Tag Archives: Interviews

PaleyFest 2011 Video Interviews From TV Junkie.net

dsc_0331Waiting for season 4 of True Blood does suck but at least fans have wonderful new interviews to enjoy while waiting for June to get here. LAist – interviewed several of the cast on Saturday night before the PaleyFest panel for True Blood started. Here are the youtube videos of Deborah Woll and Jim Parrack. for more of his great interviews please visit laist.com here

Jim Parrack:

SOS Hollywood Interviews Alan Ball

Fabio M. Barreto interviewed True Blood’s creator Alan Ball on 12/2/10. The interview source is SOS Hollywood and is in Portuguese. The translation below is from Google Translate. (still working on a translation)

Listening to  the stories of Alan Ball is always an interesting task for a few factors. He is sure of his creations, is no stranger to controversial issues and sees his work at the same time, with seriousness and fun. A good mix in a world punctuated by skittish directors, stars and empty governed by the iron hand of the infamous publicists – Managers public relations, media and any subject on the image – which surpass even the press officers from the studios and channels at the time to guide their clients. Ball is guaranteed and is content to keep a good conversation, no matter the subject, provided it is within the TV. The guy is good, that’s the truth.And who is really good stand out in this sameness of Hollywood, which is starting to show signs of fatigue. But he does not care about that, nor I, after all, our business is to chat! = D So this correspondent, on behalf of SOS and Hollywood Sci-Fi News, had the opportunity to talk again with the creator of True Blood, which is already involved in filming the fourth season, which premieres in the first half of 2011! Warm up your bottle of True Blood and enjoy this one more chat with the master vampire for adults on TV!
Is the creation of cliff hangers still an obligation of the series? The end of the third season was very well planned or did you kind of stumbled on it?

It was not intentional, it happened organically. Whenever I try to create something that stories like to call “what the f#ck moment / now OMFG!”, Where basically anyone who is watching thinks, “Good Lord!” And I feel that every episode needs at least one of these, or is not a Decent episode, and is easy to leave the viewer uncertain about being liked, or not. So I think our job as writers is trying to do an episode of “Good Lord!” With an emotional basis, and within the arc of history and mythology of that world. Especially now that the program continues to grow, I feel that when working with the writers, is not enough someone had a talk frankly about how he feels I need to see some heads roll.
Reinvent the series every season is a major concern?

I think we try not to repeat ourselves. We tried a lot. We use the books as a basis for the program, but the events are distant especially among literary vampires and our changes. The books are centered on Sookie, tell her story. So when she leaves Good Temps and she goes somewhere, and she has a story. In books, we see Jason, we see Sam, we need to continue the story and tell who they are. I do not have a plan, I just try to figure out which story is more attractive, and hopefully it works.
(having the show on) TV is limiting or liberating?

I do not know, I mean, we can tell virtually any story that gives the tile. As long as it is not pornographic, this border is not yet over. The major limitation is a reality show where if you lose, you die. And the reality shows I’ve seen, would not be bad if some of these people live to die [laughs]. If the Bachelorette chooses someone she would shoot every week, you can bet that I would be the first to watch! [Laughs]
How do you separate porn sex appeal of True Blood?

Pornography is about exploitation of bodies. Art has to do with souls. I’m not saying that True Blood is a work of art, but I am saying has nothing to do with bodies, has to do with relationships. Part of what I loved the books so good was the mix of horror, romance, drama, comedy and sex in Good Temps. Vampires are basically a metaphor for sex: no penetration, bodily fluids, an extremely erotic metaphor, indeed. And there’s enough sex in the books of Charlaine Harris. I think the sex lives of interesting characters, learn a lot about the psyche and soul of a person through sex. I felt it was a very organic and center of that world and had to be there. Jason is sexually compulsive, a little boy because he is traumatized, and this is a classic story, but to have a character who is sexually compulsive, it is necessary to show sex, but it makes no sense, right? And what is interesting in it, that’s major source of self-esteem for him.

Balancing the sex was something complicated or occurred naturally?

Sex is one of the characters and their emotional lives as well as being part of the appeal of the series. Think about it, Sookie was a virgin when the series began and because he could not have sex? Because I could hear the thoughts of the partner. Then sex between her and Bill was a big part of her story, an important part of your emotional, again, Jason is sexually compulsive, then sex will have an important role in his story. Vampires are creatures that are sex, basically. And part of what drew me to the fact that the series takes place in a southern town – and I’m from a southern town – when has that puritanism characteristic of a small city and sex ends up having a much greater emphasis – the Americans can not relax when it comes to sex.
It is because of “actual nuisance” that True Blood has to be more visceral than, say, Twilight?

The Twilight fans are girls 13 years old. I think if girls 13 years old who attend Twilight and type of sex that happens there, were to see True Blood and the type of sex that is in True Blood, it would be traumatic. No, True Blood is for a different audience, True Blood is for adults. Point.

When vampires no longer monstrous creatures and beings have become romantic and beloved?

Well, many people think it started with “Dark Shadows” [soap opera of the 60 theaters that will be done by Johnny Depp]. Certainly, there were the books of Anne Rice and the production of Dracula with Frank Langella on Broadway in 70 years. I think there was a point where they became romantic heroes, “reluctant vampire.”
How to maintain the suspense if the base material is so widespread and advanced in relation to the show?

I can not worry about it, I need to create a program and assume that people are seeing for the first time. We also make some changes, so it’s not exactly like what happens in the books. It is much easier in many ways. The hard work was done.But it is more difficult because we can not follow any path, because we need to stay true to some extent, the world of books, for most fans of the books are a fan.

And it freed you to be able to make the changes you want? How, for example, the ethnicity of Tara and the expansion of Lafayette.

Yes, I decided that Tara would be african-american, because after all if we’re talking about Louisiana, as we would not have a black one? And I thought it would be more interesting if Sookie and Tara have this relationship of sisters, a little outside the rest of the population and were not the same color. About Lafayette in the first scene I shot with Nelson, I knew I could not kill the character, he’s fantastic too. Everyone ends up wanting to see Lafayette get along, and from the moment you begin to understand it because there is a huge barrier around him, he played the harlot, was a drug dealer, things change. All this tells me that this person is afraid of intimacy, then include a person who forces you to have that intimacy, and that was when he appeared – and this story is not over.

His sexual orientation has affected the approach of the program? True Blood has made to be more liberal and sensitive to homosexuality? There have been attempts at censorship?

I’m no fan of censorship. I grew up being gay, then the world of the privileged Caucasian, heterosexual, is not the world I live. Certainly have been more sensitive to outsiders (outsiders). Definitely, I think that influences me, I think I’m more sensitive approach. Lafayette’s gay, but we also see more about who he is, because to me being gay just is not enough for a character, is not so interesting.

When the 3D is coming to TV production?

I love the fact that The Source has been a success without being released in 3D.HBO wants to experiment with 3D, and I was approached about it. My impression is that to make the program, we would have to shoot both ways, and have a 3D version and a non-3D, and I think it’s great, it is difficult to make the show the way we do today . Personally, I think 3D is interesting, but it’s just a fact, you know? I mean, I love Avatar in 3D, but in the end, did not think it was more like going to an amusement park, there seemed to have gone to the movies. It was fun, but then you do not think much of him. Almost all TVs that are produced today have a 3D cable, but do not know, I’m sure if it is possible to make money on it, then it will happen.
Why do so many non-American in the cast?

It’s not intentional. Reply to actors who are trained, they have technique, they know how to read the scene. Many American actors are very attractive and charismatic, but has no technique. When you make a movie and has two or three pages of script, you can shoot take after take, and put them together to achieve a performance. We can not afford it, we have to shoot seven pages a day. So, I need people who can deliver a good performance, they know how to act in the scene right away. The cast of True Blood has brought many interesting things to his characters.
What are the criteria for choosing James Frain [Franklin] and Joe Manganiello [Alcide]?

We had already tested many people and I was getting scared. So James came in and read the text with an American accent, and I said do not worry about the accent, just be yourself “and he read. It was electric! That was it. Alcide was possibly the new romantic guy in the series. Indeed, Joe came to audition for the role of Cooter, and I remember saying it had to be Alcide. We needed someone who was nice, beautiful, but also to be decent, I had this reluctant heroism, he brought it to the character.
How about the fourth season?

We start shooting this November. The premiere will be held in June.
How do you see the vampire ideal? It’s True Blood?

I do not know what a vampire should be, I do not know what that is. In the end, it’s all make believe. I do not know how to answer that because I do not think there is something definitive about what a vampire should be. Before the 70s, before the character in “Dark Shadows” in the late ’60s, they were monsters, there was always another guy who was there to rescue the girl. Then the Vampire became the romantic hero, and everything changed.

07/05/10 Situation Interview

Situation magazine interviewed Alexander Skarsgard for their July 2010 issue. The transcript of the interview is below:


Photo Credit: Annika Aschberg, Situation Stockholm thanks to alexskarsgard.net for the page scans and translated interview

Alexander was recently interviewed by a Swedish news site. Below is the translated article. Again a huge thanks to alexskarsgard.net for the translation and page scans!

Alexander Skarsgård is the hottest Swede in. And soon his first Swedish movie in three years, Johan Kling’s Puss, is about to premiere in August. Situation Stockholm’s Cyril Hellman got the only interview.

Alexander Skarsgård tells that the work on Puss has been going on for a long time. 1 ½ years ago, director Johan Kling, got sick from all the work and the shooting was put on hold indefinitely.

– It was really tricky since I don’t live in Sweden. I had to go home to LA and continue working on  True Blood. It took an enormous amount of time to get the whole thing back on track. But I think that I speak for all actors on the project when I say that we were all very dedicated to wrap Puss and not walk away from a half-done movie

– When we finally vi väl was about to start working on it again, I’d finished shooting second season of True Blood and in the middle of shooting the re-make of Straw Dogs in  Shreveport, Louisiana. It was all surreal, I was on an intense schedule and on top of it, the part demanded that I’d cut my hair really short. I flew from Shreveport via Atlanta, New York and Stockholm to Visby where Puss’producer picked me up and drove me straight to the studio in Fårösund, where a nervous make-up artist waited with a wig that I’d never even tried on before. Luckily it fit, and after that it was just to down a big cup of black coffee and get in front of the camera and smile.  We filmed for three intense days, and then I flew back to Shreveport. Needless to say, I was pretty exhausted during the filming, but it was a great joy to finish Puss with an incredibly inspiring Johan and a fantastic crew. They totally made it possible for me.

Alexander left Sweden at 30 mainly because he was only getting offers to play the high school hunk. Today, after the successes in the USA with the TV-series Generation Kill and True Blood there are offers for different parts from Sweden. Will you continue to film in Sweden?

– Yes. My moving was also about the Swedish films being made at that time. Nothing stood out. It was as if the same movie was being made over and over and I was only getting offers to play the same part over and over. Now it’s completely different. 10 years ago we made the worst films in Scandinavia but today I’m proud to be Swedish when I travel the world meeting people from the film industry. People are impressed over what’s happening in Sweden. We have a lot of new, young and interesting film makers that all have a different story to tell. Johan Kling is far from being a teenager, but he definitely belongs in the new crowd of Swedish film makers, all with their own unique style and vibe. I call them “auteur”. I was a huge fan of Darling, an incredibly touching movie. For me, there was never any doubt that it was the right thing to go home and work with Johan. And if you haven’t read Johan’s book “Människor helt utan betydelse”, go out and get it immediately!

Puss is a comedy that takes place at a small independent theatre. Alexander’s brother Gustaf also stars in the movie, as an introvert Indy guy. But they don’t have a single scene together.

– Gurra and jag don’t have anything big together in the movie, but there are some scenes where the whole ensemble gets together, so we did get to hang out a little bit after all.

Stellan Skarsgård recently said in an interview that the risk of him and his eldest sons doing a movie together would be that all focus would be on the actors instead of the work, and that is why they probably should do a play like “Long day’s journey into night”.

-Yes, but you have to understand that it’s not anything that is holding us back. It’s always about how good the script is. Usually when a producer has been interested in casting us together it’s because they’ve seen it from a PR perspective. I mean, they’ve probably been hoping for higher ticket sales if there is a gang from the Skarsgård Family in the same movie. As an actor that isn’t flattering at all and I don’t like it. However, if the offer to play a part comes to me because it’s a good script with a good character, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to work together. And of course, it would be great fun for all of us. But it has to be the right thing. And of course, we are doing “Long day’s journey into night” someday, speaking of great material….

From hunk to City Slicker in Puss. That isn’t a stretch and your part is pretty stereotype.

-He is a city guy and follows the current trend, drives the right car and is cool. It’s like if he’s interested in buying a sideboard from the 60’s for 45.000. He is extremely scared of conflicts and throughout the movie he continue to get himself into conflicts and always ends up in a corner. He is trying to get himself out of them in a clumsy way.

Eric in True Blood is also a “Slicker”. Do you see a pattern that you are getting type casted in a different way?

-No, as a character they are miles apart. Eric is full of self confidence, strong and stands by his word. He’s got enough self confidence to do that. Alex in Puss is nothing like that, he’s got an insecure gaze and always tries do get away, lies and avoids conflicts.

Alexander Skarsgård was born in Råcksta, but grew up in Södermalm.

-The Södermalm I grew up in was totally different from Södermalm today. Söder was an artistic area and much more affordable than the rest of the city. I moved to Söder when I was about 6 months old and I’ve lived there for most of my life. We moved to a block of Blekingegatan that today is a part of what everyone calls SOFO. When I was four years old we moved on to Götgatsbacken and Mom and my siblings still live there today. The family has had the same apartment for 30 years. I grew up there as well as Gurra, Sam and the other siblings. Götgatan then and now is like day and night. In the 80’s and beginning of the 90’s there were no latte places or trendy boutiques.

Alexander claims that the old Söder has made him what he is.

-We never left Söder. I went to school at Mariatorget and that was where we all hung out. I am so fucking old that Södra Station didn’t exist when I was a kid, it was a construction area. There was a closed gas station, an old railway and old storage buildings. The area looked like something out of a Mad Max movie. We ran around all over and it was our playground. There were a lot of shady people hanging there too, and once we were chased by an old man with a knife. It wasn’t the safest place but we had a blast and it was fun for us kids to hang out there.

Alexander still keeps up with Hammarby. –Bajen was an important part of my teenage-period in the 90’s. My friends and I was active supporters, and we basically went to every game. Sometimes it was Samba all night long after Bajen won and sometimes you had to get into a car and drive 140 miles in pouring November rain after Bajen lost a game where a qualification to Allsvenskan was at stake. “Det svänger om bajen”.

-I am without roots and have lived in the USA for six years. It’s important for me to come home and meet the guys and have a beer at “Medis” and then continue to Söderstadion to watch Bajen play. There are a lot of memories that come back whenever I do that, and it’s a part of my childhood.

Recently before one of Hammarby’s games away from home there was a clip uploaded on You Tube where you can see Alexander and Joel Kinnaman trying to hitch hike from central Hollywood to Jonkoping.

-Through the years, Hammarby have given me so much, so many great moments from going to their games and the mere thought of Hammarby going bankrupt and not being there anymore is terrifying. I want to encourage them and give something back. And when I have kids of my own one day I want to be able to take them to Söderstadion. Hammarby has the most loyal fans there are. There is no way we will let Hammarby file for bankruptcy.

What do you think of the current season in “Super-ettan”?

-It’s tough as hell. There is no money. But I am convinced that the new manager Åsa Sånemyr, will do a great job. The key to it all is that Hammarby have very dedicated supporters that will do anything to make the club survive financially. Together we will turn it around.

At his latest visit to Stockholm in May, Alexander and Kate Bosworth, was all over the news. Every day they were followed by the paparazzi.

-I’ve always been proud over the fact that people in Sweden will leave celebrities along, that you can go out and have a drink with your friends without being chased by photographers. Friends in LA don’t believe me when I tell them that there are no paparazzi in Sweden. And then I come home on vacation to visit family I haven’t seen in 6 months and I get stalked. It’s the tabloids – Expressen, Aftonbladet and Se&Hör – who send out reporters to do the stalking. It was absurd. My Mom called me from Gotland on Sunday evening that week and said “I know exactly what you’ve been doing all weekend, who you’ve been seeing, what bars you went to, what time you took a cab and from where you took it”.

Doesn’t that make you frustrated to the point where you just want to hit them Sean Penn-style?

-No, there are no professional paparazzi in Sweden. I got that these people were sent out to do their job. When I sat in a restaurant having dinner and a beer with my friends at 11 pm, there was a reporter from Expressen who came in and wanted to get an interview right there and then. Call me old-fashioned but I like the way it used to be, when journalists called and booked an appointment for an interview. Another dude followed us 24/7, he took notes on when we left the apartment and when we got back. After three days when he still was there, I walked up to him and said “I think this is enough”. He was cool about it and backed off. I don’t mind them as individuals but it’s frustrating not to be able to spend time with your family without having a camera shoved into your face.

Isn’t it a bit paradox that you’re in Lady Gaga’s video Paparazzi?

-Not at all. Paparazzi are about the media hype of today and forms the journalists and the photographers as well as the celebrities themselves.

LA Times recently described you as anti Hollywood because you lack a huge ego and a big entourage.

-I am very Swedish. There are a lot of people here thinking that if you have a big entourage that is the ultimate sign that you made it. They show up for a photo session with a crew of 20; stylists, publicists etc. In situations like that I just feel like J.Lo and that is not me. It’s not to maintain a certain image that I show up alone, it’s because that’s what makes me feel good about myself and I like having a dialogue with the photographer about what we’re doing rather than letting 25 people do my talking.

Have Joel Kinnaman and you started a Swedish Club in Hollywood?

-No. Joel is a good friend. But the last 6 months I’ve been busy shooting season three of True Blood. Joel has been filming a pilot in Vancouver so it’s nothing like Entourage, nothing like us being a big group of Swedes hanging out. But of course, we keep in touch and we meet as often as we can.

Alexander has moved a lot the last few years but now he is beginning to call LA his home.

-It’s taken me a couple of years to realize that this is my home. I’ve spent time here before but always moved on. Now that we are shooting True Blood in LA, I’m here for six-seven months of the year. After that when I get time off between seasons I go back home to Sweden to visit family and friends or to film Puss or I go to Shreveport to shoot Straw Dogs. I live in LA now but every time I touch ground in Stockholm I can feel that is my true home. That is where I have my roots, my family and my old friends.

Will LA continue to be your home in the foreseeable future?

-I don’t know. I like it here but it’s really hard to answer. The lifestyle here is very different from where I come from in Söder. Everything is spread out and bigger. You have to get into your car and drive everywhere. When you live two blocks apart you experience a different kind of togetherness. At home I run into friends whenever I’m out walking and you have more of spontaneous get-togethers, you meet over a coffee. That is not at all how things are in LA. The city is the size of Sörmland. But as long as I’m on True Blood and it is filmed here, this is where I will have my base.

There is a backside to Los Angeles: 80 000 homeless, gang and race wars, illegal immigrants, poverty and criminality.

-Yes. La is very segregated. Everything is spread out. People live in small isolated bubbles, sort of. If you visit some areas down town, it’s as if you are in a Zombie movie. The streets are all deserted, apart from the odd shopping cart that slowly rolls down the street. The contrasts of this city are scary. The segregation is a huge problem.

You’ve been in two successful TV series. Is the next move to start making good motion pictures?

-I’ll see about that. I’m attracted to interesting scripts. It’s totally irrelevant if it’s TV or movies.

Is it hard today to get the schedules of shooting both True Blood and motion pictures to work?

-No, I film True Blood for six to seven months of the year. The rest of the year I’m free to do whatever I want.

Alexander had been struggling in LA for three years before he got his big break as Sergeant Iceman in critically acclaimed Generation Kill.

-I got here in the spring of 2004 and it wasn’t until fall of 2007 that I got my first bigger job with that show. The first three years I wasn’t making any money at all and I didn’t work. We were a group of friends that had to struggle to survive. I went to meetings, read scripts, tried to get into the business by going to auditions. It was tough as hell. For a long period of time I got nothing but shitty scripts and I thought “what is the point of all this”. But from time to time a good script came along and got my attention and that was enough to motivate me to keep struggling.

-It was hard because the casting directors you met with probably met around a thousand actors for one part. And sometimes after I had been back for a second and third time and got close to getting the part, which alone motivated me to stay a bit longer. I was goal oriented and kept my self confidence at a high level. I had the feeling that sooner or later something would turn up that had my name written over it and I would get that part.

Did you ever consider giving up?

-No, not really. I didn’t have a lot to lose by staying. The situation wasn’t that I was offered all these great parts in Sweden and that I was missing out on anything. Each time I was on the verge of giving up and going back home and read the scripts I was getting from Sweden, I thought to myself “nope, this is not worth going home for”.

Did you ever get anything for free because of your name?

-No. Nobody in his right mind would cast me because my name is Skarsgård. That isn’t how it works. My old man isn’t that established here. I mean, people know who he is but he’s not really a “movie star”. They can’t finance a whole movie just because Stellan Skarsgård is starring in it and there is no way in hell anyone could finance a movie because Stellan’s completely unknown son is starring in it. The name did not make it any easier for me in any way. It was just for me to get a number and get in line and wait for my turn to audition.

Iceman really appears to be American. And foremost he sounds American. Did you work with a voice coach?

-Yes. It was inevitable that I wasn’t going to get away with an accent because the guy really exists in real life and he is from San Diego. We filmed for seven months in Africa and I had a dialect coach to help me with a lot of things.

How was it to be in Namibia for so long?

-A fantastic experience. Mentally it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. We were isolated in the desert without family and friends. We were shooting for six days of the week so during the days off I just slept or worked on the upcoming scenes with my dialect coach. It was extremely intense without any social life. For seven months I was either on set or in bed. But at the same time what made it magical was that the script was so fucking brilliant. David Simon and Ed Burns who wrote the script also made The Wire, which I love. After being a struggling actor in LA for three years it was inspiring to get an opportunity to work with people I admire.

True Blood, a TV series about modern vampires has an odd concept. Why is it such a hit?

-I was unsure myself when I was offered the part to play a Viking Vampire. But when I heard that it was Allan Ball, who made Six Feet Under and American Beauty, I got very interested. And when we finally met and he told me about his ideas I thought it sounded fantastic. The Series is over the top, with a twitch and completely insane with elements that are both funny and exciting. It’s extremely graphic. But Allan Ball and the other writers have a talent for finding a balance so that everything makes sense. It’s about our society of today; it starts in how you can see parallels in current events. The fantasy is grounded in reality.

The structure of True Blood is a lot like David Lynch’s’ Twin Peaks.

-If you think that all I can say is Thank You!

Sam Peckinpah’s original version of Straw Dogs was accused of being overly violent when it came out. Is the re-make just as violent?

-Yes, it’s going to be violent but at the same time different from Pechinpah’s. Rob Lurie re-wrote the script in full.

You’re also going to be in the international production of “Moomin”.

-Yes, and that was a bit unexpected. They called and I got the feeling from where I was a child – a Finnish-Polish production made in the 70’s 3D technique where you put glass windows and drew the characters before filming them to create depth. They’ve re-made that with modern technique but the feeling of it all is still very retro. And when they told me that Max von Sydow was going to tell the story I thought “well, that’s that. There is no way I can turn this down”.

How do you choose your parts?’

-A script has to have something that triggers me. And the ground of it all is always who wrote the script and is making the movie, so that I can understand the vision of the story that the Director wants to tell. It’s has to be something that triggers my creativity and is inspiring at the same time. With Moomin it was the combination of memories from when I was a kid and the opportunity to work with the legend Max von Sydow. If it’s good enough for Max, it’s good enough for me.

Are you signed for any further movies in the future?

-If everything goes the way it’s planned I will be shooting Melancholia with Lars von Trier home in Sweden this summer (starring opposites Keifer Sutherland, Kirsten Dunst, John Hurt, Udo Kier and Stellan). After that I’m still not sure what I’m going to do.

When I interviewed your father he said that one reason he got so many children was that “you have to beat your old Man at something”. Today you have more hits and a higher popularity rate on Google and IMdB, more fan sites and so on. Have all of this been your way of “beating your old Man”?

-My only goal has been to be taller than Dad. And I am. Career wise, I’ve never felt the need to compete with him. I love my Dad and if he is happy with his work, so am I.

For the complete article in Swedish please click the link below for the source:


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