The Swedish crime series based on Kristina Ohlsson’s Bergman & Recht novels, stars Liv Mjönes (All Inclusive, The Lawyer) as criminologist Fredrika Bergman who after a tragic car accident, starts working as a civil investigator at Stockholm Police.

Her intelligence and professionalism allow her to help the police unit solve their cases. Her sidekicks are detective Alex Recht (Jonas Karlsson) and Peder Rydh (Alexej Manvelov).

Jörgen Hjerdt and Pauline Wolff penned the TV series, produced by Black Spark Film & TV/Kärnfilm. Sthlm Requiem (10x45’ or 5x90’) premiered on C More on October 3 and the airing on TV4 starts tomorrow Wednesday October 17. Germany’s ZDF will broadcast it in 2019.

What makes Sthlm Requiem stand out in the market?
Karin Fahlén: Sthlm Requiem is an emotional crime series. I felt that most crime series in Scandinavia had focused on the gore, the number of dead bodies. I did not want to indulge in this and tried to add a new perspective: how does it feel to be exposed emotionally to the horrible things that happen day after day when you work as a police officer?  I wanted to show the existential connection of police investigators to their work, and how that affects their private lives. That’s what enticed me to do the series.

Did you board the project at idea stage?
KF: Another production company had been developing the story but they couldn’t find the core. When Black Spark Film & TV and Kärnfilm took over, Piodor [Gustafsson], Martina [Stöhr] and I discussed a lot what type of story we wanted to tell and we moved towards a different type of crime.

How did you select actors Liv Mjönes and Alexej Manvelov?
I had collaborated with Liv on the film All Inclusive and had enjoyed working with her, and directing is very much about communicating. If that is easy you can reach places you never suspected were possible. Then I met Alexej through Piodor Gustafsson who was working with him on another series. We met and connected immediately. With Jonas [who plays detective Alex Recht] I had done a film based on one of his books, Stockholm Stories. We had a good relationship and trust. That’s half the job done!

Tell me about the filming of Stockholm. How did you work on the look and feel of the city?
KF: We wanted to make Stockholm as a human body, an entity, because of the title as well. We filmed the police headquarters at Stockholm’s Kulturhuset. That was quite a coup!

What did you discover or rediscover about Stockholm?
KF: I had a book called Sthlm Brutal, looking at Stockholm’s architecture from the 60s-70s. We did all location hunting based on that book. I was born in the early 60s and have always been drawn to that style of architecture. I discovered the inner passion while making the series.

Liv Mjönes how would you describe your character Fredrika Bergman
LM: She’s very intelligent, sensitive, a bit repressed and introverted. She does her work, but doesn’t socialise. She wanted to become a violinist but couldn’t fulfil that dream as she had an accident that forced her to change career. In her private life, she is struggling with becoming a mother and with her relationship with her elder boyfriend.

How did you prepare for your role?
I met a criminologist who was a fascinating person, very sensitive as well, and that inspired me for my role.

Were you inspired by other iconic dysfunctional female cops like Saga Noren in Bron?
I love Sofia Helin in that role, but I wanted to create my own character. I didn’t want to become a copy of her. I wanted to feature a person established in a male world, who succeeds because of her intellect that enables her to gain respect.

What was the most challenging about your role?
Karin had a clear vision of what she wanted.  She was very demanding and asked us to be minimalist in our game, but still express as much as possible. That was very challenging and why the series is so unique.

Alexej Manvelov, you’ve appeared in quite a few crime shows, such as Before We Die, The Dying Detective. Why did you want to do Sthlm Requiem?
AM: This is my first role as a cop and my character Peder Rydh experiences perhaps the most interesting transformation throughout the show. All characters struggle with the concept of justice, and Peder in particular has a very strong sense of what’s right or wrong. Unlike the withdrawn Fredrika, he’s emotionally driven. The horrible cases that he investigates affect him psychologically. I believe that he developed PTSD [post traumatic stress disorder] which is why he acts in the way he does and has difficulty dealing with the horrible cases.

What does the series tell about Sweden today?
A lot! Every different case deals with topical issues such as the refugee crisis, what is good and evil. We also try to show Stockholm falling apart, a situation that has happened the last few years. The whole city is being rebuilt and transformed. 
AM: We made a very contemporary slow burner crime show. It’s not action driven but emotionally driven and it gives a realistic portrait of what’s going on in our society and how we handle it.