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It takes a certain kind of jeu d'esprit, and physical agility, at 6'4" to sit cross-legged in an armchair, but the Swedish actor is delightfully goofier than you might expect of Eric Northman, the 1000-year-old Viking vampire that catapulted Skarsgard to instant superstardom as the lead in the cult hit Meekus (you remember him: Ben Stiller's model roommate who dies in a freak gasoline fight accident), arguably his big rentrée into the performance world after quitting his child acting career, and a central role on the more upmarket HBO miniseries Since turning 1000, it's been one critical success after the next for the 39-year-old actor, who is now dating model Alexa Chung. HB: How often do people say, "Earth to Meekus" to you? I'd just started acting in Sweden, and his agent basically said, like, "Do you want to try, do you want to go to an audition?
Most recently, he seduces his girlfriend's 15-year-old daughter in the '70s-set, , whose August premiere was the talk of the town when Skarsgard showed up in drag. " I was like, "Well, that'd be a fun story to tell the boys back home." I'd never auditioned out there before, I didn't have any reference points, I didn't know what it was like, so I walk into a room, and there's Ben Stiller. AS: It was really weird, because when I came back to Hollywood three years later or something, after doing theater in Sweden, I was expecting it to be super easy to get a job.
But Jonas is a dear friend of mine, and I was in LA.
He was like, "So the plan is you try to kill her, and then she comes back and poisons you, and you die," and I was like, "Oh! "HB: In your latest movie, AS: That was the challenge, and I was really intrigued by that: How do you make him, if not likable, then at least approachable or interesting? I've been based in the states for twelve or thirteen years, but my family is still in Stockholm, so I try to go back there as often as I can.
"'In two minutes, look at this emotional rollercoaster we're taking the audience on.
But then it hit me, like, "Oh shit, it's quite competitive out here."HB: Did your father's acting career play a role in any acting ambitions or hesitations? [Laughs]HB: You acted as a child and then took time off. And then I was trying to figure out what to do and was worthless at everything, so I was like, "All right, I'll try acting again."HB: Another one-off that you became quite known for was your appearance in Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" music video.
It's to label him as the predatory bad guy and hate him for the duration of the movie, but dramatically that's not going to be an interesting film. HB: When you started for HBO and loved working with them. Pretty soon, we're going to go out to the islands outside of Stockholm and hang out and cook food and drink wine.
If you don't feel anything, it's just annoying to watch nineteen scenes of these characters together. AS: Well, I can't express how much admiration I have for women in general, who walk around in high heels, but, drag queens, oh my god. HB: When you're not in drag, do you get fashion advice from Alexa, or is your look all you? I was excited about the people behind it, but at the same time, you never know. HB: In 2016, you play Tarzan alongside Margot Robbie's Jane.
It sounded like so much fun, and I got so excited, and I felt like, well how can I be part of the fun? " and they were like, "Probably not, but we'll try." HB: So that was supposed to be a Farrah Fawcett wig?
I don't want to be excluded—can I also come in drag?