Per Fly to shoot Monica Z's biopic
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
Swedish-Icelandic singer Edda Magnusson will play the lead in Monica Z (Monica Zetterlund - A Lingonberry in a Cocktail), a €4.2 million biopic of the Swedish singer-actress which Danish director Per Fly will direct for Swedish producer Lena Rehnberg and her StellaNova Film. Principal photography will begin in early 2012.
”Zetterlund is like meatballs and Pippi Longstocking – a part of the Swedish national soul, a symbol of nostalgic Sweden,” said Magnusson of her first film, which is scripted by Swedish writer Peter Birro, former lead figure in Swedish rock groups The Christer Petterssons and Kulturmord, who has written 20 books and screenplays, most recently Quick Money II.
Zetterlund, who died in 2005 after a fire in her Stockholm apartment, dropped her job as a telephone operator to become a singer, mainly of jazz – she performed on 25 albums, her recordings with Dave Brubeck (Take Five) and Bill Evans (Waltz for Debby) became classics. But she also sang for Sweden in the European Song Contest, and gave one of her last concerts at a rock festival.
Swedish comedians Hasse Alfredson and Tage Danielsson (Hasseåtage) introduced her as an actress both on stage and screen (Docking the Boat (1965), The Apple War (1971)). In 1971 she won a Guldbagge – Sweden’s national film prize – for Best Supporting Actress in Jan Troell’s The Emigrants. She retired from performing in 1999, suffering from multiple sclerosis.
”The story of Monica is the modern dilemma of fame – a living legend deeply cherished and loved by the Swedish audiences, yet unable to find love herself,” explained Fly, who has so far made all his films for Denmark’s Zentropa Entertainments, including his award-winning trilogy The Bench, Heritage and Manslaughter [+see also:
film profile] (2000-2005) – the latter garnered him the Nordic Council Film Prize.
Former production chief of Scandinavia’s dismantled Sandrew Metronome, Rehnberg instigated StellaNova Film in 2008 – the company’s first feature was Sweden’s most popular comedy for five years, Staffan Lindberg’s A Midsummer Night’s Party. She will co-produce Monica Z with Swedish public broadcaster SVT and regional film centre, Film i Väst; Nordisk Film A/S will distribute.