‘HOL­LY­WOOD CHANGED ME’ Alexan­der Skars­gård talks fam­ily and fame

The Swedish ac­tor turned Hol­ly­wood star talks fam­ily, ca­reer and his fa­mous fa­ther How is your ca­reer go­ing? I just wrapped up film­ing Big Lit­tle Lies Sea­son 2, so I am tak­ing a lit­tle break for at least a cou­ple of days. These last years have been very

WHO - - Contents - By Jenny Cooney Carillo

B efore mak­ing a name for him­self as one of the most sought-af­ter Hol­ly­wood stars, Swedish-born Alexan­der Skars­gård had been a house­hold name in Swe­den as lead ac­tor in the series Hun­den som log ( The Dog that Smiled). Af­ter quit­ting act­ing for seven years, en­list­ing in the mil­i­tary, then study­ing English for six months at uni­ver­sity, Skars­gård en­rolled to study theatre and reignited his love for act­ing. Now, he stars in the new drama minis­eries The Lit­tle Drum­mer Girl fol­low­ing his suc­cess in Big Lit­tle Lies.

You re­cently bought a place in Swe­den. Are you plan­ning to move back?

I still live in New York but I’m cur­rently free­lanc­ing and jump­ing from one project to the next, so [my brother] Bill and I are both just float­ing around. At one point, nei­ther of us had a place and we just lived out of a suit­case for two years. I def­i­nitely feel a stronger de­sire to spend more time in Swe­den but I am very

What was your dad [Stel­lan Skars­gård] like as a par­ent when you were grow­ing up?

My fa­ther has al­ways taken a very kind of ‘ hands off’ ap­proach to his kids and their choices in life, pro­fes­sional and pri­vate. He is very in­cred­i­bly lov­ing and sup­port­ive and we know he is al­ways there for us no mat­ter what.

Did your dad push you to be­come an ac­tor?

I think he is happy when his kids are happy and it doesn’t mat­ter what we do for a liv­ing or how much money we make or how suc­cess­ful we are, as long as his kids are de­cent hu­man be­ings and they wake up happy, then he is happy.

Was there ever any sib­ling ri­valry with your brothers when it came to act­ing?

I don’t think I have ever had a sit­u­a­tion where me and my brothers, or any of them, were up for the same role. So no, I haven’t felt any of that.

How do you feel Hol­ly­wood has changed you?

Well when it comes to the in­dus­try, I don’t think I am cyn­i­cal to­day, but I do think I am bet­ter at de­tect­ing if there’s an ul­te­rior mo­tive or if some­one is pitch­ing some­thing when they ap­proach me. I’m now able to tell if there’s more to the story than what some­one is telling me. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it ma­nip­u­la­tion, but there are def­i­nitely ul­te­rior mo­tives at play.

Do you try to go back to Swe­den when you can?

I left Swe­den 15 years ago and I go back all the time. I’ve been work­ing so much in Europe so it’s quite easy to fly home for a week­end if I have a cou­ple of days off. I haven’t moved in to my new place yet and I don’t in­tend [to move in for good], but my roots are there and my fam­ily is there so it’s nice to have some­thing more per­ma­nent for when I do go back. Hope­fully I will be able to spend more time there in the fu­ture.

“[Bill and I] just lived out of a suit­case for two years”

In 2016, Skars­gård fea­tured in The Leg­end of Tarzan along­side Mar­got Rob­bie. The pair are pic­tured here at the SAG awards in Jan­uary. Skars­gård says Big Lit­tle Lies Sea­son 2 has “a slightly dif­fer­ent tone.”

Skars­gård’s brothers are also ac­tors. L-R: Gustaf, Bill and Alexan­der (and not pic­tured Val­ter, Sam, who is now a doc­tor, and sis­ter Eija, a model).

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