Catching Up: Global Traveler, ‘Celebrity’ Jan Jansson

Photos via Peppe Holmsten

Music & Arts

Catching Up: Global Traveler, ‘Celebrity’ Jan Jansson

Jan Jansson is making his way into the spotlight.

A rising YouTube character, the quirky and enthusiastic Swede with a Robin Leach flair takes viewers around the world, whether it be to his his neighborhood in Stockholm or interviewing celebrities in Hollywood, on The Jan Jansson Show.

 

Jansson is the brainchild of Peppe Holmsten, a Swedish actor and producer who has a passion for theater and travel. Creating the character of Jan Jansson, whom he calls a “fake, self-professed celebrity and entertainment reporter,” allows him to have a career that includes both.

We recently caught up with Holmsten, who also appeared in the popular web series “Easy to Assemble,” to learn about the inspiration for the upbeat character and plans for the series.

Where are you from in Sweden?

An Island/suburb just outside Stockholm called Lidingö. Maybe more known as the birthplace of ABBA, who also happened to be my neighbors!

What inspired the creation of Jan Jansson?

Jan was born at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in NYC during an acting exercise. Then one day a few years later, we were going out to Sandhamn in the beautiful Swedish archipelago. It can be somewhat “bratty,” with hordes of wealthy yacht owners. So, me and my friend Christofer decided to do a little Jan report from his own yacht with some tasty Bonifácio rosé. Jummy!

Is there a goal you are trying to reach with Jan? Or is it for entertainment purposes only?

I think the great thing about Jan is that he can both entertain and inform (infotainment?). He might be a fake, self-professed celebrity and entertainment reporter but the people and sights he reports from are real. The goal is to use Jan as an unofficial entertainment ambassador for Sweden around the U.S. and the rest of the world.

When did you start documenting your travels? Where was the first city you visited?

It started off as something I did when I visited Stockholm from NYC, where I currently live. I would try to squeeze in a day or so between hanging with family and friends to shoot a few episodes. There’s more coming soon from Jan in Stockholm including chats with actor/comedian/lawyer Greg Poehler [creator of NBC’s “Welcome to Sweden”], a salty licorice store owner and a Swedish soccer star.

Where is your favorite city you visited and why?

In Tuscany, during my honeymoon, we stayed at a vineyard and hotel called Castello Banfi – Il Borgo, in Montalcino. Gorgeous, delicious and super relaxing. I made my wife shoot a Jan episode while we were there. Luckily, she’s a very kind and understanding person—and very patient, too!

When did you get to NYC? How much longer are you in NYC?

I got to NYC in the late ’90s. I’ve been trying to get out (unsuccessfully) ever since! Now we have an 11-month-old baby girl, and there have been talks about moving to the old country. We shall see.

Plans for next cities to visit?

Right now, I’m working on new Swedish shows as well as interviews from L.A. with some fun (funny!) celebrity guests. I think the next city for Jan to visit is NYC. There are many Swedish goings-on that he has yet to swankily/poorly report from.

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