Visiting Christina Lindberg - June 2009
Interview by: Ronny
With help from: Preston & Nathalie Bergenstråhle
This is our first "real" interview, meaning that it's our first interview that isn't through internet, phone, or anything like that. So I decided to make sort of a story out of it. Not only because of that, but because it was a huge day in my life. I was going to meet an idol of mine. To meet a legend. Meet the female equivalent of David Hess. The number one female actress in exploitation films. Christina Lindberg. She started out as a nude model, and eventually became a very popular actress, acting in films like "Rötmånad" ("Dog Days"), "Maid In Sweden", "Thriller: A Cruel Picture" and "Sex & Fury". She traveled all over the world making films. She eventually stopped with her acting career and became a journalist at a men's magazine. She is still a journalist to this very day, but now she's working on one of the biggest airplane magazines in Scandinavia. A magazine that she not only writes for, but owns.
NOTE: IF YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT MY STORY, JUST SCROLL DOWN FOR THE ACTUAL INTERVIEW!
My story begins like this.. It was Tuesday morning, around 5:45 a.m. that I woke up and knew I had a big day ahead of me. I was bringing my friend Nathalie with me and we both got up and got ready to leave. Our first bus was at 6:50. That was a little bit over an hour drive, and it got us to Karlstad where we were gonna wait for the train to Stockholm. We got our tickets, that actually cost us alot less than expected, and started to wait impatiently for the god damn train to arrive. Both me and my friend knew things were gonna go wrong this day, because neither of us have very much luck. At all. But things seemed to be going rather smoothly, except for the extreme heat that was in the train. The train to Stockholm took us about 3 hours. Most of the time we talked about how we thought the meeting would go. We kept on saying that she better be giving us some cake, and that if she did it would mean she liked us. The hours passed and we arrived at 11:30. Before we arrived, I got a call and it said "Lindberg" on the display. Quietly I said "Fuck..", imagining that it would be her calling to cancel the interview because of something. I answered, but the call got disconnected. I tried to call her, and the same thing happened again. I started getting sweaty and eventually called her back one final time. She just wanted to see if we had arrived in Stockholm yet, so that she would know how much time she had before we were coming. Phew! Another thing that went right. We were still expecting the worst.
We finally arrived in Stockholm, and went down into the tunnels to find the next train to jump on. We knew what it said on the train, but we had no idea how we would get there. But no worries, we knew that we had plenty of time. We managed to find the right train, and the first thing I did was to call Christina Lindberg and tell her we were on our way now. That train would take about 25 minutes, so she knew when she was gonna pick us up. We were still in shock about how well everything was going when we stepped out of the train. We went to the place where she told us to wait, and stood there for a good 10 minutes or so, joking about how she probably had seen us but left. Why she would do that? Well I don't know, I guess we're just two ugly motherfuckers. Maybe we look mean? Anyway.. We looked at every car that came, trying to see if she was in it. Nope, she wasn't in either of them. Eventually we heard a car that was beeping, so we looked up and saw a woman waving like crazy at us. "I think that's her.." we said and went towards the car. As we came closer to the car, there was no doubt that it was her. She looked pretty much exactly like she used to, just adding a few years. She obviously looks older now that she is 59 years old this year, but trust me when I say that if I didn't know, I would've guessed that she maybe was 45 or something. Still fresh after all these years.
So there we were, in Christina Lindberg's car. The first thing she asked was if we wanted some cake with the coffee. "Oh, yes please, that'd be nice" we answered, but inside we both were jumping with joy. What? We like cake! Who doesn't? She stopped at a bakery to buy some, and me and Nathalie were waiting in the car. I couldn't believe I was sitting in Christina friggin' Lindberg's car. I had to send a text message to my girlfriend saying I was in Lindberg's car. Sort of like robbers who tells their partners through a walkie talkie "they're in". Christina came back and we drove about 10 minutes to get to her place. She lived out in the country. I was relieved because I live in one of the smaller towns of Sweden myself, so Stockholm is just stressful to me. But she lived perfectly for me to feel calm. She showed us around her huge plot of land, most of which she is keeping the way it is so that animals can run around there. We eventually went into a small house on her lawn which also is where she works with her magazine "Flygrevyn". Yes, she works in a small house just a minute from her house. Everything had went perfectly, and it was time for the big interview.
Alright, first of all I wanna thank you for agreeing on doing this interview.
Oh, no problem.
It's known already that you grew up in the working class. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When a was very little I wanted the same thing as every little girl wants, I wanted to be a princess. I used to draw myself like a princess in those typical princess dresses, bows, pink colors, big fluffy hair. But to be honest, I never really had any hopes.. wait, actually, in 9th grade I got really interested in Egyptology. I had a teacher that was unbelievably good at telling us about Egypt. I got really fascinated by that, so I read pretty much everything I could find about Egyptology for 4 - 5 years. I really read it all and I still remember alot of it. You usually do when you learn at a certain age. So, I was actually considering becoming an archeologist. That's pretty much what I had in mind.
Alright, princess and archeologist (laugh).
Nathalie (the friend): Princess archeologist maybe (laugh).
Yeah exactly, and I could've searched about Egyptian princesses and such (laugh). But in Gothenburg at that time.. I went to high school and they changed the schoolsystem successivly during those 2 - 3 years that I went the Latin course. So unfortunally I never got a proper graduation or final exams. And my mom got a little sad over that. Because I never got that, I packed my bag and moved to Stockholm, and lived in my first place there, Hotel Reisen. That was my first home where I lived alone (laugh). Because of the school system back in those days, only about 10% of
the people in high school was from the working class, and was because you had to pay for your own books. When you read Latin for example, there were so many large and expensive books, so my mom had to borrow money so that I could be in high school. So for me it wasn't really appropriate to continue studying since we never had the economical ground. And to be honest, I noticed that I got more and more attention. I got into clubs for free, people were always on me. So I really fell into the model career whether I wanted to or not. It wasn't something I tried to become, I was actually pretty interested in school and to study. If it wasn't for that, I probably would've continued studying. But photographers started coming and were always there. There was a sort of uproar around me. It might sound a bit braggy, but that's how it was. And also because of "Rötmånad" ("Dog Days"). Jan Halldoff was one of the biggest directors back then and everything he made woke a big media attention, so when they were looking for a girl for "Rötmånad".. And I actually never auditioned for the role, they selected people themselves in Stockholm at a theater where about 400 girls were interested in the role. But the producer called me and asked, because he had seen me in the magazine "FIB Aktuellt", in a section with girls from Gothenburg, and I was the centerfold and also on the cover of it. So he called me and asked if I wanted to test shoot and I doubt it was my talent who got me the part (laugh), but the shell. I fulfilled all the criteria for them to be able to sell internationally. That's basicly what they were out for. Otherwise the film had Carl-Gustaf Lindstedt, and that might not sell as an export. Same probably goes for Ulla Sjöblom. Both are really good actors, of course. Very talented. But I wasn't, and fact is that director Jan Halldoff never really wanted me, he had found another girl, but he had to do what the company and the producer were set on. So I ended up getting the part.
How old were you when you got noticed as a model?
At first I was probably around 17 years old or something like that I think. It was some guy from a photographer school who came up to me and asked if he could take some pictures of me. That's how it started. And my mom rented a really small house down at Skrea beach, down in Falkenberg. My mom worked as a cleaner for the railroad company SJ..
The interview gets interupted by a delivery man who came with a fresh batch of the newest issue of Christina Lindberg's own airplane magazine "Flygrevyn". She eventually came back..
Alright, so let's continue.
Yes. Where were we?
We were talking about when you first got noticed, but maybe we should go to the next question. When was it that you felt that you had became famous in Sweden?
When people never left me alone, or how I shall express it. When you go out to a restaurant and people say "Yeah, I understand you have a hard time with people coming up to you all the time", and then they sit down next to you and start talking. That was pretty standard, when you noticed people were always looking. You always notice when people are looking in that special way.
Do you have a memory that really stands out from the rest in your model career?
Oh god, there's so much. I did alot. I traveled to Japan, to Tunisia, to Germany to make films. That was pretty rare back then, people didn't move around. Today it's nothing, everyone is out traveling, but back then it wasn't as common. Especially Japan was very odd, because I practically only worked with Japanese people. One American was in one of the films, "Sex & Fury", but except for that there were only Japanese people and it was the early 70's so they didn't really talk any English, so I sort of became isolated in the culture. You lived with Japanese people in a Japanese way, it was extremely fascinating. I enjoyed living there, I made two movies and they asked me if I would consider staying. The company I worked for was the biggest in Japan, Toei Company, and they pretty much had like a Hollywood stable where they had actors, directors, and they built up large buildings, so they thought it was a good idea for me to stay and live there. I could've stayed in Japan. I find it very fascinating that you have choices like that in life, and where life can end up. I just as well could've stayed there. But, I thought the Japanese people worked like hell, it was work 24/7, and it got a bit tough. And then Sweden called and said that if I came back home, I had a role in "Anita", so I thought I just as well could go home, and because of that my life became.. well, to be continued (laugh). It was Torgny Wickman who made that film, and Stellan Skarsgård was in it. But Stellan Skarsgård wasn't famous at all back then, except for the role of Bombi Bitt, as a child actor. He was really obsessed about becoming an actor. You could really notice it, and I'm not surprised that he's an actor today. He never got in to stage school, so he has really thought himself everything. He went the long route, and it's kinda funny because sometimes when you hear him talk about himself, he does it like if he had that background, but he didn't. But he's still amazingly talented, even though I'm no big Skarsgård fan (laugh) I still notice that he's talented. It's easy to see in some of his role interpretations. He worked extra as everything just to be around film and theatre.
Was there alot of bad mouthing about you, who was a young nude model in the 70's?
Yeah there was. Feminism had their glory days in the early 70's, and they were ultra-feminists in a very old time way without any sort of shades. You couldn't reason with them in any way. I personally like strong women, there are alot of strong girls, but I don't think of every strong girl as a feminist but rather as strong humans of some sort. I feel that feminists can be rather elitist, they direct themselves towards the high school elite, and have their own elitist discussions where working class women feel welcomed. I don't think my mom who worked as a cleaner for SJ felt very helped by the feminists of that time. Of course not. She had to work hard without them caring, and I still think that the modern day femisism is a little characterized by.. I think that might be the problem with them, that they don't have the entrances from the bottom. I have alot of friends who are talented and strong women, who aren't connected to feminism. I'm a humanist, or what I should call it. I really don't feel like a feminist. I have my own company, I have my own property, so I should be perfect as a phenomenon like that (laugh).
The movie "Maid In Sweden", which was an American production..
Swedish / American..
Ah yeah. It was your first film. How did all that begin?
There were a few people who contacted me because of the pictures in "FIB Aktuellt". It was actually my first film. So it's actually not true that my first home was Hotel Reisen, my first home was Grand Hotel, on the opposite side of the castle. I worked on that movie for about 14 days, it was a quick production. Back then a movie took about 3 months to make, but on this one I was only there for 14 days and then there were a few other famous and semi-famous actors in it. I don't remember much from it except that I ran around barefoot in Stockholm..
(laugh) Alright. "Rötmånad" is probably the movie that you're the most famous for if you ask an ordinary Swede. Was the film popular when it came out, or has it become more of a cult classic?
It was. It got decent reviews. It got played on the big theatres in Stockholm and such, so it was a big movie. It's been on TV a couple of times. It's probably one of the most "normal" films I've made, and one that people know of, just like you said.
"Exponerad" ("Exposed") was the third film I think?
Yeah, I think so.
Had you started to feel like you wanted to be in movies for other reasons than nudity?
Well, yeah. I mean, people usually joked around that the only one in the films that had ambition was Christina Lindberg. I really worked hard. Everything I've done I've tried to do as good as possible. Whether I was a model, or was in one of these movies. I tried to find other things than only taking off clothes in the films, but that was obviously what they were out for. They wanted to earn money. And they did through my exposed body. For that movie I was at Cannes, and there was a terrible scene.
Yeah actually, our next question is about that. Can you tell us some about the so called scandal on your trip to Cannes?
It wasn't really a scandal. I was going there so that they would get as much promotion as possible, so clothes were sown for me, which I still have actually. It was a black transparent thing, like one you have as undergarment, with small strategic non-transparent spots on it, and really small shorts and stuff like that. And that's what I wore when I was going to the festival palace. It was "Elvira Madigan" that was the Swedish contribution that year. Thommy Berggren and Pia Degermark were there. Of course then they threw me on the red carpet and ripped off the coat, and I was close to naked under there, so it obviously became a big scene. And they rented a small helicopter that went over the beach and placed me on pier. It was one hell of a weather, it was raining, and I looked like a wet cat. And I stood there and got undressed, and I think the pictures look anything but sexy, but there was alot of publicity about it. These pictures went all around the world, and it was because of these I got noticed in Japan. It's kinda funny actually, 'cause I recently heard I'm still pretty famous in Japan, so it's not entirely impossible that I end up there on this cult route (laugh).
The tagline for "Exponerad" says "Banned in 36 countries...". Do you know if that's true?
No I've never heard anything about that. That sounds a bit strange. I mean, there are some sadistic scenes, maybe that he ties me to the bed or something. I didn't think people thought anything was horrible anymore.
The director of "Exponerad" has only directed two films, and you're in both of them. Was this a coincident?
No I think he had calculated that he was gonna earn money. He was very down to earth with that. I was a spectacular element in the movies obviously. I didn't earn that much money, but the people around me did. Honestly I don't really care, because I have a life today. Otherwise I think that when you get "used".. Because you do get objectified and taken care of by the commercial powers,.. and that's how it is, and as a young adult, you have a hard time to draw your own lines.. Of course I drew my own lines for my morals, like I drew lines that I wouldn't be in pornography. I was actually shy (laugh) and I didn't like porn. But I think that if they haven't gotten further in life, I think it's easy to become bitter because you got used when you were younger. Because you actually get used if you're not smart and watch your back. But you aren't when you enter a world where everyone pays for everything and there's a big scene around you. I think you forget a bit, when you're young and think of life as endless, that there is a future. You don't say no and such.
You mentioned the film you made in Tunisia, "Yusra" or whatever the title was, and it's supposedly not even for certain that you're scenes are still in it, but do you remember anything about it?
I know! People have been writing and looked for that, because many has been looking for that film, and there is even a chance that I got cut out. I might not be in it.
That would suck.
Yeah it's a shame because it was apparently the first film with color in Tunisia, so that's pretty fun.
Nathalie: But then you can say you've been cut out from the first film with color from there (laugh).
(laugh) Yeah I'll have to say that in the future.
In '72 you were in three German movies that you mentioned earlier. What can you tell us about that?
Well.. What can I remember? That they had really cosy feather beds in their hotels (laugh). That I remember. And how things are done in a German production. That they are very organized. With time and everything. And what you got really struck with was that they hade a fixation for uniforms. There were some uniforms in the movies too. And they are really focused on uniforms.
The movie that probably has survived best through the years, much because of the DVD release 2004, is "Thriller: A Cruel Picture". How did it feel to get a role that demanded a little more from you as an actress?
I got really happy by that, so much that I didn't even think of the violent message. I'm not a lover of violence in any way, but just because like how you said, demanded a little more, I thought "Wow, here's something..". So I ignored the pay, because it was terrible, the worst I've gotten from any film. But it was something to really struggle with. I got to train weapon handle, to train karate, and, yeah, I had to really fight to perform the role. That appealed to me. I thought it was fantastic. But that movie was very badly seen by the establishment. The entire production was just a chaotic as the movie is. Like, he had painted a car into a police car on his own responsibility. That car was chased for three months by the regular cops, because you can't just paint a car into a police car.
So we were chased in the movie by real cops. I also didn't have a driver's license, so when I was driving on Öland, and it wasn't an
automatic so I had to switch gear, so I had a police officer on the floor next to me and switched gear for me. There was alot of things like that. And then we shot with loose ammunition, and I looked like I did in the movie. You can imagine the car doing a skid in Drottningholm, people are out for a Sunday walk, really calm and cosy, and a girl arrives in a cop car, jumps out all dressed in black with an eyepatch and throws up a German shotgun against the shoulder and shoots. He (the director) never got permission for locations so we just filmed in the real world without people knew what was going on. So when I took down the rifle, I saw that people were running for their lives. Because what did they see? A crazy one eyed girl with a rifle who started shooting at them.
So I got reported to the police, and I got arrested. The director was never there when things like these happened. He never supported me at all. So I had to explain, 'cause I got reported for gun threat. But after I had explained it all he wrote it off. He didn't feel it was my fault.
You mentioned earlier that you don't like pornography, so how did it feel that they cut in hardcore penetration scenes in the film?
I don't like it at all actually. I'm actually glad that they also have a copy where this isn't added. I don't think it adds anything to the film. But it was typical Vibenius to add even more.. You know..
Yeah exactly, so he added those scenes for obvious reasons. And it was actually a couple called Romeo and Juliet (actually "Julia" which is what Juliet is called in Sweden) who they used for the porn scenes. They traveled around in an open car that said "Romeo & Juliet" on the back and they were a live sex couple. In the 70's there were lots of clubs in Stockholm where people had sex on stage. People came in to sit and watch them. And they were a couple like that. And people complain about the youth today (laugh), 'cause it was so much worse in the 70's. People didn't have any morals.
Did you ever have a problem explaining that it wasn't you in the pornography scenes?
Nah, everyone knew it wasn't me.
Another talked about scene is the scalpel scene. How did you feel about that scene, and were you there when they filmed it?
No I wasn't. I've told this many times before.. People who were there at the filming said is that Vibenius knew a doctor and this was a young girl who had commited suicide. He got access to her body and put make-up on one of her eyes. And I don't know if this is a true story that he spread around, or if it's actually true. But there are so many different people who has told me about it. And then they cut the eye with a scalpel. I haven't seen the scene myself, because I don't like stuff like that, but I understand why people get shocked because it looks real. So it's not at all impossible that it's a true story.
I think the scene actually looks very real.
Yeah and it just might be. I think it's pretty macabre. I think he crossed the line as far as things to do in films. Just like how I don't think you should harm people or animals in film. There are lines.
What did family and friends think of "Thriller: A Cruel Picture" when they saw it?
Well.. family.. I actually never grew up in a traditional family. I grew up with three siblings and I was the one in charge at home, 'cause my mom was very absent. I'm actually a child of divorced parents, and that wasn't very common back in the 70's. But I think mom did the right thing, so that I got rid of him (laugh).. It's a horrible thing to say, that I wanna get rid of my father, but that's how it was. My mom worked alot, and back then you didn't get any money from the government and such, which we actually have today. Now you have the opportunity to build a life if you get a divorce. So she worked like a cleaner for SJ since she didn't have any education, and I was taking care of my siblings and our home. I've always had total freedom, I've never had to be in time for things. Always taken care of myself and decided what to do and what not to do. Always had my own rules. So mom never had any opinions on what I've done, and I've never asked her either. The only thing I promised her was to get a proper graduation and final exams, but of course they stole that because of the school system! (laugh)
What about other people you know?
I got more opinions from them in high school when I made the American film and in the beginning when I was doing alot of nudity. So it was more that they reacted in school. They put up pictures all over the entrance. It wasn't very amusing. Some teachers took distance, I got some lowered grades. I got sent to the principal and he wondered what I was doing. It was mostly stuff like that. But two days after graduation I moved to Hotel Reisen, and worked on "Rötmånad". And then I hung out with the jet set of that time. I was often in Gamla Stan, and was hanging out in the underground clubs. I enjoyed being there, but I was also running around in some of the popular clubs with actors and such. They lived an equally loose life, so they didn't have an opinion on me.
"Sex & Fury" we've already discussed a bit earlier. But the other Japanese film, "Sexresan Till Japan" ("Journey To Japan")..
Yeah that one is pretty strange.
It is. Was that during the same visit?
Yeah and the male actor in it was one of the biggest in Japan. The directors for both movies were also very famous, but it was really weird films.
I actually saw that film for the first time the other week and I liked it alot. Weren't you ever scared that when you went to Japan, the same thing that happens to you in that film would happen? That you get into the wrong hands?
Nah. Japanese people are very respectful. It's such a soft society. They treat people very nicely. I was very shy and I still am a bit, and it might sound like a paradox, but I was extremely shy when I was younger, and this fit in very well with the Japanese way. They liked that I was a bit laid back. That's how it was.
Did you ever find out if the films ended up becoming bit hits in Japan?
Yeah I got very famous from them. There was apparently a 6 - 7 meters (19 - 22 feet) high painted picture of me on the buildings in Tokyo. When I was in Cleveland there was a professor who studied this kind of cult films, and there's actually alot of people who think this is a very interesting phenomenon, and especially in USA which is so big that it has room for all kinds of interests. So there was this fairly young professor who told me that I'm still really famous in Japan. I hadn't even thought about that. So it still lives on.
"Anita" was the last movie where you had the leading role. Did you get alot of criticism for playing a 16-year-old girl in it?
No. Was I suppose to be 16? (laugh) I had no idea about that. I don't think anyone had any opinions on that.
Alright. 1974 there was a porno that you were originally involved in called "Natalie", but is now titled "Flossie". What happened there?
This was a very big German production. At that time, it really started.. You know the films "Emmanuelle"? Those kind of films started being made. Really big expensive productions. They contacted me and wanted me to play Flossie. We started filming scenes, and everyone was happy with the results. The director was the same guy who made "Deep Throat", Gerard Damiano. And he has been accused for using the lead actress in "Deep Throat". He's had a very bad reputation, but I don't think everything is true actually. He lived on the hotel, and he said "Hey, Christina.. You should know that they are gonna make this into a porno movie. You won't be involved, but they're filming scenes at night and are gonna cut them in and make this into a softcore movie". I had no idea about this. He then said "I'm gonna quit this film, 'cause I think you deserve something better". And of course, after all these films I've made, and you can kinda tell in "Anita", I became a little better at acting. Sort of like Stellan Skarsgård, by just working and working, but not as good obviously. But I got better. So he thought I deserved better roles, so he told me to leave 'cause he was gonna. Marie Ekorre was another actress in the film, but with a smaller role, and I told her I had contacted lawyer in Sweden and that if she wants to come along then she should, because I'm leaving. And she did, so we left for the airport around 3 a.m. and sat in a corner, scared for our lives that they would notice that we had left. And then we went back to Sweden. But then he came and tried to sue, I had to fake a back injury and stuff like that to prevent it. I could've gotten into alot of problems for breaking a contract, even though I didn't know about the things. He was threatening for a couple of years. He really wanted me back because the scenes that we had filmed were so good. I had decided I didn't want to do that. He eventually let it go. He got another Swedish girl for that role, and it ended up becoming a softcore porn. I suppose she knew about that though, which I never knew. This kind of film only existed for a couple of years because people saw there was alot of money in it, so people started making big production porn. That was enough for me to not be interested anymore. And I also got a boyfriend who didn't like it too much (laugh).
So after that, your acting career slowly died out. But 1993 you made something entirely different, "Christinas Svampskola" ("Christina's Mushroom School").
That had to do with my big interest in nature. I'm interested in everything from wild animal's bad situation in Sweden, to flowers, birds, everything. That's why I live like I do too. Like I told you earlier, that I take care of my property in a multiple biological way. I have no economical interests in the property, it only costs me money. I don't buy expensive handbags and such, but bags of oats to my roe deer. I buy soil, fences. Stuff like that instead, because that makes me happy. Nature is my life.
Why did you want to make that specific film, how was it released and etc?
It was actually made a bit for fun together with my husband. It's just so much fun to be in the woods and pick mushrooms. Have you tried it?
Yeah I used to do it all the time growing up.
Do it again! There's nothing better. You get so happy when you find a chanterelle. I'm gonna give you a VHS tape of it before you leave. We're gonna release it on disc later on, but VHS was what was used then. I told my husband that I thought we could make a film out of it, for fun. And that's what happened. But I was a little angry at him because he didn't bring his lighting equipment into the woods, because it makes you look better (laugh).
(laugh) You wanted a big production?
Exactly! That's the only thing I didn't think ended up good. But then we took it to a professor, because we didn't want to trick people about mushrooms, it has to be done seriously and I have a very serious side. You can see that I had a lost talent of becoming a teacher, "You take it like that, and cut it like this" (laugh).
Between 1990 - 1993, a film called "Sex, Lögner & Videovåld" was being made. A parody that had alot of famous characters, and it also had you in it, playing your character from "Thriller: A Cruel Picture", Frigga. How did it feel to be asked to be in that film?
It was alot of fun. But it's the kind of thing where you can miss me if you blink. It was still alot of fun though.
If you look at internet right now, it says you're in a film called "Ingen Kom Ner" in 2009. What can you tell us about this film?
There's a couple of famous actors in the film. One guy is from the band "Mando Diao" is in the film. It's sort of a psychological horror / thriller. Fits me perfectly, I like being a bit low key, black and.. yeah, it just fits me. I play an old lady past her prime who walks around in her house that's completely decayed. It's a very mysterious film, that's for sure. It's also pretty funny, because the dress I wear in this short film.. it's about 35 minutes, it was made as a long trailer to get money to
a full feature film, and now they've gotten support from the Svenska Filminstitutet (Swedish Film Institute).. So, anyway, I actually walk around in a dress from '68 that I used to wear back then. So it's the real thing, so I'm literally playing a woman past her prime who walks around in her old clothes still. I look almost Betty Davis-ish. But that's not a bad thing, she was great. I get asked alot to be in films. I've been asked to be in a horror film in Norway, but I've declined. But these guys are so amazingly talented, they've really made a superb trailer. It's real professional. They're tied to a production company who makes professional commercials, so that explains it. I really like professionals (laugh).. It makes life so much easier. Which is why I often decline. It's often enthusiasts who asks me, and I would love to say "Yes, sure, if it makes you happy I'll be in the film", to be nice, but I just have to say no. I can't be in every home video production or semi-productions. And it's not good either, to be seen in anything, even though I would love to for their sake. But those guys.. If they get to make a full length feature, which wouldn't be impossible at all, then I'll be there as an old lady.
How does it feel, that after so many years, that your films are bigger than ever?
It's great. I think they're bigger in other countries than Sweden. Like in USA, but that's because there are so many people there. There's enough for a strange phenomenon. That's obviously the reason. And like you say, I really feel that they are bigger now. I get letters from all over the world where they want me to sign. I got a fun letter a while back from a girl who lived in Sweden in the 70's. She was Brazilian, and sent some pictures she wanted me to sign because she had made a Sweden room. In there she had, get this, Björn Borg, Ingmar Bergman and a few others, and she wanted me in there too. I was so honoured..
Yeah I bet, next to some of our biggest names.
Exactly. So yeah.. there's alot of things from other countries. I've been asked to do interviews in USA. Alot of things from USA. And maybe sometime I'll go to Paris where they wanted to do a convention kind of like the ones in USA. Germany has contacted me. I get alot. And if I have time, because my magazine is my first priority, I'll say yes. It would be alot of fun. It's just so weird that the films really are more hot now. There was of course alot around "Rötmånad" when it came out, and the things in Cannes, but except for that.. And I don't know why it is like that. Maybe you can explain that to me?
I think it has to do with the DVD releases from bigger companies who has found the films, and how that makes them easier to find.
But what exactly is it about the films? They weren't really the best quality productions of that time.
And that might be part of the reason. It's independent films from a time we can't get back. Films from the 70's and the 80's are huge, and those decades are without a doubt the biggest in exploitation and horror.
Yeah. And it's actually weird, because we used the same team as Ingmar Bergman did. Same photographers, same sound technicians, same people around the camera. So sometimes it's strange that they don't keep a higher quality. The people who wrote the soundtrack were doing alot of big things too. Bo Arne Vibenius worked with Ingmar Bergman, he did all the special effects for him.. There was alot of cross productions.
I suppose it could've been the budget who made the big differences. Maybe they didn't work as hard because of it. Anyway, so.. How did you get into journalism?
It's probably something I've always had in me. A talent to write. My mom used to tell me that they always said in school that I was the best in school at writing school essays. It's probably one of those talents that you have with you from the start, and you just need to do some practice to go far. I was also pretty good at drawing, I got the highest grade in that. But now I haven't been drawing for years so I just do small doodles like everyone else. You always need to practice. And writing is a constant practice because of the magazine.
You started out writing for nude magazines. What was it you did for them?
Ah yeah, right. I did sauna interviews with famous Swedes. I dragged them into a sauna and interviewed them. People like the wrestler Frank Andersson, Bert Karlsson (Swedish debater, record company owner, TV-show host).. And Bert is just as weird as he is on TV. There were some famous soccer players, a boxer.. Just alot of famous people basicly.
Do you regret that you ended up in journalism instead of continuing acting?
Nah. I mean.. to be a journalist is a real job. Even though I don't feel that way still, I muddle around. What's most important to me with this magazine, is that I can live in the environment and situation that I'm currently living in. It feels really important. I think that the society is pretty rough, so I like being able to lock my doors and my gates. So now I'm in my own little world where I have my rules. I work on the fields, and just do everything the way I want to. I really feel like a free person. I wish everyone could have it like this. I wouldn't be sitting here with as good economy as I have if I continued being an actor. I'm su had the freedom I have. It's not very stable to be a female actress who's getting older. It feels alot better to have a company to run. It's better than to be working for others who might not think I'm suitable for a part and such. It feels good to not worry about that. Now I can instead travel and visit places and everyone gets excited, but still not be economically bound to what people think of me.
Were there any movies you wished you would have been in, or maybe just didn't get the chance?
Yeah.. Let's put it like this, if I would've continued I would've went to do more traditional films. I did notice I got better and better. A guy who worked on big television productions told me that if I stopped with the nudity and went to stage school, I could come to him afterwards and get as many parts as I'd want. I would've cleaned myself. Because I was known from these films and the men's magazines, so the more established film world knew me from that. But I actually could've gone international, because they didn't care about it. I was asked to do a few spaghetti-westerns so I suppose I would've done that for a few years. Running around with a horse and a hat. That could've been fun (laugh).
That would've fitted you perfectly!
I probably would've gone to Japan again too. But yeah.. life has been good to me even though it's had it tough times. Personal things that everyone go through, that my husband passed away a couple of years back.. Things like that are always hard, especially with the inheritance that everyone wanted a part of. Standing alone with a property and a company that everyone is fighting to get.
After you stopped with acting, did you ever decline a film that ended up becoming a big hit?
No I don't think so. I can't think of any. There were a few projects, American projects and such, but no big hits I think.
Okay. Gonna skip a few questions now because we've went through them already. Which to you prefer, being a model, actress or journalist?
It's easy to say journalist right now. But it's a shame that I didn't get to do a few more films, that would've been fun. I did alot but it was just within a time frame of about 3 or 4 years. So yeah, I wish I could've continued for about 2 years or so.
I know you don't have a big interest in films, but do you have any favorite films at all?
I like movies that are based on biographies and real events. I don't have any favorite actors or anything. There was a film a few years back called "Bagdad Café" that I really thought was beautiful. I like smaller everyday films that tells stories about ordinary people and their lives. Just looking into the lives on normal people. Or whatever a "normal" person is.. There are no normal people, they're all unique and rather exciting. I'm not a big fan of big American productions, I think it's trash. I don't waste my time watching that.
How about TV? Are there any shows you watch?
The TV news. I'm a TV news addict. I also like debate shows, I can listen to boring politicians go on and on. I like it when they sit and
argue. And of course nature stuff, but nature is so cruel so I don't like it when they eat eachother, even though I live out on the country (laugh).
Can you describe your film and modelling careers with three words?
I don't think I can, it's too hard.
Okay. That was our last question..
That I wasn't able to answer even (laugh).
(laugh) That's fine. It's been an honour interviewing you and I think it's great that you were the first person we did a real interview with. Is there anything you want to say to your fans?
What can I say... It's like I said earlier, I get alot of positive response and positive energy from meeting all the fans. I feel that it's people who are looking for individuality, and who are going their own ways, even though many of you have sort of the same lifestyles. I was pretty different in the 70's myself, I didn't look like other people at all. I ran around dressed in pink, fake eyelashes, platform boots.. so I was kinda different and sort of a rebel, but of course in the wrong direction if you asked the feminists. I was more into life, and the entertaining side of life, which I don't feel they were. I'm fascinated by this 70's thing. I like the people. It's people who has gone into their own directions and people who has my individual way of thinking. They seek rather strange things. I like alot, which is probably why I think it's fun to meet them. That's pretty much what I have to say.
And that ends a day of 9+ hours of bus and trains and plenty of waiting. It ended up being an awesome day and Christina Lindberg is by far the nicest celebrity I've met. She even has Andreas Schnaas beaten, which I thought would be impossible. We stayed for a while and eventually went back home to my little town, but with plenty of memories. We arrived sometime after midnight, and I'm still in shock that everything went perfectly that day.
You can check out our reviews of her films here:
Thriller: A Cruel Picture
Journey To Japan
Sex & Fury
Sex, Lögner & Videovåld