Alexander Skarsgard must have a dark side. He’s drawn to characters who emanate a silky menace: not only his most famous role, the 1,000-year-old vampire Eric Northman on the HBO series True Blood; but also a violent hayseed in this year’s remake of Straw Dogs; and a steely U.S. Marine sergeant in the 2008 miniseries Generation Kill. His gorgeous new film, Melancholia, written and directed by Lars von Trier, digs deep into two of the toughest subjects around, severe depression and the end of the world. (It opened in select cities yesterday.)
But during an interview in September, no demons were displayed, not even a hint of a shadow. Alexander Johan Hjalmar Skarsgard (he goes by Alex) was born and raised in Stockholm, but unless he’s pronouncing Scandinavian words, his accent is husky American, and his conversation is a steady burble of positivity, all about luck and gratitude and the “great energy” he’s feeling around him. He’s a striking fellow, as tall (6 foot 4), slender and golden as a shaft of wheat in the sun. In repose, his face is a study of angularity, cheek and jawbones jutting away, highlighting his sensual lips and the textbook movie-star cleft in his chin. But when he grins – and he grins almost non-stop – he immediately loses 15 of his 35 years, plus any hint of danger. It’s like flipping on the lights to reveal that the monster in the corner is actually your favourite teddy bear.
Viewers of True Blood last season saw a version of this phenomenon, when a witch cast a spell on Eric that made him forget he was an evil bastard, and had him wooing Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Pacquin) like a shy seventh-grader. Until they got their clothes off in a woodland glade, that is, and he suddenly seemed pretty confident again. (Whoops – best not to think about that while doing an interview. Blushing at the memory of certain images is becoming an on-the-job hazard for me, as more and more actors get more and more naked in franker and franker films and TV shows. Though I don’t expect any sympathy for it.)
What’s funny is, fan chatter indicated a clear preference for the diabolical Eric. The ladies, especially, seem to like their fangs sharp. “The naïve innocent was sweet for a while,” Skarsgard says. “But people started to miss the old guy. The alpha male.” He grinned. “His power.”
READ MORE AT THE SOURCE
SOURCE: theglobeandmail.com – Johanna Schneller
You must be logged in to post a comment.