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As Universal’s “Battleship” steams toward a start date this month, the pricey adaptation of the Hasbro board game is entering deep, treacherous waters. With a budget of $200 million or more and no major movie stars on board (sigh!), the project is raising eyebrows among industry insiders who question whether this expensive gamble will pay off.
“It’s a big bet like many, many big bets from many studios,” Universal chairman Adam Fogelson acknowledged to THR. “We will be nowhere near the high point and nowhere near the low point of what people are spending.”
But several huge questions hover over “Battleship,” which begins filming in 15 days in Hawaii, that simply didn’t apply to other big-ticket movies. In “Battleship,” Universal has a director, Peter Berg, with some experience in action films, but he’s not a brand name in the genre. And the concept is based on a board game that has sold more than 100 million units and raked in $1 billion-plus. This comes at a time when some studio execs are questioning whether the public is tiring of the presold concepts to which Hollywood has been clinging.
My dear friend, Stacie was so kind and she scanned second Hickey Freeman advertisement with our fella. I just can’t stop staring at it. Alexander looks fantastic. Personally, my favourite picture of him. I hope you enjoy!
br> EDIT: I’ve uploaded first HF ad, used in September’s issue of Vanity Fair (with Lady GaGa on the cover). Click on the banner above to see it. Thanks again to the lovely Stacie.
Sweden used to be known for peace, Abba and long hours of daylight. These days, from the novels of the late Stieg Larsson to the cult film Let the Right One In, its dark side appears to be taking over the world. And in Alexander Skarsgård, who stars as the 1,000-year-old Viking vampire Eric Northman in the American drama series True Blood – soon to start its second series on Channel 4 – it has an actor who has brought a new level of cool to the vampire genre. Tall, blond and beautiful, Skarsgård mixes sex, danger and laconic humour in a way that sets femoral pulses racing.
At the gates of the 15th-century manor house where the cast are staying, a small group of Swedish autograph hunters tell me that Skarsgård went out for a run an hour ago and has only just returned. They already have his autograph. ‘He’s really nice,’ they say. It is not long before Skarsgård bounds up the steps to the lobby, showered and dressed in a simple grey T-shirt and jeans, looking very tall – he is 6ft 4in – and glowingly healthy. The contrast with Eric, whose deathly pallor projects cold menace, is heightened by his friendliness, but common to both are the most striking pale-blue eyes. He is buzzing from the experience of acting with his father that day for the first time ever. ‘We had a little interaction going. It was a lot of fun.’
At 33, he is the oldest of Stellan’s six children from his first marriage: three of his brothers – Gustav, 29, Bill, 20, and Valter, 14, have established acting careers. Sam, 28, has also dabbled in the family business. His sister, Eija, 18, is a model; his mother, My, a doctor. He grew up in Stockholm, on the island of Södermalm. Family life, he says, was ‘pretty chaotic’, the atmosphere ‘very liberal’. His father strolled around naked a lot. Aunts, uncles and grandparents all lived close by.
EW Pop Watch: Today, we’re going to the polls for the first half of the quarterfinal bracket, where a pair of X-Men hotties will duke it out, and a True Blood sensation (ASkars) will face off against a Vampire Diaries antihero (Ian Somerhalder).
As of August 10th, Somerhalder wins. He has 61%, Alexander only 39%. Vote for Alex/Eric here. Thanks asnowemail for sharing the link with us.
The quality is not perfect but it’s better than nothing, I guess? Anyway, I really enjoyed “Beyond The Pole” – funny scenes, great dialogues and cast. Alex’s screen time was very short but I don’t complain. His character cracked me up =D Good job, Alexander!
P.S. I still have many caps to add, these are coming next: Hundtricket, Zoolander, Om Sara and Kill Your Darlings. Stay tuned
At 6’4”, Alexander Skarsgard is tall even by Hollywood standards. Anna Paquin doesn’t mind that she has gap teeth. Stephen Moyer is a lot better-looking in person. These first impressions of the stars of HBO’s “True Blood” in a recent interview gave way to more lasting observations as our conversations, done separately, progressed. Alexander, who plays Eric Northman, is the son of Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard. Alex commands attention in the room with his height and good looks, but is down-to-earth and blessed with a sense of humor. He left for his native Sweden right after our talk to shoot a film.
When you lived in Sweden, you were picked as the sexiest man. Since you came to the US, you seem to be on every hot list around. Are you comfortable with that?
It’s not like I wasn’t happy about it (laughing). Dude, I was flattered. I wasn’t like “Oh, really – again?” I’m only human in real life. The thing I didn’t like in Sweden was that it became the focus. Because I was voted the sexiest man in Sweden a couple of times, the roles that came in were the young hot guy. I wanted to do something that was more interesting than that. I didn’t get offers to play characters like Brad Colbert in “Generation Kill” or Eric in “True Blood” in Sweden. I wasn’t looking for the pretty boy parts.
That has definitely not been the case out here. Brad, Eric or Charlie, whom I play in “Straw Dogs” are interesting characters that are definitely a lot more than just a pretty boy. Plus I’m getting older and I like that. So I’m too old to play the college boy now.
What’s been your experience with the Team Bill-Team Eric thing? Have you seen the Team Eric T-shirts or are people telling you that they’re on your team?
The fans know that I love Steve. He’s amazing. We’re great friends so it’s all fun. There’s actually this thing going right now where they are trying to raise money for charity. If Team Bill wins, I’ll have to wear a T-shirt that Team Bill fans designed. If Team Eric wins, then Steve will have to wear a T-shirt that Team Eric fans designed. The shirt will probably have something horrible written on it (laughing). It’s for a good cause so we decided to do that. Hopefully, it will be fun for the fans as well.
There is a rumor about a gay love scene so I was wondering if you could talk about that.
I can probably talk about that in a month and a half or whenever it airs.
Can you confirm it then?
No. I obviously can’t comment on anything that’s coming up. Sorry (laughing).
There are moments in the show that are so surreal and bizarre. How do you guys keep a straight face in some of these scenes?
On the night that we go to the Golden Globes, someone always has to work the following morning. You always hope that it’s not going to be you and of course, my scene was up like first thing in the morning. The morning after the big event, the parties and all, my call time was like 5:30. We had a great night and we had so much fun with the whole cast and crew. We were drinking and having a good time.
I was a little tired when I woke up and went to work. It was the day we shot … I don’t know if you’ve seen Episode 302 where we’re dressed up as Nazi soldiers and we come down from the ceiling. Allan (Hyde) and I had this moment where we were hanging on wires in the ceiling, dressed in these Nazi uniforms and you have these fangs on, just hanging and waiting for the take. You hang there for like 10 minutes and then you come down. That was one of those moments where Allan and I just looked at each other. We were like, “Pretty crazy job we’ve got (laughing).”
Johan Kling’s Puss starring Gustaf Skarsgård will be screening August 9th at 8 p.m at Lilla Filmfestivalen or Little Film Festival in Båstad, Sweden.
Little Film Festival is often on the cutting edge and usually offer sneak premieres of Swedish as well as foreign films. Last year was secretly Frederick Gert Tens noted documentary “Bananas”, the year before that Jan Troell’s “Everlasting Moments”.
This year, festival audiences are given first chance to see Johan Kling “Kiss”, starring Alexander and Gustaf Skarsgård, Erica and Jessica Carlsson Zandén in important roles.Johan Kling broke through with critically acclaimed “Darling” in 2007 and expectations for his new film is great.