Legendary Swedish star Stellan Skarsgard (Good Will Hunting, Mamma Mia!, Nymphomaniac) will be honored with the Leopard Club Award, a lifetime achievement honor, at this year’s Locarno International Film Festival.
Skarsgard will receive the prize on Aug. 4 at a ceremony at Locarno’s Piazza Grande and will take part in an audience Q&A on Aug. 5. In his honor, Locarno will screen Good Evening, Mr. Wallenberg (1990), Kjell Grede’s period drama in which Skarsgard plays Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews during the final months of World War II. The festival will also screen What Remains, Ran Huang’s crime drama, co-written by his partner Megan Everett-Skarsgard, which features Skarsgard and one of his actor sons, Gustaf (Vikings, Oppenheimer). Huang and the Skarsgards will attend the Locarno screenings.
The 72-year-old has successfully balanced a career as a European art house star. He has made five films with Lars von Trier — including Breaking the Waves (1996), Dancer in the Dark (2000), Dogville (2003) and Melancholia (2011) — and five with Norwegian auteur Hans Petter Moland, such as In Order of Disappearance (2014) and Out Stealing Horses (2019). Skarsgard has also held supporting roles in Hollywood blockbusters, like Pirates of the Caribbean, Mamma Mia!, Thor and the Avengers movies. He played Baron Vladimir Harkonnen in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, a role he will reprise in the upcoming Dune: Part Two. On the small screen, Skarsgard won the Golden Globe for best supporting actor in a miniseries in 2019 for his performance in HBO drama Chernobyl and recently starred in Tony Gilroy’s Star Wars spinoff Andor for Disney+.
“Stellan Skarsgard belongs to the tradition of European actors who have distinguished themselves between auteur cinema and Hollywood,” said Locarno artistic director Giona A. Nazzaro. “Endowed with a very powerful stage charisma, he has been able to make every role he has played unforgettable. Capable of reinventing his character according to the needs of the director and the script, he was able to inject his personality into films that were extremely different from each other.”
Locarno’s Leopard Club award is presented every year to an individual “whose work in the film industry has left its mark on the collective imagination.” Previous winners include Faye Dunaway, Mia Farrow, Adrien Brody, Meg Ryan, Hilary Swank and Daisy Edgar-Jones.
The 76th Locarno Film Festival runs Aug. 2 to 12.