9 Fun Facts About True Blood Breakout Alexander Skarsgård
If we've learned anything from Lost and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it's that the blond bad boy always comes out ahead in a genre love triangle. Perhaps, then, it shouldn't be a surprise that Alexander Skarsgård popped this summer as True Blood's insinuating (but crucially restyled) vampire sheriff Eric Northman; to judge from the fan worship thrown his way online and at Comic-Con, I'm sure that Sookie's not the only one fantasizing about him.
Good thing that Movieline's a font of Skars-knowledge! Here are nine facts that should help you appreciate this 33-year-old Swedish "newcomer" even more:
1. In his first U.S. role, he played one of the ill-fated male model roommates in Zoolander. For the denizens of ONTD, who love Skarsgård and (in equal measure) making animated .gifs with heads pasted over the Zoolander "Jitterbug" sequence, the discovery was mindblowing: A True Blood "Jitterbug" .gif could be made that Skarsgård was already in!
2. He is the son of actor Stellan Skarsgård, who you may remember as the professor from Good Will Hunting. (No doubt, he'd rather you remember him from that than for his role as one of the potential fathers from Mamma Mia!)
3. Skarsgård rocketed to Swedish stardom at age 13 with his role as "Jojjo" in Hunden som log (The Dog Who Smiled). What's it about? Take it away, IMDb commenter Pamela from Malmö, Sweden: "[It] is about this boy Jojjo and his friends a blond male sexmaniac and a girl called Peggy. They travel town...goes to school sometimes, entertain themselves by switching mail between mailboxes and just chill. Jojjo's dog is getting old and one day bites Jojjo that gets really sad. This is quite hard to explain been a while since I saw it and it hasn't been on TV for a while." Sounds amazing!
4. Perhaps you've YouTubed his (surprisingly SFW) shower scene with two other men in the Swedish film Hundtricket? Incoming vampire queen Evan Rachel Wood certainly has! "I am not going to lie," she told E! when asked. "Yes I have."
5. Skarsgård was heavily tipped to be in the running for the title role in Marvel's Thor, and met several times with director Kenneth Branagh and Marvel head Kevin Feige, even going so far as to try on the costume for a screen test. Sadly, the role went to Chris Hemsworth. MTV reporter Larry Carroll recently told Skarsgård he was surprised by the outcome, as he thought Skarsgård had the perfect look for Thor; the Swede responded simply, "So did I."
6. Still, at least we can all agree that Skarsgård had the perfect look to play a suicidal trannie in the straight-to-DVD film Kill Your Darlings (at right).
7. Skarsgård's U.S. career began to take off when he developed a relationship with HBO during the 2008 miniseries Generation Kill, where he played Iraq War sergeant Brad 'Iceman' Colbert. The network added him as a recurring character almost halfway into True Blood's first season, then upped him to a regular for season two.
8. Don't be fooled if you hear Skarsgård talking in a Southern accent (as he did during the True Blood panel at Comic-Con). He's just prepping for his role in Rod Lurie's upcoming Straw Dogs remake, where he plays a Southern jock who has a past with James Marsden's wife, Kate Bosworth.
9. When Skarsgård moved to New York to study acting, he rented a room from a 55-year-old Filipino fashion designer named René. (Who hasn't!) "Once when I got home and sat down to study he told me I looked tense and he wanted to give me a massage," Skarsgård recalled once. "I just couldn't stop laughing. He knew I was straight, but he was trying again and again. I told him: 'René, please. I will not suck your dick, you know this.'"