Alexander Skarsgård Interviewed by France’s Générique[S] Magazine

December 7, 2009 by  

Alexander SkarsgårdAlan Ball‘s True Blood vampire drama series has captivated audiences worldwide. Alexander Skarsgård spoke with Pierre Langlais of France’s Générique[S] Culture Séries Magazine about his work with HBO and about bringing Eric Northman, the deadly handsome Viking vampire sheriff of Louisiana’s Area 5, to life.

Alex says that though at first, Alan Ball had planned for the Swedish actor “to give Eric a strong accent, exotic compared to other vampires, who all have a southern accent,” they reconsidered that idea because the 1000-year-old Eric, “alive for centuries would not have an accent, but altogether a vast linguistic knowledge.”  Alex went on to say that he figured that Eric must speak at least “three dozen languages” including English. He stated that:

“I thought that Eric could speak excellent English, but we placed here and there some phrases in Swedish, especially when he spoke to Pam, his partner – Kristin Bauer, who plays her, does not understand a word of what I say or the correct responses, but she fakes it well.”

One of the things Alex says that he loves about True Blood is the struggle vampires are going through in order to fit in with the rest of society.  He says “one easily sympathizes with their troubles, their doubts, their feelings because they are ultimately identical to humans and how they feel.”  Alex says that it’s impossible to act in metaphors, so the references must be given as a subtle subtext.

Season 2 of True Blood is just beginning to air in France, and Alex discussed the differences between the first and second seasons for his character:

“In season 1, Eric is a secondary character. You don’t know much about him. He is only Bill‘s “bad boss.” In the second season, he becomes more dense, and we understand that it is much more than that. He has a sensitive side, is passionate, and can be a valuable friend. He does not like many people, but to those he loves, he is very devoted.”

He also tells Générique[S] that while True Blood‘s first season was an introduction to the Sookie-verse, with Season 2, the writers had finished the set up and thus were much more free to create fantastic storylines.  Those of us who have already seen Season 2 on HBO know that French viewers should get ready for a wild ride.

Speaking about the vampire society, Alex explains that:

“It is a very hierarchical society. The relationships between vampires are not clearly defined barriers that people would think beyond. A key component of this organization is the bond between a vampire and his maker, Eric and Godric. Godric is his father, his brother, his best friend…”

As for insights into his character, Alex says that in order to play Eric, he thought about “what knowledge, experience and wisdom of someone who has been alive for 1,000 years would have in the impact on those around him.” He tells Générique[S]:

“Someone as strong and as experienced as Eric did not even need to work hard to show his strength. He has only to whisper and people listen and obey. I was inspired by a documentary about lions that I saw on TV. The way the male moves, confident, graceful, calm and quietly menacing. Make a wrong move and you’re dead … In his heart, Eric is a lion, an animal.”

French fans have a lot to look forward to as True Blood‘s Season 2 unfolds on Orange Cinémax, and getting to know a lot more about the multi-layered Viking vampire sheriff is just one aspect of the story that is sure to keep them coming back for more each week.

SOURCE:  Translated from Générique[S] Culture Séries Magazine

(Photo Credit: HBO Inc.)

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  • pbartteacher

    As Alexander has stated in many interviews, he is looking forward to playing the multiple layers of Eric Northman. He enjoys the challenge. To portray the multi-faceted “Eric Northman is not just a bad ass vampire.” He is many things. He is compassionate, devoted, loyal and above all caring for those he loves.

    ASkars has read the first five Charlaine Haris novels, and comprehends those layers and how to portray them. As stated below, Alexander is the perfect Eric Northman on so many levels.

    You are correct that French viewers have so much to look forward to in Season two, if they are a fans of the Viking Vampire G*d. So much to see, hear and feel. The feelings and emotions that Alexander brings to the small screen this season are diverse.

    Thank you Delia for the wonderful article.Keep them coming. We can never get enough of our Viking. PS. Love the photo you chose to compliment this article. Classic Eric Northman.

    • Delia Remington

      I agree with you on Eric’s many faceted nature, and I think Alex has done a wonderful job portraying his complexity. P.S.–It’s one of my favorite pictures. 😉

  • rugby82

    Great Alex and Great Eric..he’s perfect for the Big Viking…Can’t wait for him next season…

  • Amy

    This is such a great article. Thank you Delia! Alex is the perfect Eric! As always looking forward to season 3 🙂

    • Delia Remington

      Thank you. It’s the first time I’ve gotten to use my language skills, and I was a little nervous because he used so many idioms that don’t translate well. LOL Glad you enjoyed it.