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Roger Smith

"I Have Never Cooked"

Swedish film star Ann-Margret likes being on tour. "What can I say, I love room service".

The road to her house in Benedict Canyoun in Beverly Hills goes beautiful through hills and trees, then there's a giant gate. This is where it ends for the fans. Ann-Margret is particular about her private life after all these years. She is really proud of her heritage, however, that's why there's a sign in the garage, saying "Parking for Swedes only".

When Maud Stålhandske and her friends back home in Östersund wondered if they could call their musical "Ann-Margret And Me", she said yes. "Imagine mum and dad being alive right now, it would have been wonderful", she says relaxing in her living room sofa.

Last winter she went to Sweden with her husband Roger Smith and her manager Alan Margulies to attend the premiere at the Folkets Hus Theatre in Östersund. This might seem very generous of a star who has filmed with such big names as Elvis Presley, John Wayne, Burt Reynolds, Anthony Hopkins, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kirk Douglas, Jack Lemmon, Steve McQueen and Walter Matthau, just to name a few.

Ann-Margret, 66, is a long way from retiring. This summer she'll be in Branson, Missouri, doing a show with Andy Williams, six shows a week.
"This is my life, my passion. What else would I do?" she says laughing.
She's the perfect host when we're visiting, serving coffee and cookies. She has hired help both in the kitchen, the garden and the house.

The musical "Ann-Margret And Me" is about a Swedish small town girl, who makes it in the big world. Just like you.

"Yes, I feel honored that they have written a musical on this theme, it's fantastic".

Your relation to Jämtland, Valsjöbyn is world famous.

"Sure, it's where my roots are. Also Örnsköldsvik, where my father came from. I don't have many any living relatives left in Sweden, but some are still living in Jämtland others around Umeå. We keep in touch".

You still film, do shows, give concerts, any plans to slow down?

"What could I say? That I love room service, haha. I have never cooked, but I do the dishes at home, so I know my way around the kitchen a little bit".

What do you remember from the early years, when you were a kid?

"I remember the house in Valsjöbyn, the driveway. Once I skied down it. I remember a talent show in Nygänget outside Örnsköldsvik, where I performed, 10 years old, singing. That was huge for a little girl".

How do you live today?

"Simple, Roger and me are 'home bodies'. We like spending time at home, watching a movie in our small movie theatre. I don't go to premieres any more. We bought the house in 1968 and we love it here", she says, disappearing to get some photos of relatives she wants to show us.

How was filming with John Travolta and Robin Williams in 'Old Dogs'?

"I have known John since he was 18 and came to one of my shows in Las Vegas, and I remember thinking, this guy will be huge. During the years I have made some films with his wife, Kelly Preston, so they are both friends of ours. I had never met Robin and we don't have any scenes together, but he asked if he could come and see me. He came with huge flowers, joked around and talked to my dog with funny voices and sounds. We had a great couple of hours".

And after the trip to Sweden, it's back to filming again?

"Yes, but mostly I do guest spots nowadays. I'm doing 'Lucky' with Heather Graham and 'Ye Old Times', with Jack Black and Orlando Jones. It's a costume drama filmed in Tucson, Arizona".

There are rumours about more films.

"Yes, I'll probably do a part in 'The Loss of A Teardrop Diamond', which was written by Tennessee Williams. I love him, so that will be a lot of fun. Ellen Burstyn, Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Evans will also be in it".

Any plans for the summer?

"No, no vacation. All of June and July I'll do a show with Andy Williams in Branston, Missouri. Six shows a week, not bad for a 95-year old, huh?"

95-year old?

"Yes, dear, that's how I feel sometimes".

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From expressen.se | By Gunnar Nordström

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