Lena Olin, the Swedish actress known for her distinguishing roles in The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Alias, stars in The Artist’s Wife, shot in East Hampton. Olin, who perfected the part of a painter on film, shares how her turn as Claire is the most relatable.
Olin relates to the lead character in her concern for others.
In what ways do you find yourself relating to Claire? As a person, she is so in tune with and worrisome about [her husband]. And that is something I can relate to. Sometimes, we are so in tune with another person’s feelings if it’s someone we are close to and love. That’s very relatable to me.
How do the Hamptons as the setting affect the characters? I love the Hamptons. They offer so much when it comes to nature, the beaches and certainly the off-season. [My character] draws so much strength and takes her pain and despair to the beach more than taking it to anyone else. It’s a very unique thing with the Hamptons, and there’s a reason artists have been drawn to the Hamptons for so many years.
Lena Olin stars in The Artist’s Wife.
How does your role as Claire compare to your roles in other films? It was Tom Dolby who pointed it out to me that I played painters so many times. The first was Sabina in The Unbearable Lightness of Being. I played a painter in a film my husband did in Sweden called The Hypnotist, and I play a painter in The Artist’s Wife. I am going to play a painter in the spring because we are doing a film about Hilma af Klint, who is a Swedish painter, the inventor of abstract painting.
What was it like working with Bruce Dern? He’s such a cool actor. He really is. He sticks to no rules, he goes his own way, and he says whatever he feels like saying. To swim with him, you just have to get in there and throw yourself in there, and no rules apply, basically, when you work with him.
Who is going to enjoy The Artist’s Wife? I think it’s for a mature audience. I had a gang of my daughter’s friends, and they appreciated it. They said it’s more fun than they expected. And she’s 24. I think anyone, and certainly mature people, will appreciate the fact that it has things that have to do with their lives.