Alexander Skarsgard Conquered Childhood Fear of Fame

March 9, 2010 by  

It is hard to imagine Alexander Skarsgard being afraid of anything, but the actor who plays True Blood’s Viking vampire Eric Northman said he was frightened by fame as a child.

In an interview posted on UK Web site What’s On TV, Alexander said the public recognition he earned from early TV roles was too much for his young self.

“My parents never dragged me to auditions, things just happened. I had lots of TV roles when I was a kid, but the fame was scary and I hated people staring at me on the street. When I was 13 I decided I didn’t want to do it anymore.”

The son of Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard (“Pirates of the Caribbean“)  moved to Leeds for six months when he was 20. After spending time “watching football, hanging out, getting drunk and into trouble,” he decided to give acting another chance.

These days, he’s more at ease with fame and the attention that goes with it.

“Actually, I am flattered by the attention. People come up and want autographs and take pictures, but I have no crazy stalkers after me.”

Alexander said he enjoys playing Eric, a complicated character with more depth than a typical leading man. Eric may be the bad guy, but there’s more to him than meets the eye, Alexander said.

“As an actor, the last thing I want to play is a typical handsome leading man. It’s always great when you play a complicated character like Eric. In the first series, people thought he was just a bad guy, but there’s a lot more to him than meets the eye. We’re now seeing his loyal, caring and sensitive side. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still the same old Eric – there’s just more to him than being an evil vampire.”

Alexander describes True Blood as an “over-the-top, wild, sexy and funny” show that also allows viewers to “draw parallels with our society in terms of alienation and prejudice.” He said he doesn’t have a problem portraying the show’s sex and violence, even when it requires him to show some skin.

“It’s pretty full-on and very graphic and gory, but sex and violence are always something that attracts an audience. I don’t have any problems with getting naked.”

He also commented on his stint as a pop music video star, opposite Lady Gaga in the video for “Paparazzi,” and his secret desire to be a rock star.

“I didn’t know Lady Gaga at all before. She was really cool and interesting. She’s very driven and we had a blast. I’d much rather be a rock star than an actor. My favorites are Van Morrison and The Clash. Because I’m Swedish, people think I must like ABBA, but they were always much bigger in the rest of the world than they ever were in Sweden.”

That’s just as well — picturing Eric Northman grooving to ABBA‘s “Dancing Queen” might prove a bit much for his fans.

SOURCE: What’s On TV

(Photo credit: HBO Inc.)