August 2018 Updates
August 30, 2018
The film pages for the two upcoming
submarine movies have been posted. It's surprising that
Michael was on location in France shooting
KURSK just weeks before his
demise. It's also surprising that nowhere in the media
was there any indication that Michael underwent any
treatment for his lung cancer including chemotherapy.
Perhaps it was diagnosed at such a late stage that
nothing could be done or he opted for less invasive
procedures so he could continue working. Many folks
survive a lot longer than a year with the right
treatment, sometimes even ten years like MLB broadcaster
Jerry Remy. Michael's widow Catharina discussed her
experience last January in the Tilsammans Mot Cancer
campaign sharing old photos.
* * * * *
Some new additions to the Cannes 2013
* * * * *
August 26, 2018
Swedish fans have recently been able
to view the "MADIBA" TV series on SVT and SVT
Play. That was the original title but SVT's presentation
is called "Mandela - en kamp för frihet" ("a struggle
for freedom"). The first episode was broadcast on
July 9th, which was the first time Swedish viewers saw
Michael in the role of Hendrik Verwoerd, the man who was
South Africa's prime minister from 1958 until murdered
* * * * *
Michael's last film KURSK will
be making its world premiere at the Toronto
International Film Festival (Tiff) in the "Special
Presentations" category on September 6. The film
recreates the tragic final hours of the real-life
nuclear submarine explosion that left the ship stranded
at the bottom of the Barents Sea, while bureaucratic
obstacles impeded rescue and their families’ search for
answers. The August 2000 sinking of the nuclear
submarine Kursk was a tragedy - one that could have been
avoided. It has been vividly recreated in this new film
from director Thomas Vinterberg and screenwriter Robert
Rodat. Here are three movie stills, a poster and photo
of Michael with a fellow actor.
* * * * *
2018 Release dates for "Hunter Killer"
Netherlands: October 25
Singapore: October 25
Romania: October 26
USA: October 26
UK: November 2
Lithuania: November 2
Germany: November 8
Italy: November 8
Portugal: November 8
South Africa: November 23
France: December 12
August 24, 2018
Back in 2010, the Swedes decided to
copy our "Inside the Actors Studio" hosted by James
Lipton and they created their own version with Stina
Lundberg Dabrowski interviewing at Filmhuset. Their
first guest on April 8th was French actress Catherine Deneuve. Among some of Sweden's actors who wanted to
take the opportunity to see and listen to the famous
beauty was Michael and he came alone. According to
reports, the French star looked at Stina with wrinkled
forehead and wrinkled nose and objected to most
questions. Yes, Stina did not look so comfortable when
Catherine Deneuve denied every statement and questioned
each question. I'm sure Michael was greatly
August 22, 2018
Michael's filmography includes a 1996
comedy called SÅNT
(Such is Life). It had to be a very minor role because
there is no mention of him in reviews nor any movie
stills of him. Writer/director Colin Nutley is one of
the best-known names in modern Swedish cinema and this
Englishman has given some very insightful views into the
Swedish way of living and thinking with a sharp eye for
oddities and particularities. Hence, the tools for
Nutley uses his regular leading
actress (and real-life wife) Helena Bergstrom as the
star of this dramatic comedy about love, broken promises
and fulfilled dreams. Overall, critics called it a fine
piece of filmmaking, with Nutley once again taking a
clear-eyed outsider’s view of his adopted country and
its inhabitants. It’s bleak subject-matter but told in a
darkly humorous way.
Among the cast members was Lena
Nyman, who starred with Michael in the theatre
ena sidan". I just found this photo of the pair
back in 2001 at the time of the play.
also joined Michael for a quick shoot on SVT's "Kobra"
show in October 2005. You can watch it at this
youtube link. Commenting on his involvement,
Michael said, "I think 'Kobra' is a crazy program so I
was very happy when they called." The second photo shows
Michael with "Kobra" co-stars Lena and Kristina Lugn.
* * * *
From an online archive is this photo
dated January 1986 described as "newly recruited
students to the theater school in Malmö."
These two photos show Michael's
graduation photo in 1989.
When Michael was admitted to the
school in Malmö in 1986, he met Krister Henriksson,
whom he later co-starred with in one of the Wallender
episodes. When Michael died last year, Krister spoke
about his colleague. He said, "He came to me when he was
at stage school and I was initially a teacher to him.
That's what our relationship was. I was the teacher and
he the student so we never became friends without that
particular relationship between us. I saw an enormous
talent in him. We worked at the same theater but never
with the same productions. I think Micke was a little
shy with me. I was an authority in his eyes." He added,
"The great thing was the uncertainty he always brought
with him, which he often spoke about. He was adopted and
abandoned in early years and I think that uncertainty is
something that forms a whole life. Being abandoned by
his mother, it is clear that it creates some will to be
During the filming of the
"Mastermind" episode in the Wallender TV series, Krister
and Michael resided at Ystad Saltsjöbad, a beachfront
hotel and spa in Skåne.
Krister recalled, "Sometimes we would take an evening
walk together. Micke was not a party animal, but
extremely disciplined and dedicated to his job."
Krister had seen Michael a few months
before he died. He recalled, "I knew that he was ill and
could tell with my own eyes that he looked sick, so I
understood that there was something. But not that he
would die. It was not supposed to end like
this because he had so much left to give. He was
enjoying an international career and still moving
forward. Some are already in their 40s thinking, 'Now
I'm Here and Here It Will Be'. But Micke always moved
forward many thanks to his huge curiosity. I'm sorry
that it will end now. I had looked forward to his
Krister with his actress wife Cecilia
Nilsson at Michael's funeral:
August 18, 2018
One of Michael's earliest theatre
appearances was in ANGELS IN AMERICA, which was
staged in two parts in 1995 and 1996 at Stockholm's
Stadsteater. In 1993 Tony Kushner’s play premiered at
the Eureka Theatre in San Francisco’s Mission District.
Within two years it had won the Pulitzer Prize and begun
a New York run that would dominate the Tony Awards two
years in a row, revitalize the non-musical play on
Broadway, and change the way gay lives were represented
in pop culture.
played the role of Louis Ironson, who embodies all the stereotypes of the neurotic Jew:
anxious, ambivalent and perpetually guilty. Yet that
guilt does not prevent him from leaving his lover Prior
when he contracts AIDS. Louis's moral journey, from
callous abandonment to genuine repentance and sorrow, is
one of the key maturations in the play. His awakening of
responsibility parallels the awakening that the play
seeks to awaken in its audiences. Critics often call
Louis a stand-in for the playwright.
* * * * *
The 100 CODE TV series
has come to an end on WGN America. I watched it
mainly for Michael's performance so I often fast-fowarded
scenes, thereby not carefully following the plot. Some characters were terribly annoying
like Hanna, Michael's on screen daughter. Her character
was so dislikable and her dialogue
with her father continually showed unforgiving
disrespect and I just wanted to slap her. Who writes
this crap? Michael did not disappoint, but at times it
was difficult to distinguish this new "Mikael" from the
"Mikael" of the Millennium Trilogy. He
could have developed a more unique personality. Possibly the script was to blame and it didn't
help that the name was the same.
Michael discussed his character in an interview saying,
"I did not want to show him tired, but angry. He is
afraid of himself." I think he shows him more tired than
angry. The series is based on the novel by Irish author
Ken Bruens but Michael refused to read the book before
filming because he believed his personality should be
reflected in the role. Perhaps he would have benefitted
had he read the book. On the cultural differences, he
made me laugh when he said, "Americans are louder, more
vulgar, more brutal. We Swedes live in fear, looking out
the window and wondering if God exists."
Co-star Dominic Monaghan's past comments about Michael
indicate he had a lot of respect for him as an actor and
a friend and appreciated the opportunity to work with
him. Dominic told the press, "Looking back now, a lot of
my memories were interactions that I had with Micke -
laughing and joking and enjoying each other’s company.
He was a lovely, lovely guy. And, obviously, it was very
sad to hear that he got sick and passed away. He
was very friendly, very welcoming, very cool. He was
generous with his time."
In a recent
phone interview, Monaghan said that while filming in
Sweden, Micke was his guide to Stockholm, offering
dining tips, places to see and people to meet. He
continued, "He was kind of my way in to Stockholm. I
spent Midsummer with him and his family, which was an
unforgettable experience. Everyone has to make a toast
to people and sing songs, drink vodka and eat amazing
food. I had a great time with Micke. He was a
fantastic actor and someone who was really fun to work
with because he came prepared with an idea and he
played. I like actors that play, and he was very
playful. I loved working with him."
Monaghan also commented on Twitter -
"He was a nice man with a contagious smile, a good dad
and a good actor."
Here are some new photos taken on
location during filming. I love his hat, which he often
wore on shoots.
* * * * *
Flashback to 1992 - Michael with
two-year-old daughter Ellen.
August 14, 2018
With the sixth installment of the "Mission
Impossible" series premiering in US theaters a
couple weeks ago, it's time to look back at Michael's
villainous role in the fourth installment called "Ghost
Protocol". What's strange is that after reading over
150 reviews, in the majority of them, he's never
mentioned. He should have been thankful for that because
if he were discussed, there were unfavorable comments.
As the baddie Kurt Hendricks, Michael
had possibly ten minutes of screen time out of the
film's 138 minutes with perhaps twenty lines of
dialogue. He and Ethan Hunt don't share one exchange of
dialogue throughout the film. Villains are usually the
highlight in films of this genre. They give us the most
colorful characterization, the most flamboyant
performances. As the nuclear war madman, Michael isn’t
asked to do much more than carry a steel briefcase, look
menacing, and fight Tom Cruise, which he does in the
parking garage sequence at the end of the film. We know
that the original script called for more screen time
because in his book Dansa för oss,
Michael writes about the devastation he felt at the
film's NY premiere when he realized some of his best
scenes were on the floor of the editing room.
David Germain from the Associated
Press wrote, "Nyqvist shows hints of the unhinged
villain he no doubt could play with relish. But he's
unfortunately shackled by a few brief scenes that never
give him a chance to unleash his inner Blofeld."
Though the present installment
"Fallout" has a rating of 97% on the Rotten Tomatometer,
"Ghost Protocol" wasn't far behind with 93%. It shows
that an undercooked plot and a weak villain ultimately
mattered little because director Brad Bird imbued the
film with exotic locale shots with wide framing, a focus
on glossy style over dark grit, ambitious stunts rather
than generic shootouts, a variety of high-tech gadgets,
and even a sense of humor.
I don't believe Michael ever
regretted doing the film. He must have been paid
handsomely, maybe 2 or 3 million, out of the production
budget of $145 million. He told the press, "It's hard work to be involved in such
a giant project. Sometimes you work for nineteen hours.
But it's fun too. In particular, I felt that I would
never get to do this in Europe."
After Michael's death last year,
several of his close friends shared how he loved
discussing Hollywood gossip, such as Tom Cruise's
entourage of cult healers and therapists. However, he
was discreet in always being gracious when talking about
the controversial superstar with the press since there
were confidentiality clauses in his contract.
Michael was actually in New York at
the time he was offered the role. He had a week off from
filming "Abduction" in Pittsburgh. After discussing the
five-month shoot with his wife, he signed up. He said he
must be "stupid in the head" not to. He first met Cruise
in Prague where filming started in October 2011. Cruise
wanted to speak with our Swede about Ingmar Bergman. The
action star has never shown much complexity, depth or
intelligence, so I was surprised he would be truly
interested in European art films but perhaps that was
his way of engaging Michael.
On working with Cruise, Michael said,
"Tom did his stunts himself. Heights are not my thing at
all. I was nauseated just by looking out the
window. He, on the other hand, would be out there
hanging. I told him that 'you have to be born on a
ladder. You're supposed to be scared up here'. 'No, no,'
he said, 'it's just fun.'"
He also tells this funny story about
the Bura Kalifa shoot: "I was in Dubai for a month and I
was there when he climbed the tower. The guy is really
crazy! I was really impressed. Before I do that myself,
I prefer to shoot myself! I read a Swedish newspaper
online at the hotel and they had a holiday video from a
Swede who filmed his wife in front of one of the windows
in the Burj Kalifa.
She just said a few greetings to the family: 'Hi, I'm
here in the Burj Kalifa, the tallest building in the
world, outside you see Dubai - and there's Tom Cruise.'
The camera wobbles, the man asks 'what?' and she says,
'Yes, Tom Cruise was just climbing down there.' And then
he came up again. He had to take another shot and waved
into the camera."
Summing it up, Michael told the
press, "'MI: 4' is, in a sense, an American
James Bond film. Everyone on the planet knows 'Mission
Impossible'. I am honored. The shoot took a long time.
It became my life. We traveled around the world and had
a great time. I do not know how old I was when I saw
'Mission Impossible' for the first time. Where I come from as an actor, you mainly shoot dramas -
that's what I love too. But to shoot an action movie,
and then in the US, where you understand something of
it, that was a challenge and a kick."
At one point in the film, our villain
is shown in some archival footage during the Cold
War. For that shoot, these new additions show Michael on location as a
younger Hendricks with brown hair instead of his silver
* * * * *
After some investigation, I've
discovered the new URL for The Michael Nyqvist
Foundation. The domain name used to be
michaelnyqvistfoundation.org and now you must access at -
I have no idea why they wouldn't
continue to pay the measly cost for the domain name.
It's up for sale right now. Obviously, Anders Tempelman
was a friend of Michael's. He had written the script for
the film, EN VETERINÄR FÖR MCYKET, in which
Michael was to make his directorial debut. On Anders'
web site, you can find this quote from Michael: "The
most interesting thing about Anders, isn't what he
writes or even how. It's the fact that he writes. This
isn't the beginning, not the end, but the start of an
ending you didn't think was possible. That's the way
Anders is, so good you don't know how it's going to end.
Like mogul skiing with mini-skis, hilariously
* * * * *
August 10, 2018
Michael's filmography now includes a
film page for the 2005 Norwegian psychological thriller
NABOER. It actually
means neighbor but the filmmakers decided on NEXT DOOR
for its English title. I'd love to say Michael
is memorable in this movie, but, unfortunately, he
doesn't bring anything unique to his minor role. In the
lead as John though is Norwegian actor Kristoffer Joner,
whom I have previously seen in The Wave, The
Revenant and King of Devil's Island. An
engaging actor, Joner can bring the right amount of
creepiness to his various characters.
When his girlfriend Ingrid leaves
him, John is quite upset. More so than he initially
realizes, and Next Door is essentially the story
of that realization. Invited into a rather strange
apartment by a couple of strange neighbors, things get
strange rather quickly. The apartment is inhabited by
two attractive women named Anne and Kim, and is laid out
in an Escheresque manner that enhances the nightmarish
world that John has entered.
There are a few disturbing scenes as
the story delves into the depths of John's sexual
preferences that make for difficult viewing. This is
more than rough sex.
Seamlessly blending in shades of Hitchcock, Lynch, Cronenberg and Polanski, the writer/director pulls the
audience into a terrifying and claustrophobic world of
one troubled man. Personally, it brought to mind scenes
from Blue Velvet and The Shining and
evoked the famous quote from Twin Peaks - "The
owl is not what it seems".
The movie was highly anticipated in
Norway, particularly because of certain scenes earning
the film an over-18 rating. Norwegian reviewers were
highly positive about the movie. Jon Selås, writing for
Verdens Gang, gave the movie six out of six points.
Selås called Joner's performance the best of his career.
Dagbladet's Inger Bentzrud called the movie
"intelligent", and gave it five out of six points. This
particularly haunting mix of psychological terror and
erotic thriller turned out to be one of the best
examples of horror films from Scandinavia. It was
screened at several film festivals and had a worldwide
When the film was screened at the
Philadelphia Film Festival, Todd Brown of Screen Anarchy
wrote, "It is very likely the best film I have seen all
year and I would go as far as to say this is a landmark
film in its particular genre, one of the very best films
about sexual obsession, violence and paranoia ever made.
Next Door is an absolutely ferocious powerhouse
of a film, grabbing firm hold from the opening scene and
not slackening its grip until the potent final image has
faded from the screen. Wow. Just wow. Equal parts
Hitchcock and Lynch, this is a dark, twisted, surreal
trip into the depths of the human psyche."
* * * * *
There's a new addition to the 2015 photo
shoot gallery. Check
* * * * *
I came across these screen captures from
the 2016 movie I.T.
"I.T." had a wide distribution
internationally but on the review aggregator website
Rotten Tomatoes, the film had an approval rating of 10%
indicating generally unfavorable reviews. Justin Lowe of
The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Michael Nyqvist,
playing a shadowy security expert who assists Mike in
dealing with his unwanted admirer, has had many more
impressive turns than this underwhelming supporting
role" while critic Christian Toto added, "Let us hope he
picked up two salaries for his troubles." Ouch! About
this time, I think a new talent/booking agent was in
When Michael finished filming, he
described his role - "Henrik is an IT technician with
Asperger's Syndrome so it was a fun and interesting role
to play with different diagnoses." I think this was
Michael's personal take on the character. He did tell
the press that Pierce Brosnan was "very nice" adding "it
turned out we had the same theater teacher and also
common friends, such as Stellan Skarsgård."
August 6, 2018
Adding to Michael's television work
is a page for REUTER &
SKOOG, a comedy series starring Suzanne Reuter
and Ulla Skoog, who were referred to as Sweden's
funniest women. The sketch program was shown for the
first time in the winter of 1999/2000 in SVT and
became a big success with almost a few million viewers
on average. The series was broadcast in 16 episodes in
two seasons 1999-2000 and 2001. Michael appeared in two
episodes in 2001 - "Framgångsrika kvinnor" and "I
sanningens tjänst." A selection of scenes and sketches
have been published on both VHS and DVD.
Michael also worked with Suzanne on
stage in the 2005 Edward Albee play, "Geten
Eller Vem Är Sylvia".
Here are a couple more publicity shots from that
* * * * *
Happy times... This is a photo taken
five years ago showing Michael and wife Catharina
celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary at
Stockholm's Grand Hotel. It was August 2013 and they are
seated in the hotel's beautiful Cadiar Bar.
* * * * *
I've added these seven new photos to the
"Min så kallade pappa" photo gallery. They were taken on
August 18, 2014 when the film premiered at the Swedish
And this handsome new photo is
from Michael's interview with MovieZine when
promoting the film in September 2014.
August 2, 2018
in the summer of 2015, Michael was involved in some ad
campaigns for a boat he purchased, the Ockelbo 18AL.
Having grown up with summers in the archipelago since he
was little, he knew Ockelbo was a name that was almost
holy. He was especially interested in this model and was
one of the first to purchase it. Michael was fascinated
by its stability explaining that the hull had extremely
good balance. You can watch a
video interview with Michael in which he
discusses his decision to go with Ockelbo.
His summer residence in the northern
archipelago was a place that he referred to as his
"paradise" describing it as "incredibly beautiful". Here
are some of his own photos:
* * * * *
The trailer for the upcoming film
HUNTER KILLER has been released and can be
at this link. On July 19, 2016, Hollywood
Reporter announced that Michael had joined the cast
of the submarine action film in the role of Captain
Sergei Andropoyov. Filming began the following week
Directed by Donovan Marsh, the
film stars Gerard Butler, Gary Oldman and Common.
Based on the novel Firing Point by George
Wallace and Don Keith, Hunter Killer is set
below the polar ice cap and centers on a submarine
commander who teams with a group of U.S. Navy SEALs
to rescue the Russian president that has been
kidnapped by a rogue general. It is up to the
untested submarine commander and his crew to keep
Russia and the U.S. from the brink of a nuclear
The following are some screen
captures from scenes with Michael. The film is due
to be released on October 26 in the states.