Skarsgård and Melancholia Cast Interview at The Film Stage

October 26, 2011 by  

Cast Discuss Lars von Trier’s New Movie:

Alexander Skarsgard Melancholia movie promotional posterWhen it comes to wanting to work for famous directors, Lars von Trier is right up there on the list. While he may be a little more free when it comes to rehearsals and scripts, he certainly wins hands down when it comes to experiencing a movie from a completely different angle, as far as the actors are concerned. As Alexander Skarsgård (Eric Northman on HBO‘s True Blood) pointed out:

“You’re kind of used to working where you block a scene, then you have tape marks and then you shoot a master and the lights are coming from here and you got to find that light. And then you show up and he’s just like ‘Alright, let’s see what happens…’ He doesn’t care about continuity, he’s so open and he wants to be surprised. He wants to be like ‘Oh, that was interesting, I didn’t expect that to happen’… you kind of feel like he’s editing it in his head as he’s watching it… and then if there’s something he needs then he’ll come in and he’ll just whisper something like try this and try that. It really was one of the most amazing experiences of my career.”

Skarsgård also went on to point out that while a lot of what happens during the shoot is actually just a big diaster, there are those special little moments that just can’t be recreated through rehearsal. It is those small bits of reality that von Trier appears to search for. As a result of this, while the whole movie is scripted, some of what makes it to the screen is, in fact, improvisation.

The subject of depression is a big part of the movie Melancholia. While the movie starts off in a happy place, it quickly spirals downhill from there. The actors themselves felt that this was needed — after all, it is hard to show how dark life can get without first showing how it all started.

Not only did Skarsgård relish working for von Trier, he also got to work alongside his father, fellow actor, Stellan Skarsgård. His father had also worked with von Trier before, and while he needed no encouragement to work with the famous director, his father was quick to endorse it. Fellow actor, Charlotte Gainsbourg was also familiar with working with von Trier, after appearing in Antichrist, however, she found each movie entirely different to make.

Kirsten Dunst, who stars in Melancholia as Skarsgård’s wife, was also excited about this project. While it seems a vast difference from the movies she normally does, Dunst didn’t seem to think so:

“I’ve always done a mixture, like I did The Virgin Suicides, but then I did Bring It On. To me, I’ve always mixed it up, so this is just an opportunity because of my age, too, and there aren’t that many roles like this that are so unconventional for women. To me it’s not a new direction personally, it just is the movie I chose to do next.”

Melancholia is basically a movie about depression, the cast were quick to point out (and if you don’t want any spoilers for the movie, please don’t read the full interview at The Film Stage) that this movie could also be considered science fiction. The actors themselves find it hard to discuss the film, since it is not an easy movie to compartmentalize.

The Film Stage were also interested to find out if any of the actors were interested in directing after working with Lars von Trier. Both Alexander Skarsgård and Kirsten Dunst admitted that they had done some directing on small projects in the past. While Skarsgård would like to do more in the future, it seems that Dunst enjoyed what she has done in the past, but feels more comfortable in front of the camera. Gainsbourg freely admitted to being intimidated by the whole process of directing.

Melancholia is screening at the New York Film Festival, so make sure you check it out if you are nearby. If not, it hits theaters on November 11. Let us know what you thought of the movie when you see it.

Source: The Film Stage – [Interview] Kirsten Dunst, Alexander Skarsgård and Charlotte Gainsbourg Discuss ‘Melancholia’

(Photo Credit: Melancholia – promotional movie poster)

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  • Jaxx

    I saw the movie in Toronto last month.  I thought it was very dark and deep but also very good and moving.  Alex, of course, played a great lovable part as did Kirstin Dunst and Kiefer Sutherland.  The end was just jawdropping and the theater was silent for at least 30 seconds when the lights went up.  **SPOILER** and, who wouldn’t want to be married to Alex.  He’s just to cute and adorable in this one, it breaks you heart when you see what happens.