The gallery has been updated with HQ screencaptures of Alexander Skarsgard in the 5th episode of “Sucession” called “Kill List”. Take a look and enjoy!
The gallery has been updated with HQ screencaptures of Alexander Skarsgard in the second episode of “Sucession” called “Rehearsal”. Take a look and enjoy!
The actor talks about his new film, the explicit sci-fi horror Infinity Pool, why he gave up acting for eight years – and why he likes playing darker, more twisted characters
Alexander Skarsgård is an embarrassing creep who tries to coerce women into partying naked with him in hotel suites. Or so it would seem from the version of himself that he played last year in Donald Glover’s comedy Atlanta. “I’m not saying that I dance around in a leopard-print thong in front of girls I don’t know,” he says. “But I’m also not saying that I don’t. That kind of thing works really well when there’s a kernel of truth in it.”
This twinkling, teasing playfulness represents the default setting of the 46-year-old actor. His natural self-deprecation is what makes it so startling when he turns up on screen as another of the brutes and bastards that have become his speciality over the years. There was the violently abusive husband in the HBO series Big Little Lies and the violently abusive cop in War on Everyone; a racist in Passing and a rapist in the Straw Dogs remake, as well as a sad, moustachioed sleazeball who sleeps with his partner’s underage daughter in The Diary of a Teenage Girl. Eric, the vampire he played across all seven series of True Blood, was an absolute catch by comparison.
It could even be argued that Skarsgård looks lost or vague in those roles that don’t supply some darkness to temper his natural sheen. He was ferocious as a mud-caked proto-Hamlet in Robert Eggers’s wild Viking epic The Northman, but as the yodelling vine-swinger in The Legend of Tarzan, there was none of the usual depth present behind his beauty. Whereas his character in the new satirical horror Infinity Pool – directed by Brandon Cronenberg, son of David – is up to his disbelieving eyes in vanity, amorality and rancid privilege.
Skarsgård plays a novelist called James living off the wealth of his wife, Em (Cleopatra Coleman), and struggling to write a second book six years after his debut. In search of inspiration, he and Em visit a luxurious resort in an unnamed country. What begins as a taunting comedy about the awfulness of the 1% veers off into extremity when the couple fall in with the hedonistic Gabi (Mia Goth) and her partner, Alban (Jalil Lespert). All it takes for the impressionable James to be hooked by these reprobates is a few compliments from Gabi followed by a sex act shown in graphic detail. “My job is so hard,” the actor says with a smirk.
Infinity Pool review – a holiday turns hellish in full-on thriller
Cronenberg and Skarsgård are both the sons of talented men. (Skarsgård’s father is Stellan Skarsgård who, like him, is part of the Lars von Trier Cinematic Universe.) Director and actor also have a certain placid temperament in common. “There’s a politeness to Canadians and Swedes,” says Skarsgård. “But it’s all just a fucking facade. Deep down we’re animals. We’re just very good at concealing it.” He gestures at me. “Brits too. It’s all down there, though. You can just open the tap and let it out. That’s what this movie does.”
Even as the film descends into gruesome horror, Skarsgård remains committed to the idea of his character as a show pony with delusions of being a stallion. “James is arm candy. His wife buys him all these expensive clothes. The two of them look like something out of a travel brochure: the perfect couple on vacation. And he’s trying to play that part while wanting also to be this serious author. But he’s not a Charles Bukowski, he’s not tormented and twisted. He isn’t in touch with the darker side of his personality.”
That changes when James finds himself facing the death penalty after accidentally killing a local farmer. He is assured by the police that there is a way out: for a hefty price, a clone of him can be created to take the fall on his behalf. This is no dumb beast, however; the sacrificial lamb will possess all his memories and feelings. It will, in effect, be indistinguishable from him. In a film featuring explicit sex and violence, there is still nothing quite as unnerving as the moment James encounters his own double as it wakes with a shocked gasp in a vat of red goo.
“The film company gave me a prosthetic of the clone’s face with all that goo round it,” he says, shaking his head. “It’s incredibly disturbing. What am I meant to do with it? Should I just hang it on the wall? Put it in the fridge?” He decided to go down the practical joke route. “When I have guests over, I’ll hide it in different places around the house.”
Would he take the clone option himself, I wonder? “One hundred per cent! I don’t blame James for going to the ATM. But it opens up other questions. If the clone retains all his memories, then how will he ever know that he is not the clone? Maybe they’re killing the real James. That fascinated me, and I love that there’s no answer in the movie. To throw another wrench in the works: maybe James has even been to the island already. Maybe he’s done this sort of thing before.”
These questions of authenticity, dilution and duplication are especially intriguing for an actor who proposed that twisted alternate version of himself in Atlanta, and who claims to suffer even now from impostor syndrome. Had you been present in 2008 on the set of Generation Kill, the HBO Iraq war mini-series written by the creators of The Wire and shot in Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa, you might have noticed him sitting off to one side between takes, quietly totting up figures with a pen and paper. “It was my first big job,” he explains. “I was so convinced they were going to fire me that I started calculating the cost of recasting the role once they realised I wasn’t good enough. A month or two in, I was still convinced that every time the phone rang, it was my agent saying: ‘Pack your bags, you’re not cutting it.’ It was only when we’d done some big battle scenes that I knew it would be too expensive to replace me.”
It wasn’t as if he has a history of flunking, though there was the job in the Stockholm bakery that he was sacked from at the age of 16. “We were dipping little biscuits in chocolate for six hours a day in a basement and that was the only thing we got to do,” he says pleadingly, as though mounting the case for his defence. “When you get chocolate on your fingers, it’s tempting to put little stains on your buddy’s white robes. That turned into a bit of a food fight.” He smiles bashfully. Chocolate wouldn’t melt in his mouth.
A few years earlier, he had abandoned a childhood acting career after feeling freaked out by all the attention he received. “When people recognised me, or I thought they did, it made me very uncomfortable. I also believed everything I heard about who I was. Most people at 13 have no idea who they are. I was going from a boy to a man, which is a crazy transformation anyway, but to do it while being in the spotlight was not healthy. That’s why I didn’t work for eight years.” What could he learn now as an actor from his younger self? “There was a lot of joy,” he says. “That makes me sound bitter now! But there was something innocent and lovely and wide-eyed. It’s worth remembering that it can still be a big silly game.”
His continuing appetite for comedy bears this out. He was a riot in the opening episode of On Becoming a God in Central Florida, where he played a dope who gets involved with a pyramid scheme before being eaten by an alligator. (His on-screen wife was Kirsten Dunst. For further proof that their marriages never end well, see Von Trier’s apocalyptic Melancholia.) He also goofs around gloriously in the new season of Documentary Now!, in which he stars as a Werner Herzog-esque director shooting an epic in the Urals while simultaneously showrunning a US network comedy pilot called Bachelor Nanny. “I’ve met Herzog a few times over the years, but I don’t know if he’s seen this yet,” he says, slightly sheepishly. “I’m curious to hear what he thinks.”
It was in fact comedy that tempted Skarsgård back to acting again after all those years away. He was on holiday in Los Angeles in the early 00s when his father’s agent suggested he try out for an audition. Six weeks later, he was pootling around New York in the back of a Jeep with Ben Stiller, pouting away happily as gormless Swedish model Meekus in Zoolander. Getting that job was such a breeze that he was crestfallen to be knocked back repeatedly in other Hollywood auditions. He returned to Sweden to continue acting; another six years elapsed before Generation Kill kickstarted his US career.
These days, he seems somehow both ubiquitous and judicious. He is getting ready to make his directorial debut with The Pack, in which he and Florence Pugh star as documentary makers in Alaska. And he will return this month in the fourth and final season of Succession, which reportedly places even greater emphasis on Skarsgård’s character, the tech bro Lukas Matsson. Another bad boy of sorts.
“Quite a few of the projects I’ve chosen deal with the juxtaposition of someone trying to function in modern society while also dealing with that atavistic primal question of who he is deep down and what happens when that flares up and can’t be suppressed any longer,” he says. “It’s incredibly cathartic to play those roles. Maybe because I’m quite mellow in my disposition. These darker, more twisted characters give me an opportunity to howl that primal scream and let it out, which I rarely do in everyday life.”
James in Infinity Pool has his head turned by the tiniest compliment; Skarsgård knows that, for all his own protestations about refusing to read what is written about him, he is just as susceptible to praise. “I really don’t read reviews,” he says. “That said, it’s so nice when people enjoy your work enough to come say something or take a photo. I’d prefer that to the alternative, which is crawling around in the mud for seven months and giving it everything and then it’s just … crickets. I like people appreciating what I’ve done. I’m a vain motherfucker!”
Infinity Pool is released on 24 March. The new series of Succession is on Sky Atlantic and NOW on 27 March.
Lukas Matsson is trying to seal the deal in final episodes of the Emmy-winning show.
“And the Emmy goes to…?” We’ll know the answer to that on Sept. 18, but this week EW’s The Awardist is kicking off its coverage of the 2023 Emmys with an exclusive look at five returning and new series that will debut over the next two months — shows and actors that hope to be nominees when those are announced on July 12.
At the end of Succession season 3, Alexander Skarsgård’s tech mogul Lukas Matsson looked set to buy Waystar Royco, the media conglomerate ruled by Brian Cox’s old-school business titan Logan Roy. That was bad news for Logan’s brood of scheming children, played by Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin, and Alan Ruck, but good news for Skarsgård as it guaranteed the guesting cast member would return for season 4 of the Jesse Armstrong-created series, which premieres March 26 on HBO.
“I was a big, big fan of the show,” Skarsgård tells EW for our Awardist preview, explaining how he initially got involved with Succession. “When they first reached out, I think the plan was for it to be maybe two, three episodes. But then, obviously, with how it all ended, there was an opportunity to bring Matsson back.”
So what can audiences, and the Roy clan, expect from Skarsgård’s mercurial billionaire this year?
“Once he focuses on a task he is almost unstoppable and it’s almost like a fun challenge to him to see if he can do this, if he can pull it off,” says the actor. “He has to figure out a way to work the different members of the family and the different members of the board.”
The Swedish Skarsgård was pleased to welcome cast members to Scandinavia for an episode that involved filming in Norway.
“We shot up in the fjords, up in the mountains — it was spectacularly beautiful,” he says. “It’s a company retreat, basically, an opportunity for relaxation but also hard negotiations about how to move forward. Obviously, my character’s Swedish, but it’s a neighboring country, and it was quite fun to get out of New York and shoot something on kind of Matsson’s turf.”
Skarsgård made his Succession debut on last season’s “Too Much Birthday” episode which found Strong’s Kendall Roy throwing an dementedly expensive and extravagant party in New York.
“I remember the first day, one of my first lines was, Jeremy asks if I want anything and I say ‘Privacy, p—y, pasta,'” says Skarsgård of the episode, which garnered three Primetime Emmy nominations. “I think that’s a terrific line, and that kind of sets the tone, and gives you so much information on who Matsson is. It was very exciting to get thrown into that party, because it was so over the top, but also most of the other actors were there, and it was a great opportunity to get to meet to know everyone.”
“Too Much Birthday” also featured the sight of Matsson taking up Roman Roys’s suggestion that the tech giant urinate on the latter’s phone. Skarsgård confirms that the pair’s frenemy-ship will continue in the new season.
“Kieran’s extraordinarily fun to work with,” says the actor. “He’s a very lovely, sweet guy, and he plays that role phenomenally. He’s like a little terrier. He comes at you with a lot of energy in those scenes, and it makes it very easy, because there’s so much to play off of when you’re working with Kieran.”
In February, Armstrong told The New Yorker that the fourth season of Succession would be the last. Skarsgård is unsurprised that the show’s creator is drawing a close to the show, despite Succession having won the Best Drama Emmy, for the second time, just last year.
“I always felt that Jesse will end this when he feels it’s the right time to end it,” says the actor. “I was never worried that this was going to be a case where they do one or two seasons too many. I don’t think that’s worthy of Succession. I’m so honored to have been a small part of it.”
The gallery has been updated with the screencaptures from Alexander Skarsgard in “Infinity Pool” (2023).
While staying at an isolated island resort, James (Alexander Skarsgård) and Em (Cleopatra Coleman) are enjoying a perfect vacation of pristine beaches, exceptional staff, and soaking up the sun. But guided by the seductive and mysterious Gabi (Mia Goth), they venture outside the resort grounds and find themselves in a culture filled with violence, hedonism, and untold horror. A tragic accident leaves them facing a zero tolerance policy for crime: either you’ll be executed, or, if you’re rich enough to afford it, you can watch yourself die instead.
Alexander Skarsgard is stepping into the director’s chair for The Pack, and here are the first details.
Alexander Skarsgard has steadily been carving out quite the career in front of the camera. From starring in terrific indie films like The East and What Maisie Knew to big budget epics like The Legend Of Tarzan and The Northman, he’s clearly an actor who doesn’t like to be complacent when it comes to picking scripts.
This brings us to The Pack, a thriller which “follows a group of documentarians who brave the remote wilderness of Alaska in an effort to save a nearly extinct species of wolves. When the crew is brought back together at a prestigious awards ceremony, tensions flare as a deadly truth threatens to unravel their work. The team lived through the harsh elements of the wild but will a secret they share survive the night?”.
Skarsgard will star in the film alongside Florence Pugh, and he’s also taking the jump behind the camera as well. He’s set to direct from a screenplay by Rose Gilroy, whose upcoming film Project Artemis was sold to Apple for north of $100 million.
The Pack will begin filming in March 2023, we’ll keep you updated as we hear more.
Good news for Skarsgård-heads: You’ll see a lot more of Alexander Skarsgård’s character—tech mogul Lukas Matsson—in season four of the HBO familial drama Succession. In a new interview, series producer Scott Ferguson divulges a few details about the expansion of Skarsgård’s character and the Roy’s trip to Norway.
“Last season we had an important new character and a new storyline—a potential merger with Alexander Skarsgård’s tech company,” Ferguson tells Variety.
Matsson was first introduced in season three, as the founder of GoJo who seeks out a merger with Waystar-Royco. As Logan Roy (Brian Cox) closes in on a deal with Matsson, the family’s going to take a little trip to immerse themselves in his world.
“We were really excited when Alexander came onboard—he’s a wonderful actor,” Ferguson continues. “And from the beginning, [Jesse Armstrong’s] idea was that the tech company was going to be led by someone from a Scandinavian country. In the writer’s room, around February, Jesse had an idea for an episode they wanted to be in [Matsson’s] part of the world.”
While the third season took the Roy family to the locales of Tuscany, in the fourth we’ll see them venture through Norwegian destinations such as the Atlantic Ocean Road, the Romsdalen Gondola, and the Juvet Landscape Hotel (as seen in Alex Garland’s Ex-Machina).
“When we saw images of the remarkable architecture and setting of Juvet we got really excited,” Ferguson says. “Norway is a glorious, natural setting. It immediately seemed like a perfect place for a family gathering in the series. We studied different countries, but we realized Norway just has this exceptional landscape—like nowhere else in the world.”
There’s no word on when we can expect the new season of Succession, but series stars such as Skarsgård, Sarah Snook, and Nicholas Braun are currently filming in the Scandinavian country.
Alexander Skarsgård, Nicholas Braun, French actor Liliane Rovère and others have joined the cast for Season 53 of “Documentary Now!,” IFC announced Friday. The channel also released a first look teaser as well as final details for two new episodes to round out the season.
Known for paying homage to the world of documentaries, “Documentary Now!” Season 53 will debut with on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 10 p.m. on IFC and on AMC+ the same day. New episodes will debut weekly on Wednesdays.
The two-part season premiere episode “Soldier of Illusion,” written by John Mulaney and starring Skarsgård, Braun and August Diehl, was inspired by the Werner Herzog-focused documentary “Burden of Dreams.” Set in the early 1980s, the episode follows a visionary German filmmaker (Skarsgård) as he tries to will his magnum opus into existence while working in the remote, punishing conditions of the Russian Ular mountains. Kevin Bishop, Gana Bayarsaikhan, Matthias Rimpler, and Fred Armisen will also star, with “Documentary Now!” ensemble alumni Deb Hiett returning as narrator.
“Trouver Frisson,” which pays tribute to the films of Agnes Varda, stars Rovère and Ronald Guttman. Inspired by Varda’s “Gleaners and I” and “Beaches of Agnes,” the episode features Rovère as a celebrated French filmmaker named Ida Leos as she searches for why she no longer experiences “frisson” – the goosebumps that have always been her guide. Written by series producers Matt Pacult and Tamsin Rawady and co-directed by Micah Gardner, the episode also stars “Documentary Now!” alumni Gary Kraus.
The two newly announced installments join previously announced episodes “Two Hairdressers in Bagglyport,” “How They Threw Rocks” and “My Monkey Grifter.” The upcoming season of the acclaimed comedy — co-created by Armisen, Bill Hader, Seth Meyers and Rhys Thomas — is executive produced by Lorne Michaels and produced by Broadway Video.
Added new screen captures of Alexander Skarsgard in “Atlanta”. Check them out!
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