Alexander Skarsgård: I didn’t want to be an actor
Alexander Skarsgård had no plans to return to acting after quitting as a teenager.
The Swedish actor is best known for his role in HBO vampire series True Blood. Before he made his name on the show, he was famous in his homeland for a TV film he made when he was 13 - but the attention he received made him quit acting all together.
“As a teenager I didn't want to be an actor at all. I desperately tried to find other things to do, but I kind of ran out of options,” he laughed to the US edition of Harper’s Bazaar. “I was 13, and I did a movie that got attention, and I got attention, and I didn't like it - it made me uncomfortable - so I just quit. And then I was trying to figure out what to do and was worthless at everything, so I was like, ‘Alright, I'll try acting again.’”
The 39-year-old star got his first break in Hollywood with a small role in cult Ben Stiller movie Zoolander in 2001. However, the way he landed the part gave him a false impression of what it takes to get work in tinsel town.
“My dad, who's an actor, was working in Hollywood, and I was visiting him. 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?’” he recalled. “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. Two weeks later I'm in Manhattan driving down Broadway singing Wham! in a Jeep.”
It wasn’t until Alexander returned to the US a few years later after doing some theatre work in Sweden that he realised how lucky he had been.
“It was really weird, because when I came back to Hollywood three years later or something, I was expecting it to be super easy to get a job,” he laughed. “You know, you just walk in in flip flops, meet Ben Stiller, read a couple of lines, and then you fly to New York. But then it hit me, like, ‘Oh sh*t, it's quite competitive out here.’”
- Cover Media