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Lena Olin Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (20) | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 22 March 1955Stockholm, Stockholms län, Sweden
Birth NameLena Maria Jonna Olin
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Swedish-born Lena Olin already had a successful career as an actress before she came to Hollywood. She acted at the Royal Theatre in Stockholm and was directed by Ingmar Bergman. Her father, Stig Olin, was also an actor and played in six of Bergman's films. Lena also belongs to the Bergman "family". As a young actress, she played in the great classics of William Shakespeare, Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg. She made her international debut as a movie actress in After the Rehearsal (1984) (aka "After the Rehearsal"), directed by Bergman. In western Europe, she became well-known in the political movie The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988) as "Sabina", in a story about the Prague spring (1968). After coming to the US, she played mostly distinguished, exotic temptresses, intelligent women and crude vamps. Bergman had developed Lena's artistic gift to play different human emotions and express them in a subtle way. Sydney Pollack, director of Out of Africa (1985), rewrote the screenplay for Havana (1990) especially for her. This explains why this film recalls associations with the classic Casablanca (1942), starring Ingrid Bergman, also from Sweden. Olin received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Enemies: A Love Story (1989). She went on to have a choice role in Chocolat (2000), which received a Best Picture Oscar nomination, and received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination. She made a move to the smaller screen and played the role for one season as the deliciously evil "Irina Derevko", the mother to Jennifer Garner's "Sydney Bristow" in the series Alias (2001). Olin received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Waldimir van Heemst <clar@kabelfoon.nl>

Spouse (1)

Lasse Hallström (18 March 1994 - present) (1 child)

Trivia (20)

Daughter of actor Stig Olin and actress Britta Holmberg.
Has a son F. Auguste Rahmberg (b. 1986) with former boyfriend Örjan Ramberg. Has a daughter Tora Hallstrom (b. 1995) with husband Lasse Hallström.
Member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival.
Younger sister of singer Mats Olin.
For the role of Masha in Enemies: A Love Story (1989), she received the New York Film Critics Award for Best Actress as well as an Academy Award nomination.
Stated in a May 2005 interview with "TV Guide" that, along with her appearances in the final two episodes of Season 4 of Alias (2001), she is open to appearing in Season 5 as well.
National Theatre Academy; Stockholm, Sweden (1976-1979).
Member of Sweden's Royal Dramatic Theatre (1980-1994).
Considered for the role of Catwoman in Batman Returns (1992).
Considered for the role of Maria Ruskin in The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990).
Has a fine singing voice. Recorded, a.o., Swedish song "Människors glädje" (written and composed by her father Stig Olin) and Swedish country/folk tune "Sommarbrevet (Jag skrev ett brev)" in the 1970s (Polar Music, Sweden).
Moved permanently to the US in 1995 together with husband Lasse Hallström (as both their international careers developed separately) and the couple have since then been resident in Bedford, New York. However, they still have their summer house in Sweden (located in the Swedish province of Skåne) where the family spend their summer holidays as well as an apartment in Stockholm.
Failed twice - both times in the very last test - two years in a row before she was accepted the third time at Sweden's prestigious National Theatre Academy (Teaterhögskolan) in 1976.
Before becoming an actress Lena worked both as a sub teacher (in languages) and as a hospital nurse (she first studied medicine at university) back in Sweden.
Lena has said in a Swedish interview that contact with others got her to act, even very early as a child, describing it as "an uncontrolled need of contact" and to "invent things": She remembers when she was seven and in love with a boy and staged an argument with him and then acted out a faked concussion. She got carried home as he apparently believed her: It ended with him coming home to her with apples and Andy Pandy books.
Was a top student. Graduated with 4,9 average in her graduation scores (the highest in Sweden at that point was 5.0). After failing twice in the test for drama school, she began to study medicine at university to become a doctor. However, she was convinced by Ingmar Bergman (who had directed her father in several films and watched Lena play amateur theater) to try a third time. She did and was admitted (and gave up medicine).
Lena studied the course of Classic Humanities with Latin as her major language in the Swedish equivalent to senior high school/upper secondary education (1971-1974). Later she also extended her course for half a year with the subjects of Maths, Physics and Chemistry as it was necessary for her medicine studies at university.
Member of the jury at the Venice Film Festival in 1988.
Stepmother of Lasse Hallström's son Johan Hallström.
Reprising her role as the duplicitous "Irina Derevko" for the season finale of Alias (2001). [April 2005]

Personal Quotes (5)

"I want to show that from the negative, when you dare to see it, the positive is born, because there is the root to the good. I have inside myself, for example, a sharp aggression. But if you remove it, I loose my creativity. I have a great insecurity, but if you remove it, I also lose my sensitivity. Good theater is the theater that can make it a little attractive, a bit cool, to have these dark inner depths. You must be a bit afraid of them. I have a big need of spending time being alone, just to fear these dark sides. We must have secrets. That's why I almost never agree, or rarely, to really personal interviews: you must have large pools, untouched inside yourself." (on acting, theater and her interest in playing dark women roles on stage and in films)
"There are no patterns that lasts a lifetime. Some people can't stand the floating boarders. They decide on one life philosophy and live thereafter. But I've decided not to decide. I don't know everything. I don't understand everything. Both my own and others reactions are often a mystery to me. I let it be that way, hoping that maybe, instead, I can learn to understand the pattern of no patterns." (on life, people and relationships)
"I am in love with my best friend" (On husband Lasse Hallström).
"I was supposed to play the world's most dangerous woman and do a lot of action scenes. Then you can't come in there like a couch-potato... so I started training at gyms, weight-lifting and all things possible, and then I've just continued with that a couple of times a week." (on how she manages to keep so fit when playing her "Alias" success-character Irina Derevko)
"What's most interesting and most real to me in my work is to never make the role a complete character, because then you lose a part of the truth. I can't say that this person is just like this or like that. Because you can never do that with real people in real life, so if you try that on stage you lose the truth. Since I myself strive to be able to be a great many things, I also want my character to have that very same liberty. Eventually in that way it will add to a sort of completeness. But it is the story that is told that is the interesting thing and the situations the character is in. And as we humans always are shaped by a special situation or given circumstances, I can never ever say: Thus is my character." (on her acting work, Swedish interview, 1990)

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