ABBA movie out soon! Australian actor co-stars! ABBA girls ‘seduce’ Australian actor in riotous new film

The new movie starring Swedish pop group ABBA is “a riot’, according to Australian actor Tom Oliver, who plays a leading part. Tom, who has just returned from Sweden, where the final scenes were shot, says: “It is all a riot, a ball – no set script, but great spontaneous fun.”

Some of the “fun” in this full-length feature film may raise a few eyebrows when it opens in Australia next month.

It is a comedy about an Australian disc jockey’s attempts to get an exclusive interview with the Swedish pop stars. He ends up being seduced by Agnetha and Anni-Frid, although the film makers insist “this is depicted in a manner in keeping with the film’s character - entertainment for the entire family”.

Tom Oliver plays ABBA’s bodyguard, among other things. The stars’ real Australian bodyguards, Bob Jones and Richard Norton, also appear in the film, but have “silent” roles.

“I not only play the bodyguard,” adds Tom, “but also a very gay butler, an ocker taxi driver, a golf caddie, and a dirty old barman in a wild west saloon (with a chicken under my arm).”

The part of the disc jockey is taken by Sydney actor Robert Hughes, who appears on The Dick Emery Show. The director is a young Swede, Lasse Hallström, who has been called the “new Ingmar Bergman”.

ABBA’s company funded 75 percent of what must have been an enormously expensive production, and Australian company Reg Grundy Productions has a 25 percent interest.

The film includes scenes from ABBA’s tour of Australia earlier this year, including concert appearances, backstage scenes, and press conferences. The footage of their Australian tour was shot secretly.

“At the Sydney press conference,” says Tom, “a lot of journalists thought I was moonlighting by working as a bodyguard for ABBA, but in fact I was playing a role in the film.”

The movie, which is still untitled, shows the group at picnics in beautiful outdoor settings, playing poker in smoke-filled backrooms, and relaxing aboard their boat.

In his dreams, Robert Hughes, playing the disc jockey, is the only media personality to get aboard the boat. Another time he dreams he is sharing their picnic, with Agnetha and Frida tempting him with berries and wine.

Robert wasn’t the only member of the cast to be taken with the charm of the ABBA women, Tom Oliver, who has had prominent roles in Number 96 and Bellbird, enthuses: “Anna and Frida are beautiful. I find Swedish girls very charming - very conservative, but so hospitable.

“European women seem to combine sophistication with femininity and individualism. They are women with a capital ‘W’. Maybe the considerate way men treat them has something to do with it.

“Australian men haven’t learnt how to treat their women properly,” says English-born Tom.

ABBA will remain in Sweden until early next year when they plan to visit the United States. Their records are also selling well in America. Transcribed for ABBA World

Pix/People (Australia) · 17 November 1977 (Page 32)

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