Alexander Skarsgard Discusses His Route to Stardom

February 21, 2010 by  

In an article posted on the British website, TimesOnline, Alexander Skarsgard, True Blood‘s tall, sensual and dangerous Viking vampire, talks about his early discomfort with fame.

Alex started acting at the early age of 7 in his native Sweden. A role when he was 13 brought him national fame when the Swedish film, The Dog That Smiled, became wildly successful. The fame scared him. It’s difficult for a 13 year-old to deal with people constantly staring. So he quit acting and tried to be a normal teen.

At the age of 19, Alex joined the Swedish marines. Unlike his pals, he wanted the challenge of the anti-sabotage and anti-terrorist experience – to see what impact it would have on his hippie lifestyle. But he was no James Bond, and although he hated it most of the time, Alex concedes it was good experience for him. It did prep him for his later role in the 2008 HBO mini-series, Generation Kill.

After his stint in the marines, Alexander got a dose of the real world. While attending Leeds Metropolitan University, he and a friend lived in a basement in sleeping bags. The basement had no heat and they shared a bathroom with a drug dealer. “He was really nasty and filthy and dirty…” and he thought the whole situation was kind of scary. Perhaps acting wasn’t so bad after all!

Alexander studied theatre in New York, then went back to Sweden to get more experience and again he became a star, but only in his home country. Wanting to broaden his horizons, many roles came his way that he didn’t want, until he landed roles in the HBO mini-series Generation Kill, followed by HBO‘s True Blood. Alexander now has no problem picking and choosing offers. He’s famous again, this time as an adult who is considered one of the sexiest men in the world. So how is he handling fame this time?

“I try to stay away from all the blogs and fan sites. If I indulge in that, it’s going to mess me up. If I read something bad, I’ll think, they’re right, and if I read something good, my ego will explode. So it’s better to try to stay away.”

When asked about working with his father, Sweden’s most famous actor, Stellan Skarsgard, Alex evidently believes that would be a very big challenge.

“When I bring the possibility up, he pauses for a long time, says quietly, “It would be difficult”, then cheers up and becomes smiling Swedish optimist Alex again. “But, you know, something interesting would come out of it.”

In person, Alexander is “quiet, respectful, polite and self-deprecating.” Quite a contrast to his role as Eric Northman, vampire sheriff and co-owner of vampire bar, Fangtasia.

“I play a guy who’s been around for a thousand years, is funny and confident, but also lethal, and has had more experience and wisdom than you or I will get in our entire lives,” he smiles. “He’s a bloodsucker with an entrepreneurial bent, but the fact is that he’s also an animal who can flip and kill you in a second. He’s a predator — you think that would be a role for typecasting?”

It doesn’t seem he has to worry about being typecasted as he has finished several other projects with more to coming his way.


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