Alexander Skarsgard Video Interview On 'True Blood,' Acting In The Nude
He's the hottest vampire on HBO's hit True Blood, the #1 series on cable. Sweden's (eight-time!) Sexiest Man Alive Alexander Skarsgard answers your questions in our exclusive Uinterview video. Skarsgard, who previously appeared on HBO’s acclaimed series Generation Kill, loves his role as Eric, the understated, wicked vampire. Nonetheless, Skarsgard feels that his character is often misunderstood and trivialized. “And one thing, sometimes people want Eric to be the bad guy, like, 'Oh so you're the evil vampire,' and I don't think so — I don't think that's the case. I think it's more complicated than that,” Skarsgard told Uinterview exclusively.
The Swedish actor expressed his admiration for director Alan Ball, the writer/director, who before working on True Blood worked on another HBO series, Six Feet Under. It was Ball’s dedication and intelligence, according to Skarsgard, that led to the show’s success. “Sometimes people are in the business for other reasons or work on specific projects for other reasons, but Alan loves this project so much and all the characters, so he's so devoted and very hands-on,” remarked Skarsgard.
True Blood is known for an abundance of sex and violence - it’s on HBO, after all - but this fact never really caused Skarsgard much worry. “I'm Scandinavian, damn it. We love to be naked! Actually, it was kind of liberating because I've done movies before where people come with contracts — 20 pages of 'if you show this nipple from this angle, but not that one' and 'two seconds of this.' I did not grow up in that kind of movie climate and it's quite different in Sweden I don't mind it all. Nudity is great!” exclaims Skarsgard.
Hear more of what Skarsgard has to say in our interview exclusively conducted with questions by members of Uinterview.com.
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- Q: Hi, Alexander. This is Jenny from Sacramento, California. You play the role of Eric in a very understated way. Why is that? And what's the one thing that people don't understand about your character? -Jenny, Sacramento, California - Uinterview User
- A: All right, Jenny, I play the role of Eric kind of low key because he's very confident and he doesn't have to be loud. Loudness is just loudness; it's not power. And he knows what he wants and how to get it, so he doesn't have to raise his voice. That's why he's very focused, plus I believe in that kind of acting in general. I think that too much in gestures and too much loudness would just dilute the part the way water does to good wine. And one thing, sometimes people want Eric to be the bad guy, like "Oh, so you're the evil vampire," and I don't think so -- I don't think that's the case. I think it's more complicated than that. In general I don't believe in good versus evil. I think people are more complicated than that.
- Q: My second question is, you play a 1000-year old vampire in the series. Have you thought about what experiences that the vampire has gone through to bring him to this point in the series? - Jenny, Sacramento, California - Uinterview User
- A: So, yeah, Jenny. Eric was born 1000 years ago in Sweden. He was a Viking back then and obviously when I was doing research, there's a lot to play around with, and it's kind of fun as an actor. There's a lot of opportunities; he's been around for a millennium, so first we were kind of talking about him having a strong Scandinavian accent, but I didn't wanna go that way because I believe that since he's been around for so long he probably speaks 15 to 20 languages fluently. So he's a bit of an entrepreneur; he's been around the world and I believe that he's been in Louisiana for quite awhile, running different sorts of operations and businesses. But he definitely has lots of experience.
- Q: My last question is, creator Alan Ball is famous for 'Six Feet Under.' What is it like to work with him? Is there any advice that he's given to you about the role you play in the show? - Jenny, Sacramento, California - Uinterview User
- A: Well, Jenny, Alan is an amazing human being. He's very creative and super intelligent. And one thing that's great about this project and working on this project is that he's so dedicated; he loves it so much. And you would think that that's always the case when you work with people, but it really isn't. Sometimes people are in the business for other reasons or work on specific projects for other reasons, but Alan loves this project so much and all the characters, so he's so devoted and very hands-on. He's always around on set or not far away, so you can always talk to him and ask him about stuff. It's been a fun first season.
- Q: Hey Alex. This is Micah from Boston. The vampires on the show look very real. Do you share any common character traits with them? - Micah, Boston - Uinterview User
- A: Yeah, Micah, I think I do. I believe that I'm always myself, in a way, when I act and I believe that you have to -- it has to be born inside of you as an actor and I think that you, as a human being, you have all the elements of different characteristics, good and bad. So it's just a question of finding those and playing them, tuning them and also finding a level of what kind of circumstances you play and what your objectives are -- that's what's different about it. So, yeah, my answer's yeah, I basically play myself on the show. There are certain things that are easy that I don't have to dig hard to find in myself, like he's very stubborn, Eric, and I'm quite stubborn as well. Then there are the things you have to search harder to find, but I could never play anything that I can't find within myself.
- Q: My second question is, there's a lot of sex and violence on the show, and I was wondering what your feelings are regarding this and have there been any scenes where you've been hesitant in filming? And, finally, have there been any scenes that made you pause for a moment? - Uinterview User
- A: No, Micah, I did not hesitate at all. I'm Scandinavian, damn it. We love to be naked! Actually, it was kind of liberating because I've done movies before where people come with contracts -- 20 pages of 'if you show this nipple from this angle, but not that one' and 'two seconds of this.' I did not grow up in that kind of movie climate and it's quite different in Sweden. I don't mind it all. Nudity is great!
- Q: My last question is, what's the atmosphere like on the set? And what's the strangest thing that's happened to you during shooting? - Micah, Boston - Uinterview User
- A: Yeah, Micah, it's been fun. We're having a lot of fun working on True Blood. The cast is great. Lots of night shoots; it feels like summer camp sometimes. It's a good group of people. Some weird moments — the first time we used fangs was quite difficult because you're obviously supposed to be very, like, when you show your fangs it's supposed to be pretty menacing at that point. But it's hard because you can't really speak with those. It takes some time to practice that. So you don't really sound cool when you put them in. You sound like, 'I'm gonna thkill you.' My favorite scene was probably when we shot the tribunal because it felt like I was in a Michael Jackson video or something and that was fun.
- Q: Hi Alexander. This is Shalah from New Haven, Connecticut. With the success of 'True Blood' and 'Twilight' coming out, there seems to be a new fascination with vampires. Why do you think people are so obsessed with them? And do you have a favorite vampire portrayal? - Shalah, New Haven, Conn. - Uinterview User
- A: All right, Shalah, I think the reason that it's happening right now might be because over the last decade there's been tons of zombie movies out there, and maybe people are ready for something more sophisticated. And also I think it has to do with, you know, people are fascinated by immortality, and danger is attraction -- fatal attraction. And I think those are topics that scare people but also attract them.
- Q: My last question is, you've been voted Sweden's Sexiest Man many times. What's the experience like? Is it like being voted People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive? Do you find that you sometimes get typecast because of that? - Shalah, New Haven, Conn. - Uinterview User
- A: Yeah, Shalah, I guess it's kinda like People's Magazine and that kinda thing. And yeah it's kind of complicated because of course it's flattering, but the downside is, when the first time it happened suddenly I got all these scripts where you just play the hunk, the good looking guy, the love interest. And I wanted to -- it's important for me not to be typecast or to end up playing the same character over and over again. That was a bit of a problem a couple of years ago in Sweden, or 7 or 8 years ago I would say. But I made sure that I turned those jobs down and found projects that were more character driven I guess, to show that I could play other things than just like the love interest or something like that.
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