Interview with Ture Sjolander
The man who met Garbo

Exklusive Interview  with Ture Sjolander

Ture Sjolander, a well-known Swedish TV- and filmproducer has compiled an incredible Greta Garbo album in 1971. The total edition, including the American, German, Swedish and other languages was approximately 60.000 copies. Now, over 45 years later, he talkes exklusively on about his meeting with Garbo and the creation of "her".

How did you get the idea about the book?

I started my book project 1970 and had never seen a film with Greta Garbo. I was interested of the Myth and particulary the relation between the general public and the Myth. Garbo was very much a PICTURE. A gane with the journalists ... I started to make some research in different media archives and find hips of pictures but also the most silly press cuttings. Press cuttings from different decades or more. It shocked me how extremly stupid all this journalist had been for such a long time (and still are). What I mean is that they really put words in her mouth she never ever had said and all this fabrications started to be the truth. When I met Garbo in Klosters I was a man of great self esteema kinda "teenage-ego" at the age of early 30. So I handed over the first printed copy of the Swedish edition to her and had a short conversation with her, and said to her "sorry Giggi I am very busy so I let you go now" and I left. She was a bit surprised to hear that. And actually I was not very interested of her person per se. We had a good chat though and she was nice to me. I met her again in Davos few days later.

After my first edition was published in N.Y. I started to make a book about Chaplin and later I started up some research on Onassis. And Onassis was like a Fantom hidden in a cave. Chaplin paid me out of my book about him and let me do a graphic portfolio, instead.

Have you taken pictures of Garbo, when you met her in Klosters/Switzerland to present her the book?

Actually, I am thinking to move to Sweden soon after 20 years here in Australia. When I looked into my removalist boxes I found out that I have approx. 70 photocolour slides - unpublished - of Greta Garbo in Klosters, and a 8 mm colour film approx. 3 minutes.

The book is out of print and sold in antik bookshops today. Unfortunately, I have no original photos left from all the book material as it was handed back to different archives after I paid them for the book rights and after the use of them. I have though all rights for the book publishing. I may find a new publisher that way who may be interested to make a reprint – I would love to make a larger kinda magazine of the very same book without hard cover. Let all the other guys make sophisticated posters and prints of Garbos filmpictures, but this chronologic pictorial story of her life, none have yet beaten, upto date. There is one page in my book written by Garbo – it is quit a funny text actually! She is saying how much money she got and relate it to her life ... as the money just would get in faster ... its funny. She wanted her money and really gave a "shit" about movies. She wanted to get out of it and get free.

I can say that some few of my pictures were published worldwide. I was also working at the same time on a public artwork for a Swizz-based, Zurich (not far from Klosters and Davos) company making a large tapestry in Aubusson in France you can see at: or at

What I don't understand right now is how new generations can be so interested in this "enigma". She was the most normal person on Earth except that she might have gotten a kick of the "hide and seek" game. I think that was hear only "hobby" after giving up the star-life.


My meeting and conversation with Greta was "tampered" by Sven Broman in his weekly magazine "Aret Runt", and he got all my info about her whereabouts and later made a trip himself to Klosters making his "myth" story about her. He actually met her then, but 90 % of his story is a fake.


How have you created the piece of art, that was used as a cover picture for your book?

Its not a piece of art ... (yet) it's taken from a picture larger than Mont Everest were Garbo is laying down on a bed. I pick the face detail out of that picture and turned it around a couple of times and blow it up heavely and it become the Cover of my Garbo book. On the site its just a layout decoration. But I can tell you that people are in to my websites in dorves, and save it like they do with a similar pics I did on Chaplin at: I think hundreds of South American, Latin people is picking just that black and white one. I intended to have my Chaplin book identical to my Garbo book cover ... but Chaplin took over the project.

What do you know about Garbo? How did you find information about her?

It is interesting because I had friends and insiders of her own friends at the time it all happened who gave me the very best information about her. Micheangelo Antonioni was in the news that time about making a new film with her and I talk to Garbo about that and she denied it. I myself told her I would make a film/movie about her very first boat trip with Stiller to America and let Anthony Quinn play the Stillers role and going to search for a sweet young girl playing herself. She loved the idea! The whole film should just capture the departure from Sweden the boat trip itself and the first year in Hollywood. A kinda Bonnie & Clyde or rather a kinda Titanic film. I still think it would be great film because thats the very essence of the story. She was Stillers young lover! The swedish very old artist Einar Nerman was my friend as well as "Mica" (nowdays Monica Bonde), the daughter to Kerstin Bernadotte. They told me the insiders nick name of Greta Garbo very few were using "Giggi" and much more.

How did you get in contact with Giggi?

I send a telegram to Greta Garbo before I started my book: Saying "I love you as you are, so let us continue the creation of "Her". At the age of 67, she did not want me to take a close-up portrait of her as her former beauty had vannished, which would disappoint the audience she said and laughed, but suggested me to take some kinda "papparazzi" pics from distance as that is what they want. We actually had a good laugh and she had a nice humor. Different language edition of the book was printed and we met in the meantime. She very much like the book.

It is said, that you plan a movie about Garbo? Is this true? How did you get the idea?

I had a dream 1970, (and still have 2005) to make a movie about Greta Garbo's first trip to the United States of America in her company of Mauritz Stiller. A dream, I presented for her when I met her in Klosters, Switzerland a year after. She loved it and admitted it was her greatest experience in her live, the boat trip, to America and the very first year in Hollywood. It was a rumour in the media at the time, 70's, that Antonioni should make a film with her but Greta totally denied that during our conversation.

A movie "Garbo the Movie" would be the greatest of movies, the most romantic of movies, showing Stiller and herself during the initial 48 hours on their way over the Atlantic to U.S.A. It's a hybrid a kinda "Titanic", "Bonnie & Clyde", and much more, a perfect relationship, the greatest of expectation a young couple ever can have and imagine. When I met Greta  "Giggi" - she could imagine the success of my idea, and I suggested at the time to make Anthony Quinn to the head actor for Stiller. We could not figure out though who would play the role of herself. Nevertheless, we agreed that it would be possible to find a talented female to make up the utmost mysterious woman in the world. We finally parted as very good friends and she whispered in my ear "all the best"


Ture Sjolander's dream: GARBO  The Movie Project
First Online-Book about Greta Garbo: GARBO by Ture Sjolander
Order the original copy of GARBO  the book, now only available at antique book shops
Terrible Museum MM
Ture Sjolander is the only Australian Citizen who became a citizen on his own conditions: