Biography

A favorite of famed director Ingmar Bergman, Swedish actress Pernilla August has an earthy radiance and formidable talent that translated well from stage to screen when she made a lasting impression in Bergman's directorial swan song, Fanny and Alexander (1982). In the years that followed, August would prove devastating with an award-winning role in the Bergman-penned drama The Best Intentions before gaining international recognition with appearances in such popular mainstream American efforts as Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace. Though the majority of her foreign roles may have gone unseen by stateside audiences, her reputation as a notable screen talent found August in constant demand overseas. It was while performing on-stage as a young girl that August first realized the power that a talented actress could wield, and after that epiphany, there was little doubt as to the path she would pursue in life. Spending several years on Swedish television allowed August to develop her onscreen acting skills into something truly special, and after breaking into film in the early '80s, the emerging actress married author Klas Östergren. Alternating between stage and screen in the following years, August's moving performance as Bergman's mother in Bille August's The Best Intentions earned her a Best Actress award at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival, and found her separating from her first husband to marry director August. Her ensuing pregnancy may have prevented Pernilla from appearing in her second husband's 1993 film, The House of the Spirits, though she did act under his direction once again in 1996's Jerusalem before the dissolve of their five-year union. August once again summoned the spirit of Bergman's mother for the 1996 Liv Ullmann telefilm Private Confessions (again penned by Bergman), and her role in the following year's In the Presence of a Clown found her continuing to explore the persona. Despite becoming a familiar face to American audiences with her role in Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace and Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones, August remained faithful to her Swedish roots with appearances in such efforts as 2004's Dag och natt. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi