A Piece Of My Heart (2019): Interview With Christian Hillborg And Shima Niavarani

On December 17 2019, Mackans Film met up with the cast and crew for the Swedish musical-movie “A Piece of My Heart”, a story based on the beloved artist Tomas Ledin’s songs. The film had its Swedish premiere on December 25th. The video-interview is in Swedish.

How did you get in touch with this project?

Shima: Well, we got in touch with this movie when the company got in touch, they wanted to try a reading with the two of us, to see how our chemistry worked. And how we would work like this loving couple, Simon and Molly. And that’s how we found out that a movie would be made and that they had thought of the two of us as the loving couple possibly.

What’s your relationship with Tomas Ledin’s music?

Shima: You told you this sweet memory about you and your dad, used to play The Game of Coincidences, and I think that is very significant for your relationship with Tomas Ledin.

Christian: It’s also in Part of My Heart. That’s the plate. Yes, exactly. It’s in the body. And I think when I listened to it and Summer is short and everything else that comes. It’s in the body. You told me a lot, Shima. You heard a lot to barbecue parties and school closures.

Shima: It’s like this – Even if you don’t actively listen to a piece of absolute music from Sweden and a particular era in headphones, you still have in the back of your mind anyway. That you’ve always had it at school closings, barbecues and God knows what. And then some things have been on the periphery of things that are your life.

Do you have a favourite of Ledin’s songs?

Shima: You have like his songs. His song catalogue somewhere in the back of his head at different stages of life. And then when I’m in a relationship and you might too. For me, it was that the songs had just been like, but they were there on the radio and this different, then they had become so popular that they were present at different times. Someone brought a guitar to barbecue parties.

Christian: One was surprised that you knew the lyrics. Yes, but this song I can or that you hum to I know what I do, I’m not a bank manager. Like, why could I? Why does it sit down? It’s someone…

Shima: It’s because you have a bank manager complex.

Christian: It’s a positive manipulation. He’s a manipulator.

Shima: Well, he’s a hitmaker.

Christian: That’s what they’re called.

Shima: That’s the way the Swedish pop wonder is called. They are so good at finding the hook.

Christian/Shima: Hitmaker, manipulator, hitmaker, manipulator.

Shima: What is so sick about Sweden is that we are so good at children’s culture.

Christian: It’s us…

Shima: And we are very good at children’s music. And what I’ve read with Max Martin, it’s that he listens to children’s music. The principle of it. It’s en simple hook. The song building is carpentry, particular way. Asså, it’s a formula that we’re good at in this country. In the Swedish pop wonder, ABBA has kind of the same thing. It could be a children’s song — Robyn, who has also made songs with Max Martin and all that gang as well.

Christian: The Knife has also done.

Shima: That is a simple song … crafts. It’s also… ohaho. That girl… She’s doing everything she can to make me happy. It’s a hook and it could be children’s music in the best sense because we’re so good at it in this country. I think it comes from starting quickly, early with music school like this- music classes and then it has made so much effort into it. That it has been easy to be someone who makes music in Sweden, that “sound” is like “hooky” and “hity” sound.

Christian: There is no anxiety. I like it with Tomas Ledin. It’s a bit like Lasse Stefanz said in an interview. We don’t artificially do it; we’re just driving. It’s really like this. It’s straight on as well.

Shima: Tomas is a bit so blasphemy… Women like him. He’s hot on stage with the guitar.

Christian: Just that he says mm so you will like this.

Shima: It’s a bit like this Springsteen-rocked with love songs, hit-and-run songs. And then it’s very Swedish that way. Ingenious melodies. Orup, Lena PH, all that thing. And that it is still legitimate to be quite a hundred true with love songs of this kind without it becoming cheesy or geeky.

Christian: Exactly.

Shima: But it’s real.

What was it like to do a Swedish musical?

Shima: Ignoring the era of Nils Poppe and Povel Ramel, revue-musical era but almost pure modern Swedish musical has never been made. I think it was amazing. I’ve done one musical on stage before. A stage musical. And this was so much fun to transfer to the white screen. I had extreme fun with it. I just feel, bring it on — more musical movies.

Christian: I feel that too. I’ve never done a musical before, so this was great fun. This was the first. I was utterly novice, and I think it was unbelievable to get to work med you and the whole ensemble.

What was the most difficult/funny thing about your role in the film?

Shima: Did you have a day or any moment that you thought was the most difficult?
Christian: Something I think was difficult, I think … It was a day when we had … Well, we had that dance scene. It was like a day that was divided into specific game scenes. And dance scenes.

Shima: She does everything …

Christian: She does everything to make me happy. And before that, I had the sports shop there with Malin. It was a difficult day because I also missed the pre-rehearsals of my recording, so I didn’t have to dance earlier that day. I think it was a hard day for me to feel — And then I also realized the importance of ensemble, that I would have liked to dance more there on stage. And you dance really well. Extremely well. It turned out well. But what was difficult was finding this balance yourself; also maybe because I was a little rookie in terms of musical movies. But it was incredibly enriching. It was probably one of the most enjoyable summers I’ve had in a long time and recording. And work with the ensemble, the ensemble feeling. It was the quietest.

Shima: I think the most fun thing about this movie was just the whole experience of just singing and dancing with a fantastic cast. The hardest thing was with the “Absolutely crazy” number and I got a headlock, then before they had to bite on stage with 120 people in front of the camera. Motionless and had to swing his hair like Beyoncé, type. It was a challenge.

Christian: You will see it and you will not see that she has a neck latch, that is what is so incredible.

Shima: You can’t believe he missed the rehearsal before.

Christian: But then, when you do that.

Shima: There are a lot of people who have said that it’s so cool when you do it. I just put that in. I just: “I’m tough. I’m all tough. ”And all just that is just like Michael Jackson – hugs. How come your character is dancing like that? Literally, the camera was on and I would go down. I would be zazzy, so I just did it.

Do you have any new projects in progress?

Christian: I just finished a movie called The Beta Test in Los Angeles, written by Jim Cunnings. He also plays the lead role. He made a movie called Thunder Road. Then I joined a series called Top Dogg, which will be out in a month or so, I think.

Shima: I have a TV series on TV4 that is coming out, which I can’t tell which I think is really bad. Then I am developing my own diversion project that I am writing about. And will deliver my script because I got development support. That’s what I’m doing the next time, besides what I’ve already recorded, to be shown.
That’s it.

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Marcus J. Ström
Marcus J. Ström
Marcus Ström | Journalist/writer and Chief Editor.


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