True Blood hottie Alex Skargard is one of the cover models for this month’s BlackBook Magazine, along with his ex girlfriend, Kate Bosworth, who is on a separate cover for the same month. They’re both promoting Straw Dogs, a remake of 1971 Dustin Hoffman film about a woman who returns to her country roots and is confronted by the angry ex boyfriend she left behind. BlackBook has put Alex’s interview online, and he comes across as just as thoughtful and well spoken as he always does. He really seems like a decent well-rounded guy and he’s even very gracious and sadly a little reserved when he’s talking about Bosworth. He doesn’t get into their now-over relationship at all, and just praises her as an actress and says he doesn’t want to reveal too much of his personal life. It sounds like they didn’t get together as a couple until after filming wrapped.
There’s plenty more in the article (along with some mild spoilers for upcoming True Blood episodes, so beware) and here are the highlights:
On the rape scene in Straw Dogs (spoilers)
The rape scene, which caused a stentorian uproar when the original Straw Dogs first screened four decades ago, is no less difficult to watch in the remake. After violating Amy, whose mix of pleasure and pain while being assaulted lends the scene a layer of uncomfortable ambiguity, Charlie sits back and watches as one his hulking cronies follows suit. “It f’ing breaks his heart, watching her get raped by someone else,” says Skarsgård, the gaze of his piercing greenish-blue eyes difficult to match in this moment. “It’s not like he ever says, ‘Yeah, fk her!’ In a way, he feels like she’s his territory. He thinks, ‘You’re my woman. I offered to protect you for the rest of my life, but you didn’t want that, did you? If you don’t feel this passion, this real thing we share, then fine, you’re on your own.’ It’s definitely more complicated than him f’ing her because he can’t have her.”
On Kate Bosworth
The set of Straw Dogs, the production of which Skarsgård admits was “exhausting on an emotional level,” seems an unlikely place for romance to blossom—nonetheless, it’s where he met Bosworth, whom he dated for two years until they broke up in July. “Kate is such a great actress, and she’s so much more than a good-looking Hollywood starlet. We were just really good friends at the time,” says Skarsgård, who lives on his own in a rented house in the Hollywood Hills. “But we shared a really special experience on that film.” (Although I didn’t know it at the time, Skarsgård was safeguarding a secret—the dissolution of his relationship with Bosworth had yet to become public fodder—which partly explains why our easy banter atrophied into guarded responses so quickly when the subject was broached. It didn’t last long. A downright neighborly guy, he generously explained, “I make it a rule not to talk about myself and Kate. I so desperately try to keep my private life out of the tabloids because becoming a celebrity rather than an actor can really get in the way of a good performance.”)
On his Melancholia director, Lars Von Trier, getting banned from Cannes
Unfortunately, Von Trier’s knack for eliciting career-topping performances from his actors was overshadowed when he uttered three little words during a press conference at Cannes: “I understand Hitler.” Shaking his head at the foolishness of it all, Skarsgård says, “Lars isn’t a racist, but he likes to provoke people. It’s almost like he has Tourette’s. If he’d been drunk and yelled it at someone—if it had felt genuine—that would be one thing, but it’s just bullshit he says because he’s trying to be funny. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, and it definitely didn’t this time.”
Stephen Moyer acts like he’s giving Skars a beej
Before the cameras begin rolling, Skarsgård walks up to his mark in the center of the room, Moyer kneels in front of him—his character is picking something up off the ground when the shot begins—and the director watches them from his chair in front of a camera monitor. While waiting in their places, Skarsgård looks down at his costar and says dryly, “It looks like he’s sucking me off,” to which Moyer responds by bobbing his head vigorously. Skarsgård closes his eyes and starts moaning with the intensity of a slash-fiction hero, after which Moyer stands up and wipes imaginary fluids from his mouth with the back of his hand. He scans the crowd and after taking a slight bow says, “And the Emmy goes to… ” A crew member whispers to no one in particular, “Now that’s what I call ‘Action.’”
He’s nice to fans, but won’t bite them
Later that night, the fourth season of True Blood officially wrapped, Skarsgård returns home to shower before meeting me at the Hollywood Roosevelt for a burger and a few ice-cold bottles of IPA. Over two hours, he draws more than a few glances from a group of Australian tourists and even from social gadfly Rumer Willis, the daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. “It’s you, Eric, isn’t it?” says one particularly guileless man, as if testing the waters before introducing Skarsgård to his wife. “Would you please take a picture with her?” He graciously obliges, wrapping his arm around the woman’s waist and smiling for the camera. “Would you… bite her?” This he does not oblige. When the couple retreats back to a far corner of the restaurant, Skarsgård says, “That’s one thing I’ll never really understand. But the main reason I don’t ever do it is because if I do it just once, every single person will be like, ‘Bite me! Bite me! Bite me!’”
Whenever I read or see an interview with this guy my crush is renewed. He’s not just playing some Hollywood game, he really does seem like he’s striving for normalcy and like he’s genuinely nice. The article has a little more on his thoughs on L.A. and the paparazzi. He says that “LA is such a one-trick pony—80% of the people here talk exclusively about managers and agents,” and that being photographed when he’s out seems “strange, and I want it to be strange—I don’t ever want to feel like that’s normal.” At least he’s willing to pose for photos like these, where we get to see him wear the hell out of suit and stare into our souls with those piercing blue eyes. They could have mixed up the poses for him a little more, though. These look too homogeneous in that he’s making the same intense face in every shot.
Straw Dogs is out in the US on September 16th. I’m still waiting to see how Alex and Kate handle the red carpet together, but you know he’ll be game for posing with her. He’s just that kind of guy.
Photos via Blackbook. Note that their site does not appear properly on Google Chrome.