Kenneth Branagh's 'Wallander' scenes were 'painfully memorable'

Sir Kenneth Branagh

Sir Kenneth Branagh

Kenneth Branagh admits his final Wallander scenes were "painfully memorable" because he would visit the set during his battle with cancer.

Sir Kenneth Branagh's final 'Wallander' scenes were "painfully memorable".

The 55-year-old actor, who starred in the BBC Swedish detective TV series as a young police officer Kurt Wallander, has admitted he will never forget the scenes he filmed with the programme's Swedish creator Henning Mankell during his battle with cancer, which saw the author lose his battle against the disease last year at 67 years old.

In a first-person piece with Radio Times Magazine - to mark the DVD release of the 'Wallander' Series 1-3 - the Northern Irish star said: "The scenes where Kurt battles his own mind were played for our cameras as Henning, sick but still visiting us on set occasionally, was battling his own illness. They were painfully memorable days.

"They bring a disturbing conclusion to the character's 12-film odyssey, and it's impossible not to feel the loss of Henning through his loss of Kurt."

'Wallander' is centred on the life of Kurt Wallander, which traces his broken marriage and affair with the wife and mother Annette Brolin who he worked with on some cases, his battle with diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, with which his father was also afflicted.

Kenneth has admitted Henning played his cards close to his chest and would not reveal his character's final scenes.

He explained: "I was only when I met Henning one morning in Hamburg that I knew Kurt's end could not be conventionally happy.

"He [Henning] grabbed me excitedly by the shoulders and said, 'I have it, I have it! ... The last sentence of the last Wallander story!

"He would not tell me what those words were."

But Kenneth has confessed he shared a close bond with Henning, despite his intimidating personality.

He fondly recalled: "Aside from my father, he was the only person who ever called me Kenneth, not Ken ... You always had to be on your toes with Henning. He was quick-witted and meticulous. He was dismissive of lazy thought, and in his personal relationships he wanted stimulus and debate.


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