Excerpted from Froggatt, Branagh Visit Darker Side on PBS

USA Today, 19 January 2016
By Bill Keveney

[...] Kenneth Branagh, who spoke at a separate panel, discussed the fourth and final season of Masterpiece Mystery!'s 'Wallander' (May 8, check local listings), in which his Swedish detective, Kurt Wallander, starts losing his memory and fears he may face the same fate as his father: Alzheimer's.


In doing research for Wallander's three-part final season, Branagh said he didn't have to go far to find people who have family stories of Alzheimer's.

He said the detective would find memory loss "particularly frustrating" and Wallander's "own particular isolationism makes things interesting if you are starting to become forgetful," the actor and director said. In addition, the character is dealing with the "particular ways in which people dealing with dementia hide from themselves what it is or hide (it) from loved ones."

In keeping with the tone of 'Wallander' novelist Henning Mankell, who died last year, "We tried to be as unfussy and true (to the situation), as Kurt Wallander would be," Branagh said. "It doesn't wallow in Wallander's misfortune."

Branagh was asked if he had any thoughts about his contribution to Tom Hiddleston becoming a big movie star and, ultimately, leaving the cast of 'Wallander'. Branagh directed 2011's 'Thor', in which Hiddleston earned acclaim for playing Loki.

If Hiddleston had returned after starring in the Marvel films, Branagh theorized on what viewers would say: "Look! It's Loki. He's in southern Sweden."

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