Swedish Movie Star Hangs with the Voice


Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.

September 2, 1959, Vol. IV, No. 45

Ingrid Thulin in Greenwich Village

By Jerry Tallmer

If I could write like music, sad, haunting, exquisite music, I could perhaps begin to tell you something about the voice of Ingrid Thulin. And if I could write like sunlight and like shadow, I could perhaps begin to tell you something about her face. But these things are pretty apparent in the two Ingmar Bergman movies we’ve had a chance to see her in so far, “Wild Strawberries” and “The Magician”….

It began when Indrid Thulin – pronounced too lean, which she isn’t – blew into town a week ago to help publicize the American premiere of “The Magician” at the Fifth Avenue Cinema…would we care to serve as her guide?

…We set it up to start with dinner for several of us at the tiny but excellent Casa di Pre on Greenwich Avenue. From there it would be played by ear.

She was dressed as if to the Village born – canvas loafers, tan slacks so laundered as to be almost white, a white French sailor-type blouse with navy piping, a white chiffon scarf with gold polka dots, a beige three-quarter-length trenchcoat, one teardrop pearl at each pierced ear on a simple gold hoop, and an old-fashioned tortoise-shell comb holding together the bun of her long white-blonde hair.

…She had seen “A Raisin in the Sun” and been very impressed with it. I had had two glasses of wine by then, and I asked: “Could you really understand it, what it was all about? Does it really mean anything much to you?” She said: “I think it is about a woman’s life.” I said: “A Negro woman–and some other Negroes. Had you any knowledge of Negroes before? Had you ever actually seen or met a Negro?” She said: “I saw a Negro once in Europe. I thought he was very beautiful. I played a Negro on the Swedish stage.” I said: “How did you do it, handle it?” She said: “I tried to imagine what it was like, and I did it. I played the Jewish Bronx girl, too, in ‘Two for the Seesaw.’ I have played all kinds of women. And besides,” she said, looking across the table as the point of the pin went home, “Women are in some way the Negro problem of the whole world, no?” All of a sudden I decided it was going to be a successful evening in spite of any amount of publicity hugger-mugger…

[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]