Were you surprised to to see the ending of the film?Liv Ullmann: Of Persona? Yes, very much. Very much of that picture happened at the cutting table. This scene was not in the script. Also the scene where the two faces come together, we did not know about that either. [Bergman] took us once to the cutting room. We hadn’t heard about this. He said, “I want you to watch something.” We saw this strange face. I thought, “Oh, God. Bibi is fantastic. She looks completely neurotic.” At the same time, Bibi thought, “How did Liv do it?” Suddenly we saw that if was half of each. It was really frightening. That was also an idea that he had thought of during the shooting.

Were you surprised to to see the ending of the film?
Liv Ullmann: Of Persona? Yes, very much. Very much of that picture happened at the cutting table. This scene was not in the script. Also the scene where the two faces come together, we did not know about that either. [Bergman] took us once to the cutting room. We hadn’t heard about this. He said, “I want you to watch something.” We saw this strange face. I thought, “Oh, God. Bibi is fantastic. She looks completely neurotic.” At the same time, Bibi thought, “How did Liv do it?” Suddenly we saw that if was half of each. It was really frightening. That was also an idea that he had thought of during the shooting.

"When I decide to portray a part, I can never completely hide who I am, what I am. At the point of identification, the audience encounters a person, not a role, not an actress. A face to face. It’s what I know about women. It’s what I have experienced, what I’ve seen. That’s what I want to share with you."

Liv Ullmann
Born December 16, 1938

La Pointe Courte (dir. Agnès Varda - 1955)
Persona (dir. Ingmar Bergman - 1966)
Love and Death (dir. Woody Allen - 1975)
Mulholland Dr. (dir. David Lynch - 2001)

Bibi AnderssonBorn November 11, 1935
"When I was reading a script, I tried to figure out what side of me [Bergman] was trying to use now, or what had he seen, or what it was that he did not want. You can sometimes be very frustrated if you feel the part does not do you justice. When I read Persona I wasn’t flattered. I didn’t understand why I had to play this sort of insecure, weak personality when I was struggling so hard to be sure of myself and to cover up my insecurities. I realized that he was totally aware of my personality. I was better off just trying to deliver that. It’s a good way to know oneself. Sometimes I think artists instinctively are very good psychiatrists. I also think all parts have to be based on oneself, otherwise they will never come across.”

Bibi Andersson
Born November 11, 1935

"When I was reading a script, I tried to figure out what side of me [Bergman] was trying to use now, or what had he seen, or what it was that he did not want. You can sometimes be very frustrated if you feel the part does not do you justice. When I read Persona I wasn’t flattered. I didn’t understand why I had to play this sort of insecure, weak personality when I was struggling so hard to be sure of myself and to cover up my insecurities. I realized that he was totally aware of my personality. I was better off just trying to deliver that. It’s a good way to know oneself. Sometimes I think artists instinctively are very good psychiatrists. I also think all parts have to be based on oneself, otherwise they will never come across.”

"Film as dream, film as music. No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight room of the soul. A little twitch in our optic nerve, a shock effect: twenty-four illuminated frames a second, darkness in between, the optic nerve incapable of registering darkness. At the editing table, when I run the strip of film through, frame by frame, I still feel that dizzy sense of magic of my childhood: in the darkness of the wardrobe, I slowly wind on one frame after another, see the almost imperceptible changes, wind faster — a movement."

Ingmar Bergman (July 14, 1918 -– July 30, 2007)

On the set of Persona.

On the set of Persona.

Persona // dir. Ingmar Bergman

Persona // dir. Ingmar Bergman

Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, and Ingmar Bergman during the filming of Persona

Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, and Ingmar Bergman during the filming of Persona