Iamrogue.com - Interview with Stellan SkarsgŚrd

August 2011

To begin with, I want to ask you about the end credit scene in Thor, since it sets so much up for your character going into "The Avengers". Who actually directed that scene? Was it shot by Kenneth Branagh on the set of  "Thor", or by Joss Whedon as part of "The Avengers?"

SS: It was shot by Joss about half a year or more after we finished shooting "Thor". So that was the first time I had worked with Joss and I think the forth time that I worked with Sam (Jackson).

Was that your first time on "The Avengers" set?

SS: Yes. When we shot the tag from 'Thor' to 'Avengers', we shot it with a 3D camera that was a horrible contraption with two cameras and the mirror and stuff. It was extremely clumsy. I was considering not wanting to do the film if we were going to shoot it with machinery like that. But they decided to shoot "The Avengers" now on the small electric cameras and then digitally make the 3D afterwards, which is much more comfortable. I prefer to work with light and fast equipment because as an actor if you have to wait twenty minutes every time they change a lens the energy sort of fades out of the performance.

When you first read the screenplay for "Thor" was that scene included?

SS:  No it was not because I donít think they had the final story for "The Avengers" ready at that time. So that developed last fall when they contacted me and asked me if I wanted to be in "The Avengers". Then they started sending me pages and stuff.

Was that the first time you realized that you were going to be in more than just the 'Thor' franchise?

SS: Well when you sign up for these films, because of the way Marvel works, you are prepared to do five films for them and you negotiate for all those films. So Iím on their payroll so to say.

Were you surprised by the direction that they wanted to take your character and his involvement in "The Avengers?"

Skarsgard: Yes. I was.

In the "Thor" end credit scene, it was a little unclear whether Loki is possessing Dr. Selvigís body or if he is invisible and Selvig is the only person that can see and hear him. As an actor, what choice did you make in that scene and what do you think is really going on?

SS: Well with the scene we did in "Thor", it was like Loki, one way or the other, entered Ericís mind. And in 'Avengers', you will see more clarity in how Loki is using Ericís mind.

Can you talk about the size of your role in "The Avengers" and what exactly happens to Dr. Eric Selvig?

SS:  (My character) is of importance but the size of the role is not big. Itís a small role and it is a pretty crowded film with a lot of actors in it.

In "The Avengers", is your role tied to Loki and mostly working with Tom Hiddleston or do you break free and get to have some scenes with the rest of the cast?

SS: Most of my scenes were with Tom Hiddleston, yeah.

Have you finished shooting all of your scenes for "The Avengers" or are you still working on the film?

SS: Iím completing work now. Iím in New York to shoot the final scene of the movie so I will be wrapped here in a second.

What has the experience of working with Joss Whedon been like for you?

SS: Itís been very nice. He is a lovely man. Heís very different in energy from Kenneth Branagh. Every time you make a new film, you sort of meet a new temperament but he has been very lovely to work with and you feel freedom to come with your own input and have fun on the set.

As an actor, are you impressed with what Marvel Studios has been able to pull off, bringing all these beloved comic book characters to the big screen in separate franchises and now ultimately into one encompassing film?

SS:  Itís incredibly impressive. I mean those stories are modern American mythology and there are tons of fans out there to who these characters are very vivid and living. But if they would have done those films fifteen or twenty years ago they would have concentrated on just the special effects, but now they are hiring the best writers, the best directors, and the best actors which means specific quality products that are entertaining to people who are not even familiar with those super heroes.

What can you tell me about working on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?" Have you completed filming your scenes yet or do you still have some more to shoot?

SS: Weíve finished principle shooting but after Iíve done the last scene here tonight in New York of "The Avengers", I will fly back to L.A. to do a couple of re-shoots of a couple of scenes. I hope that will be a very good film. It's one of the best directors we have doing it (David Fincher) so it should turn out well.

Finally, I recently had a chance to see Lars von Trierís new film "Melancholia", which stars both you and your son Alexander. You both share a scene together and I wanted to ask you what it was like acting opposite your own son in a movie?

SS: Yeah that was fun. I have three sons that are actors now and Iíve worked with some of them in different projects before. Itís actually a great experience because you know each other so well so there is so much that you donít have to talk about on the set. You very quickly find a tone. You understand what you are doing because he is your kid. Also, all three of them are very good so that is nice and Iím very proud of them all.