Lars von Trier Will Take a Break After Parkinson’s Diagnosis: It’s a ‘Pity’ for Actors to Work with Me Now

"I just have to get used to that I shake and not be shameful in front of people," the auteur said. "And then continue, because what else should I do?"
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 14:  Director Lars von Trier attends the screening of "The House That Jack Built" during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 14, 2018 in Cannes, France.  (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
Lars von Trier
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Lars von Trier is opening up about his Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis.

The “Antichrist” auteur was diagnosed four months prior to the 2022 Venice Film Festival, where the long-awaited Season 3 of “The Kingdom” premiered 28 years after the TV show first debuted.

During a press conference at the festival, the director admitted to having Parkinson’s symptoms for a long time prior to an official diagnosis.

“That means that I had not lived up to the way I wanted to be as a director, because I was ill,” Von Trier explained to Variety. “And that’s a pity for the [‘The Kingdom Exodus’] actors, but I think they did OK.”

Von Trier confirmed that he will “take a little break” to focus on his health. “The Kingdom Exodus” is his first project since 2018’s “The House That Jack Built,” which debuted at Cannes.

“I will take a little break and find out what to do. But I certainly hope that my condition will be better,” the “Melancholia” director said. “It’s a disease you can’t take away; you can work with the symptoms, though. I just have to get used to that I shake and not be shameful in front of people. And then continue, because what else should I do?”

The “Nymphomaniac” director shared that he decided to return to “The Kingdom” series after its 1994 and 1997 installments after seeing David Lynch successfully revisit “Twin Peaks.”

“If you compare to David Lynch, he certainly didn’t really have an end to ‘Twin Peaks’ – but I actually had an end to this all the time,” von Trier shared. “The only thing that happened was that the actors [Ernst-Hugo Järegård and Kirsten Rolffes] died. But I felt some obligation to give it some kind of an ending.”

An official statement from von Trier’s representative previously announced his diagnosis and gave an update on his capacity to do press.

“Lars is in good spirits and is being treated for his symptoms — and given treatment so he can complete ‘Riget Exodus,'” the statement read. “The illness means that Lars will only take part in interviews to a limited extent until the premiere later in the year.”

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