EDDA MAGNASON: THE SWEDISH BLUE NOTE
Translation by:Victoria Tarry
The singer Edda Magnason has successfully broken into cinema with the very jazzy Waltz for Monica; a début experience which earned her an invitation to the Berlinale Festival. Meeting with an artist who knows how to share.
The programme of the day may very well be called "European shooting stars", but Edda Magnason is far from being a débutante; she knows all about interviews and photo shoots. With supreme grace, she moves from one interview table to another and I try as best I can to open with some Swedish niceties, only for her to smile gently to show that she would prefer to talk in English.
All that jazz
Edda is already a star in Sweden. Her two albums, Edda Magnason and Goods, with jazzy tones have caused a sensation and cast the spotlight on this classically trained Swedish-Icelandic singer. So it's not really surprising to see her take on the role of late singer Monica Zetterlund for her cinema début. "I was approached after a concert by a member of the audience who knew the person in charge of casting. I then had three auditions for the role. It was quite an exciting challenge because Monica Zetterlund is very well-known in Sweden," she explains. The film, Waltz for Monica, by the Danish director Per Fly, follows the journey of the famous singer from the sixties who conquered the world jazz scene before dying tragically some years ago. "The role involved acting and singing at the same time. Music symbolises the life and character of Monica; I had to spend a lot of time studying the way she moved and sang", she says. Edda Magnason also got to release the film's soundtrack as her third album, a recent success.
Trailer for Waltz for Monica, directed by Per Fly.
"KNOWING HOW TO SEPARATE SINGING AND ACTING"
The original version, "Monica Z" became one of the greatest successes in Swedish cinema, monopolising all the national awards. Nominated a whopping eleven times during Guldbagge (the Swedish equivalent of the French Césars awards or the BAFTAs, Ed.) earlier this year, the film won four awards and Edda Magnason won the award for best actress. Edda may well be used to fame, but she still feels like she only just made it big in her career. "My music only reached an interested audience. Now, with Monica Z, I reach the masses". An experience which has opened new doors for the Swedish singer. "Obviously now I want to do the two (acting and singing), but they are two very different things, and you have to know how to distinguish between them." Meanwhile, she has started on a new project; a musical comedy called "The feeling of going" in Malmö.
WATCH: "WALTZ FOr Monica" BY Per Fly is IN CINEMAS FROM 19 marCH 2014
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Translated from Edda Magnason : La blue note suédoise