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Alexander Skarsgård’s roles have recently taken him in a more dramatic direction, but his outlook is as positive as ever. In our September Men's Fashion cover story, the actor discusses his early career, season two of BLL, his favorite Swedish holiday and more. Read the full story online now, on newsstands 9/15. (✒: @alexb718, 📸: @annemariekevandrimmelen, styling by @georgecortina) #WSJMagazine
Alexander Skarsgard covers the latest issue of WSJ. Magazine. He’s promoting Hold the Dark, which seems like a really dark little film, and The Little Drummer Girl, a miniseries based on John le Carré’s book of the same name. The photos from this WSJ. Magazine shoot are sexy and lovely – go here to see and read the full piece. Alex isn’t really breaking news, but I enjoyed this interview all the same, especially when he talked about Sweden and a pagan ritual. Some highlights:
He’s been doing some really dark roles: “So… a lot of f—ing darkness last year, man. I learned early on if I can’t switch off and clock out, if I carry it with me when I come home, it’s gonna destroy me and my relationships… [during Big Little Lies] I was staying with my friends, and they have two kids, 8 and 10. It meant so much to have that lightness, to go home to a lovely family life and hang out and play with the kids just so I didn’t spend five months in that darkness. They saved me.”
Growing up in the artsy Södermalm section of Stockholm: “It was very lively, crazy, bohemian and intense. I was studious, I was into sports, I was into listening to music. I just wanted to be normal. My biggest wish when I was 14 was that Dad would become an accountant, drive a gray Saab and wear a suit to work instead of cooking these weird dishes naked and drinking wine on a Tuesday with artists—stuff that I love and appreciate about my father now.”
He lived out of one suitcase after ‘True Blood’ ended: “All I needed fit in that suitcase. A giant blow-dryer. And a framed picture of myself,” he says. Although his nomadic ways came to an end—he recently moved into an apartment in New York’s East Village, and then, after one particularly boozy brunch in Stockholm, he bought another in his old neighborhood (“I was tipsy,” he admits)—Skarsgård has no regrets about his peripatetic period.
On the rumors he’s dated Charlize Theron: “It doesn’t affect me. People can think whatever they want,” he says, adding that, although he’s not active on social media, he still hears such rumors. “It’s impossible to live in a vacuum—you hear, ‘Oh, I heard you’re dating so-and-so.’ Sometimes you’re like, ‘Yeah, I did.’ Sometimes it’s, ‘Never met the person but give her my number.’”
He likes his single life: “I really enjoy the adventure of traveling, meeting new people and working a lot. Hopefully one day I’ll settle down.”
He’s going back to Sweden for Midsommar (or Midsummer), his favorite holiday: “For someone who hasn’t experienced it, it’s f—ing surreal,” he says of the pagan fertility celebration. Swedes head to the woods, set out lavish smorgasbords with pickled herring and schnapps and erect a modified maypole to commemorate the summer solstice. “You celebrate by sticking a 20-foot pole covered in leaves and flowers into the ground,” Skarsgård explains. “A phallic pole in a hole—the symbolism is very clear. So, after you fertilize Mother Earth, you get sh–faced and then you dance around the pole and sing… And you do that all night. It’s the longest day of the year. It basically never gets dark.”
When Alex describes Midsommar, he even sings the the song “Små Grodorna,” or “Little Frogs.” It sounds like… an incredible time to be in Sweden. Is it quite common for Swedes to celebrate Midsommar by going to the woods and fertilizing mother Gaia? That’s amazing. MOAR PAGAN RITUALS. As for the rest of it… Alex just seems like a genuinely cool guy, and his whole “I traveled around and made a choice to live out of a suitcase for three years” thing seems genuine. Such a Viking. Mmm.
Photos courtesy of WENN, Instagram courtesy of WSJ. Magazine.