Source: Madame.de [translated &
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.