Alex was cover of Backstage June 20 issue, and you can read the interview below:
“True Blood” star Alexander Skarsgård graces our cover this week, and he chats about his work on the popular series as well as his upcoming film, “The East.” Check out a sneak peek from the feature below!
Acting is a family affair for Alexander Skarsgård; his father is acclaimed actor Stellan Skarsgård (“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”) and his brothers Bill (“Hemlock Grove”) and Gustaf (“Vikings”) are booking gigs in America as well. Skarsgård says that when he began his career, he felt the need to prove himself as his own actor. “Of course I asked [my father] for advice, but it was important that I read the play, the script, and I made the decision,” he says. “I didn’t go to him and ask, ‘Should I do this?’ It was important that if I made mistakes, they were mine and I owned them and learned from them.”
One person he is not related to is “An Education” and “Green Lantern” star Peter Sarsgaard, though people frequently assume they are family. “It still happens all the time,” Skarsgård says with a laugh. “I actually find it very flattering; I think he’s a fantastic actor. Sometimes I’ll even claim him as my brother. I’ll joke, ‘Yeah, my brother Peter was great in that.’ ”
Alexander Skarsgård, born in ’76, is the oldest of eight children. Two of his brothers are working actors, with Bill appearing in the Netflix series Hemlock Grove and Gustaf playing the role of Floki in the History Channel’s Vikings. Skarsgård’s mother, My Skarsgård, is a physician in Stockholm who specializes in working with addicts. His father, Stellan Skarsgård, is a veteran of the Stockholm stage and such Scandinavian films as Lars von Trier’s Breaking the Waves.
In recent years, Stellan has made a place for himself in Hollywood as a key cast member in two separate blockbuster series, The Avengers and Pirates of the Caribbean. At the same time, after 35 years of marriage, he and his wife split up. Stellan now has two sons with his second wife, Megan Everett Skarsgård.
Stellan and Alexander faced off against each other, to good effect, in von Trier’s apocalyptic nightmare, Melancholia, a 2011 film that includes a line that pushes the bleakness of Scandinavian drama to its limit: “All I know is, life on earth is evil.”
In the movie, the Skarsgård père plays a gamey rogue, while Alexander, smiling sweetly, is a submissive groom who understands little about his bride-to-be, a spirited depressive played by Kirsten Dunst.
As actors in that one, both Skarsgårds did what they usually do to win over audiences: Stellan went out and grabbed them, Jack Nicholson–style, with his sharp tongue and glinting eyes, while Alexander drew them in by keeping himself quiet in his body and gentle in his speech. The father conquers. The son seduces.
Henry-Alex Rubin, the director of Disconnect, compares Alexander to a long-ago Swedish actor-director who got his start in the silent era: “He’s less like his father,” Rubin says, “and more like Victor Sjöström in Wild Strawberries—a great Swedish actor who did a lot with very little. As opposed to a lot of Americans, who come from the Stella Adler school, Alex comes from the Swedish school of doing a lot with very little. There are a lot of shots [in Disconnect] where he does absolutely nothing on screen. Just a tiny shift in the eyes. And that’s his choice.
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The East, written by Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling, is easily on of the best films you will see this year. Also directed by Batmanglij and starring Marling, this is the second offering from the innovative and intensely creative duo whose first feature Sound Of My Voice received critical acclaim after it’s release in 2011. If anything, The East highlights the importance of young creatives and in particular filmmakers who are willing to push the boundaries and explore highly sensitive and contentious issues. Drawing parallels from major recent events such as Wikileaks and the BP oil spill, The East is a very important and a relevant, modern commentary on the state of the world we live in. Inspired by the concept of Buy Nothing Day, an international day of protest against consumerism, Marling and Batmanglij spent a summer living by these ideals.
Portable spoke to two of the film’s stars the incomparable Ellen Page of Juno and Inception fame, and Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood), YEP OMG ERIC! The East follows the exploits of an anarchist collective of the same name which is infiltrated by Marling’s character Sarah Moss, an agent from a private intelligence firm. Headed by Benji (Skarsgard) and his most promising protege, Izzy (Page), The East attacks global conglomerates who have committed a range of environmental, medical and social injustices. However, it is not until Sarah begins to feel compassion for the group and suddenly questions her whole operation that the film really captures the viewers attention and makes them question who really is at fault.
Watch the trailer and check the new pictures of “The East”:
It was late one night on Bourbon Street in New Orleans’s famed French Quarter and, as tends to happen there, things were getting out of control. HBO was on location filming an episode of True Blood, its hit series about a coven of Louisiana vampires. The director was trying to film a group of gorgeous blood-suckers as they cut a swath through the crowd, but far from being intimidated the revelers kept running out of dark and the crowd was getting rowdier. Would they get the shot?
Alexander Skarsgård, the imposing 6’4″ actor who portrays Eric Northman on the show addressed the crowd – told them how excited he was to have them be a part of the show, but that it would help if they could pretend to be a little scared.
“So, did it work?” I ask Skarsgård. He pauses before answering “The problem, of course, is that five minutes later it’s a whole new crowd of people.”
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