Alexander Skarsgard Talks About True Blood and Generation Kill

October 4, 2009 by  

eric-true-bloodAlexander Skarsgard recently sat down with the Telegraph to talk about being on the phenomenal hit series, True Blood, and having a famous father. Alexander also discussed his other series, Generation Kill. Both of these series are produced by HBO but that is about the only thing these two shows have in common besides the sexy, talented Alexander Skarsgard. True Blood is about vampires coming out of the closet and has a modern gothic feel to it. Generation Kill is about an elite attachment of Marines during the first phases of the Iraq War. It is based off real life people and events. We all know Alex plays the 1000 year old vampire sheriff Eric Northamn on True Blood, in Generation Kill Alex portrays a US Marine Sergeant.

In True Blood Alex’s character, Eric, is more the anti-hero than the hero. He is confident and has a business side to him as the owner of the nightclub, Fangtasia. In Generation Kill, Alex’s character, Brad Colbert is nicknamed Iceman and for good reason. This character proves over and over that he is a steady handed leader amongst the other marines. Alexander filmed both series one right after the other and the two roles could not be more different for him.

“To go from Generation Kill, which is a very real, dark, gritty series, to True Blood, which is flamboyant, crazy, was way out there… I couldn’t ask for two better jobs.”

Alexander is the also the son of Stellan Skarsgard, one of Sweden’s most famous actors who was recently seen in the movie, Mamma Mia! Alex was a child actor in his home of Sweden, starting at the young age of seven. When he was 13 he starred in the Swedish film, The Dog That Smiled, which gained him countrywide recognition. Instead of being thrilled, the new found fame actually turned him off from the family trade.

“The fame was scary to me,’ he says. ‘When people stare at you and you read about yourself in papers – at 13 it just got very confusing. I thought that if this is what it’s like to be famous I don’t like it one bit.”

So for the next seven years Alex did what he described as nothing. We wouldn’t exactly say nothing Alex. During those seven years Alex served as a Sergeant in the Swedish Marines. A job that he decided to keep from the cast of Generation Kill. He also did some carousing in Leeds. Alex describes that period of his life:

“I was watching football, hanging out, getting drunk and into trouble for six months. But it was then that these thoughts came up – what do I want to do with my life? Acting came up again and I thought maybe I should give it a last go. So I went to New York and went to theatre school and as soon as I started I knew I really missed this.”

In 2004 Alex moved to Los Angeles and spent the next three years bouncing between LA and Sweden making movies. By 2007 Alex felt like he was in a rut, unable to find any decent scripts.

“I was an unknown guy from Sweden who kept playing the boyfriend in a teenage horror movie who gets killed halfway through by a guy in a mask. I felt – is this it?”

Alex had finally decided to pack it up and head home to Sweden when he received a call from his agent about Generation Kill. Alex spent seven months filming the series and claims the work he did on that show he is the proudest of.

“It was such a profound experience for me. Being away that long, the friendships I created with the other guys out there, and how important it was just to tell that story. People don’t know much about what’s going on on the ground in Iraq: what you see in the media is heavily censored. I’ve never worked on a project like that before and I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance to do it again.”

Alex does credit True Blood with giving him the most attention. Three weeks into shooting Generation Kill, Alex was given the contact information for the real Brad Colbert. Alex decided to wait until filming was finished to contact him. Once production was over, Evan Wright, who wrote the book on which Generation Kill is based, organized a barbeque for which the actor was able to meet the Colberts. Alex remembers the experience:

“I was very nervous. He never asked for this, to become an HBO series. So I didn’t know how he’d react to it if he felt that I’d messed it up. Plus I had so much respect for him – it was tremendously important for me to get his acceptance. Did he feel accepted? Well, he didn’t kill me so that’s a good sign I guess. He’s the freakin’ Iceman – he could have done.”

Nowadays with the success of Generation Kill and the phenomenal reaction to True Blood Alex finds himself with the same status as his father. The two still remain close.

“Of course we discuss work a lot. If your dad is a carpenter and you’re a carpenter you’d probably talk about it. But for me it’s always been important to make my own mistakes and not have him guide me in Hollywood or open doors. I need that to build my confidence and really feel like I deserved the parts – that it’s not because of my name.”

Alex’s father has seen his son in both Generation Kill and True Blood and could not be happier. Alex explains:

“He’s very, very happy and proud.’ And right now, probably just a touch jealous.”

SOURCE:  Telegraph

Photo Credit: HBO Inc.