It’s no secret that Eric Northman, played by Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgård, is our favorite bloodsucking nightwalker on HBO’s addictive series, True Blood. Besides his piercing blue eyes, Viking-esque bone structure, and abs that could cut glass, Eric has more game than Magic Mike. Lucky for us mortals who need help in the flirting department, Skarsgård and Calvin Klein have teamed up to give us a fragrance we can fully stand behind: ENCOUNTER Calvin Klein. The campaign for the new cologne stars Skarsgård in a series of ads that are just as sensual as the scent itself. With brilliant creative director Fabien Baron and leading lady/supermodel Lara Stone thrown into the mix, this may be the biggest men’s campaign for Calvin since Marky Mark dropped his drawers.
We sat down with Skarsgård at the Greenwich Hotel in NYC to find out if his alter ego Eric would wear the seductive scent, what his Euro-pop guilty pleasure is, and all the shows he’s addicted to this season. Ladies, you’ll be surprised to find out the sexiest thing about the actor is his choice in television programming…Now, who’s ready for a one-on-one encounter with A-Skars?
You don’t strike us as a big grooming guy. Why did you decide to be part of the ENCOUNTER Calvin Klein Campaign?
“It was a combination of a couple of things. This is my first campaign. There has been a couple of opportunities before, where it just hasn’t felt right. With Calvin just being such a great house, I was honored. They’ve never worked with an actor before on a fragrance, so I was very flattered that they asked me. Creatively, it was a team I have worked with before, including Fabien Baron, who is, in my opinion, one of the greatest [art directors] of the past couple of decades — he’s done all the CK campaigns for 20-25 years. Obviously he’s got Interview magazine and I did something with them two years ago. Steven Klein shot that. I don’t know if you’ve seen it but it’s kind of dark, it’s out there. I’m on a bed with a leather glove and a baseball bat. It’s pretty wild, pretty crazy. We had a really fun weekend together shooting that. They’re so cool those guys, both creative and fun.
Alexander Skarsgard doesn’t know where the rumors about him playing Christian Grey started, but he’s not doing anything to squash them.
The Swedish actor, best known as a vampire on HBO’s True Blood vampire, is among the Hollywood hunks suggested to star in the film adaptation of “50 Shades of Grey,” the first of three S&M-themed books that women flocked to read on Kindles this summer.
Fueling the buzz is a new short film Skarsgard did as the face of Calvin Klein’s new fragrance for men, Encounter. The two-minute video was shot in a dark, film-noir-type style. It opens with Skarsgard driving through a rain storm to a house on a cliff. As waves crash below, he makes his way to the all-glass top floor, where longtime CK model Lara Stone awaits. The clip cuts just as they are about to kiss. “Alexander Skargard (sic) should totally play Christian Grey!!!” reads the top comment on the video’s YouTube post, with 34 “likes.”
Skarsgard did press interviews for the new fragrance in a two-story loft at swanky the Greenwich Hotel. Clad in all black, the tall actor lounged on a white sofa and, knowingly or not, played the part of the dominating-but-charming-yet-removed fictional Christian Grey. (When this reporter went to smell the fragrance from the bottle on the table in front of him, he thrust his wrist up as an alternative.)
The blonde-haired, blue-eyed actor shared his fragrance-wearing philosophy, mused about his True Blood alter ego and played coy about “50 Shades.”
Why did you want to be a part of the fragrance?
It’s my first kind of campaign. This felt like the right one because of a combination of things. First of all, Calvin is a great house. I was very flattered. Creatively, it felt interesting. I worked with [French art director and director of the short film] Fabien Baron, who is arguably one of the greatest art directors of our time and he’s behind all of their legendary campaigns. I’ve also worked with Lara Stone. Peter Lindbergh shot us two years ago together for Vogue and she is so great—so great—so much fun to work with and laid back and no ego, just very cool girl.
The part of article for GQ Style Australia was released including some pictures of session by Steven Pan. Check out:
“This was supposed to be my day off.”
That’s Alexander Skarsgård speaking. And while we respect his need to unplug, it’s hard to sympathise with the guy given that he’s staring at himself in the mirror as a gorgeous woman massages his bronzed arms with moisturiser. Things could be worse.
This is kind of what Skarsgård’s life is like these days — mostly work, a little bit of play. In the last month (in no particular order) he’s been named the face of Encounter, Calvin Klein’s latest cologne that’s available here October 28, wrapped production on the fifth season of True Blood, taken a 13-hour flight to Sweden to visit family — for the weekend — and prepped for his next project, Hidden, a thriller set almost entirely in an underground bunker. If Hollywood’s welcomed him with open arms and thick pay-cheques it’s for good reason. Skarsgård, 36, is that rare thing: a walking Ken doll with the chops to impress art-house directors like Lars von Trier, but also the Alpha Male presence needed to float action flicks like Battleship (for the record, more watchable than you’ve heard).
Excitement levels are so high that at a recent appearance at Comic-Con, the annual confab for sci-fi geeks held in southern California, presidential-grade security measures were needed to protect Skarsgård and the rest of his undead cast. “There was a motorcade from the hotel in through the garage and up into the building,” he says. Some 5000 fans waited inside. What did it sound like when he stepped out on that stage?
“Deafening,” says Skarsgård, smiling.
And to think there was a time when he didn’t want this life.
In a roundabout way, Alexander Skarsgård was born into the business. The son of Stellan Skarsgård, the noted Swedish actor (great in everything from Mamma Mia! to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), he was Hollywood by way of south Stockholm. “Most of my dad’s friends were actors, directors, artists, musicians,” he says, and he was raised in a bohemian paradise of late nights, exceptional food and adult conversation. “It was artistic and lovely,” he adds. At age 13, one of those friends cast him in a home-grown TV production, The Dog That Smiles, which made Skarsgård an overnight star. The experience of being recognised on the streets was curious, if also deeply unsettling, and sent him running in the opposite direction. It would be seven years before he stepped in front of a camera again, choosing instead to shave his head and enlist in the Swedish navy.
Source: GQ Australia
Magazine Scans > 2012 > GQ Style Australia, Septeber’s issue
Photoshoots > 2012 > Steven Pan for GQ Style Australia