Alexandra Rapaport Starrer ‘Little Did I Know’ Sells to Multiple Territories: ‘We Need Stories About Real Life’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Viaplay Content Distribution has sold Sweden’s “Little Did I Know” – starring Alexandra Rapaport – to Australia (SBS), Croatia (Pickbox), Basque Spain (EITB), Indonesia (Mola) and Latin America (DMD).

The film, which plays in competition this week at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival, is produced by Bigster. It follows Petra (played by Rapaport), who is in for a rude awakening: her “perfect” husband, the father of her two children, is having an affair and he wants a divorce. Now in her 50s, she has to face the music. But she also can’t help thinking about her 15-year-old self (Ella Hammarsten Liedberg), full of hope and falling in love for the very first time.

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The film, based on Martina Haag’s books, and her own story, is also directed by her.

“I used the best parts from my life [making this film]. And my friends’ lives! It’s easier to talk to the actors if you have experienced the same situation. If it was about a murder, I would have to use my imagination. But this? I have been through every single emotion,” Haag told Variety at the festival.

It struck a chord – and with Rapaport too.

“I read the book when it came out. I didn’t know Martina, but I was so touched by it. It hit me hard,” said Rapaport, also seen in SkyShowtime’s “Veronika” and “Gåsmamman.”

“She said that back then, she felt like a little bunny, abandoned in the middle of the forest. That’s how it is. I have been through sorrows as well. She held my hand and we smoked cigarettes, although we ‘don’t smoke’ anymore. We went back in time and we did it together.”

Haag added: “We still do. Alexandra is afraid of the sea and yesterday I told her: ‘Let’s do it together.’ And so we went, again, into these dark, deep waters. And we survived!”

Ella Hammarsten Liedberg also came along for the “emotional” ride.

“It’s interesting that we play the same person. But at the same time, she is not the same. My Petra is so young and she hasn’t been through any of these experiences yet.”

But she is in love with a boy.

“When I was her age, I was crazy about him. Everyone was. Once I tried to scratch his initials onto my arm with a thorn. I wanted to remember how heartbroken I was,” recalled Haag, shaking her head.

“Strangely, when we were making the film, he contacted me. After more than 40 years! I had to do it, for my younger self, but he was so different. When he kissed me, all these years were swirling around me. I was so done with him, but the circle has been completed. I am done with both of my traumas, actually. I am in a new place now.”

Despite having to relive the heartbreak, she saw “Little Did I Know” as “a happy movie.”

“It all adds up like Lego, creating the person you are. Without cigarettes and tears, we wouldn’t amount to anything. It’s the hard days, not the good ones, that really build you up. That’s why Petra doesn’t regret anything,” she said.

“At times, you think: ‘I need to get my husband back, I need to get this boy to notice me.’ No – you just need to get to know yourself. When I was going through my divorce, it felt like someone cut off my arm. It took a while to realize I had to grow a new one, by myself.”

Rapaport agreed: “I am going to start crying now, because it’s so true. Who would we be without our experience? What would life be, if everything was just perfect?”

“You have to embrace the past. If you go through breakups or loss, you can’t just ignore them. You have to process it and accept it in order to move forward. That’s how you become a better person, hopefully,” observed Hammarsten Liedberg, joined in the film by her own actor parents.

“Love isn’t always what you expect it to be. This film explores a different side of it, one that’s not straight out of a rom-com.”

Following the festival premiere, the team is still hoping for a limited theatrical release at home.

“It would make sense, because Martina’s book was such a bestseller. Everybody knows it and everybody can relate to it,” underlined Rapaport.

“There are all these assumptions about who we are as women. We are brought up with books and films, and this idea of ‘one true love.’ I have a production company too and I see we’re so stuck in this idea that women are reactive, not proactive. We need stories about real life.”

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