"Swedes Are So Cool"

Kvllsposten, 2 June 2008
By Robert Ullmin
** Thanks Jonas for the translation

The role of Kurt Wallander is incredibly fascinating. He has problems with his daughter and father and has problems with women, too. But he does his job as a policeman very well and solves murders to the best of his ability. Yesterday, the internationally famous British actor Kenneth Branagh made what was possibly the only appearance until BBC's three Wallander films are completed.

Branagh, who is also co-financier of the three Henning Mankell books "Sidetracked", "One Step Behind" and "Firewall", has found a real challenge in the character of Kurt Wallander.

Or, as producer Francis Hopkinson put it:
""Midsummer Murders" and "Inspector Morse" are traditional English films where the investigation moves along at a very even pace."
"Kurt Wallander is something very different. In the books and films we find gray and mundane everyday life and much more of a political colour."

With a twinkle in his eye, Kenneth Branagh concludes that Kurt Wallander "would probably not be an easy friend to get along with".

Met on Gottland
Last year Branagh and Henning Mankell met during the Ingemar Bergman festival on isle of Gotland. They started talking and 6 months later the contract was signed with banks and production companies.

"Things have gone so very fast", says Branagh.

What does he like about living in Ystad? "The Swedes are bloody cool. The neighbors hardly reacts if they open their blinds to find a 70-man strong film crew."

Charming mood
"The Swedish mood is both charming and a bit special, at least where I live."
In the Swedish version Wallander loves opera. Branagh's Wallander does not.
"I don't have the time. People get murdered all the time..."

Three films a year
Yesterday the British team announced that they want to do three new Wallander films every year. Right now it is just a hopeful plan, but indications have been positive.
Will they film all Mankell's novels?
"Not all. One is mainly set in Africa, that just does not work", Branagh laughs.
"But we may see more of Ystad next year."

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