Pernilla August (SE)

Through chance and fate, Pernilla August holds a curious record in Swedish cinema that no one before or after her will ever surpass: she has acted in films by Ingmar Bergman, Bo Widerberg, Vilgot Sjöman, Jan Troell, Lasse Hallström and Roy Andersson. These days she is very much a director in her own right.

Three of these legendary Swedish directors are now gone, Hallström lives and works mainly in America and Andersson is notorious for never using professional actors, at least since 1975. Unsurpassable, indeed!

At the age of eight, she was bitten by the theatre bug and would later cut classes in order to perform in plays. Through a friend, she was cast in a Kodak commercial directed to Roy Andersson, who also gave her the part of the young girl in the closing shots of Giliap (1975). In 1979, she was admitted at the National Academy of Mime and Acting (NAMA) in Stockholm and graduated in 1982. During her studies, she played supporting parts in Linus and the Mysterious Red Brick House (Linus eller tegelhusets hemlighet, 1979) by Vilgot Sjöman and Tuppen (“The Rooster”, 1981) by Lasse Hallström. Ingmar Bergman spotted her in the latter and cast her as Maj, the cheerful maid who eventually bears patriarch Gustaf Adolf’s child, in Fanny and Alexander (Fanny och Alexander, 1982) which then led to three portrayals of Bergman’s own mother Karin, in Best Intentions (Den goda viljan, 1992, dir: Bille August), Private Confessions (Enskilda samtal, 1997, dir: Liv Ullmann) and In the Presence of a Clown (Larmar och gör sig till, 1997, dir: Bergman). Simultaneously, she managed to work regularly with Bo Widerberg, who rarely would employ “Bergman actors” (the two had something of a antagonistic relationship) but who worked with her on stage and screen, notably Ibsen’s The Wild Duck (as Gina) and The Serpent’s Way (Ormens väg på hälleberget, 1986). Through her Palme d’Or-winning performance in Best Intentions, directed by her then-husband, Bille August, she was cast in two August-directed episodes of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1993), which led to George Lucas and two Star Wars instalments: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) and Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002), where she portrayed Shmi Skywalker. She has also had a fruitful career in Danish cinema, working with the likes of Simon Staho, Per Fly and Ole Bornedal.

As self-taught director, Pernilla August debuted with the short subject Time-Bomb (Blindgångare) in 2005. Her first feature, Beyond (Svinalängorna, 2010), premiered at Venice, where it won the International Critics’ Week Award. In Denmark, she conceptualized and also directed a number of episodes of the television series The Legacy (Arvingerne, 2014-). Her second feature, A Serious Game (Den allvarsamma leken, 2016) was based on Swedish author Hjalmar Söderberg’s classic novel and had a script by Lone Scherfig. She recently contributed to the omnibus project Bergman Revisited (2018) with the episode Scener ur natten (“Night Scenes”), starring herself together with her daughters Alba and Asta August.

In 2018 Pernilla August is shooting Britt-Marie was Here, based on the novel by A Man Called Ove author Fredrik Backman. August plays the title character with Tuva Novotny directing.

Jan Lumholdt (2018)

Basic info

Main profession: Director
Born: 1958
Active: 1971-


Scener ur natten (2018)
Den allvarsamma leken (2016)
Svinalängorna (2010)
Blindgångare (2005)

Svinalängorna (2010)

Britt-Marie var här (2019)
Eld & lågor (2019)
Scener ur natten (2018)
Bergmans reliquarium (2018)
Filmworker (2017)
Gentlemen & Gangsters (2016)
Michael Nyqvist – ett porträtt (2016)
Det vita folket (2015)
Gentlemen (2014)
Bergmans video (2013)
Call Girl (2012)
Dom över död man (2012)
Hamilton – I nationens intresse (2012)
Kalla ingenting försent (2012)
Faces no 1-6 (2010)
Det enda rationella (2009)
Kenny Begins (2009)
Miss Kicki (2009)
Elias och Kungaskeppet (2007)
Flickan och räven (2007)
Den som viskar (2006)
Sök (2006)
Doxa (2005)
Dråpet (2005)
Mun mot mun (2005)
Dag och natt (2004)
Det levande slottet (2004)
Rancid (2004)
Spår (2004)
Terrorman (2004)
Detaljer (2003)
Eiffeltornet (2003)
Heliga Birgitta 1303 – 1373 (2003)
Om jag vänder mig om (2003)
En kärleksaffär (2002)
Jag är Dina (2002)
Karlsson på taket (2002)
Star Wars: Episod II – Klonerna anfaller (2002)
Sprängaren (2001)
Anna (2000)
Dinosaurier (2000)
Födelsedagen (2000)
Gossip (2000)
Ljuset håller mig sällskap (2000)
Där regnbågen slutar (1999)
Maria, Jesu mor (1999)
Offer och gärningsmän (1999)
Offer och gärningsmän. Konsulten och sveket (1999)
Star Wars: episod I – det mörka hotet (1999)
Glasblåsarns barn (1998)
Ernst Billgrens Kontakt (1998)
Sista kontraktet (1998)
Den siste yankeen (1997)
Larmar och gör sig till (1997)
Enskilda samtal (1996)
Jerusalem (1996)
En nämndemans död (1995)
Minns Ni? (1993)
Den goda viljan (1992)
Saras ande (1990)
7 maj 1945 (1989)
Den döende dandyn (1989)
Vildanden (1989)
Ägget (1987)
Ormens väg på hälleberget (1986)
Den tragiska historien om Hamlet – prins av Danmark (1985)
Blomsterbudet (1984)
Hur ska det gå för Pettersson? (1984)
Alfred Nobel – Mr. Dynamite (1983)
Fanny och Alexander (1983)
Fanny och Alexander (1982)
Tuppen (1981)
Linus eller Tegelhusets hemlighet (1979)
Giliap (1975)

Praktikant: Broster broster (1971)

Read more about the films at Svensk Filmdatabas (SE)


2013 Guldbaggenominerad Bästa kvinnliga huvudroll Call Girl
2011 Guldbagge Bästa regi Svinalängorna
2011 Guldbaggenominerad  Bästa manuskript Svinalängorna
2011 Guldbaggenominerad Bästa kvinnliga huvudroll Miss Kicki
2010 Region Skånes kulturpris
2004 Festivalpris (Genève)  Detaljer (Bästa kvinnliga skådespelerska, vid festivalen Cinema Tout Écran, Genève)
2004 Pris (Rouen) Om jag vänder mig om (bästa kvinnliga skådespelare, Rouen, Frankrike)
2004 Guldbaggenominerad Bästa kvinnliga biroll Om jag vänder mig om
2004 Guldbaggenominerad Bästa skådespelerska Detaljer
2000 Guldbagge Bästa kvinnliga biroll Där regnbågen slutar
1997 Silver Hugo Enskilda samtal (bästa skådespelerska)
1997 Festivalpris (Viareggio) 1997 Enskilda samtal (bästa skådespelerska)
1997 Festivalpris (Valladolid) Enskilda samtal (bästa skådespelerska)
1993 Guldbagge  Bästa skådespelerska Den goda viljan
1992 Festivalpris (Cannes) Den goda viljan (bästa skådespelerska)

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