Why Dutch fans are raising thousands of euros for Pippi Longstocking actress

Why Dutch fans are raising thousands of euros for Pippi Longstocking actress
Inger Nilsson as Pippi at the age of eight. Photo: Scanpix Sweden/TT
Fans have raised thousands of euros for the Swedish actress who played adventurer Pippi Longstocking on TV, after they discovered she was paid only a small amount for the iconic role.

Inger Nilsson was aged just eight when she was picked to portray Pippi in the 1969 TV series, which became hugely popular across the world.

The programmes were particularly popular in Germany and the Netherlands.

In a recent interview with the Dutch Algemeen Dagblad, Nilsson spoke about the impact the role had had on her life. She said she believed her link to Pippi prevented her from getting other parts and remembered a theatre director telling her “we can't have Pippi onstage here”.

The actress also said that the experience filming the series had not been fun, that she was homesick, and even remembered Pippi's pet monkey biting her.

And she revealed that she hadn't been paid much for the role and received no royalties from its enormous international success, due to more lenient regulations around pay for child actors at the time.

Inger Nilsson worked for years as a secretary, but now acts in Germany. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / SCANPIX NORGE

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In response to the interview, two Dutch fans set up a crowdfunding effort to raise money for the three stars of the series; Nilsson and co-stars Pär Sundberg and Marian Persson who played Pippi's best friends.

“Of all those millions of royalties around the world, nothing went to the heroes of our youth,” the organizers wrote. “If we all give five euros […] we can all say one big, big thank you. Thank you for all those fantastic adventures, showing us that everything is possible whenever you want, and that everything always works out.”

At the time of writing, more than 2,000 people had donated and the money raised was over 20,000 euros, equivalent to more than 210,000 kronor.

But when she heard about the fans' actions, Nilsson wasn't initially pleased. “When I first found out about the collection I thought it was unpleasant and I got angry. I'm not a victim,” the actress told Aftonbladet

But she added: “Once it had settled in, I realized that it was just a way for the fans to show their appreciation. And that felt better.” Despite that, Nilsson suggested she might give the money to charity.

READ ALSO: Secret scandal behind 'Pippi Longstocking' explored in new Lindgren biopic

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