Alexander Skarsgård

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Alexander Skarsgård
Alexander Skarsgard by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Skarsgård at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International
Born Alexander Johan Hjalmar Skarsgård
(1976-08-25) August 25, 1976 (age 45)
Stockholm, Sweden
Residence Los Angeles, California, US
Occupation Actor, director
Years active 1984–present
Parent(s) Stellan Skarsgård
My Skarsgård
Relatives Bill Skarsgård (brother)
Gustaf Skarsgård (brother)
Valter Skarsgård (brother)

Alexander Johan Hjalmar Skarsgård (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈskɑːʂɡoːɖ]; born August 25, 1976) is a Swedish actor. He is best known for his roles as vampire Eric Northman on the HBO series True Blood, Meekus in Zoolander and Brad Colbert in the HBO miniseries Generation Kill. He is the son of Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård.

Skarsgård has been cast as Tarzan in the upcoming film The Legend of Tarzan, to be released in 2016.

Early life

Skarsgård was born in Stockholm, Sweden. He is the oldest son of actor Stellan Skarsgård and his first wife, My, a physician. He has five younger siblings: Gustaf, Sam, Bill, Eija and Valter, and two half-brothers, Ossian[1][2] and Kolbjörn. Gustaf, Bill, and Valter are also actors.[1]

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 thirteen. Uncomfortable with being recognized, he quit acting for the next seven years.[3][4][5]

At age 19, he applied to do his national service. He served in the Swedish military for 18 months, in a unit that dealt with anti-sabotage and anti-terrorism in the Stockholm archipelago.[6] After completing his service in 1996 he left Sweden and attended Leeds Beckett University in England for six months. He enrolled to study English but admits he did not study much and "had a blast" instead.[1][4]

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.[1][7]


Upon his return to Sweden, Skarsgård began picking up acting jobs, working in film, television and theatrical productions.[1] While on vacation in the United States, he auditioned for and landed the role of Meekus in the 2001 film Zoolander.[8] In 2003, his work in Hundtricket-the Movie (The Dog Trick) earned him an Guldbagge Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.[9] He was named the Sexiest Man in Sweden five times.[3]

He moved to Los Angeles in 2004 but continued to work in Sweden.[10] His break came when he was cast as Sergeant Brad "Iceman" Colbert in the critically acclaimed 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. The part of Brad Colbert was the closest to a "lead" in Generation Kill, and 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 part 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.[1][3] [11]

Skarsgård at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival

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.[3][12] True Blood launched its seventh and final season in June 2014.

In 2009, Skarsgård appeared in the music video for pop singer Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi".[12] He was the voice of Stefan in the 2009 animated film Metropia, directed by Tarik Saleh.[4] In 2010, Skarsgård portrayed Terje, a gay Norwegian trekking to the North Pole, in the British mockumentary Beyond the Pole.[13]

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.[14][15] He covered the September 2010 issue of Rolling Stone with his True Blood co-stars, Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer.[16]

Skarsgård appeared in two 2011 films. 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.[17][18] Skarsgård 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[6] and was released September 16, 2011.

In 2012, Skarsgård appeared alongside Taylor Kitsch and Rihanna in Peter Berg's Battleship, an adaptation of the Hasbro game.[19] 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.[20] He was also part of the ensemble cast in Henry Alex Rubin's thriller, Disconnect, playing opposite Paula Patton.[21]

Skarsgård starred alongside Brit Marling and Ellen Page in Zal Batmanglij's 2013 film, The East.[22] Skarsgård will star in the upcoming film The Legend of Tarzan portraying the title character opposite Margot Robbie as Jane.[23]

Personal life

Skarsgård is a fan of Swedish football and supports Hammarby IF, a club based in Stockholm, his birth city.[24] In October 2010, he participated in "Bajen Aid" by donating several items he had autographed and auctioning them off to raise money for the Hammarby football club.[25] In July 2011, Skarsgård received an honorary degree from Leeds Metropolitan University where he was formerly a student.[26]

Skarsgård was the US 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 ("The Wire" 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. Alongside Prince Harry, West and several wounded soldiers, he successfully made it to the South Pole on December 13, 2013.


Year Title Role Notes
1984 Åke and His World Kalle Nubb
1989 The Dog That Smiled Jojjo
1999 Happy End Bamse Viktorsson
2000 The Dog Trick Micke Remade as Hundtricket: The Movie in 2002
2000 The Diver Ingmar
2000 White Water Fury Anders
2000 Wings of Glass Johan
2001 Kites Over Helsinki Robin Åström
2001 Zoolander Meekus
2004 Heartbeat The pilot
2005 Double Shift Nisse
2005 The Last Drop Lt. Jergen Voller
2005 Om Sara Kalle Öberg
2006 Never Be Mine Christopher
2006 Kill Your Darlings Geert
2006 Score Micke
2006 Exit Fabian von Klerking
2007 Järnets änglar Stefan
2009 Metropia Stefan Voice
2009 Beyond the Pole Terje
2010 Trust Me Alex Also known as Puss in Sweden
2010 13 Jack
2011 Straw Dogs Charlie Venner
2011 Melancholia Michael
2012 Battleship Commander Stone Hopper
2012 What Maisie Knew Lincoln
2013 Disconnect Derek
2013 The East Benji
2014 The Giver Jonas' father
2015 Hidden Ray Post-production
2015 The Diary of a Teenage Girl Monroe
2015 War on Everyone Terry Monroe filming
2016 The Legend of Tarzan Tarzan Post-production
Year Title Role Notes
1987 Idag röd Fred
1999 Vita lögner Marcus Englund 10 episodes
2000 D-dag Lise's stepson Released as a movie in 2001
2000 Judith Ante Lindström
2005 Revelations Gunnar Eklind
2006 Cuppen Micke
2007 Golden Brown Eyes Boogey Knights singer
2008 Generation Kill Sgt. Brad 'Iceman' Colbert
2008–14 True Blood Eric Northman
2013 Eastbound & Down Adult Toby Powers One episode
As a director
Year Title Notes
2003 To Kill a Child Co-directing with Björne Larson
Music videos
Year Role Video title Artist
2009 Boyfriend Paparazzi Lady Gaga
2013 Cult leader Free Your Mind Cut Copy

Awards and nominations

Year Award Work Category Result
2003 Odense International Film Festival To Kill a Child Grand Prix Won[9]
2003 Odense International Film Festival To Kill a Child Press Award Won[9]
2003 Guldbagge Awards Hundtricket - The Movie Best Supporting Actor Nominated[9]
2009 Scream Award True Blood Best Villain Won[27]
2009 Satellite Awards True Blood Best Television Ensemble Won[28]
2010 Screen Actors Guild Awards True Blood Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated[29]
2010 Saturn Award True Blood Best Supporting Actor in Television Nominated
2010 NewNowNext Awards True Blood Brink of Fame: Actor Nominated
2010 Scream Award True Blood Best Television Performance Nominated
2010 Scream Award True Blood Best Horror Actor Won
2011 Teen Choice Awards True Blood Choice Vampire Nominated
2011 Scream Award True Blood Best Horror Actor Won
2011 Scream Award True Blood Best Ensemble Won
2012 Robert Award Melancholia Best Supporting Actor (Årets mandlige birolle) Nominated
2012 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Straw Dogs Best Supporting Actor Nominated


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Harvey, Chris."Alexander Skarsgard interview: True Blood lust", The Telegraph, August 12, 2010. Retrieved May 4, 2011.
  2. Sundholm, Magnus. Jag hinner inte ens käka, Nöjes Bladet, July 26, 2009. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Raymond, Joan. "Alexander Skarsgard Is a Neck Man", Newsweek, September 11, 2009. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Hillis, Aaron. "Alexander Skarsgard Gets Animated", IFC, May 12, 2010. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
  5. "Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood) Interview". Last Broadcast. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Martin, Brett. "Here Comes the Viking", GQ, June 2011.
  7. "Alexander Skarsgård", Bizarre. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
  8. Mohney, Chris. "The New Carnivore: Alexander Skarsgård", BlackBook, December 18, 2009. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 "Awards for Alexander Skarsgård". Internet Movie Database., Inc. 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Wilson, Benji. "Alexander Skarsgård on starring in both Generation Kill and True Blood: interview", The Telegraph, October 2, 2009.
  11. Robinson, John. "Calling the Shots on Generation Kill" The Guardian, October 2, 2009. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Daum, Meghan. "The Men of True Blood", Details, May 2010.
  13. Elley, Derek. "Film Reviews: Beyond the Pole", Variety, January 10, 2010.
  14. Smith, Ray A. "Do Men Want Boxy or Bold?", The Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2010. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  15. Millar, Jamie."Alexander Skarsgård exclusive!",, September 29, 2010. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
  16. Everett, Cristina. "True Blood stars Alexander Skarsgård, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer get bloody nude for Rolling Stone", NY Daily News, August 17, 2010. Retrieved May 5, 2011.
  17. Eriksen, Lars. "Melancholia? With Lars Von Trier at the helm, don't doubt it",, July 29, 2010. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
  18. Chang, Justin. Debruge, Peter. "Tree of Life wins Palme d'Or", Variety, May 22, 2011.
  19. Benigno, Anthony. "Rihanna to make movie debut in 'Battleship' opposite Alexander Skarsgård, Taylor Kitsch", Daily News, July 27, 2010. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
  20. Kemp, Stuart. "'True Blood's Alexander Skarsgard Sinks Teeth Into 'What Maisie Knew'", The Hollywood Reporter, May 11, 2011. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
  21. "Disconnect", The Hollywood Reporter, Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  22. Kilday, Gregg. "Brit Marling's 'The East' to Close SXSW Film Festival", The Hollywood Reporter, February 13, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  23. "'Tarzan' to Swing Into Theaters July 1, 2016". Variety. 2014-02-11. Retrieved February 11, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Canales, Andrea. "Canales Daily: Keeping The Faith In The Feeders". Retrieved June 11, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "Bajen Aid-auktionen : Ännu större succè", October 3, 2010. Retrieved June 11, 2011.
  26. "Leeds Metropolitan University: Degree honour for True Blood actor Skarsgard", Yorkshire Evening Post, July 20, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
  27. "TV Scream 2009 Award Winners Announced" Retrieved on 2009-10-18.
  28. "2009 14th Annual SATELLITE AWARDS" Retrieved on 2009-12-20.
  29. "16th ANNUAL SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS" Retrieved on 2010-01-23.

External links