Stage & Movie

Livet är en Schlager

Stockholm Cirkus 2015

I was attending the wedding of Mark Levengood and Jonas Gardell when my friend Helen Sjöholm suddenly appeared on stage. She performed a brand new song called “Som skapta för varandra” as a gift from Jonas to Mark, and it really blew me away. After her performance I had to ask Jonas who had written the song. He told me that he wrote it together with Fredrik Kempe, and it was an excerpt from a new musical they were working on together. When he told me it was based on Jonas’s film “Livet är en Schlager” I immediately asked: “Who’s playing Candy Darling?!!”.

A few months later I was in London playing the leading role in “Phantom of the Opera” when I got a call from producer Agnetha Villman. She asked me if I was interested in meeting up with Jonas and Fredrik to hear the music for their new musical. We met up at a hotel not far from Her Majesty’s Theatre in West End. I instantly fell for Fredrik’s fantastic melodies and Jonas’s story-telling lyrics. It was a really exciting combination, and I thought, “Yes! This is what I want to do!”

I’ve was eager to play the role of Candy Darling for many reasons. When I was young I had a stepbrother who tried to commit suicide. Several years later I was told that he was gay and liked to dress in women’s clothing. I didn’t understand why my parents had kept it a secret. I thought it was because of shame and grief, or maybe the saw similar tendencies in me and wanted to protect me from the same fate. Today I wish they had been brave enough to tell me sooner. I saw this as an opportunity to pay tribute to my late stepbrother, and show that I’m proud of him and what he stood for.

We had an amazing cast and an exciting creative team. Among us were Anna Asp who won an Oscar for scenography in “Fanny and Alexander”, Christer Lindarw – wardrobe and Linda Kebbon – make-up and hair. It was great to work with Helen Sjöholm again for the first time since “Kristina”. I also got to work with the very funny Johan Glans and the lovely Jonas Helgesson.

I really like the message of this musical – “We all dream about being something more than what the eyes can see. To be accepted and included regardless of how we live, how we look and how we love”.

The musical was shown over 150 times and won the category “Show of the year” at the Swedish QX awards. I won the awards for “Drag queen of the year” at the same award show.