Carrie Nygren Is a Model Import—Ain't She Swede?

updated 02/09/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/09/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

Hearing Carrie Nygren claim, "When I get up in the morning I look the same as everyone else on the street," one can only assume she is talking about the streets of nirvana. "Really," she insists, "I can look quite ordinary."

Let's redefine ordinary. Nygren, 27, arrived in New York from Sweden four years ago and quickly became one of the most in-demand beauties at the prestigious Elite modeling agency. She has enlivened the covers of Harper's Bazaar, Elle and Vogue. A shot of her in a spectacular seashell bikini has been made into an outsize poster. And now she is also appearing alongside Ann Reinking in the revival of Neil Simon's musical Sweet Charity, playing a femme fatale "who always likes to make a scene."

Nygren has dreamed of making scenes since she was 14 in Stockholm (her parents are an economist and a teacher) and saw her first play, Dante's Inferno. "People were naked," she remembers. "I got goose bumps all over and was in a trance for two days." She began acting in school—"Ibsen, Strindberg, all the Scandinavians"—and a modeling scout spotted her two years later. "Back then there was only one look—blond hair, blue eyes—it's so boring!" she says. Moving stateside to model and study at the Lee Strasberg Institute, Nygren soon found herself in the miniseries Rage of Angels and Search for Tomorrow. She now spends most of her time on auditions, dance lessons and learning an American accent. "In Sweden we don't have the "th" sound, so I sit in cabs going 'that,' 'that,' 'that' and the drivers think I'm a lunatic." Her dream is to play the wife in Ingmar Bergman's Scenes From a Marriage ("I love every line in that play"), but she admits that most Swedish women are too introverted for her taste. "They should all come to New York!" Nygren says. What a nice idea.

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