Skarsgård in 2016
Alexander Johan Hjalmar Skarsgård
25 August 1976
Alexander Johan Hjalmar Skarsgård (Swedish: [alɛkˈsǎnːdɛr ˈskɑ̌ːʂɡoːɖ] (listen); born 25 August 1976) is a Swedish actor. He played Brad "Iceman" Colbert in the miniseries Generation Kill (2008) and Eric Northman in the television series True Blood (2008–2014). His role as Perry Wright in the television series Big Little Lies (2017–2019) earned him several accolades, including a Primetime Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. He has also appeared in the films Melancholia (2011) and The Legend of Tarzan (2016).
Alexander Johan Hjalmar Skarsgård was born on 25 August 1976, in Stockholm, Sweden. He is the eldest son of actor Stellan Skarsgård and physician My Skarsgård. He has five younger siblings: Gustaf, Sam, Bill, Eija and Valter, and two half-brothers from his father's second wife, Megan Everett. Gustaf, Bill and Valter are also actors.
A friend of his father, who was a director, gave Skarsgård his first film role when he was seven years old. He played Kalle Nubb in Åke och hans värld (Åke and His World). In 1989, the lead role in the Swedish television production Hunden som log (The Dog That Smiled) made him famous in Sweden at the age of 13. Uncomfortable with being recognized, he quit acting for the next seven years.
Skarsgård applied to perform his national service at age 19. He served in the Swedish military, specifically in the SäkJakt ("protect and hunt") unit that dealt with anti-sabotage and anti-terrorism in the Stockholm archipelago, for 18 months. After completing his service in 1996 he left Sweden and attended Leeds Metropolitan University in England for six months. He enrolled to study English but admits he did not study much and "had a blast" instead.
After seven years away from acting, he started to consider it again. In 1997, he enrolled in a theater course at Marymount Manhattan College and moved to New York City. He returned to Stockholm after six months, but the time he spent studying theater showed him that he wanted to act.
2001–2009: Career beginnings, Generation Kill and True Blood
Upon his return to Sweden, Skarsgård began picking up acting jobs, working in film, television and theatrical productions. While on vacation in the United States, he auditioned for and landed the role of Meekus in the 2001 film Zoolander. In 2003, his work in Hundtricket-the Movie (The Dog Trick) earned him an Guldbagge Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He was named the Sexiest Man in Sweden five times.
He moved to Los Angeles in 2004 but continued to work in Sweden. His break came when he was cast as Sergeant Brad "Iceman" Colbert in the HBO miniseries Generation Kill. An adaptation of journalist Evan Wright's book of the same name, Generation Kill follows the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion of the United States Marine Corps during the early part of the Iraq War. Director Susanna White and executive producer David Simon at first disagreed about casting Skarsgård; White wanted to cast him but Simon was not convinced he could pull off the American accent. After four auditions in three cities, Skarsgård learned the role was his just 36 hours before he had to board a plane for Namibia where the project was filming. The cast and crew filmed for seven months in the desert, shooting six days a week. Skarsgård worked with a dialect coach to master the American accent.
Just before leaving to shoot Generation Kill, Skarsgård heard about True Blood, a new series HBO was developing based on the Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris. At first he was unsure about playing a vampire, but when he learned that Alan Ball, creator of the HBO series Six Feet Under and Academy Award winning screenwriter of American Beauty, was behind the project, he sent in an audition tape. The audition was for the role of Bill Compton, which eventually went to Stephen Moyer. Skarsgård was later cast as Eric Northman, a 1000-year-old, Viking vampire sheriff, local bar owner and potential love interest of heroine Sookie Stackhouse in October 2007. True Blood concluded in August 2014.
In 2009, Skarsgård appeared in the music video for pop singer Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi". He was the voice of Stefan in the 2009 animated film Metropia, directed by Tarik Saleh. In 2010, Skarsgård portrayed Terje, a gay Norwegian trekking to the North Pole, in the British mockumentary Beyond the Pole.
2010–present: Film career and Big Little Lies
Suit maker Hickey Freeman chose Skarsgård to model a new look it debuted in 2010. Annie Leibovitz photographed the ad campaign which appeared in The Wall Street Journal Magazine, GQ and Details. He covered the September 2010 issue of Rolling Stone with his True Blood co-stars, Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer.
In 2011, Skarsgård starred in Melancholia, an apocalyptic movie directed by Lars von Trier and starring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kiefer Sutherland, premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. That same year, he appeared in Straw Dogs, a remake of the 1971 film of the same name, as Charlie Venner. The remake's director, Rod Lurie, transferred the small town setting from Cornwall to Mississippi and described Venner as "an ex-football star gone to seed". The film co-starred James Marsden and Kate Bosworth, and was released 16 September 2011.
In 2012, Skarsgård appeared alongside Taylor Kitsch and Rihanna in Peter Berg's Battleship, an adaptation of the Hasbro game. He also starred with Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan in Scott McGehee and David Siegel's film, What Maisie Knew, an adaptation of the Henry James novel of the same name. He was also part of the ensemble cast in Henry Alex Rubin's thriller, Disconnect, playing opposite Paula Patton.
Skarsgård starred alongside Brit Marling and Elliot Page in Zal Batmanglij's 2013 film, The East. Skarsgård starred in the 2016 film The Legend of Tarzan, portraying the title character, opposite Margot Robbie as Jane. Skarsgård worked out for 7 months to prepare for the role. From 2017 to 2019, he starred as Perry Wright, an abusive husband, in the drama series Big Little Lies. Skarsgård won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie in 2017 for his performance.
In 2019, he portrayed a sensitive German architect in The Aftermath, a film set in 1946 post-war Hamburg. Skarsgård will star in The Stand, a CBS All Access miniseries based on the 1978 novel of the same name by Stephen King, portraying Randall Flagg, a "charismatic rockabilly demon".
Skarsgård is a fan of Swedish football, and supports Hammarby Fotboll, a club based in Stockholm, his birth city. In October 2010, he participated in "Bajen Aid" by donating several items he had autographed and auctioned to raise money for the Hammarby football club.
Skarsgård was the Ambassador for the American team for a Walking With The Wounded fundraising event for wounded soldiers. He trekked to the South Pole against Team UK (Prince Harry, Ambassador) and Team Canada/Australia (actor Dominic West, Ambassador). A few days into the trek, it was decided that the competition part of the race would be cancelled due to hazardous terrain and weather conditions, so the teams combined forces and continued the journey together. All three teams successfully made it to the South Pole on 13 December 2013.
|1984||Åke and His World||Kalle Nubb|
|1989||The Dog That Smiled||Jojjo|
|1999||Happy End||Bamse Viktorsson|
|White Water Fury||Anders|
|Wings of Glass||Johan|
|2001||Kites Over Helsinki||Robin Åström|
|2002||The Dog Trick||Robinson-Micke|
|2003||To Kill a Child||N/A||Short film; co-directed with Björne Larson|
|2004||Heartbeat||The Pilot||Short film|
|Om Sara||Kalle Öberg|
|2006||The Last Drop||Lt. Jergen Voller|
|Never Be Mine||Christopher|
|Kill Your Darlings||Geert|
|Exit||Fabian von Klerking|
|Beyond the Pole||Terje|
|Moomins and the Comet Chase||Moomintroll (voice)|
|2011||Straw Dogs||Charlie Venner|
|2012||Battleship||Commander Stone Hopper|
|What Maisie Knew||Lincoln|
|2014||The Giver||Jonas' Father|
|The Diary of a Teenage Girl||Monroe Rutherford|
|War on Everyone||Terry Monroe|
|The Legend of Tarzan||Tarzan / John Clayton|
|The Hummingbird Project||Anton Zaleski|
|Hold the Dark||Vernon Sloane|
|2019||The Aftermath||Stefan Lubert|
|Long Shot||Prime Minister James Steward|
|The Kill Team||Sergeant Deeks|
|2021||Godzilla vs. Kong||Nathan Lind||Post-production|
|1987||Idag röd||Fred||Television film|
|1999||Vita lögner||Marcus Englund||10 episodes|
|2000||D-dag||Lise's Stepson||Television film|
|Judith||Ante Lindström||Episode: "Del 2"|
|2007||Golden Brown Eyes||Boogey Knights Singer||2 episodes|
|2008||Generation Kill||Brad "Iceman" Colbert||Miniseries; 7 episodes|
|2008–14||True Blood||Eric Northman||76 episodes|
|2013||Eastbound & Down||Adult Toby Powers||Episode: "Chapter 29"|
|2017, 2019||Big Little Lies||Perry Wright||Main role|
|2018||Drunk History||James Dunn||Episode: "Heroines"|
|The Little Drummer Girl||Gadi Becker||6 episodes|
|2019||On Becoming a God in Central Florida||Travis Stubbs||Episode: "The Stinker Thinker"|
|2020||The Stand||Randall Flagg||Main role|
|2013||"Free Your Mind"||Cult Leader||Cut Copy|
Awards and nominations
This section of a biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. (April 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
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- Elley, Derek. "Film Reviews: Beyond the Pole" Archived 8 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Variety, 10 January 2010.
- Smith, Ray A. "Do Men Want Boxy or Bold?" Archived 28 July 2018 at the Wayback Machine, The Wall Street Journal, 15 July 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
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- "'Blood' star Alexander Skarsgard shows true range in films". USA Today. Archived from the original on 26 June 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
- Eriksen, Lars. "Melancholia? With Lars Von Trier at the helm, don't doubt it" Archived 26 June 2017 at the Wayback Machine, guardian.co.uk, 29 July 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
- Chang, Justin. Debruge, Peter. "Tree of Life wins Palme d'Or" Archived 28 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Variety, 22 May 2011.
- Benigno, Anthony. "Rihanna to make movie debut in 'Battleship' opposite Alexander Skarsgård, Taylor Kitsch" Archived 27 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Daily News, 27 July 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
- Kemp, Stuart. "'True Blood's Alexander Skarsgard Sinks Teeth Into 'What Maisie Knew'" Archived 24 July 2019 at the Wayback Machine, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 May 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- "Disconnect" Archived 28 August 2017 at the Wayback Machine, The Hollywood Reporter, Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- Kilday, Gregg. "Brit Marling's 'The East' to Close SXSW Film Festival" Archived 5 April 2019 at the Wayback Machine, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 February 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- "'Tarzan' to Swing Into Theaters July 1, 2016". Variety. 11 February 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- Porreca, Brian (2 April 2017). "'Big Little Lies': Alexander Skarsgard Talks "Emotionally Draining" Domestic Violence Scenes". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
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- "Emmys 2017: Full List of Nominations". Variety. 13 July 2017. Archived from the original on 13 July 2017. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
- Nashawaty, Chris (14 March 2019). "Keira Knightley, Alexander Skarsgard in The Aftermath: Film review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
- Breznican, Anthony (20 May 2020). "Exclusive: Stephen King's The Stand Comes to Life Again". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on 22 May 2020. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
- Canales, Andrea. "Canales Daily: Keeping The Faith In The Feeders". goal.com. Archived from the original on 12 August 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
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- "Prince Harry and his Walking With The Wounded team reach South Pole". The Daily Telegraph. 13 December 2013. Archived from the original on 11 December 2019.
- "Prince Harry and mates reach South Pole". The Mercury News. 13 December 2013. Archived from the original on 11 December 2019. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
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- "TV Scream 2009 Award Winners Announced" Archived 3 January 2019 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 18 October 2009.
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- "16th ANNUAL SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS"[dead link] Retrieved on 23 January 2010.
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