Last night on the roof of Manhattan’s Skylight at the McKittrick Hotel, Calvin Klein hosted a party in honor of steamy vampire sheriff Alexander Skarsgård, the face of the brand’s new men’s scent, Encounter. Though the fragrance hit shelves earlier this month, the brand didn’t have a chance to officially honor the Swedish actor until now owing to his busy movie-star schedule. As waiters passed pork meatballs (and a ghostly looking grandma weaved through the crowd — we guessed she was part of the Sleep No More troupe), Skarsgård took a moment to talk about his favorite smells, which are found only in Sweden, his home country.
What’s your favorite smell?
That would be the smell of my family’s country house in southern Sweden where I spent every summer as a kid. It’s an old wooden house from the twenties that my dad’s father built. It has that moldy smell and my grandfather’s cigar lingering on the walls.
What smell reminds you most of your childhood?
There was a sausage factory where I grew up in south Stockholm. It’s a very trendy neighborhood now, but then it was working class. A block away from our apartment building there was this sausage factory, and every morning when I went to school, I would smell the sausages. And it’s not like a nice smelling chorizo, it’s a nasty, pretty foul smell.
What smell makes you the happiest?
Fall in Stockholm around this time of year is great. If you go back there in October, the air is so clean and crisp. I miss that.
HOT TOPIC: ALEXANDER SKARSGÅRD
You best know him for his role as the chillingly sexy vampire, Eric Northman, on HBO’s True Blood and for fronting Calvin Klein fragrance ads. The dashing Swedish actor, known for his tall stance (he’s 6 feet 4 inches) and blindingly blue eyes, attended an event for Calvin Klein Encounter cologne last night on the rooftop of the theater in NYC that houses the thrilling Sleep No More play. After sipping some bubbly, ELLE.com chatted with Skarsgård about those Fifty Shades of Grey rumors, playing Eric, and which city has the loveliest ladies.
Name: Alexander Skarsgård
Provence: Los Angeles, CA
Relationship status: Presumably single
On being featured in ELLE.com’s Hot Topic column. “I’m very honored. That’s what I’m here celebrating tonight. That’s the only reason I’m here. I heard rumors I’d be the hot guy of the week.”
What it feels like to be the face of Calvin Klein Encounter cologne. “I hadn’t really done campaigns before, but I felt like if I was ever going to do it, then this is the one. Calvin Klein is such a cool, classy house. It’s got a great creative team behind it—Fabien Baron and Steven Klein. I had worked with Lara Stone before and enjoyed it. So it felt like the stars aligned. It felt like the one. I was excited about it. I was flattered and honored; they had never worked with a male actor on a fragrance before.”
“I have no idea. I haven’t read a script, and I don’t think there’s a script out there. And I haven’t read the novels, so it’s difficult to say. The first thing you do is read the script, and then you feel if you’re good for it or not.”
Is it more fun to play “good” or “bad” Eric on True Blood? “I like both, I like the combination. I like that he has both of those sides, both of those Erics within, that’s what makes him real. He is not good or bad, he is capable of both. Even thought he’s a vampire, that’s how you can relate to him. We are all good and bad.”
Which city has the best-looking women? “Stockholm, Sweden. Just go, and you’ll know. And guys, as well. You’ll enjoy it.”
Alexander Skarsgård is tall. It’s a fact I had been told or read several times prior to meeting him. Words like viking, a fitting description based on his Swedish nationality, were used over and over and going in to interview the face of Calvin Klein’s new Encounter fragrance, I was mentally prepped to be dwarfed by his hulking presence. It is true; Skarsgård is tall. Tall in a way that, unlike most Hollywood actors, probably doesn’t necessitate him to stand on a crate while shooting scenes with female co-stars. You don’t necessarily expect someone with the physical presence of a Nordic superhero to have the most affable personality but the True Blood actor does, equally at ease talking about his new role for one of the most well-known fashion brands in the world as he is offering up travel tips in his hometown. We caught up with Skarsgård towards the tail end of a packed press day, as he took appointments seated on an oversized couch opposite a tv playing his Encounter commercial on repeat.
GQ: How’s it been watching yourself on a loop all day?
Alexander Skarsgård: This is what I do. Hanging out in my humble abode, watching myself. No it’s fucking surreal.
GQ: So what did you think when you saw the final cut of the clip?
Skarsgård: I thought they did a great job. What attracted me to it was that it was so dark and moody. It felt like something Fritz Lang would’ve directed, something out of the German Expressionism movement in the ’20s. I think they really captured that. So I’m very happy with how it turned out. But then I just walked by that freaking billboard and it’s surreal, seeing yourself the size of Godzilla.
GQ: And you’re already a pretty tall guy. You’re actually the first male to ever front a fragrance campaign for the brand, was that something that resonated with you when you were approached for the project?
Skarsgård: Of course it did. I was very humbled by that. This is my first big campaign. For me the feeling was that if I was going to do something I want it to be fun and creatively great. When this came up it was perfect; Calvin is such an amazing house, Fabien Baron is arguably the greatest art director of our time and we had worked together before for an Interview magazine shoot that Steven Klein shot. So I knew those guys and I also worked with Lara on something for Vogue two years ago shot by Peter Lingbergh – which is a much different experience from a Steven Klein shoot. So when this came up and Fabien explained the concept, that we were going to shoot a short and that the tone was going to be in this dark, film noir style, I just thought if I’m ever going to do it this is the one.
Hello ASkars! We’re really sorry for the lack of updates, but not to worry, they’re coming sooner than you think.
Now, here’s a half-hour interview with Alex and directors of What Masie Knew Scott McGehee and David Siegel, from Toronto.
Last week, Alex’s new movie What Masie Knew premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Here are links for some reviews from a few websites.
Here is the first review of What Masie Knew from The Hollywood Reporter.
Siegel and McGehee make a strong move back to conventional storytelling after experimenting with “Uncertainty”
TORONTO — A broken-family melodrama with a minimum of histrionics, Scott McGehee’s and David Siegel’s What Maisie Knew begins from scenes that will be familiar to most viewers who’ve witnessed a custody battle. Things get pretty orchestrated from that familiar scenario onward, but never to the point of unbelievability; the sad tidiness of the film’s resolution (and the way it departs from the Henry James book it’s based on) makes it all the more appealing at the box office, where it should have the broadest appeal of any of the duo’s films to date.
Maisie is a six year-old New Yorker (Onata Aprile) in a position to know a great deal. She knows her rock-star mother (Julienne Moore) is too busy arguing with Dad (Steve Coogan) to pay for the pizza delivery she ordered; she knows Dad tries extra hard to be cute when her nanny Margo (Joanna Vanderham) is in the room. She knows Mom and Dad aren’t going to live together anymore, and there’s a lot of arguing over how much time she’ll spend with him. Most importantly, she knows how to keep some of these things at bay — as the adult relationships around her grow more disturbed, she coasts along as best she can, wisely choosing ignorance when Mom asks if Daddy (now in his own apartment, with the nanny there to help when Maisie’s with him) is ever so happy to see Margo he gives her a kiss.
He is, of course, and when he marries his former employee, Maisie’s mother Susanna feels she must compete in the court’s eyes — making her own home just as family-like by marrying a younger man (Alexander Skarsgård’s Lincoln) she hardly knows. The closest thing to an innocent in all this aside from Maisie, Lincoln — a lanky Southerner whose body sometimes seems to fold inward on itself in deference to those around him — can’t help but befriend the girl, a development that (to a perhaps implausible degree) disturbs Susanna. “You don’t get a bonus for making her fall in love with you,” Susanna snaps at one point, making us wonder whether that’s a literal comment, and she has actually paid the bartender to be a prop husband.
What’s more emotionally abusive to a child whose parents have split — failing to show up for days when it’s time for her to stay at your place (both sides are guilty here), or spending your time with her on loud, “he can’t get away with this” phone calls to a lawyer? Steve Coogan’s Beale is an up-front narcissist; Susanna needs her daughter’s welfare as an excuse to make everything about her own desires.
Moore has the most complicated part to play here, as a woman who really believes she loves her daughter more than anything but is blind to what such a devotion might mean in practice. Over and over, she relies on Lincoln to pick Maisie up from school, watch her when a gig beckons, improvise when necessary. It’s inevitable that he will come to identify with Margot, who fills the same role for Beale.
And another thing Maisie knows is to trust the people who actually take care of her — never voicing an allegiance that would exclude anyone she cares for, but eagerly accepting love that’s offered in the form of actions as well as words. In this modern take on a century-old story, that distinction remains the most valuable one of all.
Here are two video interviews of Alex on the red carpet at the premiere of What Masie Knew. In the first one, he says that he was devastated because he wasn’t sure he was going to make it to the festival (because he’s currently shooting Hidden in Vancouver. In the second video, he talks about the movie and his caracther, as well as Onata Aprile (who plays Masie).
The part of article for GQ Style Australia was released including some pictures of session by Steven Pan. Check out:
“This was supposed to be my day off.”
That’s Alexander Skarsgård speaking. And while we respect his need to unplug, it’s hard to sympathise with the guy given that he’s staring at himself in the mirror as a gorgeous woman massages his bronzed arms with moisturiser. Things could be worse.
This is kind of what Skarsgård’s life is like these days — mostly work, a little bit of play. In the last month (in no particular order) he’s been named the face of Encounter, Calvin Klein’s latest cologne that’s available here October 28, wrapped production on the fifth season of True Blood, taken a 13-hour flight to Sweden to visit family — for the weekend — and prepped for his next project, Hidden, a thriller set almost entirely in an underground bunker. If Hollywood’s welcomed him with open arms and thick pay-cheques it’s for good reason. Skarsgård, 36, is that rare thing: a walking Ken doll with the chops to impress art-house directors like Lars von Trier, but also the Alpha Male presence needed to float action flicks like Battleship (for the record, more watchable than you’ve heard).
Excitement levels are so high that at a recent appearance at Comic-Con, the annual confab for sci-fi geeks held in southern California, presidential-grade security measures were needed to protect Skarsgård and the rest of his undead cast. “There was a motorcade from the hotel in through the garage and up into the building,” he says. Some 5000 fans waited inside. What did it sound like when he stepped out on that stage?
“Deafening,” says Skarsgård, smiling.
And to think there was a time when he didn’t want this life.
In a roundabout way, Alexander Skarsgård was born into the business. The son of Stellan Skarsgård, the noted Swedish actor (great in everything from Mamma Mia! to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), he was Hollywood by way of south Stockholm. “Most of my dad’s friends were actors, directors, artists, musicians,” he says, and he was raised in a bohemian paradise of late nights, exceptional food and adult conversation. “It was artistic and lovely,” he adds. At age 13, one of those friends cast him in a home-grown TV production, The Dog That Smiles, which made Skarsgård an overnight star. The experience of being recognised on the streets was curious, if also deeply unsettling, and sent him running in the opposite direction. It would be seven years before he stepped in front of a camera again, choosing instead to shave his head and enlist in the Swedish navy.
Source: GQ Australia
Now the gallery has HQ pictures of “Hidden” set in Vancouver on August 28 and 29. Enjoy!
HBO Brazil has posted on youtube a new video with an interview Alex did during this year’s Comic-Con. Enjoy.