Ingrid Bergman who was once told to leave the stage within 30 seconds went on to become one of the most influential screen figures in film history
The 18-year-old confident Ingrid when stepped on the stage to give her performance, she was told to leave in less than 30 seconds. Ingrid was devastated by the jury’s reaction and with the abrupt ending to her cinematic career. Or so she thought.
Since childhood, Ingrid dreamt of becoming an actress. She was born in Stockholm, Sweden on August 29, 1915. Her mother, Friedel Adler Bergman, a Hamburg, Germany native, died when Ingrid was just three years old. Ingrid’s father, Justus Samuel Bergman, a Swede, raised Ingrid until his death when she was 12.
Thereon, Ingrid lived with her uncle and aunt. She knew this audition was her only chance to make it big on the silver screen. When she was asked to leave the stage, Ingrid went straight to the sea wanting to end her life. But destiny had other things in store. Something in her stopped from committing suicide. She went to her home, locked herself in a room and cried for hours. Refusing to talk to her cousins or her friends, she remained locked with the overwhelming grief of not achieving her dreams. Her uncle with whom she stayed was against this profession. Seeing the audition slip away broke her within. Just then, the phone rang. It was her friend wanting to convey that a white envelope is left for Ingrid in the theatre.
The moment she heard the news from her sister, who received the phone call, Ingrid ran to the theatre. She opened the envelope and read the golden words “SELECTED”. She couldn’t believe what she read. The entire scenario started to play. How she got ready for the auditions. The excitement in her eyes for the big day. The moment when she walked towards the centre of the stage, and before she could speak she was asked to leave. Going towards to shore to end her life or running back home and crying her heart out, and now, this moment; Ingrid was selected and the doors of Hollywood, theatre, art and craft stood open to welcome her.
Ingrid Bergman went to become the most influential screen figures in film history. She won many accolades including three Academy Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, and a BAFTA award. Still, she could never forget this day. The day that changed her life. From the moment of killing herself to the one living her dream. She experienced all of this in one day.
In spite of all the success and fame there one thing that haunted Ingrid for long: why was she asked to leave without showing her talent?
This too was answered when after some years she met with one of the jury members. She asked the same question as the member went on to say, “you walked on the stage with such confidence that we didn’t see before. You were selected right then. We didn’t have to see your talent. Your confidence spoke for you.”