.

Nyqvist: No, when I am drunk, I always get melancholic and almost cry.

His character in "100 Code" always takes his cases home. He just can not switch off. What do you do after shooting to distract yourself?

Nyqvist: That always depends on what you're doing. Some roles have to be internalized in such a way that they overtake you subconsciously after the shooting. But usually I'm very good at just pressing the off button in my head.

You have often played the hero in your career, but also many baddies. Which role is more fun?

Nyqvist: The good guys are sometimes boring. If you embody the Bad Boy, you can easily surprise the audience with a good deed. It's like in real life. However, once the hero does something wrong, he is immediately condemned by the audience. I don't choose my characters to be good or bad. I do not distinguish that. I choose a character and try to question and defend every decision from him. It's just a bit harder to do with some characters than with others.