Alma Poysti, who portrays Finnish author and artist Tove Jansson in the biopic “Tove,” has a personal family connection to the role. In 1949, Jansson premiered the stage play of “Comet in Moominland” at Abo Svenska Teater in Helsinki. Here is the kicker: Among the cast members of the stage play was a close relative of Poysti.
“Well, it was my grandmother,” Poysti tells TheWrap’s Joe McGovern. “You see my grandparents, both of them were actors and they were very close friends with both Tove Jansson and Vivica Bandler, who is Tove’s great love in the movie and well in real life. So yeah, I made this time journey and I hung out at my grandparents parties! Filming this, it’s been a big mess in my head but a truly wonderful one.”
When Poysti discovered she booked the role, she went to the cemetery where both her grandparents and Tove Jansson are buried. In fact, according to Posti, Jansson and her grandparents are buried close to each other.
“I got the phone call. I got really confused and happy that I jumped on my bike and I got some roses for these two power women and went to the cemetery to somehow say hi and blink to them. And then I got some champagne and celebrated in the spirit of Tove,” says Poysti.
On top of the personal connection, Poysti looks remarkably similar to Tove Jansson, and according to director Zaida Bergroth, Poysti sold it in the audition.
“I do appreciate the fact that I also see the resemblance but for me, maybe the more important thing was that when we did our tests and we auditioned Alma, I could somehow imagine that this woman could really be behind all these fantastic worlds that Tove Jansson created, because she was an exceptional woman and you had to find an actor who you believe could have created all these wonderful stories, who would have that kind of an imaginary world that you would somehow be convinced about that,” says Bergroth.
“The way Alma did all those things that we tried out, I loved the fact how she brought tenderness to the character, the intelligence was of course important, and that kind of depth but also the playful side was really important to me and I’m so happy that Alma accepted this role because this film really lies on her shoulders, and then she looks like Tove so that works as well,” added Bergroth.
The description for “Tove” is as follows: “Helsinki, 1945. The end of the war brings a new sense of artistic and social freedom for painter Tove Jansson. Tove’s desire for liberty is put to the test when she meets theatre director Vivica Bandler. Her love for Vivica is electric and all-consuming, and as she struggles with her personal life, her creative endeavors take her in an unexpected direction. While focusing her artistic dreams on her painting, the work that started as a side project, the melancholic, haunting tales she told scared children in bomb shelters, rapidly takes on a life of its own. The exploits of the Moomins, infused with inspiration from her own life, bring Tove international fame and financial freedom.”
“Tove” is the Finnish entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards. Watch Joe McGovern’s full interview with director Zaida Bergroth and Actress Alma Poysti above.
Read original story ‘Tove’ Star Alma Poysti Explains Her Family Connection to Film’s Subject (Video) At TheWrap