Now USA has discovered the swede, who gets good reviews for his lead in the war drama «Generation Kill». This fall you can also see him as a viking vampire in «True Blood», the new show from Alan Ball («Six Feet Under»).
From book to TV-show
«Generation Kill» is based on the price winning book with the same name, written by Rolling Stone-journalist Evan Wright, after spending months together with American soldiers in Iraq.
It focuses on the chaos the soldiers experience during the much debated war, and now it’s been re-written to a mini-series of seven episodes by David Simon and Ed Burns, the duo behind «The Wire».
The series is true to the original book and have several of the real life soldiers as consults. One of them, Rudy Reyes, even plays himself.
Skarsgard does not look away from the Americans reaction to the real thing.
- I am prepared for the debate that might follow after «Generation Kill». The series focuses on the experience of those who served in Iraq and the 100 000 still there, and the baggage they bring back home to USA…says Alexander Skarsgård who plays Sergeant Brad Colbert, over the phone from Los Angeles.
«Generation Kill» is Skarsgård’s first big part in USA, even if he is famous in Sweden and was crowned sexiest man in Sweden as many as five times. It’s easy to hear over the phone that Skarsgård is uncomfortable when this is brought up.
- It’s a dangerous thing to speculate in many things that have to do with your own looks or image. It’s very easy to be type-casted as the hunk in movies. It’s important that you work hard to be something else but a pretty face, because it limits you and your work.
And the limited parts he was offered in Sweden is one of the reasons Skarsgård moved to Los Angeles to try his luck there.
- At home I would’ve continued to play a teenager in romantic comedies. I am 31 years old.
He doesn’t rule out the possibility of soon wanting to work in Sweden again, but when and if depends on the offers.
- I have family, friends and my base in Sweden and have absolutely not left for good, but it’s all about work offers. And if Roy Andersson or Lukas Moodysson wants me, I will come back but I’d rather do work like «Generation Kill» then average comedies in Sweden. says Skarsgård.
Alexander Skarsgård characterizes the part in the war series as the toughest in his career so far. His self confidence in the casting process turned to fear after he got the part.
- I had to be self confident and cool in the part as Brad Colbert. He is called Iceman after all. When I heard that I had been casted I was terrified. I had a script of 400 pages and a language with codes I didn’t know, with shooting starting only a week later.
Things didn’t get easier when the crew arrived in Namibia.
- First there was a 10 day long boot-camp with physical training. Add to that we had to learn everything we didn’t know or understand, for example how the radio communication works or how you talk to your superiors, and a short background of the history of the book. After that we had a week of rehearsals, talking with the person who had experienced all of it first hand and the author of the book Evan Wright, the Swede tells us.
Unfortunately his military training, which he served many years ago, to any help in the preparations.
- It was good to have done my military training, but at the same time it’s nothing compared to this. This wasn’t the game it was in Sweden, where you are pretty sure that you will never have to kill someone. That is not the case for the American soldiers, Skarsgård says.
Isolated on set
Another hard part for the actor was also to be away from his family and siblings for such a long time.
- I had spent three months in the USA and everything went so fast that I didn’t have time to go back to Sweden to re-pack my stuff before I left for Namibia. In addition to this I talked as little Swedish as I possibly could to improve my American accent, which I was working on with a dialect coach. This forced me to speak to the Swedish B-photographer in English and I barely even didn’t call home to my family. It was a very long time away from them.
But the seven month long isolation led to finding good friends on set.
- There was a communion between us boys. The real soldiers said that the dynamics of our reminded about how they had it in Iraq. We reviewed still kjempemye and all thought the experience was very special. When we met at the premiere party for a couple of days ago there was almost euphoric mood.
Alexander Skarsgård talks about the boys, and that is because the series – with the exception of a few extras – only have men on the roll list. That is why he means it was difficult to trekke inn Susanna White as one of the directors.
- «Generation Kill» is not a real war series, it’s about so much more such as the dynamics between humans as well as about Humvees who is racing by fast. It was a smart choice to let Susanna direct four episodes, because that kept the testosterone levels low, explains Skarsgård.
Loves all Norwegian women
In Skarsgård’s next project he plays an old viking vampire with long blonde hair. To move between the different parts is one of the things he finds most appealing with acting, something he has been doing full time the last couple of years. But he lacks a proper acting education.
- I went to acting school in the US, a very good one even, but then I met a girl in Sweden and I quit acting school. I immediately moved back home thinking that love conquers all, but she dumped me before my plane even had landed at the airport, Skarsgård smiles.
Alexander has worked hard trying to make it on his own even if there has been no lack of role models with such a celebrated actor in the family, even if Alexander wants to stand his own ground without using his last name.
- To describe how it is to grow up with Stellan as a father would be hard, since I don’t know anything else. I’m inspired by him, but I’ve also worked hard to make a name for myself and prove that I’ve got talent without using the name Skarsgård.
Stellan Skarsgård’s oldest son Alexander has played in a long row of Swedish movies,
often romantic comedies, and also smaller parts in American productions.
ON AMERICAN TV:
Alexander Skargård did promotion work for the show last week.
Here he is interviewed during the Television Critics Associations press tour.
The actors in the TV-show imitates real life. This is the updated cover of Evan Wrights book.
IN THE FIELD:
Real soldiers, described in Evan Wrights book «Generation Kill».
Alexander and James Ransone (“Ray-Ray” Person)
SOURCE: Dagbladet (TACK J!)
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