During the True Blood years, Alex Skarsgard actually became known for doing some “woke” interviews. People were fascinated by his Swedish-ness and Americans were super-curious about how growing up in Sweden affected his views on feminism, gender equality and more. Over the years, I think Americans have sort of caught up to Alex, and now we don’t even bat an eye at the fact that he dresses up in drag for a premiere because all of his cool drag queen friends are going to the premiere too. He’s been talking about being a feminist for years too, and he’s never said it as an excuse or justification or apology for treating women like sh-t. Anyway, Alex has a new interview in Elle UK where he talks about how Hollywood is f–ked up and he’s proud to be a Swede and a feminist.
The Hollywood double-standard: “There is a double standard [in the film industry]. I notice that with actress friends of mine. And it’s disgusting. It’s not a problem that’s specific to Hollywood. I think you see this in many professions, where men in power think they’re entitled. So these women are very brave to talk about it, and I do believe it will fundamentally change things.”
Feminist Viking Thunder: “I’m 100 percent feminist. Sweden is very progressive. In terms of equal rights, I think it’s ahead of most countries.”
Being a child star in Sweden: “To have people talk about you and say, ‘Well this is who Alex is…’ when I had no idea myself, it just f–ked with my self-confidence. Because if a girl looked at me or seemed interested. I thought she was only interested because she had seen me in the movie. It made me feel worthless. I wanted girls in school to like me because I was funny or cute or interesting—that’s what you want isn’t it? When you’re 13? And I guess when you’re 40 as well…”
Why he’s not active on social media: “Sometimes I think it’s good to be bored, because that’s when your mind wanders; creativity is born this way. But we don’t allow for those moments anymore, because if there are three seconds of downtime, you are on your phone or you’re checking your Insta-feed or Twitter.”
I agree with him so much about social media – I love and hate Twitter, but that’s my only social media presence, and you know why? Because I need time to let my mind rest from being online and working all day. You need to decompress and let your mind wander and just sit (or walk, or exercise) with your own thoughts for an hour or two every day. As for what he says about feminism and a progressive Swedish society… I always feel a little bit sorry for the Scandinavian peeps living in America, for work or for love or whatever. Like, Americans must seem so uncivilized compared to the more progressive societies they’re used to.
Photos courtesy of WENN.
Much better than his father recently did.
Is he still with Alexa? If not, is this shade?
And I understand not wanting to be with someone who only values one aspect of you. You want someone who embraces and loves all your quirks, because that’s what makes you unique, and valuable.
What did his father do recently?
I want to know too!
I think it’s a reference to the support Stellan’s given Lars Von Trier following his #metoo scandal.
I like this guy. He reminds me of the Jesse Pinkman actor in that they aren’t necessarily movie stars by today’s standards but they deserve a solid tv lead role.
Yet another reason I love him. Intelligent, talented, handsome and an all around amazing human being.
Me too. And as someone who was lucky to work for a Swedish company right after uni and to go for qualification courses there often, I am a big fan of the Swedes. Totally cool, tolerant and supportive people. And the most amazing blended families I had ever seen to prove it. I felt truly free of prejudice and empowered there with those people.
The thinking woman’s crumpet. Ermagawd.
Eric Northman Forever!
Scandinavian countries are all progressive and have been for centuries. Viking women fought alongside the men and no one even blinked when we had female monarchs and prime ministers.
Maybe OT, but I LOVE his brother Gustav as Floki in Vikings on History channel.
omg Floki! Vikings is my sexy addiction, swear to god, mud leather blood tattoos amazing hair and beautiful landscapes with the hottest cast–whew! too much sexy
Ibsen’s “The Doll House” is Scandinavian. I guess pointing out that level of misogyny was pretty progressive for the time.
Sweden IS ahead of most countries and sometimes even I look “up there” towards the Scandinavian countries (and Finland, Iceland, depending on whether you count them as Scandinavian) and think Christ, Germans could really move out of the 1960s already.
But I don’t think it’s a matter of catching up or being uncivilized, it’s actually a fundamental difference in how a large part of the US views government and how it wants its society to function. I re-watched Where to Invade Next last weekend and I think that we could all look to our neighbors more often and steal some ideas. But for that to happen, certain countries *cough*theUS*cough* would have to admit that other countries do some things better. The horror!
I’m an Aussie living in Germany and I feel like Germany is much further head than Australia in terms of gender equality and general awareness – not that there isn’t room for improvement here too. Back when I was traveling through Sweden and Norway as a 20-something year old, I was blown away by how progressive everything was. When I went clubbing in Sweden with friends I felt safer, more respected and ultimately much more carefree.
No, you’re right, we’re not actually that backwards. I’m just impatient. I guess I’m looking at it from the perspective of someone who is in her 30s and surrounded by friends who work in professions that are either male or female dominated. If you look at the partners of the firm I work for, it’s a damn sausage fest. Same with the banking sector, where a few guys I’m friends with work. A girlfriend works in a hostpital and you have the same thing there although – and this is anecdotal evidence only – I think among doctors it’s changing rapidly. But nurses? 90% female. Working mothers can’t find daycare or a place for their kid in kindergarten (fathers can’t either but nobody mentions them of course).
It’s not bad, I agree but we’re moving so slowly. I’m sure you’ve heard about the doctor who was fined for “advertising” abortions on her website? This isn’t acceptable in 2018.
Yeah, you’re not wrong, there are many areas for improvement still, for sure – and I’m actually one of those mums who couldn’t find care for my 3 year old (I’m in my 30s now). One thing that really gets my goat here is the fact that school days continue to be so short. When kids finish up at 12/1pm, a parent obviously needs to be home to provide care and lunch. With men still earning more and occupying more high-level management positions – who does this responsibility generally fall to? Most of my friends still work but pursuing a ‘career’ isn’t really an option if you can’t fully commit to the job. Sure there are other options for out of school care, but I think such short school hours is so limiting for families.
Imagine living in Argentina. We are now mobilising to make abortion legal. It’s 2018 and men still outearn us for the same jobs, some of our daft judges love Foucault and so deem criminals’ rights so important that if they received a life sentence they are out in less than 10 years, oh, and we’re still not believed when we say a man abused, raped, assaulted us, especially if it is a husband.
EDIT: we’re now also turning into a more racist and xenophobic country because our laws have allowed foreigners to cross borders and use our resources (public education hospitals and social welfare)
Also, the previous government killed a DA investigating their cover up of our one terrorist attack in the 90s, against the jewish community.
Honestly, Scandinavian countries sound awesome.
What countries have the foreigners come from?
@Lina – everywhere. We even have europeans coming in for plastic surgery. They stay a couple of months and then leave. It’s outrageous because there is no reciprocity.
Paraguayans and Bolivians also cross borders to vote. That one gets my heart raging every time.
I am an Indian living in Germany, and from my vantage point social systems is far ahead and far equal here in Germany.
Offcourse like you said, things can get better. Working mothers in high pressure jobs should have better access to viable and affordable child care . There should be equal distribution of male and female in professions. I too work in sausage fest dominated industry and sometimes its really infuriating the way I am given extra respect for daring to study and work in all male field, almost treated with kid Gloves. So far I haven’t experienced pay disparity or workplace discrimination but I am also in my early 30s and yet to see it all.
I am scared about the changes that will happen once I have children but I would say things are much better from where I was raised.
A simple example. My sister recently got married and her father in law “requested “ she immediately change her surname and she complied. A 30 yr old woman just gave up the identity she had so easily without compromise. Its really a big deal for me to know if I ever marry my german partner, if I choose to retain my surname or my partner chooses to take my name, or we both take same surnames, no body would care and certainly my father in law would not impose such patriarchal shit on me.
I just kind of love this guy. When he blew up on True Blood, he seemed like a sweet, funny, down to earth person despite all the sudden accolades. And then when everything got quiet after it ended, he seemed like the same person and now that his star is rising again thank to Big Little Lies he STILL is like that and I love it. You would have thought all the attention and the ups and downs would have jaded him by now.
Completely aside from wanting to climb him like a tree, he seems like he would be fun to just hang out with.
I feel the same. I think he’s a really good guy, I hope I am never proven wrong. I also think he makes really interesting choices in his work, and doesn’t seem to be overly concerned with stardom and money.
Alex is just an easy guy to love. He deserves his success and handles it well.
He really is. I’ve been a fan since his Generation Kill days, and he’s still got me captivated. He seems to be really grounded, and from all accounts, a total sweetheart. Plus, he’s good to his fans. As a fan, I couldn’t ask for better, so I’m genuinely happy for his successes. I think Alex is a keeper! 😉
Im not a big fan of the Sweden circle jerk. What they always forget is how deeply racist scandinavian countries are. There is also no diversity in their governments. Also lets not judge progress by comparing it to america. Thats like saying “Our head of state is better than Trump” Wow, good job, guys.
I’m not a big fan of not recognizing that some countries do certain things better. So we can’t do that because they’re not perfect? Yes, racism is a problem in Scandinavian countries. People of color aren’t being shot willy nilly by police every day in Sweden though. I get that you’re all pissed about your situation but that’s not Sweden’s fault. But you’re right, let’s NOT judge progress by comparing it to America. Because it would make America look absolutely terrible.
I am a mixed raced scandinavian born and bred there. I can honestly say that Scandinavia is woke on womens rights and things like workers rights, healthcare etc. But my experience is that black and brown people are very marginalised and the mainstream population aren’t educated about race and are quite ignorant at times. I was studying in the UK for the last few years and I have to say i felt a lot more relaxed there on a personal level even though as a society as a whole it’s a lot more unjust and brutal. I would say if you are white Scandinavia is pretty much paradise on Earth at this point in history but if you are POC not so much. With that in mind it does annoy me when white scandis get on their pedestal and preach at other countries instead of looking into what’s wrong in their own country. It’s too easy.
That was not my point though. Nobody denies that Scandinavian countries are racist. I mean have you been to smaller German towns, the countryside? There’s a reason most people of color live in large cities here. This is an issue, a big one. And I would never downplay it. But every country has issues. The point is that Americans can get so damn defensive. There ARE things other countries do much better. That’s true for us as well. And for Sweden. But I really don’t think racism is where Americans should be lecturing anybody. That’s like Chinese or Turkish people lecturing me on freedom of the press. Yeah, I mean, sure. Nobody’s perfect. But can we talk about perspective?
But here’s my question to you: what exactly are they doing better if their progressiveness only applies to WHITE WOMEN?? Feminism is a joke if their is no intersectionality to it.
Honestly, I see no point in any country starting a pissing contest with any others, regardless if the countries are better or worse then another. Especially since, in my experience, most people inform themselves through tv or other media instead of first hand experience and think that is enough. It is just a pointless exercise in my opinion.
I AM talking about perspective. My perspective as a woman of colour in Scandinavia. I am speaking to my experience as brown Scandinavian to then say ” other countries are just as bad” isn’t helpful. Particularly because nobody actually think Germany is a haven for poc, nor America. But people seem to think Scandinavian societies are so tolerant.
And honestly if you are going to talk about civil rights then it seems inauthentic to not include a countries record on civil rights for ALL people. I’d advice you to look into the history of the indigenous people of Scandinavia, it’s just as bad as what happened in America. And nobody talks about it or have made any attempt to right what happened. Even today the attitudes towards the indigenous population are quite bad
Women’s rights shouldnt be looked at in isolation from race and ethnicity,particularly because there’s this thing called women of colour and we exist all over the world, even up close to the artic circle.
Very interesting comment. I’ve always suspected that countries with mostly homogenous populations shouldn’t pat themselves on the back so much.
I think (we) Americans don’t travel enough outside the country to see how much better some other countries are. It’s ignorance.
@VV: How did we arrive at feminism and intersectionality? That wasn’t even the topic. It’s like nothing ever counts at all unless everyone is treated 100% equally. There is no country where that is the case, sadly. My point was that some countries do some things better than others. Healthcare, for example. And I’m not talking about that racist doctor. I’m talking about the system. Germany (and many EU countries) are doing MUCH better than the US. Every statistic will tell you. But because we also deal with racism, that doesn’t count? That is ridiculous. Our healthcare system is not only for white people. Or white women.
You’re talking about societal views and attitudes. That’s not what I meant and I was pretty clear on that. Your argument is “there’s racism so they suck as much as we do”. Since when does progressive mean perfect?
@littlemissnaughty did you honestly just ask how did we arrive at feminism and intersectionalality? This entire thread is about his comments regarding Sweden and feminism and equality. And the very fact that you see feminism and intersectionality as separate things speaks volumes. If you are white then yes I guess you have the luxury of ignoring things that dont affect you. I personally will listen to Stella who is a WOC and KNOWS what living in Sweden is like. You do not. To minimize that and say that it is not part of the conversation illustrates EXACTLY what is wrong with feminism today. Please educate yourself on why feminism doesn’t work when it ignores the very real intersections that exist in regards to race and other factors. And yes I will say that a country cannot call itself progressive when it treats a swath of their population like garbage. That CANNOT be compartmentalized.
Americans are woefully ignorant. I got into a debate on a mutual friend’s fb page about stricter gun laws and the friend of a friend refused to answer my question if he had ever traveled outside of the US. Clearly he hadn’t. Since I am an American living in Canada now, I feel I have a perspective I didn’t have when simply living in the US. We assume crime is rampant everywhere when living in the US—we think it is the norm. The man’s arguments with me on the post were that we are simply more uncivilized in America and have more mentally unwell people and that is why there is more violence and gun crime/mass shootings. When I cited stricter gun laws in UK, Canada, and Oz, he again stated that those countries simply must be more civilized. That we need guns to protect our family in America.
I plan to travel to Ireland and Paris this year for the first time, so it will be interesting to see Europe as well. I will say this though: most Americans I know cannot afford to travel outside of the US, which is what leads to their ignorance. Many of my friends have been unable to visit me in Canada—they can’t afford the time off, the passport, or the travel expenses, even if I gave them a place to stay. In contrast, Canadians, on the other hand, seem to travel much more frequently, they seem to have the means and time off to do so.
EXACTLY. I always give people major side-eye when they talk about how progressive Sweden and other Scandi countries are. They aren’t. Not for anyone who doesn’t look like them.
… I dont know your background, but the priveleges are for everybody. Its not like “oh, you are a brown woman, you cannot go to lawschool” or anything like that. Maybe some ppl are majorly racist but at least police here dont just shoot black ppl willy nilly like some, ahem, countries.
Are maternety leave only for white women? Are free heath care only for white people?
He’s absolutely right. I lived in Denmark for a year and visited Sweden too. I’m sure it’s the same in Norway. I lived there in the 1980’s and was in awe of the respect and equality for women.
Yeah… except he is on social media… and according to his likes and posts, he’s invested in American politics and socialist values – I can’t be mad at that.
I think he’s a great actor (even in that mess of a movie, Mute) but his personal life is a hot mess, seemingly.
I agree. I traveled to Scandinavia and was worried as it was post-elect and I’m a minority. Unfair to have worries but I wasn’t sure how I would be treated there? Esp when the (outside) perspective is Scandinavia is overwhelmingly white. Anyways I met quite a few locals and travelers and we talked feminism and race and such and I came home changed a bit. It was great. Everyone treated us well and told us we should move there if America goes into a tailspin (which it has).
All of this long comment is to say I loved the 3 weeks I spent over there and I completely agree that the US is positively primitive in comparison.
I saw him at a Tame Impala concert a year or two back at Radio City Music Hall and Alexa Chung was with him. He was standing and enjoying the music like the rest of us, and she was sitting on her phone the whole time. It made me a little sad for him that she wouldn’t even pretend to be interested in a (great) band he obviously was into. I wonder if they broke up because of the reasons he talked about in this interview (she was only interested in him for his fame etc.).
THIS is what I mean by his personal life being a mess.
They’re back together.
yeah she is the epitome of a narcissist im sorry she feed off attention like a vampire. pun very much intended. he seems to be out of sorts. says one thing and does another. her whole crowd parties most of the time and is obsessed with social media. i dont get the appeal for him to be honest. doesnt make much sense unless interviews like this are just PR lines
A mess? Lmfao because he’s in a relationship with someone who is different than him and is more into Instagram? Egads!!!!!!!!
You realize people are allowed to have different views and ideas than their partners, right? My best friend is obsessed with makeup and loves the kardashians, and I absolutely hate both those things. I guess our relationship is a mess? Or maybe people are allowed to be different?
also, for a 100% feminist he sure bowed out of making any statement at all on the #metoo movement during his FOUR award speeches for playing a domestic abuser. he didn’t even try once. this doesn’t make him awful but its terribly disappointing to have that platform and not make use of it whatsoever. even once. lame
It was pretty obvious during all his acceptance speeches that he just wanted to thank people and not make waves and keep the attention on the female cast members.
I think it would have been a great opportunity to speak about it all during his acceptances, but I also find him to be a thoughtful guy, and am assuming there’s a reason why he chose not to.
Something always seems off between him and the women he’s dating. There are jokes on a lot of Skarsgård forums about how he always pretends to not know the women he is dating when they are out in public. As much as he talks about “having nine kids one day” it seems like he’s prepared to live the life of a bachelor for the foreseeable future.
I think he joked when he said he wanted 9 kids.
Yeah, the 9 kids was a joke because his father has 8. It is so funny some of his crazy fans thought he meant it.
I’m too busy looking at him to hear what he said…..what, now?
We seriously need MOAR of the Skars bros in here. Anyone with me?
YESSSSS!!! A MILLION TIMES YES! I love the Skarsgards, from Alex, to Gustaf, to Bill (especially Bill, *swoon*) and now watching Valter start to make his mark in the acting world is great. I can always use more Skarsgårds in my life!
Though, TBH I go back and forth in my appreciation of Alex. There’s some stuff about him that has been pointed out on other sites that kind of makes me side eye him.
When Sweden gets their racism and xenophobia under control then I will think of them as a progressive country. Because as of now it’s only progresive if you’re a white man or woman. And that’s not very progressive at all. Anyway – love Alex. He’s one of my forever baes.
Sweden is not the ” paradise” for women it pretends to be. …
Watch the documentary by Ovidie about the woman who lost custody of her children to her ex husband who beat her up. The court declared her an unfit parent, having resorted to prostitution to survive. For 15 days.
It cost her her children and ultimately her life….
Yet, her former husband ( now in jail!!) keeps his parental authority.
And it is not a stand alone case.
Hi @Val, ita. My ex-step father was from Stockholm. A great guy but plagued with a lot of issues. He was an alcoholic on his third marriage (with my mother). Based on my experiences with my step-siblings that still lived over there and came to visit, there is a lot of emphasis in Sweden on the importance (maybe even superiority) in fostering nuclear families only. From personal experience and anecdotal evidence, alcoholism and dv is fairly rampant in Sweden, and tolerated by the state if it promotes traditional family values. And typically the state sides with the man. I was really struck by this dynamic as I made my way through the Girl With a Dragon tattoo series, which I saw was authored by Larsson as a social commentary, albeit a critique even, on the state’s intervention when it came to family issues and mental health. In many ways, Sweden does seem like a paradise and it seems that they have nailed social safety nets in many ways, and I wish the US would take a cue from them. But there is an underbelly to it all..
Interesting commentary here—so are gay families and single mothers frowned upon then? Domestic Violence is a world wide problem and many people have a blame the victim mentality. I have a friend in Canada who make 200k a year who is involved with a man, whom she has two children with who is controlling and beats her. If you saw her, you’d think she “has it all”.
True about Sweden though
He’s quite interesting and well spoken. If anyone is interested I highly recommend listening to the interview he did for The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast. It’s really great. I was pretty indifferent toward him beforehand but now I quite like him!
My husband is from Denmark and I’d say they are even more progressive socially than Sweden.
One thing that surprised me was how racially diverse they are.
Walk through Copenhagen and maybe 4-5 people out of 10 are white. Walking through the main square I even ran into some Navajo people, that made me double take.
You have to actually go out of your way to find a restaurant that serves traditional Danish food.
On the block my husband lived before we hot married and he moved here to California, there was Italian, Mexican, Japanese, French, Middle eastern, India, American ,Pizza places, Kebob places
I was just not expecting that
As far as women’s rights they are so far ahead of us it’s silly to compare.
I think a big reason there is even though the country is Lutheran it’s not religious like the US is. So you don’t get all the moral religious stuff coloring everything.
Same for LGBT stuff.
They don’t consider it morally/religiously wrong so they look at it a lot differently
Of course looking at gender and equality has to be done intersectionally, but to say that Sweden is not at all doing that as it is inherently racist and that equality in Sweden is thus only applicable for its white population really does not account for that it (Sweden) scores higher than, in this case as a counter-argument to others above ,the US when it comes to Tolerance and Inclusion, Personal Rights and of course Education (which arguably plays a massive part in structural racism…) and it also ranked 3rd “best” in 2017 on matters of Discrimination and violence against minorities and then on top of that it scores high re. equality…
*sourced from http://www.socialprogressindex.com -their stats are pretty well-rounded in these types of matters I find.
That is not to say Sweden is by any means perfect, but it’s pretty darn inclusive in its structural approaches to equality, by global standards.
It’s so funny to me how so many Americans want so desperately to believe that other countries – like Scandinavian countries – are so much more advanced and somehow inherently better than we are. The grass is greener syndrome is alive and well here. I’m a US citizen, but my mother is Norwegian and my father is Namibian. I have many relatives in Norway and travel to Sweden, Norway and Denmark often. They, indeed, are wonderful countries but full of as many contradictions and issues as positives – just like the US. For one, it has been relatively easy for them to be tolerant and progressive in recent history given that they have been incredibly homogeneous societies for millennia – same language, culture, ethnicity, etc. and blessed with tremendous natural resources amongst very small populations.
As they are currently dealing with an influx of black and brown mostly muslim immigrants, that tolerance is definitely wearing thin. They are requiring language training, for example, for people to stay (not necessarily a bad thing) and many immigrants are confined (some by choice, but a lot by circumstances and lack of opportunity) to socially segregated areas. There is more and more debate in Sweden about whether allowing more immigrants to come in should continue and whether some should go and much of that debate is getting rancorous.
In addition, their “feminism” masks some very socially rigidly enforced gender roles. Men still run all the institutions in Scandinavian society other than possibly the monarchies. Women are often still in defined gender roles in the homes and the very generous maternity leave (a good thing overall) is primarily because they want women to stay home with babies rather than be competing in the workforce with men and so provide enormous incentive for that to happen.
Oh, and by the way – speaking of people of color and the police – you DO NOT want to be a person of color who gets tangled with the police in any country in Europe, Scandinavian or otherwise. It ain’t pretty.
So probably want to “kick under the hood” a little before deciding that one society is inherently better than another.
Hello from Norway where the prime minister is a woman and the leaders of the two supportive parties in the goverment is female as well. Plus the maternity leave is spilt so men can be at home almost as long as women with their kids.
Well, I spend a lot of time in Norway, mainly Oslo and Skein, but was talking mostly about Sweden – which is what the post was about. But, I have to say – when I talk about institutions, I most definitely don’t mean the political systems which (these days) have little real power. Central banks, corporations and any other institution that controls resources is where you’ll find power and the men. But, I do have to say – and I know this is anecdotal but they say it is pretty common – while on the books it allows splitting the maternity leave, my relatives never have and they say they know noone where the father stays home for more than a few weeks. For what it’s worth.