Alexander Skarsgård Talks True Blood and Pickled Herring

September 21, 2011 by  

This Vampire is Not the Only Actor in the Family:

Alexander Skarsgård as Eric Northman on True BloodRecently, Alexander Skarsgård (who plays Eric Northman on HBO’s True Blood), spoke to Aaron Hicklin from The Guardian. While the 6 foot 4 inch actor loves the US, it was pretty apparent that he still loves his birthplace, after Hicklin presented him with a jar of pickled herring from Ikea:

“You went to Ikea? Oh man, thank you. I’m going to have some right now. Obviously it’s better if you pickle them yourself. I love the purity of the regular stuff, when it’s just pickled with herbs and onions. I hate the fruity, sweet varieties.”

So there’s the heads up girls, when buying your next gift for Skarsgård. But his obvious love for Sweden doesn’t stop there. While he adores the easy lifestyle of LA, he misses the definite wheather changes.

“There’s something I love about how stark the contrast is between January and June in Sweden. In a way, I feel that time doesn’t exist in LA. Sometimes I don’t know if it’s February or April or October, because you’re always sitting outside on the same patio, and it’s 70 degrees, and the sun is shining.”

For many years, he thought he wouldn’t be following in his famous father’s footsteps (actor Stellan Skarsgård). He really didn’t feel he had the passion for acting that his father insisted was required. He had minor success as a thirteen year old but left acting and decided to just be a kid for a while. However, his love of acting reared its head again in his twenties. It wasn’t long after that that he enrolled in acting classes and auditioned for his famous Zoolander role. The rest, as they say, is history.

A little known fact about Skarsgård though, is the fact that he served time in the Swedish mititary. This is where he gained his ability to keep going. After all, he spent ten days in the woods in order to gain a hat:

“You’ve been dreaming about that hat, because for the first six months you don’t get to wear it, and you see the guys that have been there for a year already, walking around with their hats, and you’re like: ‘They all look like Clint Eastwood, they’re the shit!’ You’ve got this stupid little baseball cap, and you’re like, ‘One day I’ll have that hat.’ And then you do the 10-day test and your feet are bleeding, you are crying because you are so exhausted, and finally we get back to the base, and we think this is the moment we’re going to get our hats, and the sergeant is, like, ‘All right, that’s a good start. Now you’re going to go out on a 15-mile run with your backpack and guns and everything.’ Grown men start crying. We were almost hallucinating because we were so tired. You look at this 15-mile run, and you think, ‘I can’t do this, I’ve got nothing, the tank is empty.’”

But he earned that hat. It was a valuable life lesson for him.

Many people have assumed that Skarsgård will just take on movie roles such as the character he plays in True Blood. To him, though, this is far from the truth. While many actors get typecast in a role, he is determined to choose many varied roles, which is why he recently made a Lars von Trier movie called Melancholia:

“It’s so easy to get caught up in the American system, where everybody tells you what to do, and what not to do, and where the rest of the world is not important. A true artist, in my mind, is willing to fail sometimes, because if you’re not brave enough to say yes and follow your gut, it’s never going to be good.”

Skarsgård seems to seamlessly skip from one character to another, each as different as the other. While it is his way of preventing himself from being stuck in the same role time and again, it is also because, as a human being, he feels that each person has the ability to have different layers, all at the same time.

Skarsgård in The Observer

Make sure you check out the full article here.

Source: The Guardian – Alexander Skarsgård: Interview With a Vampire

(Photo Credit: HBO, Inc.)

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  • Jaxx

    Cheers to Alex.  I’ve liked him in everything I’ve seen him in.  He is a versatile actor.  He can go from vampire to the Iceman to a deranged stalker ex-boyfriend to a husband trying to take care of his mentally ill wife and he plays them all well.  Good for you Alex, you are grounded and have a good head on your shoulders.  Don’t get stuck in a rut.  You’ll be a leading man soon enough.

  • Jaxx

    Cheers to Alex.  I’ve liked him in everything I’ve seen him in.  He is a versatile actor.  He can go from vampire to the Iceman to a deranged stalker ex-boyfriend to a husband trying to take care of his mentally ill wife and he plays them all well.  Good for you Alex, you are grounded and have a good head on your shoulders.  Don’t get stuck in a rut.  You’ll be a leading man soon enough.

    • I totally agree, you learn your craft properly…leading Man status not far off..