July 2017 Updates
The Michael Nyqvist Archives
July 26, 2017
As I announced earlier this month,
the MNA will continue to expand with regular additions
until it is complete and will then serve as a library of
Michael's life and career. His filmography now includes
SÅ SOM I
HIMMELEN (As It is in Heaven). It has been
a joy to create this page for the Archives because its
meaning is now much more powerful. Like his character,
Michael Nyqvist has attained heaven and all its glory.
was about 21 when his friendship with director Kay
Pollak began and they often talked about authenticity
and presence. When it came time for Pollak to cast his
film, he hesitated in offering the lead role to him because
they were so close as friends, but when he read the
script, Micke said, "I want to do this." Pollak
describes him as generous in every scene and that's what
characterized him as an actor. He says, "There is a
scene at the end when Daniel finally says, 'I love you'
to Lena. The dying conductor knows heartbreak. He cries
and laughs. It's such a beautiful scene. There he gives
100 percent. You stand behind the camera and cry
yourself and are grateful that this is on film and for
the fact that other people can also see this. Micke also
took violin lessons. So typical of Micke not cheating on
anything. He always sought the truth in his acting. I am
grateful as an director that I met an actor like Micke.
That's a big advantage."
The 2004 film captured the
hearts of the Swedish audience and became one of the
most successful films in Sweden. In February 2005 the
film was screened at the Berlin International Film
Festival in the series, "Berlinale Special". It received
an Oscar nomination for "Best Foreign Film" and was also
nominated for no less than eight Guldbagge Awards and
shockingly failed to pick up any! In Australia it
played for two years straight at Sydney's Hayden Orpheum
Picture Palace. A sequel was made in 2015
with Frida Hallgren in the same role as Lena, who gives birth to Daniel's child.
It's called "Så ock på jorden" (Heaven on Earth).
July 21, 2017
Friends and family gathered today at
Katarina Church in Stockholm to celebrate the life of
Michael Nyqvist. At his burial service, there were many
familiar faces, which included film colleagues he
had worked with over the years, such as Sverrir
Gudnason, co-star in both "A Serious Game" and "My
So-called Father", Shanti Roney, Anastasios Soulis, who
played Michael's son in two films, Mikael Rahm, Kay
Pollack, Ewa Fröling, Lena Endre, Rafael Edholm, Anthony
Edwards, Eva Dahlgren, Mona Sahlin, David Dencik... In
the photo below are actress co-stars Vera Vitali,
Pernilla August and Ingela Olsson.
In describing the church service,
actor Leif Andrée said, "It was a fantastic, absolutely
outstanding funeral. Pompous, lovely, dramatic and fun
and nice. Just like Micke was. His amazing big heart
pervaded this as well. It was like a pulsating heart."
On the cover of the funeral program
distributed to all visitors, there was a portrait of
Michael drawn by his daughter Ellen. Poems were
read and included "Gunnar Ekelöf's "Envoi" as well as a
poem written by Michael himself. Among the songs
performed were a Lutheran psalm called "Lovely is the
Earth" and the beautiful "Amazing Grace" was sung by
Barbara Hendricks. The Weeping Willows singer Magnus
Carlson ended the ceremony with an interpretation of
"Blackbird" by Paul McCartney and John Lennon.
As most of you know, Michael was
adopted but eventually found his biological parents
and discovered his Italian heritage through his
father. Sadly, his father was too ill to attend the
funeral but his siblings Fabrizio and Beatrice
July 14, 2017
The film page for
COLONIA has been
completed as well as the
for the screenings in Toronto, Berlin and Vienna. The
2015 political thriller was a Germany/Luxembourg/France
production and was partially based on true events in
Chile during General Augusto Pinochet's regime. Michael
played ex-Nazi Paul Schäfer, an evangelical
megalomaniac, who headed a cult-like sect called
Colonia. Schäfer was eventually charged with
sexually abusing boys while colluding with Pinochet to
torture his prisoners. Co-stars Daniel Brühl
and Emma Watson portray a
journalist and his girlfriend and the storyline of their
imprisonment and escape are fictional.
After several years on the run,
Schäfer was finally arrested in 2005. Coincidentally
Michael was in Chile at the time filming "The
Black Pimpernel", another drama about the
it's a difficult performance to watch, but one that
received and deserved much praise. Michael's
performance is quite chilling and menacing, quite a
contrast to many of his previous roles.
It's amazing to see
the transformation of this handsome and charming actor into this
bellowing and disgusting monster.
In February of last year when the
film premiered in Vienna, Michael was interviewed by
Die Presse. Here is how he answered some of their
What was your reaction when
Florian Gallenberger offered you this role?
There were many thoughts that went through my head.
I do it? And how?
The film is also a documentation in a way, so
I had a responsibility to stay close to who he was.
It was a great challenge for me to step into this dark
side of life.
I think as an actor I also have a responsibility to give
the world a mirror and tell of life.
That such people also exist.
What was it like to play Schäfer?
It was really
sick every day.
I felt like a dangerous animal.
But he was probably a charismatic preacher...
The most sinister thing was that all these people put
their lives in his hands.
I've dealt with Charles Manson, all those sect leaders,
even Pol Pot, to find out who they are.
They all have one thing in common: They say the truth in
their own way.
And do not care to be polite.
Did he think he was a personification of God?
I think so.
Many people consider themselves to be omnipotent, most
of them as teenagers.
If you still do this as an adult human being, that is
And then he also abused children.
I said that I cannot play such a scene, because then a
child experiences something like that.
And I cannot do it. I am a father.
Did Schäfer have a master plan or did he act out of his gut?
I do not think he had a plan.
Every day was
a new day.
I believe that if you inflict so much suffering on
people, you cannot analyze what you did yesterday.
He just looked forward, which is a dangerous thing.
One step forward, two back: This is the right path for
We must not forget that these people came from the
He was in the Luftwaffe, they had all taken this Third
Reich thinking, authority, rules, laws.
He probably used
It was like a camp, you were constantly punished.
We have this scene in which a person must confess, and
then everyone begins to hit her.
This is a scene you had to do again because it is filmed
from different angles...
I played with a lot of extras, and you could feel the
speed of the situation derailing.
I told Florian that we had to stop because two people were about to go
How did the role affect you?
a depressing time.
I've looked at many documentaries about preachers and
the world war.
In a break, I went to Bhutan to trek with a Buddhist
monk from monastery to monastery.
That was nice.
July 12, 2017
Today more information was released
on the Foundation that has just been created in
order to carry on Michael's legacy. His family has
appointed Thomas Perlmann, a professor at the Karolinska
Institutet in Stockholm, to be the organization's
spokesman. The board will consists of both film
colleagues and friends from Sweden and the United
States. The names announced so far include Pernilla
August, Ingela Olsson, Christian Camargo, PG Nilsson,
Jens Orback, Michel Comte and Anthony Edwards. Michael's
widow will also serve on the board. Acting as a means to
conflict resolution interested Michael and the
foundation will operate under this vision. The plan is
to award scholarships or otherwise support people who
work in this spirit but the foundation is still
undergoing construction and its activities and statutes
will soon be defined.
July 11, 2017
I have added a page to the Archives
devoted to the Guldbagge
Awards. You will find photos from the years
Michael participated, sometimes as a presenter, and his
nominations and awards. You may be surprised that he
didn't receive a nomination for the Millennium trilogy,
for which he's most famous for throughout the world. He
admitted publicly that he was greatly disappointed. Here
he is back in 2003 receiving his first Guldbagge for
Best Actor in "Grabben i graven bredvid".
* * * * *
Since Michael had a summer residence
in the northern Swedish archipelago, he naturally had an
interest in boats and two years ago he purchased a
Ockelbo B18. In an interview with a magazine, he shared
his passion for boating and some of these photos were
taken at that time.
* * * * *
Sweden's Expressen has published a
special magazine of photos devoted to Michael. They
appear to be mostly from his films.
* * * * *
And from journalist Carina Nunstedt:
July 8, 2017
In a death notice published today, it
was announced that Michael's burial service will be at 2
pm on Friday, July 21 at Katarina Church in Stockholm.
An invitation to close friends for a memorial will
follow. The family expresses their appreciation to ASIH,
a part of Ersta Hospital, which offers care at home in
the final stages of life. In lieu of flowers, the family
invites donations to "Michael Nyqvist's Stiftelse för
främjande av skådespelarkonst som enande kraft"
[Foundation for the Promotion of Acting Art as Enormous
This poem was included in the notice:
I stepped on the train.
There you sat in the most beautiful cabin
Ellen Arthur Catharina
I refused to let go of my ticket.
Now we are at the next station.
July 6, 2017
I have recently discovered that I was
mistaken when I said Michael did not attend the
premiere of DU FORSVINDER
on April 19th at the Imperial Cinema in Copenhagen. At
the time there was no mention of his attendance. I wish
I had been corrected. Since Michael's passing, photos
have surfaced proving he was indeed there. Sorry for
misinforming you. I aim to be accurate. There is an e-mail
address on the home page if anyone wishes to make
corrections to the Archives. The premiere was Michael's
last public appearance.
Here are some new photos of Michael from
the film. Looking forward to seeing it when it's
released on DVD.
* * * * *
It appears that Michael had a host of
ideas and projects which will sadly never come to
fruition. We now know that he continued to write after
authoring "När barnet lagt sig" (2009) and "Dansa för oss"
(2013). According to Adam Dahlin at Forum
Book Publishing, Michael was working on a third
autobiographical book as well as a children's book with
debut novel dealt with his adolescence as an adoptive
child, while his second book focused on his career and
how it shaped him as a person. This third book was
focused on his Italian heritage.
says, "He was a very skilled writer and had the ability
to express feelings, not only on stage but on paper as
well. He had a highway between his heart, stomach and
brain, and he could experience feelings that few of us
can. It's the secret to his greatness, I think, and it
appears in his writing, on stage and in movies."
continues, "Although he was always out in the world
making movies, he kept up writing. I perceived it as
important to him. I think he found an incredible calm in
his writing... I once kidded him that he would
eventually be known as "author Michael Nyqvist" and not
"actor Michael Nyqvist ".
believes that the cancer took a lot of his energy.
Unfortunately, the book was far from being finished.
* * * * *
Still no word on Michael's burial but
I have read that in Sweden it is common to wait one to
three weeks. And funerals tend to be small and private
though Michael's notoriety would at least deserve a
memorial or tribute in the near future.
* * * * *
This artwork by Thron Ullberg
was acquired by the Swedish National Museum
in 2014. There has never been any information on
Michael's affiliation with any church but since
Sweden's population is 73% Lutheran, we can assume
he may have embraced Christianity. I'm not
particularly enamored by this photograph but it is
* * * * *
Black & White Gallery has now been
updated with many new photos such as these:
* * * * *
Christmas Michael participated in a Swedish TV cooking
show called "Pluras Jul", hosted by musician
Plura Jonsson. He certainly never let his disease
stop him from participating in fun projects.
July 4, 2017
Last night Swedish pop singer
Lotta Engberg paid tribute to Michael on her TV
show, "Lotta på Liseberg". If you've seen "Så
som i himmelen" ["As It is in Heaven"], you're
familiar with the beautiful "Gabriella's Song".
Last Wednesday Lotta decided she wanted to pay some kind
of tribute to Michael. His death has touched so many and
people associate this song with him so tonight it was
performed. The audience responded with resounding
applause and standing ovations.
Lotta says, "It was so nice.
There were many in the audience who fought back tears."
She admits she cried. Though she has never met Michael,
she says, "It does not matter whether you have met him
or not. I think we all feel concerned."
You can access this song with English subtitles along
with clips of the film
at this link.
July 3, 2017
The Archives will continue to grow as
a tribute to Michael and will cover the release of his
three upcoming films. The international media has been
flooded all week with lovely messages from so many of
his colleagues in the film industry. What is strange to
me is that there has been no word from Noomi Rapace, the
Dragon Girl who starred in three films with Michael.
She's never been grounded so I guess we can chock this
up to her idiosyncratic nature. You have to wonder what
their working relationship was during the shooting of
the Millennium trilogy since they were obviously at
opposite ends of the spectrum.
Here's what American actor Gerard
Butler had to say about his co-star in "Hunter Killer" -
"He's up there as one of my favorites, if not my
favorite - like someone with such amazing talent and
playfulness, but more than anything else a wonderful
humility, warmth and a glimpse of the eye."
"He was one of my absolute best friends through life...
It's such a pleasure to have worked with him... He had
so much left to give. I was so happy when he got the
Guldbagge this year... He was one of the most
enjoyable people I've met... It still feels like
Micke is sitting somewhere and watching us and our
sorrow. It feels so hard to talk about this... He
was the greatest."
Karin Franz Körlof:
"He was very generous, both as a colleague and as a
person. He was always willing to share experiences and
tips. He threw himself into the scenes, took risks that
many would never dare. But never in a selfish way. He
always saw you. He always watched his fellow players. A
very nice person to work with."
"My heartfelt condolences to Michael Nyqvist's family
and friends after his so early passing in life ... a
brilliant actor, one of humanity's lovers, so proud to
have known and worked with him"
Heartbroken to hear about Michael Nyqvist's passing.
Intelligent, compassionate and kind. One of my absolute
favorites. Never forgotten."
Director Kay Pollack:
"It was so wonderful to be able to meet an actor who
would always go as far as you could go.
He was never afraid to go any way to be in a
"Such a talented and warm person. It
was a pleasure to get to know Micke and be close to him
while working on the movie As in Heaven - always
"He was a nice actor but, above all, a caring, generous
and kind person. We worked together in London.. He will
be missed a lot. It's very sad."
Journalist Gunnar Rehlin:
"Michael Nyqvist was one of the nicest, warmest and most
open actors I've ever met. It was so nice and
rewarding to sit and talk with him."
I think it's incredibly sad... He was
a very open actor and an incredibly nice person... How
he lived was reflected in his acting as well.
He was incredibly curious."
"It is with extremely heavy heart, I am reached by the
sad news that Micke Nyqvist has gone away. This nice,
kind, fun, talented & earthy person, whom I had the
honor to meet and work with a few times over the years."
Ellen Lamm: (Jane Eyre
director at Dramaten)
"I'm surprised and sad... In 2009, I had known Micke for
ten years, but never directed him. I'm incredibly happy
for that work, he was very good as Mr. Rochester...
He was curious, wanted to talk and understand. It was
always very stimulating to talk to him. He was very calm
and self-sufficient. A self-thinking person who made his
own conclusions. He wondered and felt what he thought.
His success abroad was so fun for him. It was exciting
Julia Dufvenius: (Jane Eyre
co-star at Dramaten):
"He was generous and present... We talked a lot about
life... We called each other for a while and
talked about how we would solve different things. I
loved working with him, I laughed so much."
Eirik Stubø (managing director
"I think everybody who met Michael took a deep
impression of his personal courage and eager curiosity,
his urgent earnestness and even his overwhelming humor.
He knew a lot about both life and art."
July 1, 2017
A 2016 SVT documentary called "Michael
Nyqvist - ett porträtt" was shown this week on
Swedish television. It was originally aired on October
16, 2016. The 58-minute film is unfortunately not
available online and is without English subtitles.
Perhaps in the future it will be released for audiences
outside of Sweden.
It was shot about a year ago and
though Michael could have included the diagnosis of his
lung cancer, he chose not to reveal it. In the
documentary, he discussed his teenager eating disorder,
his thirst for new roles, the discomfort of walking on
the red carpet and how he copes with being away from his
family. Here are a couple quotes he gave:
"I'm afraid of every new job,
every new role, and feeling I'll die with it."
"I had never really dreamed about
or imagined that Hollywood thing. I never thought they
would listen to me. It has opened lots of doors for me
and there are doors that I did not know existed. I've
done things that I think are fun."
Also included is a tour of his childhood neighborhood
(I've watched this part) and clips from some of his
films. Also participating in the film is Pernilla
August, Florian Gallenberger, Trine Dyrholm, his
children Ellen and Arthur, but not his wife.
As of this time, there has been no
word from her as to Michael's funeral or memorial. Had
his death been an accident, it would be understandable
but considering the months she had to prepare for the
inevitable, the silence is uncomfortable. Has he been
I don't know how many of you are
aware that Michael's daughter Ellen was from a previous
marriage. I don't see much resemblance between father
and daughter but in all their photos together, he appears to have
been a devoted father taking her to premieres and
fashion shows. The photo below comes from a screen shot
of Ellen with actor Daniel Craig in the American version
of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". Can you
believe it? When the
production team was filming in Stockholm in October
2010, they happen to hire the cafe where she had been
working for the past year. Thus, she ended up being the
one chosen to wait on Daniel. How neat! And yes, she did
end up telling him who she was - the other Blomkvist's
On June 24th I introduced the
wine history page to the Archives. This past
week there were several articles relating to Michael's
winery in Tuscany. Here is a photo of Guido Beltrami
with the specially-designed labels. Guido manages
Sorelle Palazzi where Michael's grapes are grown.
Here is a somber yet beautiful
portrait of Michael taken by Johan Bergmark. He
looks so peaceful.