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Liv Ullmann: “I Have Been Made To Feel Less Than Many Times For Being A Woman” | Present, Fashion, Pleasures | The USA Print – THE USA PRINT

For the young Liv Ullmann, who started acting in the cinema at 20 and left to try her luck in Hollywood at 30, Greta Garbo was the biggest star. The referent. The legend. For today’s 84-year-old Liv Ullmann, with a career as an actress and filmmaker spanning almost seven decades, Greta Garbo remains the star, the legend, the myth. “I am not a legend. Period ”, she says almost uncomfortable, but always smiling, sitting in a hotel in Cannes, where last May she was presenting a documentary about her: Liv Ullmann: The Road Less Traveled (premiered in Spain on July 25 at the Atlàntida Film Fest and the Filmin platform). A film and a reception at the French festival that contradict her words: Liv Ullmann is history and a living legend of world cinema. “No”, she repeats, now something more cutting. “I will never be Greta Garbo.”

Fame has always bothered this woman with her deep blue eyes. “Her eyes of her, always looking at the world, make her special,” explains Cate Blanchett in the documentary – and along with her, other famous friends, such as Jessica Chastain, John Lithgow, Jeremy Irons or Pernilla August. In the sixties and thanks to her personal and professional relationship with Ingmar Bergman (after Person either Anna’s passion), Liv Ullmann became a star that Hollywood went looking for immediately. And she, needing to get away from the director a bit, left with their daughter and allowed herself to be loved by that industry, but keeping her distance from it. “I remember an American producer told me: ‘You should cut your hair, dress differently, put on makeup.’ And I replied: ‘I’m Norwegian, I don’t wear makeup,’ she recalls amused. “And instead, look at me now: I’m a walking makeup,” she laughs.

Liv Ullmann: "I have been made to feel less than many times for being a woman" | Present, Fashion, Pleasures | The USA Print

Liv Ullmann and Ingmar Bergman on the set of Autumn Sonata (1978). By then, they had been apart for years as a romantic couple. Ullmann had already gone through Hollywood and had succeeded on Broadway. In America she was a star, but she could always go back to Norway, where she wasn’t. “It’s lucky I’m not famous,” she says. Photo: Cordon Press

Associated with Bergman and his cinema all her life, she has been surrounded by an aura of seriousness, sadness and intensity with which Ullmann does not feel identified at all. Her sense of humor is the first thing that those who know her closely stand out. “I have been able to see the humor and the kind part in all the tragedies or problems in my life,” she admits, noting that Bergman was also funny, “like a child”. But this quality only shows it in short distances. “I am shy, so shy that I get angry with myself.” But the ultimate blame for that anger, she says, lies with an upbringing and society that corners women. In the documentary she tells anecdotes like the day she, being the director of Miss Julie (2014), they began filming without her. “They wouldn’t do that to a man, I think. They have made me feel less than many times for being a woman ”, she affirms. “But luckily and through merit, you get to a position where they listen to you and you have some power; That’s when I started talking about all these injustices for all the women who didn’t have the same opportunity,” she says. And she insists that her relationship with Bergman never made her feel less, “nor was it a burden.” “We will always be painfully connected,” he told her. And they were. Except for a year, when he got mad because she turned down the role of fanny and alexander. “He got very dramatic, but I wanted to show him my independence, I needed to distance myself. Then we made up and when he showed me the movie, I cried. Would I have liked to do it? Today I can say that yes, maybe I was wrong and I regret it, ”she confesses. She was close to Bergman until the end and today he only remembers the good things, like the house in Fårö. “My best memories are in her.” The question is inevitable then, at the end of the interview. “Has seen Bergman Islandby Mia Hansen-Love, a reflection on them on that island while they created secrets of a marriage? “I have not seen it, nor do I know the director, nor have I seen anything related to that film, but in that house we were happy, it was our house.”


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