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Monday, May 27, 2024

Liv Ullmann films up a storm

After long days of filming outdoors at Hjellestad on Norway’s weather-beaten west coast, veteran actress Liv Ullmann can honestly say she’s filmed up a storm. Quite literally.

Liv Ullmann's last role in Norway was in the stage production of "Long Day's Journey into Night." PHOTO: Riksteatret

“Being out here at Hjellestad in the wind and gales, it’s the sort of surroundings where I really feel Norwegian,” Ullmann, who has spent many years living in the US, told Bergen newspaper Bergensavisen (BA).

Ullmann is in the cast of a new German film called To liv (Two lives) that tells the story of a family caught in the drama of World War II. Ullmann plays the Norwegian mother of a girl sent to Germany right after the war, because her father had been a German soldier.

The film deals with the way Norwegian women who had relationships with Germans were treated after the war, and the way they were treated by the Stasi regime in the former East Germany. It’s a story of trauma, intrigue and spying but mostly, reports Dagsavisen, a family drama.

It has brought Ullmann back to Norway for more acting work, even though she said her days on stage ended with last year’s highly acclaimed production of Long Day’ Journey into Night, which toured Norway for several months. Hjellestad, a small place on the sea north of Bergen, was chosen as the place where Ullmann’s character was living after being reunited with her daughter who grew up in Germany.

The daughter is being played by German actress Juliane Köhler, who played the role of Eva Braun in the film Der Untergang, detailing Hitler’s final days. Köhler learned Norwegian to take on her role in the film, which also stars Norwegian actors Sven Nordin and Julia Bache-Wiig.

Ullmann was also reported to be heading to Ireland just after New Year, to scout locations  for her next inernational film, an adaptation of August Strindberg’s play Frøken Julie.

“I can’t reveal the ensemble now, but I will use Irish actors as servants and British as the masters of the house,” Ullmann said. She also said she’d be “setting up” one of her favorite plays at a theater in Oslo next fall, but wouldn’t go into detail. The film she’s now working on, To liv, is due to premier next fall as well.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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