Peter Stormare has appeared in over 100 films which include such memorable roles as Gaear Grimsrud in “Fargo” and Lev Andropov in “Armageddon”. Movie Mikes had a chance to speak with Peter recently about his career and what he has in store for the future.
Adam Lawton: What made you get into acting?
Peter Stormare: At the time in Sweden, there were really no other alternatives for me. It was either become an outlaw, a poet or an actor.
AL: Can you tell us what it was like working with the Coen Brothers?
PS: It was sheer pleasure. They are always so prepared and know exactly what they are doing. They kind of have an old school way of thinking in that 90% of the movie is made during the preparation stage. A lot of young directors never seem to do their homework. As an actor it’s very disturbing to come prepared for a shoot only to meet a director who doesn’t have a clue where the camera should be or what they want the scene to be about. More so lately I say “If you don’t do your homework…why should I do mine!”
AL: What was it like being a part of such a great movie and cast in “Armageddon?”
PS: I love Michael Bay and all of his craziness. He let me improvise throughout that whole movie. We really found some golden nuggets which made it into the film. The crap we cut out. That line “American components, Russian components they’re all made in Taiwan”. That was all me!
AL: What was it like returning to work on the “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” after Heath Ledgers passing?
PS: It was sad and strange all at the same time. There was a gathering of people around Terry Gilliam who wanted to rejoice in the sheer energy Heath had and shared with everyone. The entire cast from one liner’s to the bigger parts came on board for little to no pay. We did it for Heath and for Terry Gilliam. I had the privilege to get to know heath. He was so talented even beyond acting. He was an artist in all ways. He made some amazing photos, drawings and music. Sadly some of us have to say good bye early. Heath was one of them. During “The Brothers Grim”, I used to sit and watch him on the monitor. He reminded me of Johnny Depp. To me Johnny is one of the most innovative actors in the history of filmmaking. No disrespect to Brando, DeNiro or Pacino but for me Johnny Depp has it all and so did Heath Ledger.
AL: If you had to pick one of your performances as a favorite. What would it be?
PS: I think it’s impossible to pick. I hope the next project will bring that to the tale. The past is forgotten and will never return. I am a today kind of guy mixed with a little bit of future on the side.
AL: Can you tell us about any of your upcoming projects?
PS: No! They are all top secret. Just kidding…I have many projects in the works right now. Hopefully some of them will become real. I do want you to watch “The Superball” as there might be a cheese head that shows up holding a beer in his hand.