Swedish towns Kilafors and Segersta in the Hälsingland region are getting ready for some major Hollywood stars.
The shooting of the US version of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” seems to engage just about everyone and everywhere and there’s a lot at stake. The Swedish/Danish version of the film collected over $100 million, which makes it one of the most successful non-English films in history. And Sony hopes that the American remake will bring in even more dollars of course. In Kilafors, just south of Bollnäs, auditions were held to find people who will act as extras. The shooting is set to begin in September.
Hollywood, Bollywood, Hälsingwood?
Also at the historic Kilafors herrgård (manor house), the staff is getting ready for Hollywood. The film team has booked all of the 50 beds available for 5 weeks in September and October. Near the herrgård, close to the Bergviken lake, there are several conference halls, a large restaurant, pool tables, a spa and a sauna as well as a wine cellar and a much-tooted garden – perfect for Hollywood in other words.
“They’ve booked our herrgård to live in, not to shoot the movie in. Who of the people involved in the project will stay here, we don’t know,” says Bitti Lehmann, manager of the hotel. Kilafors herrgård is used to celebrities: Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel have stayed here, as has 'scary' rocker Alice Cooper, and members of the British band Status Quo.
“This means a lot to us. We’re very happy they’ve decided to stay with us. Our herrgård will gain in fame and eventually that will lead to more guests,” continues Lehmann.
A secret that involves all
A veil of secrecy surrounds the planned shooting, but many who live in and around Kilafors and Segersta, have been approached about lending out their homes during the actual filming. A summer cottage in Fagersand has been examined for its potential of becoming Mikael Blomkvists cottage in the film. Bågbron (a bridge) from the 1930’s might also be used for the film, as well as a yellow house close to the bridge, currently being painted grey. Bengt Wåhlin is letting the film crew use his Coronet 21 Playmate, a veteran boat, which will be disguised as a police boat and used in scenes that will be shot in Djurö, Stockholm’s skärgård.
“My boat will be in a scene from the 1960’s or 1970’s,” says Wåhlin. “And in those days Coronet boats were used all over the world by police.”
Meanwhile at the parking lot at Segersta parish house backdrops for the film are being built. Says Cecilia Widéen, chairman of the local church council: “Of course it is unexpected, but it is also a lot of fun. We are 700 inhabitants here in Segersta and all of a sudden we’re on the map, thanks to this!” How much of Hälsingland that will actually be used in the final product remains to be seen. Ola Rutz, who works at the Swedish production company Yellow Bird Productions and whose job it is to find locations, points out that the major decisions are made in Hollywood, and that changes can occur in the last minute.
“Let us just say that it looks good for Hälsingland,” he says.