Since becoming a famous person by playing Eric Northman on True Blood, Alexander Skarsgård has seemed to poo-poo the typical Hollywood offerings. There hasn’t been the role of playing Mark Wahlberg’s buddy in Contraband 2, or whatever. Sure, he did have a supporting part in Peter Berg’sBattleship, but it’s almost the exception that proves the rule… and if Skarsgård was going to make a failed huge studio movie, well, he picked the one. While his father, Stellan Skarsgård, has been making Marvel movies, Alexander has spent his time making movies with Lars von Trier, Zal Batmanglij, and now with Marielle Heller with The Diary of a Teenage Girl.
In The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Skarsgård plays Monroe, a character who should be repulsive, but the way Skarsgård plays him, it winds up being frustratingly confusing. Monroe seems like a nice guy, but it just so happens he’s sleeping with his girlfriend’s (Kristen Wiig) teenage daughter, Minnie (Bel Powley). Monroe knows this is wrong and tries to end the relationship, but is weak and can never seem to turn Minnie down. Monroe could have easily, and probably pretty effectively, been played as an “asshole,” but Skarsgård gives Monroe depth that Monroe might not even deserve.
Next year, Skarsgård will play the lead in the no-doubt-about-it big budget Tarzan. Directed by David Yates (who has four Harry Potter movies under his directing belt), this at least sounds like a much more interesting Tarzan than we’ve seen in awhile – a Tarzan that is fully domesticated, living in England with his wife. Ahead, Skarsgård explains what he’s looking for when he picks a role, and explains why his Tarzan probably isn’t what you’re expecting.