Alexander Johan Hjalmar Skarsgård
6′ 4″ (1.93 m)
Sweden may not have a large population but it has gifted the world with bounty of astonishing directors and actors. Greta Garbo, Ingmar Bergman, Max von Sydow and Ingrid Bergman are just the tip of the iceberg of Nordic actors and filmmakers who have enchanted and engaged cinemaphiles across the globe: Alexander Johan Hjalmar Skarsgård is poised to join their ranks. As the eldest son of famed actor Stellan Skarsgård, the handsome actor/director comes by his talent honestly; however, Alexander did not grow up in the glitzy world of international cinema.
For most of Alexander’s formative years, his father was an acclaimed actor both on stage, TV and in movies but had not yet achieved the international fame that came after his star turn in Breaking the Waves (1996). Young Alexander was raised under modest circumstances in a working-class Swedish neighborhood as his parents wanted their children to have as normal an upbringing as possible. He began his acting career at the age of eight and continued working in films and on Swedish television until he turned sixteen and decided acting was not the career for him. Life under a microscope lost its charm and perhaps due to the influence of My Skarsgård, his physician mother, he stopped working as an actor to continue his education.
Alexander was a bit of a rebel as a teen and instead of continuing college, at the age of nineteen he enlisted in the military. He used the time to contemplate his future. He studied at the Leeds Metropolitan University then moved to New York where he enrolled at Marymount Manhattan College to study theatre. After six months in New York, a romantic entanglement lured him back to Sweden but the relationship was short lived. Despite having a broken heart, Alexander decided to stay in Sweden and with a bit of life experience under his belt, began his acting career again. He appeared in a number of Swedish productions and became a star in his native country but was interested in broadening his horizons and working outside of Sweden. A visit to Los Angeles landed him both an agent and a part in the Ben Stiller movie, Zoolander (2001). After Zoolander (2001) Alexander returned to Sweden where he continued honing his acting in film and theatrical productions including “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “Bloody Wedding”. He also co-wrote and co-directed an award winning short, Att döda ett barn (2003),(To Kill a Child) which was shown at both the Tribeca and Cannes Film Festivals; unfortunately, stardom in Sweden doesn’t bring international recognition and Skarsgård found himself flying back and forth to Los Angeles, auditioning for roles that he had no real interest in.
Finally, parts in two different HBO series came his way. His first big break was with the miniseries “Generation Kill” (2008). Alexander spent seven months broiling in the desert of Namibia but it was well worth it. His portrayal of Marine Sgt. Brad “Iceman” Colbert astonished critics and audiences alike. Thanks to the writer’s strike, after completing “Generation Kill” (2008), he was cast in the role of Eric Northman, a 1,000-year-old Viking vampire on the hit series, “True Blood” (2008). The series was created by Alan Ball, the man behind “Six Feet Under” (2001). “True Blood” (2008) was adapted from the “Sookie Stackhouse” novels by Charlaine Harris and rode to success on quality scripts, great acting and the public’s obsession with the vampire genre. In addition to “True Blood” (2008), which begins its third season in 2010, Alexander has a number of film projects in the works including the remake of Straw Dogs (2011) in which he co-stars with James Marsden, Kate Bosworth and James Woods. There is no doubt with Alexander’s rising popularity and amazing talent, we will be seeing great things from him in the future.
“Skarsbrow”, i.e. he habitually lifts his left eyebrow quizzically.
Magnetic blue green eyes.
Voted the sexiest man in Sweden in 1999
Five times voted the sexiest man in Sweden.
His mother is a doctor.
He lives in an apartment in Stockholm, Sweden near his parents.
Supports the Stockholm based football club Hammarby IF
His favorite movie is Duck Soup (1933).
Favorite actor is Gary Oldman.
Not comfortable with being a celebrity at such an early age, Alexander decided to quit acting. During almost eight years he turned down every offer he got. Instead he studied Political Science, did his Military service in the Marines and intended to study at an school of architecture in Stockholm. But in 1997 his longing for acting grew too strong and he enrolled at Marymount Theatre School in New York City.
Yeah. First of all, sex and violence are always something that attracts an audience, and vampire stories usually have a lot of both. And, vampires symbolize consistency and something that’s permanent, in a world where everything is constantly changing — humans, animals, nature and even mountains will change over time. To have something that will just stand the test of time is attractive. Eric has been around for a thousand years, and he hasn’t changed one bit. That intrigues people. What makes good drama is that people are intrigued by that and drawn towards it, but at the same time, that comfort they feel in something that is consistent, is also lethal and can kill them in a second. That creates a good platform for drama. — on why people are attracted to vampires and the whole sub-genre in general
I enjoy everything. Every single part of it is great — just going to work, every day, and working on this show. It’s HBO and it’s Alan Ball. Just look at the cast, and the writing is phenomenal. I couldn’t ask for a better job. I’m so happy to have the job. And, it was challenging, definitely in the beginning, when I was trying to find the character. I was reading the books and trying to figure out who this guy was, and also trying to find that balance of making him likable, but menacing. I wanted people to be intimidated by him, but intrigued, at the same time — on what is the most enjoyable and the most challenging aspects of working on “True Blood” (2008).
Where Are They Now
(March 2008) Joined the cast of “True Blood” (2008), Alan Ball‘s new vampire drama series for HBO, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The series, based on the Southern Vampire book series by Charlaine Harris, centers on the love story between a vampire, Bill (‘Stephen Moyer’), and Sookie (Anna Paquin), a waitress who can read people’s minds.