movies and the actor’s career

As there was a surplus of joy in the first encounters in the post-pandemic presence, perhaps even a different awareness; the fact is that it is immediately empathy. Alexander Skarsgård is Swedish and certainly Jante’s law has something to do with it, that code of conduct that strongly conditions Scandinavians with teachings such as “You are not a special being, even if you are successful in Hollywood”. She smiles from the height of her 198 centimeters and it must not be easy to put a partner next to him in the films, will it be because when she finds an actress over six feet like Nicole Kidman he holds her tight? «In fact … The truth is that we have been friends since the days of Big little lies“.

He is a very football fan and comments on the recent common misfortunes: “It is more difficult for you to digest the elimination from the World Cup, you are the European champions, we did not have high expectations”. 45 years old, Stellan’s son, lives between Stockholm and New York. He is the protagonist of one of the most anticipated films of the season, The Northman, directed by Robert Eggers who co-wrote it with the Icelandic poet Sjón Sigurdsson (in the cast also Anya Taylor-Joy, Ethan Hawke and Kidman, in fact, in the hall from 21 April). Set in the 10th century AD, it is the raw, harsh, epic story of a kind of Viking avenger, Prince Amleth (the legend that also inspired Shakespeare) who witnesses the assassination of his father by his uncle, safe and returns as an adult to avenge him. An ambitious project of which “Alex” is also a producer: «It was all much more rewarding and exciting than usual because I was involved from the beginning». It is the Viking film he has dreamed of making for about ten years, the mythological universe that fascinated him as a child.

the northman

courtesy Universal

A demanding role, even physically. Do you train regularly?

But no, as you can see, I’m already half of what I was in the film.

The personal trainer is the same as Tarzan, in fact in the film he has back muscles that I didn’t even know existed.

Yes, Magnus Lygdback, who also followed me in the diet. We started five months before shooting, I had to gain weight and muscle mass, I trained every day and ate five meals, my Viking prince is half bear and half wolf, I had to remember a bear in physique and posture, in the way he walked animalistic. Five days before the pandemic hit northern Italy we were in Ireland, ready to shoot, it was March 2020. We wondered what to do for a couple of days then we closed everything and I went back to Stockholm where I continued to train because not we knew how long we would have to wait. It’s been five months.

It is a very violent story.

We wanted it to be authentic … I dreamed of a great Viking film that had the breath of the saga and a dry essence, hard, essential dialogue. I had never seen anything like it and I was talking about it with one of the producers when I saw it The Witch. Bob (Robert Eggers) had been able to recreate a world with such meticulousness that he felt like you were in it. We met and I discovered that he knew and loved Viking mythology … The choice to shoot it with only one camera and many sequence shots goes in that direction and gives fluidity to the story even if it was tiring, especially in the fighting scenes: some we had to repeat them 25 times because a badly thrown punch is enough and everything has to be redone; I think it was worth it, with a few cuts the effect is more realistic and immersive.

the northman

courtesy Universal

It is a story of revenge but the pitch of the film could be “we are victims of male testosterone and women with wit and intelligence try to repair the damage”. What does he say?

Yes, also of male stubbornness, but it is important to understand Amleth’s dilemma. In Viking mythology it is the Narnes who weave the destiny of men, he cannot escape what is written. The interesting thing is that these three female deities are the most important creatures in the universe, they control the destiny of men, have a connection with the spirit of the world and decode its messages. Those big big men believed they had a feminine spirit within them to guide them. Nicole Kidman’s character decides her story, manipulates her husband, and Olga (Anya Taylor-Joy) plays an equally important role.

What does he tell me about his feminine side?

I proudly define myself as a feminist, being born in Sweden is a privilege, it is one of the most egalitarian states in the world, it encourages men to take paternity leave by breaking the “she at home with the children out to earn” pattern. I have lived between the United States and Sweden for 20 years and every time I come home I notice the differences, as long as I walk past a playground. In Stockholm, at least half of adults with small children are dads, in New York the majority are mothers. In Los Angeles only female babysitters.

How did Nicole Kidman take the move from his wife (in the series Big little lies where Skarsgard played the abusive husband) to his mother?

As soon as I read Bob and Sjón’s script I immediately thought of her and I’m glad she said yes, it was great to work together again. We bonded much later Big little lies. It was such a dark story that it required a lot of trust between the two of us. It was a great opportunity to be able to represent the complexity of domestic abuse, for once I was not the usual husband who watches football and drinks beer on the sofa but a man who the minute before is violent and the next is super fascinating, because violence maid is devious and has a thousand shades, which is why it is often difficult to report, everyone likes my character, he knows how to be sweet, he is a very good dad, sex with his wife is fantastic and she questions herself: “I’ll be in some complicit way? “. Often these are narcissistic personalities and it has been a privilege to be able to explore the complexity of this social drama which unfortunately is always topical.

focus features and universal pictures presents the uk special screening of

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She is an adventurous type: trekking to the South Pole, crossing the Atlantic on a sailing boat. Your idea of ​​an ideal holiday?

I like being in an environment that I don’t know. Being a very habitual person, every now and then I have to force myself to get out of the routine which is always a bit the same, in Stockholm and New York. And I find it exciting to break the habit of contrasts, Greenland or the South Pole. I hiked all the locations we used in the film in Iceland, one of my best friends is Icelandic, I go back often. It’s nice to be in Rome but every now and then I need to turn off my mobile for a few days, explore the unknown and feel at the mercy of the elements.

What did you learn from your father?

To work with great seriousness and commitment and not to take the whole outline of our profession too seriously, to laugh about it. I appreciate that he has stood by, that he has never interfered once, he has neither encouraged nor hindered me.

You also joined the Navy at some point, why?

I started acting as a child and in early adolescence I was more and more uncomfortable, because people recognized me, told me “So follow in dad’s footsteps”. I quit and held on stubbornly for a few years, fluctuating between one thing and another; I enlisted and even considered Architecture at university. Then I remembered something: as a child I was happy when I acted, my refusal had nothing to do with the work itself. So I went to New York to study theater and made peace with this profession, but I wanted to do it alone and find my way without asking my father for help. And he has always been neutral: “I want you to be happy, I respect your choices, if you want to travel the world for a year, do it”, he said to me. He’s not someone who gives unsolicited advice, but if you need to, you know where to find it: in his kitchen, at the stove, next to a good glass of red wine. That’s where we have our best chats.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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