Conversation with Bibi Anderson
Conversation with Bibi Anderson on Ingmar Bergman's latest film, Persona, and on the influence that this director, with which she shot eight films, has had on her.
At the age of 31 years old, Bibi Andersson was already a well known actress in Sweden. But this was especially through the roles of pretty-faced young girls in 1950s films. Vilgot Sjöjman gave Bibi her first serious role in The Mistress, in which she won the Best Actress award at the Berlin Festival. Ingmar Bergman had discovered her when she was 15 years old in a soap commercial, and had hired her for 1955's Smiles of a Summer Night, 1957's The Seventh Seal and even Wild Strawberries, which came out that same year, and also for plays that he staged in Malmö and Stockholm theatres.
In 1965, he trusts her with her first main role in Persona. Her duo with Liv Ullmann is one of the highlights of Swedish cinema. Andersson plays Alma, a nurse in charge of a theatre actress suffering from mutism. Isolated on an island, the two women gradually have an attraction-repulsion relationship. Although she had a diaphanous physique, she was nevertheless cast for the role and won a Guldbagge (Swedish César), which opened up doors to an international career (we saw her work later on with John Huston and Robert Altman).