But Alexander Skarsgård, shy? Hardly. True Blood’s breakout opens up to Mickey Rapkin about life, love, and letting it all hang out (it runs in the family, apparently).
In the past year, Alexander Skarsgård has been linked to a racy film adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey, a Tarzan reboot, and the actress Charlize Theron. All appear to be rumors, but when you’re a 6’4″ Swede famous for playing the 1,000-year-old, slightly demented yet nurturing vampire Eric Northman on HBO’s hit series True Blood, people expect you to run around in a loincloth and have a sex dungeon. But Skarsgård, son of Mamma Mia!’s Stellan Skarsgård, has a simpler story: After a brush with fame as a child actor, he ran the other way, enlisting in Sweden’s Marine Corps and working in intelligence. Still, a leopard can’t change its spots—or whatever the equivalent Swedish expression is—and Skarsgård eventually invaded Hollywood, stealing scene after scene from under his costars’ fangs. (He became an attention magnet offscreen, too, thanks to his two-year romance with Kate Bosworth.) This month, Skarsgård, 36, reminds us he’s more than eye candy, with Disconnect, a serious—and seriously good—drama about the ways in which technology can make us feel even lonelier.
ELLE: Who was your childhood crush?
Alexander Skarsgård: I saw Tootsie with Jessica Lange when I was eight or nine. I remember feeling something in my stomach. [Laughs] I didn’t know what it was, but I wanted to watch that movie over and over again.