Website last updated: 21-3-2024

Stefan Sauk On Recording Solo In Swedish

By: Anders Frejdh
Stefan Sauk om ljudboken Solo
For the release of the Swedish audiobook of William Boyd's James Bond novel, Solo (2013), FSWL (Anders Frejdh) caught up with actor Stefan Sauk (portrayed Carl Hamilton, the "Swedish James Bond", in the 1995 film Vendetta) who brilliantly recorded it. (The English audiobook was published in September 2013 and read by Dominic West.)

It is 1969 and James Bond is about to go solo, recklessly motivated by revenge.

A seasoned veteran of the service, 007 is sent to single-handedly stop a civil war in the small West African nation of Zanzarim. Aided by a beautiful accomplice and hindered by the local militia, he undergoes a scarring experience which compels him to ignore M's orders in pursuit of his own brand of justice. Bond's renegade action leads him to Washington, D.C., where he discovers a web of geopolitical intrigue and witnesses fresh horrors.

Even if Bond succeeds in exacting his revenge, a man with two faces will come to stalk his every waking moment.

[FSWL] You have worked on several audio books in Swedish over the years. What is it that makes these assignments interesting?
[Stefan Sauk] I was involved in founding the audiobook publisher StorySide and in that role part of being the "Plough" for audio books in Sweden. What I found interesting about reading audio books is that it is a slightly different form of acting. In any case in the way that I work I try not. I try not to just read a book but also act it out as much as it allows me to do. I also think that it is important to have an attitude to what one reads, in my world, it becomes much more exciting to listen to it then. Ernst-Hugo Järegård was a shining example of what I mean. No comparisons in general even if he was my mentor. The interesting thing with reading an audiobook from an actor's point of view is to find a certain narrative and leave it for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

[FSWL] Tell us about your assignment to record SOLO in Swedish.
[Stefan Sauk] That is easy for me to answer. I was simply asked by Helena Gustafsson at StorySide.

[FSWL] Did you first read the book in English or how did you prepare for the reading? How long did it take to record it?
[Stefan Sauk] I read the book once before I put myself in the studio. It has happened in the past that I have recorded audio books prima vista but it is a bit risky. If one finds out in the penultimate chapter that one of the characters suddenly loses his severe stuttering then you have a bit of a problem.

[FSWL] Were there any directives from Ian Fleming Publications in London that you had to consider for the production?
[Stefan Sauk] None that I was aware of. It is possible that the publisher had some.

[StorySide] Yes, we had to send a sample of Stefan's voice for IFP to approve.

[FSWL] Any anecdote from the recording of the audiobook?
[Stefan Sauk] Sorry, there I can not contribute anything. To record an audiobook in a studio is not something that usually creates anecdotes. However, I can imagine that the sound engineer can tell you a lot. In his world, it usually am I who creates anecdotes.

[FSWL] Have you read Ian Fleming's Bond novels or any of the official continuation novels?
[Stefan Sauk] No, I only see the films.

[FSWL] What are your memories of James Bond when you grew up?
[Stefan Sauk] I'm afraid I have to disappoint you here. I have no special memories of James Bond when I grew up. In contrast, I liked to play secret agent when I was little but it probably came from the TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964-1968).

[FSWL] This year marks 61 years since the first Bond novel was published and 52 years since the first film premiered, why do you think the series has lasted so long and are still so popular?
[Stefan Sauk] Thank Hollywood.

Five quick questions about Bond:
Which is your favourite Bond films? Sorry, no personal one.
Best actor to play James Bond? Sean Connery
Any favourite amongst the Bond villains? No favorite. However, I have worked with Klaus Maria Brandauer [in Dykaren] who I thought was excellent as the villain in Never Say Never Again.
Favourite theme song? "Diamonds Are Forever" by Shirley Bassey

[FSWL] When you filmed Dykaren you worked with Izabella Scorupco and Lars Lundgren, both of whom are related to the James Bond films. What was it like working with them? Do you have any anecdote from the production?
[Stefan Sauk] Izabella is a very talented and professional actress. Lasse Lundgren loved to talk about his exploits in Hollywood. I have numerous anecdotes from the filming and here's one of them:

I lent my haircut device to make-up artist Siv Järbyn and when I came back after a few days off it was time for a trimming of the hair (what is left) and she stood and fiddled with it and had a question. It was very early in the morning and I had just 'thrown the porridge in the face' so I took the device and was going to show how it worked on my own head. Which I did, but ... I forgot to put on the attachment so I cut a street from the back of the neck straight up to the top and Siv just screamed; "but Stefan, WHAT DO YOU DO ...?" I then had to take the first make-up time with poor Siv who had to cut and paste the hair to cover the highway I made on my head.

[FSWL] What advice would you give to those who want to become an actor?
[Stefan Sauk] Start working. Study good actors and remember that the most difficult thing is to understand how easy it is.

[FSWL] What are your plans for the near future? Any new film projects or audio books in the works?
[Stefan Sauk] There are several audio books in the pipe line ready to be recorded and also some film projects on the desktop with which we work in different configurations.


Editor's note:
For other interviews on From Sweden with Love, From Sweden with Love, klicka här.

For more about SOLO, a new James Bond novel, on FSWL, click here.

For more James Bond audio books featured on FSWL, click here.

Photo above:
The cover for the Swedish audio book of SOLO. © 2014 StorySide AB. All rights reserved.

Order the Swedish audio book by William Boyd's Bond novel SOLO from Bokus, CDON or Adlibris:



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