IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Peter Stormare Talks 'Autumn Blood,' 'The BIg Lebowski 2' and 'The Blacklist'

Wednesday, 22 October 2014 18:48 Written by  Jami Philbrick
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IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Peter Stormare Talks 'Autumn Blood,' 'The BIg Lebowski 2' and 'The Blacklist'

Swedish born actor Peter Stormare has become one of the most popular supporting actors working in Hollywood today. 

Stormare first gained attention for his role in the Coen Brothers classic Fargo, and has gone on to appear in such successful films as The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Armageddon, The Big Lebowski, Minority Report, Constantine, Pain & Gain, and 22 Jump Street. He is also known for his work on television playing mob boss John Abruzzi on Prison Break, and most recently appearing as main antagonist Berlin on The Blacklist. But now Stormare returns to the big screen with his new film Autumn Blood, which is available on DVD beginning October 14th. 

In Autumn Blood, a widowed mother dies and leaves her two children orphaned. Fearing being split up they keep their mother's death a secret. They survive until villagers destroy their innocence when they brutally assault the girl. Now the siblings must come of age to protect each other and survive. The film was co-written and directed by Markus Blunder, and in addition to Stormare, also stars Sophie Lowe (Adore), Maxmilian Harnisch (TV’s Fast Forward), and Gustaf Skarsgard (The Way Back). 

I recently had the absolute pleasure of speaking with the great Peter Stormare about his work on Autumn Blood, as well as his recurring role on The Blacklist, and a possible sequel to The Big Lebowski. The veteran actor discussed his new film Autumn Blood, why he wanted to be in the movie, how he’s different than most actors, appearing in a film with very little dialogue, what he told Steven Spielberg would make Minority Report better, possibly returning for The Big Lebowski 2, and his recurring role on The Blacklist

Here is what Peter Stormare had to say about Autumn Blood, The Big Lebowski 2, and The Blacklist:

IAR: To begin with, at this point in your career, what are you looking for when you are choosing projects and what was it about Autumn Blood that made you want to make this film?

Peter Stormare: First of all, I like Western movies. I thought it was a Western movie. I was thinking first it was going to be in Austria up in the Alps, but then I decided to go with an American accent. I thought, Jesus, this guy is crazy. It was a really cool script, and director Markus Blunder is very enticing. It was a really good cast. Sometimes those elements and not necessarily money are the most important thing. I am a simple human being. I have one house. I have one car. That is enough. I use my bicycle mostly in West Hollywood. I am not in this business to make a lot of money. But I make money better than most people maybe. My philosophy has always been to do what my heart tells me to do. I am dabbling in music. I am writing and producing. I am helping younger people now to get their projects off the ground by being in small independent movies and taking no salary. I know some actors are just doing one movie a year and try to get as much money as they can. I have always wanted to do eight projects a year and go out and do some fun things with my time.

Your philosophy on show business is very interesting and also impressive. But you often work on various projects with a lot of very famous movie stars who may have a different outlook on their careers than you do. Does that ever become a conflict for you when you are working with other actors?

Stormare: Well, it is really complicated. There are just very different people here on Earth. Some people are so happy to get a TV show for X amount of years. I like to do TV, but I hate to be tied up with a big network telling me exactly what to do in my life. I do not mind doing TV only if I am there for a couple of episodes. You might be making some money, but you have no life and it is quite humiliating in the long run.

There is not a lot of dialogue in Autumn Blood. As an actor, is it more challenging or more freeing to be in a film with very little dialogue?

Stormare: I think in most movies, especially American movies, they talk too much. I have never met an actor who actually cuts his lines. Usually actors come in and say that they want more. I think it is much better if I cut lines out. It becomes more enigmatic and more core to the character. I have cut entire pages, and not just my part. I usually read the whole script too, which is sometimes amazing for some directors. If the director is Steven Spielberg I can say, I have read the script. The ending is very strange when it is happening this way. Are you happy with the ending? Would it be better if you did something like this? Sometimes they go crazy, and sometimes not. Eight out of ten directors take it into consideration. Do you remember the movie I did where I was an eye doctor?

Are you talking about Minority Report?

Stormare: Yes, Minority Report! I told him that he was missing the point. You should have a scene in the end of the movie where Tom Cruise comes back to me and only has one eye left. He would knock on the door and say, “Doctor, please help me to put this eye back. I want to see the world with my old eye. I know I have a new one, but I can block it out with a patch.” I would open the door and say, who are you looking for? You have got the wrong room. Get the fuck out of here. Afterwards when the movie opened, Mr. Spielberg said, “You were right. We should have shot that scene. That would be so cool if that was the ending.” It is kind of a rewarding thing to hear that.

There have been some rumors lately that the Coen Brothers are planning to make a sequel to The Big Lebowski. Have they talked to you about returning for the new film?

Stormare: Absolutely. Whatever they are up to, I am there. They have a couple of other projects coming up in the future that they want me for. They are very unique. They are old-timers, and actors seem to love working with old-timers because old-timers are prepped. They are so prepped. For some directors there is no preparation at all. It is very hard for an actor because you do the same action twenty times, and they just change the camera. Today we have a saying, “Even the blind can find a golden nugget.”

Finally, you currently have a pivotal recurring role on The Blacklist. Have you enjoyed working on that series and will you be returning again before the end of the season?

Stormare: James Spader and I like each other. We met a couple of years ago, and we have always wanted to work together, but it never happened. Now we have! I am in a couple more episodes this season. I am shooting another episode next week. I do not know what they are going to do with my character. It is TV. They have six or seven different scenarios, and I don’t know what direction they will go in. I do not envy the writers because they are really kicked from both sides all the time. They try to come up with the best solution, and sometimes they have to do rewrites over night. TV is a gruesome business. But there is a great revolution that has happened on TV. A lot of talent is moving in because the line between TV and movies is slowly evaporating. That is a cool thing to be a part of. It is like being part of The Beatles revolution. 

Peter, it was great talking to you. Thank you for your time.

Stormare: Thank you, Jami. By the way, I love your website. It’s a very cool website.

Thanks, man! I really appreciate that. 

Stormare: Thank you, Jami.

Autumn Blood will be available on DVD beginning October 14th. 

The Blacklist airs Monday nights on NBC.

The Big Lebowski 2 is currently in development. 

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