Alexander Skarsgard has given his first post-Season 6 interview to Metro UK.
Unfortunately for the fans who are hanging on to analyse every little snippet they can get about Eric Northman’s Season 7 fate, it looks like Alex is going to be a big Swedish tease and not give anything away. His only comment was….
‘We don’t know what will happen in the future,’
The rest of the interview is pretty standard stuff, and the interviewer doesn’t ask about any upcoming or future projects.
I’m by the phone waiting for Alexander Skarsgård to call, feeling like some lovelorn Bridget Jones. At least I’m not alone. I Tweet: ‘What question would you most like to ask True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgård?’ Male or female, the answer is identical and instant: ‘Will he marry me?’
Voted Sweden’s sexiest man five times running, the 6ft 4in 36-year-old actor is in hot demand from every corner of the globe.
No wonder, when my phone finally rings, he’s out of breath. ‘Are you working out?’ I ask, imagining him pumping iron in an LA gym. ‘Ha, ha, quite the opposite!’ he guffaws heartily. ‘I’m back in Sweden, walking home after an intense German meal with German Beer and about three kilos of German pork. I am kind of struggling.’
It’s an appropriately carnivorous repast for the actor who portrays Eric, the 1,000-year-old Viking vampire hero of HBO’s hit series True Blood. Series six recently ended with Skarsgård full frontal naked (yes, you see it) before he dramatically bursts into flames – a climax guaranteed to leave Eric fans slavering for more.
However, Skarsgård’s six-year contract is now at an end. ‘We don’t know what will happen in the future,’ is his only, tantalising response.
True Blood reportedly earned Skarsgård a cool $275,000 (£177,000) per episode, allowing him time and money to pursue random projects of his choosing, be it snogging Lady Gaga in her video for Paparazzi or low-budget independent projects such as his latest film, What Maisie Knew.
In this affecting divorce drama, Skarsgård becomes the younger husband of Julianne Moore’s ageing rock chick and finds himself playing stepfather to Maisie, her neglected six-year-old daughter.
Skarsgård’s own parents divorced late and ‘amiably’ but, as the eldest of six siblings, he shared something of Maisie’s rock’n’roll upbringing. ‘My dad is an actor [Mamma Mia! star Stellan Skarsgård] and we had this bohemian home filled with a community of actors, poets and writers. There was always lots of people and wine and… other things around. I loved it.’
Even when your dad reportedly walked around naked, swigging wine in front of your high-school girlfriends? ‘I am proud of him for doing that,’ Skasgård insists fondly. ‘I love him for how crazy and wild he was – still is.’
What Maisie Knew also stars Steve Coogan – much to Skarsgård’s excitement. ‘I shouted ‘Dan! Dan! Dan! [an Alan Partridge catchphrase] when I saw him. I was definitely not cool.’
Skarsgård became an Alan Partridge acolyte while studying English at Leeds Metropolitan University. Here, a 21-year-old Alexander Johan Hjalmar Skarsgård spent less time cramming grammar than necking pints on the infamous Otley Run pub crawl. And his heavy Swedish accent almost cost him the lead role of US marine Brad Colbert in Generation Kill, the Emmy-Award-winning HBO mini series that made his Hollywood name.
Since then he’s embraced a crazy diversity of genres from big silly action blockbuster (the much-panned Battleship) to highbrow Euro art house (Melancholia), with one omission: romcoms. ‘I had a small part in Zoolander [as a male model] that was my first job after my stage work and I would love to do another comedy.’
Does he ever hate being handsome, I wonder? Is it a handicap in creative terms? ‘It could be, I guess, because you could get pigeonholed and vanity can be a creative suicide. When you read a script, you imagine the character, and if your vision of him is not handsome, you can’t not do it because you are worried you are not going to be considered sexy if you play it that way. That is just very important to me.’
Needless to say, Skarsgård is constantly ‘linked’ to his leading ladies from Kate Bosworth (Straw Dogs – they dated for two years) to Ellen Page (The East – ‘just good friends’), much to his exasperation. ‘If you have lunch with any girl friend – and I mean just a platonic friend – there’ll be a story like you’re in a serious relationship or whatever. There’s nothing you can do about that – so I try not to let it affect me.’
He wasn’t always so sanguine. Aged 13, he shot to early childhood fame in Sweden as the star of a TV show called The Dog That Smiled but soon quit showbiz.
‘I wasn’t comfortable with the media attention, with people knowing so much about me,’ he explains. It’s why he’s not on Twitter – ‘I try so hard to keep something in my life private.’ Instead, Skarsgård groupies are most likely to hunt him down in the wilds.
‘Work is so intense and hectic that, to recharge, I like adventures completely disconnected from everything – where you don’t have phones or email,’ he says. ‘Last year, I sailed across Europe and recently I went on a week-long hike up some Swedish glaciers with a friend.’ A ‘friend’, eh? Time for that all-important question.
So, are you currently single? ‘Yes,’ he says, to a collective sigh of relief from Twitter. What you waiting for? Get those hiking boots on and go get him.
This could be a one off little interview or hopefully Alex will be doing a few more over the coming weeks, and someone, somewhere, might be able to prise a little more useful information out of him. But I’m not holding my breath on him giving too much away about True Blood. A cliff-hanger is meant to be a cliff-hanger after all!