Website last updated: 15-3-2023

Ola Rapace pens revealing autobiography for publication this fall

By: Anders Frejdh
Ola Rapace skriver avslöjande självbiografi
Swedish actor Ola Rapace who achieved international fame after his role in the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall makes his debut as a writer. This autumn, The Book Affair is publishing his autobiography titled Romeo - My Escape in Five Acts. – I want to make up with myself and take my responsibility that it has become as it has become, Ola explains.

This spring, he should have shot a French film in Cambodia about a group of maladapted soldiers in the Foreign Legion. But the corona pandemic came in between, and Ola Rapace remained in Sweden. In just a few months, he has therefore finished writing his autobiography: "Romeo - my escape in five acts" which will be published in November.

- It's probably not my whole life from A to Z, but its fragments based on roles I played, says Ola Rapace who now also lives in Paris.

Confronted with a Stockholm where he no longer has an active acting career, he wanted to tell about his life.

- I decided at once to be completely ruthless towards myself and not duck for my worst behaviours, I thought that then I also have the right to write about other people's less flattering sides, but it is based on the fact that I am the hardest on me self. Otherwise, I do not think I have the right to do so.

Escape from oneself

Before the interview, the publisher emails the prologue. The first sentence of the book is about the young Ola Norell who wakes up in 1993 in a basement in French Nîmes surrounded by "women, clothes, cocaine". This is also where the escape that he thinks is the book's theme begins.

- I have been moving all along. It is not that beautiful, but that's how I did it. I have almost never been able to stay and take responsibility for what I have done, but I have just kept going. It is probably the most depressing thing about writing about yourself, you get to see how cowardly you have been.

Do you write a lot about your drug abuse?
- No, the only reason I take it is that I took some drugs. In Sweden, there is such hypocrisy around it, there is not an actor who has not taken drugs, but you must not say that. I think that double standard is destructive, I do not think it helps. But I do not take drugs anymore, for me it has only been destructive. The drugs have not given me anything valuable.

When he started theatre, it was at the encouragement of a girlfriend. The young Ola Norell himself had only seen one performance, "'Roberto Zucco' at Teater Galeasen with his mother". When the prologue ends, he is a trained actor and happily holds his new-born baby in his arms. Nine months earlier, the news of the long-awaited pregnancy had caused him to lose control of himself and end up in the psyche.

Confronting rumors

The book is a way of confronting the rumours that he feels associated with in the Swedish film and theatre industry.

- I have done a lot of stupid things, but there are also lies that have been spread about me. I have noticed that most come from male actors who have been jealous or jealous in some way. Unfortunately, it is common to try to compete by stabbing each other in the back, he claims and says that he would like to work at home again.

- I used to tan for it, but now I feel that it is a little sad that I burned so many bridges here, and this book is not going to build any.

Colleagues and previous loves are mentioned by their real first names - otherwise the story would lose energy, he thinks.

- First, I decided to only write what I wanted to write. I may have a process where I send around this script to a number of women that I lived close with to have a discussion.

"Promises of sex"

The prologue does not give a flattering picture of your first experiences in the theatre world. "All roles are exchanged for promises of sex in one way or another," you write. What is it that you experienced for yourself?
- Absolutely. Power has always used its power to submit to the sexuality of the less powerful. If you do not dare to look at it, you cannot do anything about it. In my industry, this also applies to men. As an actor, you must seduce in some way.

Are you afraid to publish the book?
- When I started writing, I felt that I had nothing to lose, but in the meantime, I have noticed that I have known. Above all, I have two children, there is a lot here that I have never talked to them about. What I am most afraid of is that they will read the shit.

Facts: Ola Rapace

Born: 1971 and raised in Vallentuna. Started as a musician but then moved on to theatre. Took the name "Rapace" (bird of prey in French) together with his then wife Noomi Rapace.
Family: Married, two children.
Lives: Stockholm and Paris.
A selection of roles: Hoffa in the Swedish Television series Tusenbröder (2002-2007), the professional killer "Patrice" in the James Bond film Skyfall (2012), Rickard in the TV series Farang (2017).
Future plans: "Go to Cambodia to shoot the world's best feature film. That's the plan I have."

Original text: Erika Josefsson/TT. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT. All rights reserved.



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