Alexander Skarsgard Adds Depth To His Roles

April 6, 2010 by  

Alexander Skarsgard likes to push the limit with the characters he chooses to play.  Recently, the roles he has chosen appear to be unlikeable characters.  Such as in the roles as Lady Gaga’s crazed boyfriend in her “Paparazzi” music video, the vampire Eric Northman on HBO’s hit TV series, True Blood, and his next project as Charlie in Rod Lurie’s remake of Straw Dogs, Sam Peckinpah’s 1971 film.

In an article for THE LAST MAGAZINE, Alex was quoted as saying about his roles:

“When I step into a project, I need to feel that there’s a challenge, something new, something fresh about it.  That being said, I’m kind of attracted to characters with a darkness or a sadness that they carry with them. ” He is drawn to their faults.  “It’s been important to find my own way, make my own mistakes, and learn from them.”

Back in Sweden, Alexander gave up acting at age 13 after becoming famous.  He couldn’t handle people looking at him, talking about him, seeing himself on television, or reading about himself in magazines.  It was too difficult becoming a teenager to deal with this added stress.  Fortunately, his already famous father, actor Stellan Skarsgard, did not push him in one direction or another.

“Not once did my parents try to push me or say, ‘You get all these offers now, and you keep working, a year from now or two years from now, you might enjoy it again.  ‘ I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be an actor today.  I might’ve worked for a few more years, but I’d have eventually crashed and burned and been so turned off by the whole profession.  I might never have turned back.”

His fans and HBO are very happy he did come back to acting.  At 33, Alex is able to cope with more media attention than he had in Sweden as a child.  He can now handle his world-wide fame as a formerly powerful Viking warrior who, mortally wounded in battle, was turned into a vampire as a reward for his bravery.  Based on the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris, Alex‘s role as Eric was initially viewed as the bad vamp or villain.  But devoted followers are coming to see him differently – see all of him – as a character displaying a sense of humor and compassion.

Unlike other vampire shows, True Blood allows these (previously thought of) mythical creatures to come out of the closet.  Due to synthetic blood manufactured by a Japanese firm, vampires no longer need to feed on mortals and now try to fit into human society.  However, for mortals, drinking vampire blood is highly addictive and acts as a very potent drug.

Looking at his next role in Straw Dogs, Alexander sees the good in his character, Charlie, who is the former boyfriend of Amy, played by Kate Bosworth.  While the role involves explosive tension, violence and sexual carnage, Alex said, “On some weird level, you kind of understand why Charlie and Amy were together, once upon a time, and why it didn’t really work out.”  He added, “Straw Dogs is about defending what you believe is right.”

Watch for Alexander as Eric Northman in Season 3 of True Blood, starting June 13, 2010.


(Photo Credit – AP Photo/Andy Kropa)