Anton Glanzelius (born 11 April 1974 in Gothenburg, Sweden) is a Swedish actor mainly known for My Life as a Dog (1985). For his role in My Life as a Dog he won the award for Best Actor at the 21st Guldbagge Awards.
Glanzelius was born to father Ingmar Glanzelius, a journalist and a freelance music critic, and mother Margita Ahlin, an actress and a director. Glanzelius also has an older brother, Jacob. He grew up in Gothenburg.
At the age of eight, Glanzelius got his first role in a television movie, appeared as a messenger in a theatrical production of Antigone that starred his mother, and appeared four times on a Swedish television series.
My Life as a Dog and recognition
Film director Lasse Hallström discovered Glanzelius from the television series and asked him to try out for the lead role of Ingemar of the film, My Life as a Dog, along with about 1,000 other boys. At first, Glanzelius was told that he was too young and too small for the part. One week later, however, he received another call. "They said they couldn't find anyone better to do it than me," Glanzelius says. "I thought it would be fun and exciting. And it was. But we worked from morning to the night for 80 days. It was very hard. I was happy to get even a 5-minute break."
Glanzelius faced a few challenges when portraying Ingemar, such as having to spill a glass of milk on his face in one scene, which took 26 takes to film, as well as having to lose in a boxing match with an older tomboy character in another scene.
Film director Hallström described Glanzelius, who was 11 at the time of filming, as "very intuitive. It was like working with an adult." As for Glanzelius on what eventually became his well known role, he has been quoted saying, "I just play(ed) myself."
In 1985, Glanzelius became the youngest person ever to win the Swedish Film Critics Award for Best Actor, Sweden's equivalent to the Oscar for the same category, for his portrayal of Ingemar in My Life as a Dog.
My Life as Dog was a surprise hit in the United States, an achievement that was considered rare and unheard of to occur for subtitled foreign films at the time of its release. American critics praised Glanzelius for his performance in the film, such Hall Hinson of The Washington Post describing him as "a pint-size Jack Nicholson, with devilish eyebrows that he knows how to use," and Vincent Canby of The New York Times who applauded him for his "firm and wise performance." The movie's success in the U.S. led Glanzelius to visit the country for the first time in 1987, as a nine-city, two-week tour accompanied with his parents. Cities he traveled into included Washington and Los Angeles.
"In the beginning everybody recognized me from the movie," he says. "Many would even point at me with their whole arm outstretched and talk about me very loud. I would have to look at the ground. That was not fun." He says he had no idea he was so popular.
Aspiration for soccer playing
Despite his stardom from My Life as a Dog, Glanzelius has made it clear that he has no apparent interest in pontificating about himself or the craft of acting. "Soccer is my number one priority," he says. "I hope to be a pro player in Brazil someday. I really love to play, and I think I can be what I want to be. It will be a natural for me."
"Anton is not obsessed with the idea of having a career in movies, thank God," his father said. "He loved working on the film and he's proud of his performance, but we've tried not to make too much of the success he's had. If we did, then everything he did for the rest of his life would measure against it as a failure. His first love is sports, and we encourage him in that because it provides something of a buffer between him and all this glamour."
"I don't wish for a dream part or anything like that," Glanzelius says. "I want to be a professional soccer player in Brazil." At the time of his recognition, Glanzelius was also a player of his hometown's junior soccer team. He said he was ranked among the 30 best soccer players in Gothenborg, and had planned to travel to Brazil after he completed school.
While he was in Los Angeles in 1987, Glanzelius had the chance to meet Michael Jackson, who personally invited him to his home after seeing My Life as a Dog twice. "Michael Jackson's house was so big and beautiful," Glanzelius says. "And he was very friendly. I liked him very much, but he was very shy."
- "My Life As a Dog (1985)". Swedish Film Institute. 14 March 2014.
- Google Translate
- "Anton Glanzelius Unleashes a Fierce Talent in My Life as a Dog". People. 10 August 1987. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- McKenna, Kristine (3 October 1987). "His Life From 'A Dog' To A Star". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- Sanchez, Rene (2 October 1987). "'Life As A Dog' Star Is More Interested In Soccer Than Film". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- Michael Jackson