November 14th, 2008
With heavy arms and sharp vampire teeth, Alexander Skarsgård has invaded Hollywood. During 2008 he has done the impossible – becoming a member of the exclusive American acting elite.
- Things are really going well, I am happy to get this chance.
We meet up with Alexander Skarsgård in an Italian restaurant in St Monica, about one hour west of Beverly Hills.
This is close to where the Swede used to live, but now he is looking for a place in West Hollywood. In January he begins shooting the second season of “True blood” – Alan Balls praised vampire series on the prestigious cable channel HBO.
Alexander Skarsgård’s Hollywood career really took off in another HBO-project.
- It was last spring, and I was just about to head back to Sweden when my agent called.
Alexander was told that he had a chance of getting a part in “Generation kill” – a HBO series based on the book by the author and journalist Evan Wright.
- The book was incredibly good and I was really interested by the part, Alexander tells us. He had to fly to New York to meet with the caster.
Once in New York, there were more meetings and several days of waiting. The Swede also had to fly over to London to meet the Director and then back to New York.
- I flew to London and back on the same day.
Back in New York it was again several days of waiting and then he had to get on a train to Baltimore to meet the TV-series maker Ed Burns and David Simon.
- It was really tough. I waited for a call that would either be about getting a great job or go back home and be unemployed.
The call finally came and Alexander got the part in “Generation Kill” as Platoon leader Brad “Iceman” Colbert.
- 36 hours later I was in Namibia with seven different scripts to learn. It was almost like a dream, Alexander says,
who spent a bit more than 6 months shooting the series in Namibia, South Africa and in the Capital of Mozambique’s Maputo.
During this time Alexander had great use of having served in the Swedish military for 15 months. He was in the Navy special Forces “Säkjakt”.
- I knew how to handle the weapons and I knew quite a lot about the military life, about the way the guys talk, how you speak to a superior and stuff like that, Alexander continues.
And straight after Generation Kill it was time for the next prestigious project – vampire Series “True blood”.
- I had been offered a part in this a long time ago, but it would clash with the schedule of shooting Generation Kill, but I was lucky. Thanks to the Writers Strike, True blood was delayed and this couldn’t have better timing as far as I was concerned.
And it’s not just the timing that has been working in favour of the young Swedish actor. “True blood”, where Alexander plays the thousand year old Viking vampire Eric Northman, is one of this season’s American successes.
And it’s already set with the Swede re-appearing in the second season.
- Shooting starts at the beginning of January, Alexander (who has impressed the critics with not just his acting but also with his perfect American accent) continues.
- I’ve worked so hard to get rid of any Scandinavian accent. Coming from Europe it’s really easy that you limit yourself otherwise. If you don’t speak the language you might end up with no other parts than playing a German Nazi.
For every actor that made it in Hollywood there are about 500 that didn’t make it. After 2 years of being here, Alexander belongs with the more fortunate ones.
- It’s a whole different situation now than it was two years ago, when I first got here. It’s much more easy for my agent and manager to get me a offer/meeting.
Alexander works between shooting as well:
- I go to meetings and read scripts, meet with casting directors. Big budget movies that won’t begin filming until next summer are being cast now.
Alexander Skarsgård’s dad is Stellan, and he has a long and successful Hollywood career of his own.
- Of course he is interested in how things are going for me, but I’ve always gone my own ways, made my own mistakes and learn from them.
- It would’ve been weird if he’d made me a schedule and told me how to behave and act.
… HIS DREAMS
- That I get to continue in projects with creative people. I think it’s great to be able to do different things like “Generation kill” and “True blood”, I like to feel a bit scared starting a new project.
… WORKING IN SWEDEN
- If I get the chance of working with a strong script and with talented people, I don’t care about geography. USA, Sweden, Belgium …. I will go where the fun jobs take me.
… FAVORITE ACTORS
- Daniel Day Lewis, Sean Penn and Philip Seymour Hoffman, they are real in every frame.
… BIGGEST SURPRISE WITH HOLLYWOOD
- That some very successful people here are shady. I was expecting fancy offices and expensive suits. It’s hilarious to see that some high profile industry people are dressed very casual during office hours.
… THE HARD WORKING CLIMATE IN THE DREAM FACTORY
- It’s a big advantage if you have a strong self esteem, lots of patience and an agent with very sharp elbows.
… THE MONEY
- In “Generation kill” it wasn’t such a big paycheck but that kind of project opens very many doors. In ”True Blood” I’m making good money.
SOURCE: NÖJE (Tack and Kram to my Sweedie J for the translation…)
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