|Heidi Krohn as Silja. Click to enlarge.|
Heidi Krohn, the beloved theatre, television, and film actress, reminisced how she was discovered for the cinema by Veikko Itkonen and Sakari Jurkka for the film called Leena (1954), "Now we've found Leena!". She made three light comedies for the Veikko Itkonen company. The roles were tailor-made for her. When the film called Tyttö tuli taloon was made at Veikko Itkonen's villa "it was like summer holiday". The three films were Cinderella or Pygmalion stories.
"Jussi Jurkka was admired by many. I had met him already at my parents' home and thought 'If only I could act with him one day'. I was sixteen or seventeen. I admired him terribly. Jussi never learned about this. He remained in the corner, stood on his head, doing the yoga."
"The studio at Kulosaari was an exciting place. It stood on wooden beams. It was a former tennis hall. I was there always: I was the first to arrive, being made up, and I was the last to leave, making friends with the carpenter unit".
"Silja [based on a novel by Nobel laureate F. E. Sillanpää] was my best film - best photographed - best directed, by Jack Witikka. Even when it was being planned there was a feeling that I should do something more serious now. Even my parents may have helped."
"The previous movies had been light comedies, with contributions from Roy, stuff for the young, and people started to recognize me: 'Gimme an autograph'."
"We never discussed with Jack Witikka the previous film adaptation of Silja made by Tulio. I never saw it."
"Sillanpää portrays Silja as the last offspring of an old family. My external habitus corresponded with the Sillanpää novel. Regina Linnanheimo was the opposite. We made an epoch drama; Tulio's film may have been made more contemporary judging by the stills."
"Witikka as a director created the atmosphere. He picked me up in his car, and we headed towards Vihti. He put on some music, made me relax, gave me notions. When he said something it was [imitates Witikka with a musical sentence with words that make no sense]. There were few lines of dialogue in the role. It was written by Juha Nevalainen. In his script Silja is an outsider, a passer-by."
"In my next film I'm playing in a French short film which is soon forthcoming."
I glanced at the print of Silja which was ok albeit with a sense of a somewhat high contrast.