Born on March 22, 1956 in Stolkholm Sweden, Lena Olin is the daughter of actor Stig Olin who was in Ingmar Bergman's masterpiece The Seventh Seal. Her full name is Lena Maria Jonna Olin, and before she came to Hollywood she had was already a successful actress in Sweden.
Lena Olin was part of the Bergman "family" as a member of Stockholm's Royal Dramatic Theater directed by Ingmar Bergman, she starred in many Shakespearean plays such as King Lear. She was also in two Ingmar Bergman films, Fanny and Alexander (1983) and After the Rehearsal (1984), which was her international debut as a movie actress. She got the attention of the U.S. audience when she starred as Sabine in Philip Kaufman's The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988) opposite Daniel Day-Lewis. In 1989 she starred as Masha in Enemies, a Love Story which earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and she received the New York Film Critics Award for Best Actress. In American films she is usually portrayed as the dark and intelligent temptress.
Lena married Lasse Hallstrom in 1994 who directed her in Chocolat, which stars Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. They have a child together, Tora who was born in 1995. Lena also has another child August who was born in 1986 with Orjan Ramberg. In 1998 she served as a member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival.
Olin is a magnificent actress, despite having made some below average movies, she always makes an incredible impression on screen with her subtle gestures, and facial expressions that can convey so many different aspects of human emotion. Lena Olin combined with her smouldering sensuality and dark beauty can displays so much sexuality with her mere presence on screen. She has such a great range for different roles, adapting so well that you would believe that the person she is acting really is her, you forget she's acting. Her uncanny talent, and intensity remind me of actresses such as Liv Ullman, and Ingrid Thulin who both acted under the direction of Ingmar Bergman in films that included, Cries and Whispers, Autumn Sonata, and Persona. Lena Olin is one of the most underrated actresses in the U.S., but hopefully she will be gaining more recognition as the role of Jennifer Garner's mother in Alias.