Alexander Skarsgård has had a lot of meaty roles in the past - from his portrayal of Iceman Colbert in the HBO miniseries Generation Kill, up to the role that really cemented his name in Hollywood: Eric Northman in True Blood. Skarsgård is widely known as 'Eric Northman', as well as for a being a 'Swedish Sex God', and of course, our new Tarzan — but he's also taken on many roles that even the most committed Trubies may have overlooked.
His portfolio of films are highly varied and diverse; they show his range as an actor, and he improves a lot with each performance. He has also had plenty of varied roles in movies from his home country Sweden, but this list focuses on some of his underrated performances in the States. Skarsgård is also an indie darling, so there are only a handful of major blockbusters here.
5. What Maisie Knew (2012)
Usually, Alexander Skarsgård plays troubled characters, and this one is no different. But his chemistry with his young co-star Onata Aprile was undeniably heartwarming. Skarsgård played Lincoln, Julianne Moore's boyfriend in the film who stood as a father-figure to Maisie and was more hands-on than both of Maisie's (separated) parents. The bond he shared with Maisie was the heart of this film; this is one of Skarsgård's characters I wouldn't mind seeing again.
4. The East (2013)
In The East, Skarsgård plays Benji, the charismatic leader of the underground activist, anarchist, and ecologist group The East. They work to undermine corporate and even government projects (calling them "jam"), to expose their corruption and inhumanity. Skarsgård really projects the personality and persuasive skills of an effective cult leader, eventually converting Brit Marling's character, Jane/Sarah to support The East's cause.
3. Hidden (2015)
Hidden is a very under-the-radar horror/thriller film. The story is compelling, and the dialogue is on-point. The only problem at times was the dodgy lighting- but considering most of it happened in the bunkers where Ray (Skarsgård), his wife (Andrea Riseborough) and their kid live, it's forgivable. The family lives in a the small shelter underground for 301 days believing that they might be the only ones left on Earth. As long as they remain calm, all will be well. ASkars has a very concise way of acting. The way he lost himself during the final part of the film is definitely miles away from how painstakingly calm his character was throughout most of the film, and this transition is fascinating to watch.
2. The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015)
Skarsgård is an indie darling, isn't he? His character in The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Monroe, is someone you should really hate- yet you find yourself sympathizing with him. He's an adult who should certainly know the difference between right and wrong, and he takes advantage of the fickle emotions of his girlfriend's teenage daughter. But then again, there are moments in which Monroe and Minnie are just like two teenagers in love. Speaking to Harper's Bazaar, he revealed that playing this multi-dimensional character is quite a challenge to portray:
That was the challenge, and I was really intrigued by that: How do you make him, if not likable, then at least approachable or interesting?
This is how you know that ASkars is a brilliant actor; one movie you drool over him, and then in the next, you'd like to slap his character in the face!
1. Straw Dogs (2011)
For me, A-Skars's stand-out performance was portraying Charlie Venner in the 2011 remake of Straw Dogs. If you've been a longtime fan of Skarsgard and have been watching his Stateside projects outside of True Blood, you know he's a master in playing ruthless characters — but his portrayal of Charlie Venner was unreal. Even his then-girlfriend Kate Bosworth said this about the infamous rape scene:
'I told Alex not to worry about me, to just go for it,' she recalled in an interview with BlackBook magazine in the U.S.
'I said, "I need you to lose yourself in this moment".
And it was actually violent. He's a huge guy. When he was ripping off my clothes in front of a room filled with men, even though I knew it was make-believe, it was still incredibly violating and terrifying.
'The panic you see flooding me in that rape scene is real.'
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A-Skars has had quite an impressive filmography. Even though he's starred in a few blockbuster flops (hello,Battleship), and almost always plays a supporting role, he always manages to make a scene his own, make you care about his character, and capture our attention.
As such, the Swedish actor's new film will be a treat. The upcoming movie is called War on Everyone, and it looks fun and exciting. It's the first time we'll ever see him in a comedy film other than Zoolander, and it's buddy-cop comedy, no less! Watch the trailer below:
We'll toast an orange mocha frappuccino for your health and more projects, Alexander Skarsgård!
What's your favorite Alexander Skarsgård movie?