Thursday, January 03, 2008

Shining stars?

I'm still sick, so I am going to be whiny about something!

Was watching Swedish TV 1 (a state-owned channel) late last night and they had a reality series called "Stjärnorna på Slottet" (Stars at the Castle--catchier in Swedish) where 5 famous Swedes gather together for 5 days, and each star gets to be "in charge" of one they organize the food, activities, and so on.

This seemed to be the first episode, so I watched half-interestedly as Peter Stormare (looking a bit hungover, as seems usual, though I think that's just his regular appearance), Magnus Härenstam (Funny guy, but someone I knew for the longest time only as Sweden's Alex Trebek), Jan Malmsjö (Swedish actor most famous (to me) for playing the bishop in Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander), Arja Saijonmaa (Finnish singer...don't know much about her), and Britt Ekland (Known by everyone, right?)

Britt Ekland arrived with 19 suitcases full of clothing and accessories for 5 days. Admittedly, one suitcase was shoes only, and one was full of toys and goodies for her little rat-dog chihuahua. The first day was her day to arrange, and it started out by her knocking on everyone's door bright and early, giving them all exercise clothing and a cup of coffee, and telling them to meet her outside in 15 minutes. Once there, the stars encountered a number of strange exercise machines set up on the lawn of the castle. It seemed that these machines' sole purpose was to vibrate people to health. Britt then led them in a number of yoga-like poses as they stood on these giant vibrators and any time Magnus H cracked a joke (he can't resist), she would become very irate. Near the end, Jan M, a quite old, portly gentleman, became very wobbly and fell over. And she had no patience for him either.

Later on, around the dining table, Arja S asked Britt many questions about her life: How was it meeting/marrying/living with/divorcing Peter Sellers? How was it kissing James Bond? What was it like to date Rod Stewart?

And undeniably, it was interesting and easy to see what a difficult time she'd had (particularly with Peter Sellers). However, whenever they did any activities, and the focus was not on her, she'd get almost tantrum-like. She'd name-drop at every chance (and it became clear that's what she was doing when she realized people weren't listening the first time, and she repeated, louder, how often she'd had tea in the garden with the English royal family, dahlings) and she was very bitter and intolerant of any of the others speaking to each other or giggling at anything other than something SHE had said herself.

So I was surprised and amazed that someone who had been as lovely as she had, who had survived life with a famed super manic-depressive perfectionist, led her life in front of the cameras, and still come out okay on the other side, is the kind of person she seems to be now. Instead of being the strong, quietly confident, admirable woman I would have imagined and half-expected, she's an attention-grabbing, name-dropping, unpleasant old hag. It made me a little sad, I guess. Maybe I expect too much of people.

Peter Stormare, however, and the other "stars" were great. Very down-to-earth, it seemed. Interesting.

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