Transcript: Alexander Skarsgard Interview – 13 and Generation Kill
Rebecca Murray from About.com Hollywood Movies at the 2009 Film Independent’s Spirit Awards.
Part Two of an Interview with Alexander Skarsgard at the Spirit Awards
Generation Kill, you guys actually filmed that in Africa. What was it like to stay on that set and get into those characters? That must have been tough.
Alexander Skarsgard: “Yeah. We were gone for seven months. I mean, my family – they’re all in Stockholm, Sweden – so I was actually gone for almost a year because I was out here for four months and then I didn’t even have time to go home for a weekend when I booked Generation Kill . It was like really once I got it, it was basically like, ‘Well, boot camp starts tomorrow so you have to fly to Namibia now.” So I didn’t even have time to go back home to say goodbye to my mom and my dad and my siblings so it was tough to be away for that long. But it was also good in a way because it’s about this platoon and in a way they’re very isolated. So I think it helped that us, as actors, lived together and spent 24/7 together for seven months because we got to know each other I mean inside and out. The bonding was amazing and hopefully that affected the show and you can see that we really care about each other. Because we really did spend seven months in those Hummers sitting next to each other talking about everything and nothing. It was an interesting experience. Seven months in the desert is a long time, but it was also like the most amazing experience I’ve ever had. I mean I made some friends for life, for sure.”
Did you ever meet Brad, the real [Sgt. Brad Colbert]?
Alexander Skarsgard: “Yeah.”
What was he like?
Alexander Skarsgard: “I didn’t have a chance… Obviously I didn’t meet him before because when I got it, it was like 24 hours later I was on a plane on my way to Namibia. And then I got his email address like three weeks into shooting. At that point I decided not to email him because I don’t think it would help me. At that point I’d kind of created my own Brad Colbert based on what his friends said. We had a couple of the guys from 1st Recon with us and obviously Evan, the writer, spent three weeks in the Hummer with him. He knows him very well. That’s how I prepared and created the character, through talking to them and reading the book, obviously. And once we started I kind of made my choices already and found my path so I didn’t want to… That would kind of throw me off I think. But then as soon as we were done, this was back in the States, Evan Wright – the writer of the book – had a barbeque at his house just so my and Brad could meet.”
Alexander Skarsgard: “Yeah. Because he knew that we would meet on the red carpet for the big event, but he also knew that it would be kind of awkward for us to meet for the first time like that. So it was very sweet of him that he threw this little barbeque at this house. Me and Brad just got to sit down and have a beer and talk for like hours about everything. And he’s such a great guy. Really, really great guy. Amazing and so supportive and helpful. So I went down, his wife and his family – or his girlfriend and his family – had a surprise birthday for him a couple of months ago down in San Diego so I went down for that as well. He’s a great guy. I’m very happy I got to play him.”
And he’s happy with the series?
Alexander Skarsgard: “I’m still alive so I guess that’s a good sign.”
And you’re working on some movies too, right?
Alexander Skarsgard: “Yeah. I did an animated movie called Metropia with Juliette Lewis and Vincent Gallo. It’s coming out later this year. And when we were on hiatus I did a movie called 13 up in New York. It’s a remake of a French movie called Tzameti 13, and the same director’s making it, basically a remake of his own movie that he made three years ago. It’s about Russian roulette. Very violent.”
That sounds interesting.
Alexander Skarsgard: “Yeah, it’s a very intense script, very dark and extremely intense, obviously. It’s about this underground club where people…it’s like people bet on like they bet on horses but they bet on people playing Russian roulette instead. Yeah, so I was up in Yonkers north of Manhattan for a month and half doing that, and now we just started [back on True Blood] three weeks ago so I’ll be here for a couple months now.”