July 2018 Updates


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 Reverso.

And as Mikael Blomkvist in the "Millennium" trilogy, he wore a Dolce & Gabbana Chronograph.

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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.

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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

In 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 color palette."

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 lived through."

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 drunken breath."

"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

In 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."

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I 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.

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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 2013.

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.

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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 3:1'."

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 dramatist's 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.