Video: Alexander Skarsgård Interviewed in Germany

November 13, 2010 by  

On Acting, True Blood and His Other Projects

Eric NorthmanAlexander Skarsgård, who plays the sexy quasi-villain Eric Northman on HBO‘s True Blood, was recently interviewed on a German TV show.  He talks about his past, True Blood Seasons 1-3, and his other projects.

Fame at an Early Age

Skarsgård was a child actor, but quit the business at thirteen.  He cites the attention he got as his reason for quitting.  In his opinion, “Thirteen is a weird age to become famous at”.  Fame at such a young age made him paranoid and self-conscious.  He shares:

“If I walked down the street and someone looked at me, it was weird.  I didn’t know who I was.  I was growing from a little boy to a man.  To read about myself in magazines and hear people talk about me on television, who I was and what I liked,  was really awkward when I had no idea who I was and what I liked.”

He gave up acting for almost eight years, which was a much needed break.  However, before returning to acting, he tried his hand at other things.  He wanted to be a footballer (soccer player), but discovered he didn’t have the talent for it.  Then he wanted to be a rock star, but discovered, again, he didn’t have the talent for that.  So he returned to acting.

Making It in Hollywood

When asked if he ever had doubts in coming to Los Angeles and making it as an actor, he very quickly confirms that he did [have doubts].  He was very determined, though.  Admitting it’s tough, and enduring rejection after rejection, he still remained determined, and says:

“I did believe in myself.  I believed that one day the right project will come along and I will get that one.  I just had to kind of convince myself that I had something to bring.  Because if you don’t believe in yourself in Hollywood, no one else is going to believe in you.  Then you might as well fly back home.”

Needing a change from the types of things he was working on in Sweden, he spent three years in L.A., taking meetings and doing readings, before landing HBO‘s Generation Kill, a mini-series about the Marines in Baghdad in 2003. Prior to landing the role of Sgt. Brad Colbert in Generation Kill, he had met with Alan Ball.  They spoke again about ten months later, while Skarsgård was on location in Mozambique, shooting the mini-series.  After speaking with Ball, he made an audition tape, sent it to Los Angeles, and that was that.  He was now a part of True Blood.

True Blood and Eric

When asked what he likes about True Blood, his first response is Alan Ball (creator).  He says of Ball, “He’s obviously a very talented man”.  He admires the fact that not only is Ball a great writer, he also surrounds himself with great writers.  He likes that the show is accessible, and entertaining, yet real, with believable characters and relationships.

Skarsgård describes Eric as a businessman and entrepreneur.  The vampire invites humans to his club, Fangtasia, where he also sells T-shirts, coffee cups, and the like.  He says of his character, “He makes a lot of money on that.  He’s a sharp business man”.  In Season 1, you don’t really get to know Eric… he shows up here and there, as Bill‘s (Stephen Moyer) ‘evil boss’.  For that reason, the actor says Season 2 was a lot of fun to do.  He says, “You finally get to know Eric and you see that there’s more to him than what first meets the eye”.  Regarding Season 3, he says for Eric, it’s all about revenge.  Having lost someone many centuries ago, the vampire now has the opportunity to avenge that person’s death, and is very focused on that.

Sookie

The interviewer asks at what point Eric falls in love with Sookie (Anna Paquin), or whether he does at all, and Skarsgård responds, “That’s a good question!”  He says that in Season 1, Eric is intrigued by Sookie.  She’s different.  He adds:

“I think Eric is quite jaded and he’s quite over humanity.  He’s been around for a thousand years, and they’re not very exciting to him, humans in general.  You know?  It’s good for drinking every now & then, but that’s pretty much it.  But there is something different about Sookie.  He doesn’t really know what it is, but you can tell even from the first meeting that he’s intrigued by her.  I think the fact that he doesn’t know what it is, excites him.  That’s something he wants to, or definitely decides to, pursue and try to find out what it is.  So it’s more that, than ‘Oh, I’m in love with you now’.  He needs to know what she is.”

The fact that Sookie later ingests Eric’s blood connects them.  She is now slightly obsessed with him, and he enjoys that very much.  He also enjoys messing with Bill.  Knowing how protective Bill is of Sookie, and how much he loves her, Eric enjoys that he has a big problem with this blood connection.

Appeal of Vampires

Skarsgård tries to explain the appeal of vampires, and why they’re ‘back’ again.  He thinks they represent immortality, and that there’s something attractive about the knowledge, confidence, and experience they possess.  The conflict of being attracted to something that’s dangerous is appealing — that goes for not only True Blood, but all vampire shows, movies, and stories.  However, not having seen any of the Twilight movies or anything else vampire-related, he can’t really compare.  He admits:

“It sounds strange, maybe, because I work on a show about vampires, but when I think of vampires, I think of the Bela Lugosi in Dracula, or Max Schreck in the old Nosferatu, or Klaus Kinski in the Werner Herzog Nosferatu.  Those are my favorite vampire movies.  I feel very old.  I’m sure they’re great, but I haven’t seen the Twilight movies or the other vampire shows.”

His Other Projects

Since the actors on True Blood have five months off a year, they are free to work on other things.  Skarsgård was in this year’s 13 with Jason Statham and Mickey Rourke.  He also stars in the upcoming remake, Straw Dogs, which was shot in Shreveport.  Currently filming in Hawaii is Battleship, which also stars Liam Neeson and Rihanna.

If you’re a true ‘Truebie’, then you’re anxiously awaiting the return of our favorite show, and Skarsgård along with that.  In the meantime, you’ll have to placate yourself with whatever juicy morsel you can find, like the full video interview here.  You’re welcome.

Source: Youtube.com–  skarsgardnewsblog

Youtube.com – skarsgardnewsblog

(Photo credit: HBO)

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  • I just Love Eric.. In the books and on the show. I can’t wait for it to come back!

  • jaxx

    Oh I just love reading his interviews. I love his take on things. I love the way he gets his character, Eric. I love his take on Sookie and how he gets her character and the show in general. You are a great actor with many layers to your depth.

    Keep believing in yourself Alex, we do, and know you will make it big in Hollywood very, very soon. You’re name will definitely be a household name very shortly.

    Love ya!!! 🙂

    • ~ Caitlin

      I couldn’t agree more. This was a good interview. He seems so down to earth. I like that he didn’t dis the other vamp shows and movies out there. Even in season one, I did not see Eric as the “evil boss”. At first, I did not no what to make of him. I didn’t read the books until after season two started. When Eric listened to the old Swedish music in season one, I became curious about his past and what he has lost. I do think that there was a hint of loss in that scene. It will be exciting to see a different side to Eric next season whether or not he amnesia.