Article in Norwegian, published by 26.06.2020


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FILMSET: Alexander Rybak on the recording with Will Ferrell (th) and Melissanthi Mahut (tv) in England last summer. Photo: CLAIRE FOLGER / NETFLIX


Alexander Rybak filmed with Will Ferrell: – Therapy


When Alexander Rybak, 34, posed on the film set for the Eurovision comedy in London last year, he was still on sleeping pills and had anxiety.

For nearly a year, Rybak has kept the secret of appearing in the Netflix movie “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” with Will Ferrell (52) and Rachel McAdams (41) .

– I like to keep the cards close to my chest, says Rybak to VG.

Now he looks forward to the premiere, because he has not yet seen the result. The movie comedy about the legendary music competition premieres on Netflix on Friday, June 26.

Curious about dice throwing ? click here

See Will Ferrell in VG interview

Just over three weeks have passed since Rybak via Instagram inaugurated fans another secret, namely that for 11 years – ever since the Eurovision success in Moscow in 2009 – he has been addicted to sleeping pills and antidepressants .

2020 has so far offered a four-month sick leave and rehabilitation.

During the filming of the Eurovision movie in August last year, the 34-year-old did not do well, even though the two days ended up as an adventure.

– It was like being invited to a ball. We filmed in a large castle, where “Transformers” and “X-men” were also recorded. I was really looking forward to introducing myself to director David Dobkin and saying I’m a big fan. But the recording took place in the evening, and I was still on sleeping pills then, says Rybak.

When he showed up, there was an overwhelming setting with 200 extras present. They were about to start filming when Dobkin, 35, spotted Rybak shouting “stop.” 

– I had started to get a lot of anxiety, but then suddenly the director ran past all 200 and gave me the good hug. It was the most wonderful moment I’ve known in a long time. For me, it was therapy to meet that gang.

The film revolves around Icelandic Lars Erickssong (played by Will Ferrell) and Sigrit Ericksdottir (Rachel McAdams), who get the chance to represent their country in Eurovision. Rybak emphasizes that there is no big scene in which he participates.

– We are several artists who appear in a dream seance for an ABBA song. But I have with me my violin, and I was very happy with my location – midway between Ferrell and McAdams, says a cheerful Rybak.
IN CENTER: Alexander Rybak, surrounded by director David Dobkin (TV) and lead actor Will Ferrell (th) Photo: CLAIRE FOLGER / NETFLIX

For Rybak, who should have performed during the intermission at the canceled Eurovision Song Contest in the Netherlands in May, the film is a solid patch on the wound.

– I had been looking forward to the Netherlands and thought it would be my very first job after rehabilitation. But as it approached May, I felt that I was not rehabillitated. The body was still hungry and it could become difficult to sing in front of 200 million people.

Fought to hold back tears

Rybak has another MGP legend as his great role model, namely the recently deceased Jahn Teigen . It was an honor to sing at the funeral in March – a few days before the coronary restriction. But Rybak was not healthy himself.

– First of all, it was very painful and sad, and I had to fight to hold back tears. At the same time, I felt both abstinence and nerves right then, he admits.

– How are you right now?

– I feel much better. I go a little faster every day, says Rybak, who is overwhelmed by all the supportive statements from his fans.

– But I can only share my story. It is impossible for me to give others advice, because I am no expert. I am not even an expert on my own body.

Many people think Rybak is brave by being open and telling.

– But I think it was braver to carry this alone for 11 years and not complain, he says.

Although it was the Eurovision breakthrough that got Rybak out on an unhealthy health journey, he loves the music competition and does not rule out being able to stand as a participant again.

– But it will be a few more years. When I join, I feel like I’m taking the place of someone else.

START: Alexander Rybak at the Moscow press conference after the victory in 2009. Photo: MAXIM SHIPENKOV / EPA


That Ferrell has parodied the phenomenon, Rybak is comfortable with. Ferrell, who has a Swedish wife and is a Eurovision fan himself, has been writing the script himself.

– They talked to me about both “Fairytale” and my participation in 2018. I realized that they did not fake Eurovision interest. They make fun, but with a heart, says Rybak, who describes Ferrell as a “kind and intellectual” interlocutor.

– When the cameras stopped, he wanted to talk about violins. He has kids who are interested in music, and we talked about everything from Bach to Bocelli. It was soothing.

EUROVISION MOOD: Alexander Rybak on the London film set and an enthusiastic Will Ferrell in the background. Photo: CLAIRE FOLGER / NETFLIX


Rybak is not the only Eurovision star in attendance. Jamala (36), Netta (27), Loreen (36) and Conchita Wurst (31) also appear. In addition, the voice of Swedish Molly Sandén (27) is heard when McAdams “sings” to the song “Volcano Man” .

How much he got in fees for participating, Rybak is silent about.

– Maybe Loreen is in Sweden and has received a completely different sum? he grins.

A number of other celebrities appear in the film, such as Mikael Persbrandt (56), Pierce Brosnan (67), Dan Stevens (37) and Demi Lovato (27).

– I was also going to be on the red carpet in the Netherlands for the film and had been looking forward to greeting Pierce Brosnan. But that did not happen.

Rybak has released new singles in the last month.

– “Give Me Rain” is about fighting through the nightmare of his life. “My Whole World” I wrote in the United States when I was heartbroken over my ex-girlfriend.



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SOUND ON 🎧 *Mental problems are extremely individual, I can only tell you about my own experiences* “Give Me Rain” is a song about fighting through the darkness, and I am overwhelmed by your response and associations with the song.🙏🏼 For me personally it is about fighting through the pain during rehab and withdrawal from sleep aid. Headache, hallucinations, cold sweat and nightmares became my loyal friends every day. But on the darkest days it felt like knives through my stomach, as my brain and gut are strongly connected. Yay…!😬 In situations like these, in the end all I can to do is lie down and laugh. Because honestly, this s#*t is absurd. But it’s part of the important process. And it will pass.🌪🌥 *Ментальные проблемы и лечение очень индивидуально для каждого человека. Я могу поделиться с вами только собственным опытом. “Give Me Rain” – это песня о борьбе с темнотой. Я очень рад и тронут всем отзывам. Лично для меня, эта песня об ужасах, пережитых во время реабилитации. Головная боль, галлюцинации, холодный пот и ночные кошмары были моими дорогими приятиями каждый день. А в самые темные дни мне казалось, будто мой желудок пронзают ножами (мой мозг и пищеварительный тракт сильно связаны. Ура). Единственное чего я хочу в подобных ситуациях – прилечь и смеяться. Ведь, по правде говоря, это просто нелепо. Это всё по плану. И я знаю, что это пройдет. #mentalhealth #rehab #withdrawal #psykiskhelse Cover art by @joerg_63

Et opslag delt af 🎻 ALEXANDER RYBAK 🎻 (@rybakofficial) den