Anton Glanzelius

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Anton Glanzelius (born 11 April 1974[1] in Copenhagen, Denmark[2]) 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.[3]

As of 2014, Glanzelius currently works as an executive producer at Swedish TV4 AB.[1] On March 26, 2015, Glanzelius was announced the new channel manager for TV4 Play. At the same time, he will retain his role as deputy channel director for TV4 Group.[4][5][6]

Early life[edit]

Glanzelius was born in Copenhagen to father Ingmar Glanzelius, a journalist and a freelance music critic, and mother Margita Ahlin, an actress and a director.[2][7][8][9][10] Glanzelius also has an older brother, Jacob.[8] His maternal grandfather was fellow actor Harry Ahlin.[2] He grew up in Gothenburg, Sweden.[7] Glanzelius is of Danish descent from his father's side.[2]

Acting career[edit]

At the age of eight, Glanzelius got his first role in a television movie,[7] appeared as a messenger in a theatrical production of Antigone that starred his mother,[8] and appeared four times on a Swedish television series.[9][10]

My Life as a Dog and recognition[edit]

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."[9][10]

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.[7][9][10]

Film director Hallström described Glanzelius, who was 11 at the time of filming, as "very intuitive. It was like working with an adult."[7] As for Glanzelius on what eventually became his well known role, he has been quoted saying, "I just play(ed) myself."[7][9][10]

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.[7][8][9][10][11][12]

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.[7][8][9][10] 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."[8] 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.[9][10] When he visited New York City, Sue Simmons got to interview Glanzelius.[13]

"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."[7] He says he had no idea he was so popular.[9][10]

Glanzelius was in talks to reprise his role in a now-shelved English-language sequel to the film.[14][15]

Personal life[edit]

Glanzelius is fluent in Swedish and English.[7][9][10] He is also a fan of Eddie Murphy, Rod Stewart, Bill Cosby and Bruce Springsteen.[8] Glanzelius also plays ice hockey and the piano.[7]

Aspiration for soccer playing[edit]

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.[8] "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."[7]

"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."[8]

"I don't wish for a dream part or anything like that," Glanzelius says. "I want to be a professional soccer player in Brazil."[9][10] At the time of his recognition, Glanzelius was also a player of his hometown's junior soccer team.[7][9][10] He said he was ranked among the 30 best soccer players in Gothenborg, and had planned to travel to Brazil after he completed school.[9][10]

"If I suffered an injury and couldn't play, I might act in another movie," he concedes.[7] Glanzelius also stated that he does not care if he ever does another movie.[9][10] Nonetheless, his dream of being a soccer player was never fulfilled.[1]

Michael Jackson[edit]

At first, Glanzelius had never even heard of Michael Jackson until he received a phone call at his parents' home in Gothenburg from Jackson himself.[16]

While he was in Los Angeles in 1987, Glanzelius had the chance to meet 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."[8][9][10] Glanzelius and his mother visited the Hayvenhurst estate, but only got to spend a couple of hours with Jackson. Glanzelius described Jackson as "very polite" but also very quiet. Glanzelius also got to meet and shake hands with Jackson's pet chimpanzee Bubbles.[16]

A year later, Glanzelius got to spend a day with Jackson at the amusement park, Liseberg.[17][18] The park's management closed Liseberg to the public for the day so that Glanzelius and Jackson would have the entire place to themselves, riding the latter's favorite roller coaster 12 times and spending an hour driving bumper cars. Glanzelius spent that night in Jackson's hotel room; in recent years, Glanzelius confirmed there was not the slightest hint of a sexual advance as a respect to Jackson's reputation.[16]

Jackson kept in contact with Glanzelius afterward until the Jordan Chandler scandal broke out.[16] Glanzelius was reportedly shocked when he found out about the death of Michael Jackson in 2009.[18][19][20] A day after Jackson's death, Glanzelius was interviewed by TV4 News on his experiences with Jackson.[21]


  1. ^ a b c Google Translate
  2. ^ a b c d "LOS ACTORES INFANTILES Y JUVENILES (TERCERA PARTE)". Que Fue De...?. 24 September 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "My Life As a Dog (1985)". Swedish Film Institute. 14 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Anton Glanzelius new channel manager for TV4 Play
  5. ^ Anton Glanzelius receive new service on TV4
  6. ^ Anton Glanzelius becomes the new channel manager for TV4 Play.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Anton Glanzelius Unleashes a Fierce Talent in My Life as a Dog". People. 10 August 1987. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j McKenna, Kristine (3 October 1987). "His Life From 'A Dog' To A Star". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Sanchez, Rene (2 October 1987). "'Life As A Dog' Star Is More Interested In Soccer Than Film". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Sanchez, Rene (7 September 1987). "Anton Glanzelius: His Life As a Star; Young Swedish Actor in `My Life as a Dog' Has His Day in D.C.". The Washington Post. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  11. ^ Sweeney, Louise (4 June 1987). "Swedish `Dog` A Fetching Movie". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  12. ^ Eakin, Emily (21 December 2000). "Sweet, As Usual". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  13. ^ Anton Glanzelius interview 1987 - My Life as a Dog on YouTube
  14. ^ Van Gelder, Lawrence (9 November 1989). "Tortured History". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 23 May 2015. 
  15. ^ "Swedish Film `My Life As A Dog` To Get Sequel In English". Chicago Tribune. 5 December 1991. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  16. ^ a b c d Sullivan, Randall (2012). Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson. Grove/Atlantic, Inc. ISBN 9780802195654. 
  17. ^ One Day at Liseberg
  18. ^ a b "When "My Life As A Dog" Anton Glanzelius Met Michael Jackson". 12 January 2015. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  19. ^ Michael Jackson
  20. ^ "Interview with MJ's former pal, Anton Glanzelius of "My life as a dog" fame". 27 June 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  21. ^ Glanzelius minns vännen Michael Jackson Interview in Swedish

External links[edit]