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Alexander Johan Hjalmar Skarsgård (Swedish: [alɛkˈsanːdɛr ˈskɑːʂɡoːɖ] (About this soundlisten);[1] born 25 August 1976) is a Swedish actor. He is known for his roles as vampire Eric Northman on the HBO series True Blood, the title character in The Legend of Tarzan, Brad Colbert in the HBO miniseries Generation Kill, and Perry Wright in the HBO series Big Little Lies, for which he won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film.

Alexander Skarsgård
Alexander Skarsgard (29485267411) (cropped).jpg
Skarsgård in 2016
Alexander Johan Hjalmar Skarsgård

(1976-08-25) 25 August 1976 (age 43)
Stockholm, Sweden
ResidenceEast Village, Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Years active1984–present


Early lifeEdit

Alexander Skarsgård was born in Stockholm, Sweden. He is the eldest son of actor Stellan Skarsgård and his first wife, My Skarsgård, a physician.[2] He has five younger siblings: Gustaf, Sam, Bill, Eija and Valter, and two half-brothers from his father's second wife, Megan Everett.[3][4] Gustaf, Bill, and Valter are also actors.[3]

A friend of his father, who was a director, gave Skarsgård his first film role when he was seven years old. He played Kalle Nubb in Åke och hans värld (Åke and His World). In 1989, the lead role in the Swedish television production Hunden som log (The Dog That Smiled) made him famous in Sweden at the age of 13. Uncomfortable with being recognized, he quit acting for the next seven years.[5][6][7]

At age 19, he applied to do his national service. He served in the Swedish military for 18 months, in the SäkJakt ("protect and hunt") unit that dealt with anti-sabotage and anti-terrorism in the Stockholm archipelago.[8] After completing his service in 1996 he left Sweden and attended Leeds Beckett University in England for six months. He enrolled to study English but admits he did not study much and "had a blast" instead.[3][6]

After seven years away from acting, he started to consider it again. In 1997, he enrolled in a theater course at Marymount Manhattan College and moved to New York City. He returned to Stockholm after six months, but the time he spent studying theater showed him that he wanted to act.[3][9]


Upon his return to Sweden, Skarsgård began picking up acting jobs, working in film, television and theatrical productions.[3] While on vacation in the United States, he auditioned for and landed the role of Meekus in the 2001 film Zoolander.[10] In 2003, his work in Hundtricket-the Movie (The Dog Trick) earned him an Guldbagge Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He was named the Sexiest Man in Sweden five times.[5]

He moved to Los Angeles in 2004 but continued to work in Sweden.[11] His break came when he was cast as Sergeant Brad "Iceman" Colbert in the HBO miniseries Generation Kill. An adaptation of journalist Evan Wright's book of the same name, Generation Kill follows the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion of the United States Marine Corps during the early part of the Iraq War. The role of Brad Colbert was the closest to a "lead" in Generation Kill, and director Susanna White and executive producer David Simon at first disagreed about casting Skarsgård. White wanted to cast him but Simon was not convinced he could pull off the American accent. After four auditions in three cities, Skarsgård learned the role was his just 36 hours before he had to board a plane for Namibia where the project was filming. The cast and crew filmed for seven months in the desert, shooting six days a week. Skarsgård worked with a dialect coach to master the American accent.[3][5][12]

Skarsgård at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival

Just before leaving to shoot Generation Kill, Skarsgård heard about True Blood, a new series HBO was developing based on the Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris. At first he was unsure about playing a vampire, but when he learned that Alan Ball, creator of the HBO series Six Feet Under and Academy Award winning screenwriter of American Beauty, was behind the project, he sent in an audition tape. The audition was for the role of Bill Compton, which eventually went to Stephen Moyer. Skarsgård was later cast as Eric Northman, a 1000-year-old, Viking vampire sheriff, local bar owner and potential love interest of heroine Sookie Stackhouse in October 2007.[5][13] True Blood launched its seventh and final season in June 2014.

In 2009, Skarsgård appeared in the music video for pop singer Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi".[13] He was the voice of Stefan in the 2009 animated film Metropia, directed by Tarik Saleh.[6] In 2010, Skarsgård portrayed Terje, a gay Norwegian trekking to the North Pole, in the British mockumentary Beyond the Pole.[14]

Suit maker Hickey Freeman chose Skarsgård to model a new look it debuted in 2010. Annie Leibovitz photographed the ad campaign which appeared in The Wall Street Journal Magazine, GQ and Details.[15][16] He covered the September 2010 issue of Rolling Stone with his True Blood co-stars, Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer.[17]

Skarsgård appeared in two 2011 films. Melancholia,[18] an apocalyptic movie directed by Lars von Trier and starring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kiefer Sutherland, premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.[19][20] Skarsgård appeared in Straw Dogs, a remake of the 1971 film of the same name, as Charlie Venner. The remake's director, Rod Lurie, transferred the small town setting from Cornwall to Mississippi, and described Venner as "an ex-football star gone to seed". The film co-starred James Marsden and Kate Bosworth and was released 16 September 2011.[8]

In 2012, Skarsgård appeared alongside Taylor Kitsch and Rihanna in Peter Berg's Battleship, an adaptation of the Hasbro game.[21] He also starred with Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan in Scott McGehee and David Siegel's film, What Maisie Knew, an adaptation of the Henry James novel of the same name.[22] He was also part of the ensemble cast in Henry Alex Rubin's thriller, Disconnect, playing opposite Paula Patton.[23]

Skarsgård starred alongside Brit Marling and Ellen Page in Zal Batmanglij's 2013 film, The East.[24] Skarsgård starred in the 2016 film The Legend of Tarzan, portraying the title character, opposite Margot Robbie as Jane. To prepare for this role, Skarsgård worked out for 7 months with trainer Magnus Lygdbäck.[25] In 2017 he co-starred in HBO's Big Little Lies. For his role as an abusive husband, Skarsgård won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.[26]

In 2019, he played opposite Keira Knightley in The Aftermath, a film set in 1946 post-war Hamburg, where he portrays a sensitive German architect, forced to take in a British military couple in his stately home. On September 11 of that year it was announced that Skarsgård was cast as Randall Flagg in the upcoming miniseries of Stephen King's The Stand.[27]

Personal lifeEdit

Skarsgård is a fan of Swedish football and supports Hammarby IF, a club based in Stockholm, his birth city.[28]

In October 2010, he participated in "Bajen Aid" by donating several items he had autographed and auctioned to raise money for the Hammarby football club.[29]

In July 2011, Skarsgård received an honorary degree from Leeds Beckett University where he was formerly a student.[30]

Skarsgård was the Ambassador for the American team for a Walking With The Wounded fundraising event for wounded soldiers. He trekked to the South Pole against Team UK (Prince Harry, Ambassador) and Team Canada/Australia (The Wire actor Dominic West, Ambassador). A few days into the trek, it was decided that the competition part of the race would be cancelled due to hazardous terrain and weather conditions, so the teams combined forces and continued. Alongside Prince Harry, West and several wounded soldiers, he successfully made it to the South Pole on 13 December 2013.[31][32]


Year Title Role Notes
1984 Åke and His World Kalle Nubb
1989 The Dog That Smiled Jojjo
1999 Happy End Bamse Viktorsson
2000 The Diver Ingmar
White Water Fury Anders
Wings of Glass Johan
2001 Kites Over Helsinki Robin Åström
Zoolander Meekus
2002 The Dog Trick Robinson-Micke
2004 Heartbeat The Pilot Short film
2005 Double Shift Nisse
Om Sara Kalle Öberg
2006 The Last Drop Lt. Jergen Voller
Never Be Mine Christopher
Kill Your Darlings Geert
Score Micke
Exit Fabian von Klerking
2007 Järnets änglar Stefan
2009 Metropia Stefan (voice)
Beyond the Pole Terje
2010 Trust Me Alex
Moomins and the Comet Chase Moomintroll (voice)
13 Jack
2011 Straw Dogs Charlie Venner
Melancholia Michael
2012 Battleship Commander Stone Hopper
What Maisie Knew Lincoln
Disconnect Derek Hull
2013 The East Benji
2014 The Giver Jonas' Father
2015 Hidden Ray
The Diary of a Teenage Girl Monroe Rutherford
2016 Zoolander 2 Adam Cameo
War on Everyone Terry Monroe
The Legend of Tarzan Tarzan / John Clayton
2018 Mute Leo Beiler
The Hummingbird Project Anton Zaleski
Hold the Dark Vernon Sloane
2019 The Aftermath Stefan Lubert
Long Shot Prime Minister James Steward
The Kill Team Sergeant Deeks
2020 Godzilla vs. Kong Post-production
Year Title Role Notes
1987 Idag röd Fred Television film
1999 Vita lögner Marcus Englund 10 episodes
2000 D-dag Lise's Stepson Television film
2000 Judith Ante Lindström Episode: "Del 2"
2005 Revelations Gunnar Eklind Miniseries
2006 Cuppen Micke Television film
2007 Golden Brown Eyes Boogey Knights Singer 2 episodes
2008 Generation Kill Sgt. Brad "Iceman" Colbert Miniseries; 7 episodes
2008–14 True Blood Eric Northman 76 episodes
2013 Eastbound & Down Adult Toby Powers Episode: "Chapter 29"
2017–19 Big Little Lies Perry Wright 14 episodes
2018 Drunk History James Dunn Episode: "Heroines"
2018 The Little Drummer Girl Gadi Becker 6 episodes
2019 On Becoming a God in Central Florida Travis
2020 The Stand Randall Flagg Pre-production
As a director
Year Title Notes
2003 To Kill a Child Co-director with Björne Larson
Music videos
Year Title Role Artist(s)
2009 "Paparazzi" Boyfriend Lady Gaga
2013 "Free Your Mind" Cult Leader Cut Copy

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Awards Work Category Result Ref.
2003 Odense International Film Festival To Kill a Child Grand Prix Won
Odense International Film Festival Press Award Won
Guldbagge Awards Hundtricket - The Movie Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2009 Scream Award True Blood Best Villain Won [33]
Best Television Ensemble Won [34]
2010 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated [35]
Saturn Award Best Supporting Actor in Television Nominated
NewNowNext Awards Brink of Fame: Actor Nominated
Scream Award Best Television Performance Nominated
Scream Award Best Horror Actor Won
2011 Teen Choice Awards Choice Vampire Nominated
Scream Award Best Horror Actor Won
Scream Award Best Ensemble Won
2012 Robert Award Melancholia Best Supporting Actor (Årets mandlige birolle) Nominated
Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Straw Dogs Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2017 Primetime Emmy Awards Big Little Lies Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Television Movie Won
2018 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Won [36]
Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Film – Television Nominated
Critics' Choice Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries Won


  1. ^ "The Correct Way To Pronounce "Alexander Skarsgård"". The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. 21 June 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  2. ^ Behdjou, Behrang. "My Skarsgård: "Till slut handlade det om att välja livet eller döden"". Dagens Nyheter. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Harvey, Chris."Alexander Skarsgard interview: True Blood lust", The Telegraph, 12 August 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
  4. ^ Sundholm, Magnus Jag hinner inte ens käka, Nöjes Bladet, 26 July 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d Raymond, Joan. "Alexander Skarsgard Is a Neck Man", Newsweek, 11 September 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  6. ^ a b c Hillis, Aaron. "Alexander Skarsgard Gets Animated", IFC, 12 May 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  7. ^ "Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood) Interview". Last Broadcast. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  8. ^ a b Martin, Brett. "Here Comes the Viking", GQ, June 2011.
  9. ^ "Alexander Skarsgård", Bizarre. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  10. ^ Mohney, Chris. "The New Carnivore: Alexander Skarsgård" Archived 22 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine, BlackBook, 18 December 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  11. ^ Wilson, Benji. "Alexander Skarsgård on starring in both Generation Kill and True Blood: interview", The Telegraph, 2 October 2009.
  12. ^ Robinson, John. "Calling the Shots on Generation Kill" The Guardian, 2 October 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  13. ^ a b Daum, Meghan. "The Men of True Blood", Details, May 2010.
  14. ^ Elley, Derek. "Film Reviews: Beyond the Pole", Variety, 10 January 2010.
  15. ^ Smith, Ray A. "Do Men Want Boxy or Bold?", The Wall Street Journal, 15 July 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  16. ^ Millar, Jamie."Alexander Skarsgård exclusive!" Archived 19 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine,, 29 September 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  17. ^ Everett, Cristina. "True Blood stars Alexander Skarsgård, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer get bloody nude for Rolling Stone", NY Daily News, 17 August 2010. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  18. ^ "'Blood' star Alexander Skarsgard shows true range in films". USA Today. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  19. ^ Eriksen, Lars. "Melancholia? With Lars Von Trier at the helm, don't doubt it",, 29 July 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  20. ^ Chang, Justin. Debruge, Peter. "Tree of Life wins Palme d'Or", Variety, 22 May 2011.
  21. ^ Benigno, Anthony. "Rihanna to make movie debut in 'Battleship' opposite Alexander Skarsgård, Taylor Kitsch", Daily News, 27 July 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  22. ^ Kemp, Stuart. "'True Blood's Alexander Skarsgard Sinks Teeth Into 'What Maisie Knew'", The Hollywood Reporter, 11 May 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  23. ^ "Disconnect", The Hollywood Reporter, Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  24. ^ Kilday, Gregg. "Brit Marling's 'The East' to Close SXSW Film Festival", The Hollywood Reporter, 13 February 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  25. ^ "'Tarzan' to Swing Into Theaters July 1, 2016". Variety. 11 February 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  26. ^ "Emmys 2017: Full List of Nominations". Variety. 13 July 2017. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  27. ^ "Exclusive: Alexander Skarsgard to Play Randall Flagg in 'The Stand' on CBS All Access". Collider. 11 September 2019.
  28. ^ Canales, Andrea. "Canales Daily: Keeping The Faith In The Feeders". Archived from the original on 12 August 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
  29. ^ "Bajen Aid-auktionen: Ännu större succè" Archived 7 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine, 3 October 2010; retrieved 11 June 2011.
  30. ^ "Leeds Metropolitan University: Degree honour for True Blood actor Skarsgard", Yorkshire Evening Post, 20 July 2011; retrieved 21 July 2011.
  31. ^ "Alexander Skarsgard Strips Down at the South Pole". Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  32. ^ "ELLE UK Exclusive: Alexander Skarsgård On 'Disgusting' Double Standards In Hollywood". 7 February 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  33. ^ "TV Scream 2009 Award Winners Announced" Retrieved on 18 October 2009.
  34. ^ "2009 14th Annual SATELLITE AWARDS" Archived 8 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 20 December 2009.
  35. ^ "16th ANNUAL SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS"[dead link] Retrieved on 23 January 2010.
  36. ^ THR Staff (8 January 2018). "Alexander Skarsgård Accepts Award for 'Big Little Lies' | Golden Globes 2018". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 8 January 2018.

External linksEdit