JUNE 2018 UPDATES
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.
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!