button_box.gif (205 bytes)Biography:

Stellan’s eldest child, Alexander Johan Hjalmar Skarsgård, was born on August 25, 1976 in Råcksta, located in the north-western suburbs of Stockholm. For most of Alex’s childhood, his father was a television, film and stage actor, not yet achieving the international fame he would receive after appearing in Lars Von Trier’s “Breaking the Waves” in 1996.

When Alexander was just 6 months old, the family moved to Götgatan in Södermalm, a district in central Stockholm. Today it is considered a fashionable place to live, but this was not the case in the 70s. At that time it was still regarded as a working class neighborhood and it undoubtedly shaped Alexander's formative years.

"No one had successful parents. Several had single mums or parents that were alcoholics. We had no money. Mum didn't work and dad had a crappy actor salary. We had tea tin cans that I used as drum sets. That was my best toy for years, I thought they were hilarious. As long as none of your neighbours have radio-controlled cars, you have fun with the little you have. It's only when envy comes in that you despair."  ...Alexander

Alexander had his first taste of acting in a small theatre when he was 4 years old, but in 1984, his father was cast in "Åke och hans värld" and since Stellan was good friends with director Allan Edwall, Alexander was given the role of Kalle Nubb, marking his official acting debut.

“Even though my dad had one of the bigger roles, we never had any scenes together. I had a blast. I was so young so I did not have to keep character, I could just have fun and eat cookies and play in front of the camera.”

With television roles in Inga röd” in 1987 and “Hunden som log” two years later, his name became a household name in Sweden when he was only thirteen years old. However, fame didn't sit well with the teenager because he was uncomfortably shy with being publicly recognized, so he quit acting for the next seven years.

At age 19, he applied to do his national service. He served in the Swedish military for 18 months in a unit that dealt with anti-sabotage and anti-terrorism in the Stockholm archipelago. After completing his service in 1996, he left Sweden and attended Leeds Metropolitan University in England for six months. He enrolled to study English but admits he did not study much and "had a blast" instead.

“I joined that company [marine anti-terrorist unit], and was there for 18 months, became a sergeant and platoon leader. It was very rigorous and demanding, the things they put us through. … But I learned a lot about myself and my limits. I’m happy I did it, but the day I graduated, I never looked back.”

After seven years away from acting, he then enrolled in a theatre course at Marymount Manhattan College in New York. After six months, a romantic entanglement lured him back to Sweden; however, that relationship turned out to be short-lived. Despite having a broken heart, Alexander decided to stay in Sweden and, with a bit of life experience under his belt, he began his acting career once more.

“I was twenty and got into an acting school there. I had planned on living there for four years, studying. But then I met a girl in Sweden first summer break. So I dropped out of school and went home for love. She was 17 and I was 20. We didn’t even know each other; we had only hung out for four weeks and had just fallen in love."

Several acting roles in 1999 and 2000 brought him some success with the film "Vingar av glas" garnering a Best Picture nod at the Guldbagge Awards. Though he was now becoming a star in his native country, he was interested in broadening his horizons and working outside of Sweden.

A visit to Los Angeles landed him both an agent and a part in the film "Zoolander" in 2001.  Alexander then returned to Sweden where he continued honing his acting in film and theatrical productions including "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "Blodsbröllop". In 2003 his work in the film, "Hundtricket". earned him a Guldbagge nomination for Best Supporting Actor. At this time, he also co-wrote and co-directed an award-winning short, "Att doda ett barn", which was shown at both the Tribeca and Cannes Film Festivals.  Unfortunately, stardom in Sweden doesn't bring international recognition and Alexander found himself flying back and forth to Los Angeles, auditioning for roles that he had no real interest in.

Finally, being cast in a couple of HBO productions helped propel him to Hollywood stardom. In 2008, he starred in HBO’s miniseries “Generation Kill,” in which he portrayed an American Marine, Sgt. Brad “Iceman” Colbert. It was this role that made female audiences take notice. The same year HBO hired him to play Eric Northman, a 1,000-year-old Viking vampire on the hit series "True Blood". He rode to success in this role because of his magnetic performance, his tall-and-handome good looks and America's strange obsession with vampires. The HBO series is now in its fourth season.

In addition, Alexander appeared in the music video for pop singer Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" in 2009. The following year Annie Leibowitz photographed him in an ad campaign for clothier Hickey Freeman. Those photo shoots appeared in The Wall Street Journal Magazine, GQ and Details. He also appeared on the September 2010 issue of Rolling Stone with his "True Blood" co-stars, Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer. (View Alexander's magazine covers).

In 2011, his screenwork became even more demanding. By the end of the year there were a total of four films in post-production: Peter Berg's film, "Battleship", an adaptation of the Hasbro game, Scott McGehee and David Siegel's adaptation of the Henry James novel, "What Maisie Knew", and two indie films - Henry Alex Rubin's "Disconnect" and Zal Batmanglij's "The East". All four films have 2012 releases dates.