July 2018 Updates
THE MICHAEL NYQVIST ARCHIVES
July 29, 2018
As many of you have noticed, Michael
loved his watches and he seemed to always be wearing a
different one in every photo. In May 2014 his
Longines watch was listed at Kaplans auctions.
He wrote a little story about its
history. While filming the "Millennium" trilogy, he
needed to purchase a reliable watch. He wore it
while camping, traveling, even cooking spaghetti.
(Leave it to Michael to say that!) It went with him
on all his travels across the continents. It was in
his film trailer in Prague, Dubai, Vancouver,
Taipei, Pittsburgh, NYC and Paris. He actually wore
the watch in the film "La Ritournelle".
And he's wearing it in this photo taken in Rome on
September 18, 2009.
In this next photo he shows off a
Longines Conquest Heritage watch.
For his role in "100 Code", he donned a Jaeger-LeCoultre
And as Mikael Blomkvist in the
"Millennium" trilogy, he wore a Dolce & Gabbana
* * * * *
Back in May 2012 it was announced that Michael had been
cast in David Gordon Green's remake of Dario Argento's
1977 "Suspiria". It certainly was an
international cast with American actress Isabelle
Fuhrman in the lead role, French actress Isabelle
Huppert, German actor Antje Traue, British actress Janet
McTeer and our Swede. The film was financed and ready to
go before it ran into legal trouble and then wound up
not getting made. It is amazing that a year later
Michael began filming "La Ritournelle"
with Isabelle Huppert so he finally got his chance to
work with the famous French star.
* * * * *
FYI: The Michael Nyqvist
Foundation no longer has an online presence. It's
strange that they would re-design the web site recently
only to disband it. There is no word on whether the
organization even exists at this time. Very
disappointing. It is up to the living to remember the
past. Memories are all we really have left of Michael,
whether you were his friend, colleague, family member or
admirer of his film work.
July 25, 2018
a review of the German edition of his autobiography, Gefallen aus allen Wolken
(2014), Anna Gierden points out that if anyone expects
to learn more about Michael's life as a film actor, the
reader will be disappointed because it's not included
though there is some background on his theatre work.
What this book presents itself as is more of a guide or
introduction to adoption. The first loosely linked
episodes begin with particularly formative experiences
with school friends.
"Sometimes we leave the
schoolyard, although it is forbidden. We lay stones
on the tracks. That is very forbidden. The train can
derail, we say to each other. We do not want it to
derail, just see if it works."
When he travels to Venice on a
vacation with his parents when he learns of his
adoption, he remembers the following:
"We drive in our big Ford, a Ford
Fairlane, sports model of the sixties. In my hand I
hold a parachute soldier made of plastic, with
strings attached to a loose, camouflage-colored
plastic bag. I'm five years old, my parents in the
front seat are around forty."
Sometimes he's almost poetic:
"Someone or something had
painted my whole world.
Everything was still in place. But in a new, unknown
By page 56 Michael is already doing
theatre. He describes the death of his foster father and
the founding of his own family which provoked a desire
to know his biological parents. Gierden writes, "but the
road to them is time-consuming, bureaucratic and
requires strength and skill. All of these familial
things happen next to the plays or vice versa so the
artistic work happens next to the family concerns. It is
not separated, is never chronological and never purely
factual. Motives and motivations are not explained, but
Gierden continues, "The image that
emerged while reading is that of a highly insecure man
who never knows if he will suffice - the audience, the
family, the other family. But with all this insecurity
and sensitivity, it is remarkable how fearless he is at
everything... He is stunningly charming when he takes a
"I am on an existential
enterprise. A demanding, sun-kissed Swede. [...] The
Carabinieri look like silly figures of an operetta
and all overly elegantly dressed Italian men like
lecherous pigs. Everything feels hypocritical. I'm
Swedish and that's right. I smell of pine and spruce
and am interested in ski jumping and ice hockey."
Anna Gierden concludes, "The book
reads well, is interesting, sometimes exciting, but if
you are not interested in Nyqvist as a person or
adoption, it is irrelevant."
July 21, 2018
March 2014 Michael's first book was published by German
publisher Jonas Plöttner
under the title "Gefallen aus allen Wolken" which
means "Fallen out of the Clouds". On April 24 Michael spent a day in Leipzig doing a book event at Commerzbank. The next day he went to Berlin to once again
publicize his book. Many photos were taken in Leipzig, which you
can view in this new gallery. A friendship must have developed
between Jonas and Michael because a year later Michael sent this
message, which Jonas posted when Michael died. It's obvious that
Jonas was going through some crisis. The words that stand out are:
"We have so much to do still in life
The only one we have."
* * * * *
thought these new additions to the Millennium gallery
featured some very handsome poses.
July 17, 2018
On February 6, 2010, Michael was a
guest on Norway's NKR with talk show host Viggo
Johansen. You can view the interview
at this link. The purpose of his appearance was
to discuss his first book.
He told the host that he had written
the book to avoid talking about it because it's a heavy
subject. I found this surprising because through the
years, he would bring up his orphaned beginning and his
Italian roots in almost every interview. Adoption
doesn't necessarily have to be traumatic if a child
feels loved; however, the decision to locate the
biological parents is at risk and, in Michael's case,
brought further pain. When he finally secured an address
for his mother, he wrote a letter to her but she refused
to meet him. He tried again a year later when she agreed
to see him. That was their one and only meeting. It did
not go well. Her alcoholic husband was involved and
Michael realized that it was a very difficult topic for
all involved. At least his locating his Italian family
on his father's side was much more successful. If you've
read his books, you know the story.
These are some of the photos shown in
the program. The passport photo is adorable!
July 13, 2018
The newspaper article below is from
ETC, dated July 15, 2014. It begins - "Abandoned,
adopted, doubtful, struggling - but finally a film star.
Michael Nyqvist's life could have been an American
success story. He himself prefers Lars Norén instead of
Hollywood, and talks about the art of being human."
Journalist Anton Borgström reports
that they meet at Söder in Stockholm. Michael has spent
the previous night filming "100 Code". So far they have
recorded three of the twelve episodes. He apologizes if
his mind is a bit foggy but he gives the impression of
being driven and present. Michael suggests that rest is
not good and quotes Jacques Brel that rest is a bastard,
a quote he agrees with. He's asked if he ever feels
satisfied and he answers, "No, never. On the other hand,
one can feel harmony."
As usual, he expresses his pride in
being a Swedish actor. His experience in Hollywood has
shown him excess. For example, he once worked with
an American actor who was followed around constantly by
an assistant with food just in case he might get hungry.
Michael likened it to a scene from the Roman Empire. I
agree that there's little reason to be enamored with
Hollywood mega stars.
As to his role in "John Wick", he
announces, "There is not a single nice person in the
movie, but I'm the worst." And just because he played
the baddie didn't mean he deserved to look like this!
This is, of course, a photo of Michael taken right after
his accident with a stuntman resulting in a head wound
needing many stitches. I think this is a selfie he took
right after they bandaged him up.
I don't believe the following "John
Wick" poster was an official one, probably more of an
art project, but I fancy it for its originality.
July 9, 2018
Here are some photos taken on
September 28, 2013 when Michael attended Gothenburg's
annual book fair in regard to the publication of his
book Dansa för oss.
* * * * *
In 2013 forty Swedish celebrities
participated in a project to support Doctors Without
Borders. Michael was among them. Without compensation,
they contributed to a photo book, edited by brothers
Christian and Carl-Johan Brandt. The pair captured
unscripted moments from some of Sweden's well-known
artists with the proceeds of the book donated to the
international organization. Michael is shown below in
his photo in a fun perspective, pointing with his middle
finger at the camera.
This second photo was taken by the
Brandt brothers while he was rehearsing for "John Wick"
in NY in the fall of 2013.
As long as we're doing "middle
finger" pictures today (laughing), I might as well post
this interesting one. I have no background on it as far
as where it was taken but my guess is maybe at a New
York art gallery because it was published in the fall of
July 5, 2018
Another theatre piece, written and
directed by Lars Norén, is UNDER,
which was staged in 1999. It was written specifically
for Michael, Göran Ragnerstam and Shanti Roney, all
contributors in "Personkrets 3:1" except these three
characters are even more outside society than those in
that play. The theme is about total uncertainty with
three men who do not remember what they are called, who
do not know where they are or where they are headed.
"Under" had a premiere at the
Sagateater in Umeĺ on March 30th. Then it toured Gävle,
Sandviken, Lund and Örebro before it had three
performances in April in Hallunda. It was performed at
Dramaten's Elverket in Stockholm in May.
After the first performance, producer
Isa Stenberg remarked, "You cannot say what the play is
about, but it has a very special language. When we
performed it for the first time yesterday, there were
actually many who laughed." And indeed, the play was
described as comic, but brutal.
* * * * *
Among Michael's many humanitarian
works was his alliance with UNICEF in October
2015 along with production agency Edelman Deportivo and
Swedish musicians Block 44. Michael became the voice of
Unicef's new campaign to protect children's rights to
speak about their particular situation. In a film
Michael talks about his experiences as a child and his
long search for his biological father. His wish was to
highlight the problems that may arise for children where
adults do not listen.
He shared, "My name is Michael
Nyqvist. When I was little, I hoped that someone from
the adult world would understand me. But instead of
speaking with me, decisions were made about me. And I
felt lonely and insensitive. I had no opportunity to
change. And this is so for many children today. The
children are allowed to sit on the bench and be
spectators in their own lives. It is enough now.
Unicef wants the children's voices to be heard. Even
on a talking bench. Children must be entitled to decline
when their rights are violated." You can view the video
at this link.
July 2, 2018
In 1998, Michael was part of the
ensemble for PERSONKRETS
3:1 (The Human Circle),
a play written by Lars Norén, one of Sweden's leading
dramatists and directors. The production was staged with
66 performances by Riksteatern, Sweden's National
Touring Theatre, beginning on November 2. It was also
aired as a TV
film later that month on
November 21. In this play, the first in what was called
the Morire di Classe trilogy, Norén portrayed the
socially dismissed who lack a voice in society, such as
prostitutes and drug addicts. The book was published the
same year with this unsettling cover.
The Swedish Film Database notes that Michael was
featured in several of Norén's
productions - "With his dark radiance, he almost focused
on picking up the darkest sides of mankind by portraying
frustrated, communication-less men who can only react
with aggression and anger. Such was the case with 'Personkrets
Michael regarded the man in the highest esteem.
Unfortunately, it wasn't mutual. In 2008, the playwright
published a 1,680-page diary in which he lambasted
several of his colleagues, including Michael accusing
him of acting like a "bad amateur". Michael refused to
comment on the book and Norén's comments. The
attacks were vicious and
revealed a man poisoned by his immense ego. If there's
one quality that stood out in Michael's character, it
was certainly his humility.
The above two photos show Norén (center)
with his actors during a presentation of "Personkrets
3:1". You can view the entire play at
this youtube link.