For Vicky Krieps, life and art blend on ‘Bergman Island’

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Vicky Krieps was not Mia Hansen-Løve’s first option to star in “ Bergman Island.” She wasn’t the second, third or twelfth alternative both as a result of the position of Chris, a filmmaker who goes on a writing retreat to Fårö along with her filmmaker husband, already belonged to Greta Gerwig.

However just some months earlier than filming, Gerwig was advised if she needed to direct “Little Women” it needed to occur then. That’s the place Krieps enters the image.

Like the remainder of the world, Hansen-Løve had fallen for her in “Phantom Thread.“ And she liked that the actor would add a European flair to the character. Krieps wanted it, too, although it would be complicated — everything is with two children involved.

“The minute I read the email, I knew, ‘I’m going to make this movie, but now I’m going to have to tell everyone else and they’re not going to be OK with it.’ And they weren’t,” Krieps, 38, mentioned. “I had just planned my year, and it’s never easy to negotiate when I can work. For a woman to work, it’s always negotiation.“

And there was a big catch: The actor who was playing Chris’ husband, Tony, had also left and they had yet to find a replacement. So Krieps was going to have to uproot her family and go to an island in the Baltic Sea with very little notice to film a project that is at least partially about a marriage without knowing who her husband is.

“It’s not so easy to find a man to play just the husband,” she mentioned. “It sounds crazy, but it’s true.”

Ultimately Tim Roth joined as Tony.

It’s not the form of story that’s often advised when persons are speaking about how movies get made, when everybody insists that so-and-so was the primary and solely alternative and that all the pieces went in accordance with plan. And but it’s the reality, and nevertheless messy and sophisticated it may be, it additionally produced one thing transcendent that feels prefer it was at all times meant to be.

Regardless of all the explanations to not do it, the pull to “Bergman Island“ was strong. And it had very little to do with Ingmar Bergman or his films. In Chris, Krieps saw herself — a woman who was a mother, an artist and a lover, but didn’t know what order those identities should take, especially in contrast to a more successful husband.

“It’s really a question of, ‘Who am I as a woman in my life?’” Krieps mentioned. “It’s the story of a woman accepting her way and accepting, that, ‘Well, I don’t have a technique.’“

Over the course of the film, which opens in theaters Friday, realities start to blur and the audience is transported into Chris’s imagination as she tells Tony about an idea for a film: A woman (Mia Wasikowska) who goes to a wedding on Bergman Island and reconnects with an ex (Anders Danielsen Lie).

Like all Hansen-Løve films, the story shares some similarities with the director’s personal life. She had a relationship and a child with French filmmaker Olivier Assayas.

“(Mia) said, ‘as you might know, my movies are always kind of autobiographical, but not really. It’s drawn from my life, but it’s not really my life. If you want to know, you can ask,’” Krieps mentioned. “But I don’t feel the need to know, so I didn’t ask. I always knew it was kind of being her in a way. But we never talked about it.”

They simply trusted each other. Krieps felt like there was an invisible connection that they shared, each figuring out how tough it’s to stay inventive and productive whereas additionally caring for kids.

“Sometimes you hear interviews by actors, like ‘then I prepared for this role, you know, and I lost so many pounds for one year.’ Yeah, well, if I had someone looking after my kids, I would love to prepare like that. I can never prepare like that because it’s always on and off,“ she said in a hushed voice so as not to awaken her kids sleeping a wall away. “But I think that gives us women a different kind of strength which can lead us into different realms or different imaginations,”

Krieps has not settled on a solution of what side of her life ought to be the dominating drive, by the way in which, however she’s OK with that. Chris helped her get there.

“The most daring and courageous thing is to let go and to leap into the unknown. Like I did in this movie without knowing who my husband is, without knowing who my other lead actor is,“ she said. ”Even in my non-public life, I’ve discovered that that is the one approach. Each morning, it’s a leap into the unknown. And I do suppose that within this nice insecurity of not figuring out, there’s peace to be present in letting go.”

And regardless of her worries, her children ended up having a terrific time on vacation in Fårö whereas she labored. The expertise additionally allowed her to take inventory of the eye that was thrust upon her after “Phantom Thread.”

“I wasn’t suddenly picturing myself being this actress in Hollywood. I did much of the opposite. I kind of went away from Hollywood. My life had changed in a way. I wasn’t who I was before, but then I wasn’t someone new either and I wasn’t going to move to L.A. so who was I then? It was a very strange place to be. It took me really two years to process it,” she mentioned.

“I think making ‘Bergman Island’ really helped me because I had this landscape, this place I could come back to. I could meditate on all these questions… I think the images of the movie are so good because it’s transcending from a reality to reality, back to your reality. I think that’s what happened with ‘Phantom Thread.’ I had to get lost in some kind of weird space and then get back.”


Comply with AP Movie Author Lindsey Bahr on Twitter:

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