Mar. 22nd, 1955
Stockholm, Stockholms lan, Sweden
Lena Olin's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2010 - Remember Me
2008 - The Reader
2007 - Awake
2005 - Casanova
2003 - The United States Of Leland
2003 - Hollywood Homicide
2002 - Darkness
2002 - Queen of the Damned
2000 - Chocolat
1999 - Mystery Men
1999 - The Ninth Gate
1998 - Polish Wedding
1998 - Hamilton
1995 - Lumière et compagnie
1993 - Mr. Jones
1988 - The Unbearable Lightness of Being
1976 - Ansikte mot ansikte
Guest TV Roles
Swedish-born Lena Olin already had a successful career as an actress before she came to Hollywood. She acted at the Royal Theatre in Stockholm and was directed by 'Ingmar Bergman'. Her father. 'Stig Olin', was also an actor and played in six of Bergman's films. Lena also belongs to the Bergman "family." As a young actress, she played in the great classics of 'William Shakespeare', 'Henrik Ibsen' and 'August Strindberg'. She made her international debut as a movie actress in Efter Repetitionen (1984) (TV) (aka "After the Rehearsal"), directed by Bergman. In western Europe she became well known in the political movie The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988) as Sabina, in a story about the Prague spring (1968).
After coming to the US, she played mostly distinguished, exotic temptresses, intelligent women and crude vamps. Bergman had developed Lena's artistic gift to play different human emotions and express them in a subtle way. 'Sydney Pollack', director of Out of Africa (1985), rewrote the screenplay for Havana (1990) especially for her. This explains why this film recalls associations with the classic _Casablanca (1942), starring 'Ingrid Bergman', also from Sweden. Olin received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in _Enemies: A Love Story (1989). She went on to have a choice role in _Chocolat (2000), which received a Best Picture Oscar nomination, and received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination. She made a move to the smaller screen and played the role for one season as the deliciously evil Irina Derevko, the mother to Jennifer Garner's "Sydney Bristow" in the series Alias (2001). Olin received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.
- Considered for the role of Maria Ruskin in _The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)_ (qv).
- Failed twice - both times in the very last test - two years in a row before she was accepted the third time at Sweden's prestigious National Theatre Academy (Teaterhögskolan) in 1976.
- Member of the jury at the Venice Film Festival in 1988.
- Was a top student. Graduated with 4,9 average in her graduation scores (the highest in Sweden is 5.0). After failing twice in the test for drama school, she began to study medicine at university to become a doctor. However, she was convinced by 'Ingmar Bergman' (qv) (who had directed her father in several films and watched Lena play amateur theater) to try a third time. She did and was admitted (and gave up medicine).
- Daughter of actor 'Stig Olin' (qv) and actress 'Britta Holmberg' (qv).
- Before becoming an actress Lena worked both as a sub teacher (in languages) and as a hospital nurse (she first studied medicine at university) back in Sweden.
- Stated in a May 2005 interview with "TV Guide" that, along with her appearances in the final two episodes of Season 4 of _"Alias" (2001)_ (qv), she is open to appearing in Season 5 as well.
- Lena studied the course of Classic Humanities with Latin as her major language in the Swedish equivalent to senior high school/upper secondary education (1971-74). Later she also extended her course for half a year with the subjects of Maths, Physics and Chemistry as it was necessary for her medicine studies at university.