Here’s something that may surprise you: Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård hasn’t been back to Boston since filming Good Will Hunting some 20 years ago. Well, that’s not completely true. “Actually, there was a passenger with a heart attack on a flight from LA to London once, so we had to stop overnight in Boston,” says Skarsgård, who famously played math professor Gerald Lambeau in the Oscar-winning film. “But it was so late at night, nobody was awake.”
Perhaps Skarsgård hasn’t returned to Beantown since Hunting because he’s not the type to look back. Or perhaps it’s because he’s been too busy with work. Since 2000, Skarsgård has appeared in more than 60 (!) films or TV shows, including memorable turns in big-budget productions like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Mama Mia!, Thor, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Avengers.
In his latest cinematic endeavor, Skarsgård plays a snowplow driver out to avenge his son’s death in the Norway-set In Order of Disappearance (think: Taken with more snow), which hits theaters, VOD and iTunes tomorrow.
I recently sat down with Skarsgård and the director of Disappearance, Hans Petter Moland, to discuss the movie, filming in arctic temperatures and thumb fluffers. Here’s a written-and-video mash-up of the conversation.
“This was the coldest film I ever shot. You could actually see in some scenes that I cannot move my face because it’s so cold.”
Ever since playing Gerald Lambeau in Good Will Hunting, do people think that you’re good at math?
Stellan Skarsgård: No, they know I’m an actor and they know that I’m not that smart.
I know you weren’t even in this scene, but do people ever shout out to you, “How do you like them apples?”
SS: No. You’re a big Good Will Hunting fan, aren’t you?
I am. But that’s the last question on that. This film, In Order of Disappearance, is a wild ride. I watched it last night and really enjoyed it. It seems like it was a very cold shoot. Is that right?
Hans Petter Moland: Yeah. It was about minus 30 to minus 40 [Celsius] the whole time. So I felt sorry for the guys in suits and no hats. But the rest of us had good clothing. Stellan probably had the best situation, being the snowplow driver, with insulated pants. He looked like he came straight from kindergarten.
You do a lot of killing in the movie. Was that cathartic at all?
SS: No, it’s a job.
Hans, did you know he’d be really good at killing people?
HPM: I know him well enough to know there’s a lot of pent-up anger in him, so I figured, give him half a chance, he would go at it with a lot of gusto and delight.
SS: But it’s like with math, you know? I faked it.
So you shot this in Norway, correct?
Stellan, not to give too much away, but early on in the film, there’s a scene where you put a big gun in your mouth. Is that freaky at all? Is that scary at all?
SS: No, it’s not because I know it’s not loaded. And I pretend that I’m going to shoot myself but I know I’m not going to shoot myself, so it’s all acting.
Anything you’d like to add, Hans?
HPM: To the bullets, you mean?
Do you think this could get nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film?
HPM: No, it won’t be. Another film was nominated from Norway. They hate me in Norway.
HPM: I guess I’m too American, I don’t know. [Laughs] No, but it could be nominated for an American Academy Award.
In Order of Disappearance hits theaters, VOD and iTunes tomorrow.
Check out the trailer below: