OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011:

11.23.11

button_box.gif (205 bytes)On November 21st, a  photocall and press conference was held in Stockholm to promote the soon-to-be-released THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. Rooney Mara, director David Fincher and Stellan were on-hand but Daniel Craig was not in attendance since he is currently filming the latest James Bond flick. Click here for the gallery page.


11.18.11

After film projects  in New York City were finished, Alexander headed south to Shreveport, LA where filming for "The East" will continue through December 12th. The film, which also stars Ellen Page, Brit Marling and Patricia Clarkson, tells the story of Sarah (played by Marling), an undercover agent, who finds herself  falling for Benji (Alexander), the leader of The East, a mysterious anarchist organization. Ellen Page will play Izzy, the jealous ex-lover of Benji's. This photo shows the "True Blood" star enjoying a vegetarian lunch this week at Indigo, Shreveport's popular Indian restaurant.

11.12.11

button_box.gif (205 bytes)MELANCHOLIA made its US theatrical debut on Friday and it's definitely a winner! David Edelstein of New York magazine writes, "Only an egomaniac like Lars von Trier could turn the notion of a planet on a collision course with Earth into a metaphor for his own depression, and only a mad genius could make it sing." The stunning and aesthetic film has been deemed a masterpiece by the majority of critics around the world despite the fact that the director continues to be controversial. Who can forget his ramblings at Cannes this year? Next weekend the film will open beyond LA and NYC but will still have a limited release, so check your local arthouse for a screening. And you can visit the film page for movie stills and reviews.

Here's a snippet on how Alexander felt about working with his dad:

Amy Wilkinson of MTV News:

According to Alexander, the experience was truly cherished. "It was awesome," he enthused. "We've never worked together before. He's one of my best friends. I love hanging out with him. Being able to hang out  for two months - we shot in Sweden... He's pretty rad. He's a cool cat."

 

11.7.11

Quite an erotic photo, eh? Empire magazine published it in their latest edition but I'm not sure if the scene is actually in the film. I'm talking about THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. Have you seen the latest trailer? I thought the previous trailers were more riveting. With just a few more weeks to its theatrical opening, the date being December 21st, the hype is escalating. Apologies are in order for my skepticism, but I have a history of disappointment in Hollywood remakes, especially of foreign films. Think "La Femme Nikita" or better yet, Stellan's "Insomnia". Naturally I'm tickled pink that our Swede was cast in a Swedish film. I like authenticity. And I love Daniel Craig and Christopher Plummer as well. I'm not wild about Rooney Mara. In the trailer I noted that the various accents provide a somewhat disconnect to the fluidity of the film and I'm wondering if that will be disconcerting to some audiences. Yes, a remake is tricky business, especially when the original film was both critically-acclaimed and successful at the box office. The Swedish version was quite a dark and gritty neo-Noir with Noomi Rapace putting in such a disturbing, violent and titular performance, which revealed so alarmingly Lisbeth Salander's dark soul. So brilliant! Can Rooney Mara give us that raw performance without looking like a sweet rich girl in punk-goth make-up and costume?

Norwegian films became the big winner at Europe's largest film festival of Nordic Cinema, which takes place in Lübeck, Germany, every November for 53 years. Stellan's KONGEN AV BASTOY ("King of Devil's Island") won both the renowned NDR Award for Best Feature Film and the much coveted Lübecker Nachrichten Audience Award. The Norwegian drama, directed by Marius Holst, presents the thrilling account of a rebellion on a prison island in the Oslofjord in 1915. Holst, along with actor Benjamin Helstadt accepted the prizes at the Film Prize Night on November 5th. Together the prizes had a cash value of 17,500 euros. The jury stated that, "The director of the award-winning film succeeds in transforming a historical event into a gripping cinema experience with a powerful narrative: thrilling, authentic and emotional at every given moment. The film does more than reconstruct historical facts; it treats the major topics of the history of mankind, which makes it a film of high contemporary political relevance. The film is evidently based on very stringent, perfectly composed script. And the efforts undertaken by its producers, too, impressed us deeply. This is cinema at its best. This film is here to stay.”

10.30.11

button_box.gif (205 bytes)Since playing a wickedly sexy vampire on the HBO series, "True Blood", Alexander Skarsgård, the eldest of Stellan's seven children, has been thrust into the limelight of Hollywood idol. His chiseled, athletic frame and riveting pale blue eyes have thus created a fan base of worshippers. However, it has been a  major disappointment that his fan sites are an abomination lacking any aesthetic appeal or, more importantly, organization. One fan site actually had an ad for sperm bank donors appearing through Alexander's head! Let's face it, these web sites are mainly focused on his looks and never comment on his talent as an actor. I even found over 300 screen captures from one film! I'm not kidding. Yes, we know that Alexander's looks are HOT but ignoring all assessments of his WORK by the film industry is an injustice to the actor.

I've been maintaining online archives for actors since 1998 and I've discovered that "fan sites" ultimately fall by the wayside within three years because webmasters are typically young, they move on and quickly lose interest. Check back in 2014 if you don't believe me. Stellanonline.com will now carry more news on Alexander's career as well as updates on brothers Gustaf and Bill. Back in 2004, when this web site was created, there were NO web sites for any Skarsgård. Alexander had just recently shut down his own web site (see photo below), so I began to post news on Stellan's children. And FYI, for the past six years, this Skarsgård archive has been continually plundered so I will apologize upfront that I no longer heed to Internet etiquette.

Last month Alexander's latest film, "Straw Dogs" opened in US theatres and will be available on DVD on December 20, 2011. Written and directed by Rod Lurie, it's a remake of Sam Peckinpah's controversial 1971 thriller, transposing the action from a Cornish village to Blackwater, Mississippi. It also stars James Marsden and Kate Bosworth, a name you should easily recognize if you've been following Alexander's personal life. Their two-year relationship ended last summer. On the Tomatometer, the film scored a disappointing 42%, but not surprising since remakes rarely succeed. But just because a film doesn't do well at the box office or receives bad reviews does not necessarily have a negative effect on the actors. We've certainly seen this with Stellan where some of his films were not successful but his excellent acting was singled out.

Here's what some of the critics are saying about Alexander's performance in "Straw Dogs".

"A magnetic Alexander Skarsgård, who gives by far the best performance."  ...NY Post

"Alexander Skarsgård is the only reason to subject yourself to Rod Lurie’s bearable but superfluous remake of the 1971 Sam Peckinpah thriller 'Straw Dogs'."  ..New York Magazine

"The real standout is Skarsgård, who makes Charlie not just a menacing brute but a canny, sexy predator."   ...One Guy's Opinion

"Skarsgård, the object of many women's dark fantasies from his role in 'True Blood', uses his tight smile and dead eyes to good effect. He's chilling but his good manners never make him seem like an unspeakable monster. That part goes to James Woods, whose ferocity is frightening."   ...Reel Reviews

"The supporting cast includes the great James Woods as Tom Heddon, with Stellan Skarsgård’s son, Alexander Skarsgård, looking promising as leading protagonist Charlie." ...Birmingham Mail

"Skarsgård is perfectly cast as Charlie because the guy has the rare gift of being able to simultaneously exude charm and menace. Charlie is clearly dangerous, but at times he seems downright sweet and gentle. Skarsgård cuts an impressive physical presence as well."  ...St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Skarsgård’s character in particular has extra depth, and the charismatic 'True Blood' star shades it in with subtlety and conviction."   ...Little White Lies

"Marsden is excellent as David, though he does admittedly look like he'd be handier in a fight than Dustin Hoffman in the original film. Skarsgård is equally good, making Charlie a rather more complex character, heightened by his obvious sex appeal."  
...View London

"Skarsgård taps into his alluring trademark calm and restrained persona with a few gratuitous torso shots to boot, making us throw all caution to the wind."   ...Real.com

"Skarsgård was a damnably lucky bit of casting, and he manages to exude enough oily meanness through his model-like good looks that the character seems genuinely dangerous, even if Marsden and Bosworth aren't so entirely interesting."    ...Antagony and Ecstasy

"Alexander Skarsgård is particularly menacing as the too-polite-by-half good old boy, who still carries a torch for his old high school sweetheart."    ...The Times-Picayune

"Marsden is solid in his portrayal of a reluctant hero... Bosworth is adequate as well... But it’s Skarsgård who rises to the top of the heap with his bad boy Charlie."   ...Frank's Reel Reviews

"While Skarsgård is the big, bad wolf with a wounded heart, he’s played by one of Hollywood’s hottest men. You have got to respect that. Charlie is a rapist but Lurie clearly knows Skarsgård is a seductive actor and he frames him accordingly."    ...Films in Review

"Charlie, is played by the towering Alexander Skarsgård, who embodies the alpha-male personality that David lacks. Skarsgård's role can't exactly be called complex, but he's a magnetic screen presence."   ...Television without Pity

"Most of the cast are forced to paint with very broad strokes, although Skarsgård makes the most valiant effort in adding some kind of depth to his character. From his role on 'True Blood', he is used to glamoring us with his eyes."   ...Movies.com

"Only Skarsgård comes close to success with a performance that initially captures the outwardly friendly/inwardly frightening makeup of his character."   ...Efilmcritic.com

"Alexander Skarsgård brings the exact right blend of friendliness and menace to the role of Charlie."   ...About.com

"Alexander Skarsgård is the movie's biggest surprise. His Mississippi accent is surprisingly good and he turns what could have been a redneck stereotype into something halfway interesting."    ...Philadelphia Daily News

"While Bosworth, Marsden and Woods are superb, Skarsgård’s slyly nuanced performance is the most memorable."   ...SSG Syndicate

"Good performances throughout - Skarsgård is the standout - which help give Lurie's 'Straw Dogs' considerable weight, but the original is still the better movie by a considerable margin."   ...Film Journal International

"Given the less complex nature of Lurie's 'Straw Dogs,' the actors deserve praise for fleshing out their characters far better than Lurie's adapted screenplay requires, especially Skarsgård in a winning bad boy performance that's both quietly menacing — and frighteningly normal."   ...Daily Herald

10.25.11

Back in June Stellan's ex-wife, My Skarsgård, gave a candid interview with a Swedish publication, Damernas (Woman's World), in which she admitted her struggle with alcoholism. My and Stellan were married for 32 years before the two separated in 2006. Over the past few months she has continued to speak out about her addiction adding that "Stellan and the kids have given me their full support. This is something I have to take responsibility for the rest of my life. Therefore, it is important for me to tell my story, even the dark and ugly parts." Click here for a Google translation of that article. Her family must be grateful for her courage and we all wish her continued good health in body, mind and spirit.