August 2017 Updates
The Michael Nyqvist Archives
August 28, 2017
It is sometimes frustrating to follow
an international actor's career when there's a language
barrier. So many of his interviews at YouTube.com are
naturally in Swedish, but I have one today that comes
with English subtitles. It's a 14-minute clip from the Skavlan talk show that was recorded last year.
Here's the link. Enjoy!
* * * * *
This is a new poster for
What do you think? Is Michael's face included? I
can't tell because the person has brown eyes but it
looks like his nose. I don't quite understand why
all the faces because only one person disappears in
* * * * *
Michael's widow Catharina has
created a web page for the Michael Nyqvist
at this link. It features this photo and the
Michael Nyqvist was a devoted
actor and author. His exuberance was
irresistible, and during the last year of his
life he often said that he had so much
unfinished business. Both in life and in his
artistry he had so much more to give. The
Foundation is a way to honor Michael’s vision
and desire to have a continuing positive
influence in the world.
Michael often spoke of how acting can be a
powerful force that ties people together by
connecting them, and how acting can provide us
with tools for the prevention of conflicts. He
understood that communication is at the core of
acting. Michael passionately believed that
acting can be a force for uniting people. The
Foundation will build on this vision.
More information about the Foundation’s
activities will be presented shortly.
August 22, 2017
Vasateatern or "Vasan" is a private
theatre in Stockholm. It was built in 1886 and has
for many years been Stockholm's main private theatre for
comedies and farces so it was the perfect place for
staging Edward Albee's play
GETEN ELLER VEM ÄR
SYLVIA? (The Goat or Who is Sylvia?)
In April 2005 it was announced that
the play would premiere in the fall starring Michael and
Suzanne Reuter. Michael told the press, "It's about a
guy who falls in love with a goat. It's a huge story
with many sick scenes." Asked whether there would be a
living goat on the stage, he answered, "I'm not saying".
Geten is a full-length play
which opened on Broadway in 2002. It won the 2002 Tony
Award for Best Play, the 2002 Drama Desk Award for
Outstanding Play, and was a finalist for the 2003
Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play was written to be
provocative, daring and controversial. In the play,
Martin, a hugely successful architect who has just
turned fifty, leads an ostensibly ideal life with his
loving wife and gay teenage son. But when he confides to
his best friend that he is also in love with a goat
(named Sylvia), he sets in motion events that will
destroy his family and leave his life in tatters.
The play opened in Stockholm on
September 22 and ran until Christmas. In March and April
2006, it went on a five-city tour, sponsored by Elite
In rehearsals Michael said Suzanne
was a just a dream to work with. She happened to be an
Albee veteran having had great success in Who's
Afraid of Virginia Woolf? playing against Krister
Henriksson. It was Krister who advised Michael about the
role in Geten.
Michael described the play as "very
good and fun play, sexy and sexy" adding, "It's very
surprising and extremely challenging... Suzanne
and I have worked together in Reuter & Skoog
earlier, but never on stage."
For Michael, it became a process to
try to get into the role of his character. He
said, "If you want to play it, you must also be able to
defend it in some way. It's a man who has everything,
financial success, beautiful wife, clever young son...
There is something that starts to make his life feel
empty... I hope it will make people think about their
own life, their own love concept, their marriage and
their relationship with their children - but above all,
their relationship to themselves."
August 19, 2017
Award-winning Ecuadorian filmmaker
Sebastián Cordero is a master of contained,
psychological thrillers and a lifelong science fiction
fan. His first English-language film,
EUROPA REPORT was filmed
in the fall of 2011 and is a unique documentary-style
sci-fi thriller that follows an ill-fated mission to
Jupiter’s icy moon Europa to investigate the possible
existence of alien life within our solar system.
Casting a group of international actors was important
and the first person who came on board was Michael who
plays a Russian astronaut. He read the script and saw
one of Cordero's films and gladly accepted the role. The
film turned out to be hugely successful considering its
low budget and a very respected film in the sci-fi
The six actors playing the astronauts were a South
African, a Romanian, a Swede, a Pole, and two Americans
(one of them a Chinese-American, Daniel Wu). Everyone
speaks English, although Katya (Wydra) and Andrei (Nyqvist)
sometimes chat privately in Russian.
In the great tradition of 2001: A Space Odyssey,
The Abyss, and Aliens, Europa Report
once again allows us to experience the dream of
exploring vast worlds outside of our element, worlds
where no person has ever gone before. Co-star Sharlto
Copley told the press he would love to one day leave
Earth's orbit for real saying he was "personally very
interested in the idea of space exploration" while
Michael chuckled, "I love earth. Space sucks."
In interviews with Michael, he conceded that a space
travel film was a long way from Scandinavian cinema,
such as the film noir of Ingmar Bergman. Always curious,
Michael looked for new and unique projects, but
ultimately his experience of working against green
screens and being wired and hoisted by cranes was not
his cup of tea.
I wondered why I had never seen any
premiere photos and that's because the film had an
unusual New York premiere in the Hayden Planetarium at
the American Museum of Natural History on August 1,
2013. Only the director, screenwriter Philip Gelatt and
producer Ben Browning attended.
The Prop Store is selling a few items from the
film that were worn by Michael, such as his watch and
space clothes. Very pricey!
August 15, 2017
WGN America has acquired three more
international drama series in the crime/thriller genre.
They include the 2015 Swedish-American thriller
CODE. Developed by Academy Award winner Bobby
Moresco, "100 Code" stars Michael Nyqvist and Dominic
Monaghan. The 12-part serial originally debuted in March
2015 in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden on HBO
Nordic, and in Germany on Sky Deutschland.
Though the two leads are scripted to
be combative in their roles, in real life they two
became rather good friends and even compared "war
injuries" with each other. Dominic had to get 40
stitches after being bitten on the arm of one of the
wild animals that he sought in the BBC series "Wild
things" earlier in 2014. Michael's retort was, "Though
he was bitten by a venomous lizard, I still win,"
pointing to a scar on his forehead, a souvenir of "John
Wick" when he was injured in a stunt scene and had to
get 80 stitches in his head. The accident took its toll
on him. He said, "It hit me more on the inside than on
the outside. I had tremendous luck. It was a really
scary experience. I have suddenly realized that people
don’t live forever. Life is short and I just want to do
what I think is interesting and fun, along with people I
enjoy. I have gained a greater curiosity."
During filming, Michael told the press, "I’ve invited
Dominic to celebrate midsummer with me in the
archipelago. I have exaggerated our celebration a little
and said that we dance around a phallic symbol and take
a sauna naked. I think he is a bit tense (laughs)."
Later when the midsummer festivities
were over, Dominic was asked about Michael. He replied,
"Incredible guy, but I do not think he is a classic
Swede, but rather European. Actually a little Italian
and French. He is funny and generous. I was invited to
his house during midsummer, and we sang and danced like
crazy around the bar, singing about small frogs. Ate
herring and caviar."
In a German
interview with Henning Harder, Michael was asked what it
was like to make an international production in his own
country. He answered, "It's fun. I may sound like a
nationalist, but the tradition that we have of Ingmar
Bergman and others is a long tradition of filmmaking.
And something happened a few years ago when we were
shooting the "Millennium" trilogy. Suddenly, the people
came to us and they found that we have great actors. I'm
not talking about myself, but about my colleagues. For
me, it is great to be here. And I am proud to show that
are doing things we believe in and not for money.
Collaborations are always fun because you have to
translate your own thoughts into another language and
And how dark is
your role as Mikael Eklund?
Michael: "The gloom is mainly in him. This can be
compared with the later works by Clint Eastwood. It
comes from the heart and head outwards. The dark side in
Mikael revolves around guilt and anger."
So the great Swedish subject of guilt?
Michael: "Yes, we are very good at it. I do not know
why. But he (Eklund) has also done some bad things and
was very close to the abyss. And, as for this dark side,
I have found out that I myself carry one in me. That's
why I'm often called when it comes to dark scripts. So
it's just a bit of myself."
the photo shoot taken for the interview with Henning
Harder in the first photo. Be sure to check out the
press photos as the
series premiered in France, Germany and Austria.
August 12, 2017
There's an excellent video interview
with Michael on the set of "Du Forsvinder"
at this link. The DVD will be released at the
end of this month on August 31. For more information,
visit the film page.
Michael's widow Catharina posted a
photo of herself with stepdaughter Ellen as they
vacationed at a yoga retreat in the Sierra Nevada region
of Spain last week. It's good to see them smiling.
August 8, 2017
up on the box-office and critically acclaimed hit
Underbara Älskade (Suddenly),
Johan Brisinger wrote and directed the 2010 film
ÄNGLAVAKT (Among Us)
starring Michael, Izabella Scorupco and Tcheký Karyo.
Mysticism weaves its way through this Swedish drama
about love and the power of hope. Cecelia and Ernst's
well-ordered and predictable life is suddenly thrown
into emotional chaos by their son's playground accident.
Nine-year-old Alexander is hospitalized and ends up in a
coma. In an attempt to deal with the situation, an
undermining rift in their relationship arises as Ernst’s
rational approach counters Cecelia's search for a deeper
meaning. In the midst of this enters a stranger named
Walter who speaks French, sings and brings world-class
wines to dinner. Is Walter an angel?
And do angels really exist? They do
in films, at least. Personally, I'm not a fan of angel
movies so the premise here was a challenge for me. When
Michael was offered the lead role, he said, "When I
first read the screenplay, it seemed like a mixture of
Woody Allen and Wim Wender's 'Wings of Desire'.
Michael wasn't one to shy away from
the supernatural and commented, "I'm not remotely bothered. People die, and there's a
kind of no man's land between life and death. What does
bother me, on the other hand, is superstition. I think
it's quite dangerous, and I'm not a fan of new age. But
I do think we're lacking a spiritual dimension, and it's
sad to see celebrity culture taking over from thoughts
about life and death. We're becoming one-dimensional,
where the only things that matter are what you can buy
or the rubbish you watch on television on the weekends.
It's a worrying trend to see diversity given over to
Brisinger said he
wanted a Swedish actress who had not worked with Michael
so that wasn't easy. He finally asked Izabella who
was living in Los Angeles and she liked the script and
wanted to join. In working with Michael, Izabella told
the press, "It feels absolutely wonderful. Can you feel
anything else with Michael? I have only known that he is
Sweden's absolute sex symbol. He is such an incredibly
good actor and a wonderful person to be with. It feels
like we've known each other for 20 years."
Michael agreed, "Yes, it does. Strange... It was in
mid-December when we met and ate dinner. I had seen
Izabella in movies and thought 'we will never meet'
because she was so far away doing James Bond and all
that stuff... When we met, we talked about everything -
children, jobs, etc. No barriers."
The film's religious overtones will remind some of
Så som i
It is in Heaven), which I absolutely adored.
Brisinger's film is more melancholic and its
dysfunctional element adds to its somberness and also
its tension. Rather than bringing joy with the sometimes
poetic performance of Turkish-French actor
Tcheký Karyo, he can annoy an audience. I mean who wants
to dance when your son is dying! That was certainly
* * * * *
* * * * *
Here is an especially sweet photo of
Michael and his wife. I would guess it was taken about
15 years ago.
August 4, 2017
Here are some new photos of Michael
in his scenes from the Danish film, "Du
Forsvinder". He looks so distinguished as a
In real life, his father was a
lawyer and encouraged his son to become one. He
didn't think much of an acting career but when his
father died, Michael cleaned his apartment and found
a closet full of clippings and posters. They
weren't just from local sources but also from
England and Germany. Unbeknownst to Michael, he had
been carefully following his career. That was a
Isn't it amazing how Michael
always became the person he was portraying. Take, for
example, the geeky tech guy he played in "I.T."
He is suddenly meek and quiet as if he draws his
whole body inward. Even while waiting for his next
The tech thriller did not fare
well at the box office and I certainly agree with
the critics. I don't know why Michael's agent
offered him the script. The
film begins with an interesting premise but doesn't
offer anything new and director John Moore should
have toned down Brosnan's over-the-top performance.
At least Michael adds some clout as the terse
intelligence spook but nothing can save this
disappointing movie. Don't bother renting it.
August 1, 2017
Today I finished creating the movie
page for ARN: The Knight Templar
(2007). The Arn films are based on a trilogy of novels
by Jan Guillou about the fictional Swedish Knight
Templar Arn Magnussonand. This was the most expensive
film production in Swedish history. It included two
theatrical releases and a television series as well.
Michael, who plays Arn's father, did not appear in the
second film - "Arn: The Kingdom at the End of the Road".
The cinematography and settings of
this medieval fantasy adventure are spectacular. Despite
the budget, there are no huge battle scenes to satisfy
the blood lust of many cinema goers, and the emphasis is
more on a thoughtful look at Arn's beliefs and how he
overcomes the obstacles that bar him from the woman he
loves. It stays as close as it can to the original books
and works on a personal level rather than as a
wide-sweeping historical epic.
Here's a photo of Michael in his
chain mail looking rather uncomfortable. It was actually
made of aluminum and was thus lightweight but in the
heat, it probably felt very hot.
Just ten years ago, Anna Warner of
Mariestads-Tidningen interviewed him in connection with
the ARN production. On June 8, 2007, the press was
invited to the set. Michael spent a few days filming in
Skaraborg. Though the interview took place several years
ago, the interview stuck with Anna. She says maybe it
was because he was a famous actor, but maybe even more
because he was special to talk to.
She says he had an interesting way of
floating away from the subject at hand, lose some
thought, look a bit absent, and then return directly and
be fully focused on the interview. She thought him kind
and calm. He told her that he was interested in history
but that Skaraborg's historical sites were unkown to
him. He said he thought they were beautiful and that he
would come back to look at the old stones. He also told
Anna that he liked the mood of the film team and
explained how he wanted it to feel. He said, "The best
thing for me is when I get really good contact with the
situation in the scene, and I feel it's trustworthy and
Anja Praesto, who worked on the ARN
project, commented, "We met a few times, most
superficially, yet enough to perceive him as humble and
kind. He was open and accommodating and a very talented
person. He seemed to be a nice type. Michael filmed a
lot at the Stenbrottet in Kinnekulle but also in
different scenes in other places in Västergötlan."
The Swedish premiere was held on
December 19, 2007 in Stockholm and was attended by
Michael and his children, Ellen and Arthur.