“The Most Beautiful Boy in the World” filmmakers Kristina Lindström and Kristian Petri knew it was vital that film subject Björn Andrésen return to Japan in his adulthood, years after the actor’s first experience there “terrified” him.
The documentary follows Andrésen, once dubbed by the media as “the most beautiful boy in the world,” and shows how his life changed after he shot to sudden fame with his role in the 1971 film “Death in Venice.” After the release of the film, the then-teenager spent a lot of time in Japan, where the film became popular, and recorded several pop songs there. In the documentary, the Swedish-born actor finds himself back in Japan at a karaoke bar, singing a song in Japanese that he recorded years prior.
“When he went there in his youth, he hated going there and he was scared most of the time,” Petri told TheWrap’s Brian Welk during TheWrap’s Sundance Studio presented by NFP and National Geographic. “He was sitting locked in a hotel room and there were screaming girls outside the hotel, screaming ‘Björn!’ and he was terrified.”
Lindström added, “He said, ‘I made sure no one could listen to these songs.’ And then when we came to Japan and talked to people, they all said, ‘He sings such perfect Japanese,’ and he just started to like them.”
Petri said it was an important moment for Andrésen, who was finally able to “reclaim his experience and the place of Japan as another way, as an adult.”
“The Most Beautiful Boy in the World” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 29, and was acquired by Juno Films ahead of the festival.
Watch the full interview with Lindström and Petri above.