Lasse Hallström was born in 1946. At school he started making his own 8mm movies together with fellow students. By the late 1960s he was working as a director of short pop clips at Swedish television.
In 1974 ABBA wanted to start making promo clips of their songs: what today is known as videos. These could then be sent out to places which were inconvenient to visit for a Swedish group, such as Australia. Lasse Hallström was hired as director of these clips. When the 1975 films for ’I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do’ and ’Mamma Mia’ were shown in Australia, they kick-started a nationwide ABBA fever.
Almost every ABBA promo clip up until the group’s demise in 1982 was directed by Lasse Hallström. Compared to modern-day multi-million dollar extravaganzas, the films were made under very primitive and low-budget circumstances – in some cases two clips were completed in one single day.
From the mid-1970s onwards Lasse was developing a career as a movie director: the 1977 feature ABBA – The Movie was his second cinema release. His 1985 film My Life As A Dog led to an international breakthrough. He has since become a prominent Hollywood director, with titles such as What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, The Cider House Rules, Chocolat and The Hoax to his credit.