Producer Bridget Wännström approached Alexandra Rapaport with the idea for Gåsmamman (Mother Goose) a couple of years ago. Alexandra was so taken by it that she got on board as co-producer.
Together, Rapaport and Wännström went to sell the series to Kanal 5 and were not afraid to be bold. “I assured them that it would be a cross between Erin Brokovich and Breaking Bad. It was pretty cocky to say that, but I think that we kept to our promise,” says Rapaport.
Alexandra Rapaport plays accountant and mother of three Sonja who lives a fairly comfortable family life in a wealthy suburb of Stockholm. Her whole life is turned upside down when she is forced to become a fully fledged alpha female to take care of her husband’s shady marijuana business.
“Sonja is an interesting character because she is torn between two different worlds. There is an absurd contrast between the everyday quarrels and household chores, and this unpleasant and sick drug world. We also wanted to balance the gloomy story with a lot of humour in the sick situations that arise,” she says.
As co-producer of the series, Alexandra has overseen the entire production process, from scripting and casting through to editing and marketing:
“There is a huge difference being creatively involved in the whole (process) compared to ‘only’ being an actor. For the first time I talk about a character as ‘she’ and not ‘I’, and see her as a part of the story. It has made me less ego driven and self-conscious, which is liberating!”
“In the beginning I thought that the name Gåsmamman sounded so ridiculous – a bit like a children’s programme. Now I think that it’s a perfect contrast to what the series is about… The series name is explained in the fourth episode.”
Gåsmamman is a Swedish remake of the hit Dutch series Penoza and has also been made in the US under the title Red Widow. As in the US, the Swedish version toned down the original’s more liberal attitude to drugs.
“I’ve seen a little bit of both and felt immediately: you can do better,” says Rapaport.
Eight part thriller Gåsmamman premiered on Sweden’s C More this week and is scheduled for broadcast on Kanal 5 in Spring 2016. Richard Holm (the Johan Falk films) directs, and the screenplay is written by Camilla Ahlgren (The Bridge) and Martin Asphaug (Kim Novak Never Swam in the Sea of Galilee).