SF.SE (Swedish Science Fiction)

Q&A with Stellan Skarsgård - May 2009

Have you ever regretted turning down a script? If so, which?

There have been some interesting ones that for various reasons I was unable to do. When I received the script for "Lord of the Rings", I had no because I did not want to be tied up in New Zealand for over a year.

Why did you say yes to "Angels & Demons"?

Only because I was curious to work with Ron Howard and Tom Hanks. Moreover, it appeared that it might be an exciting film, which could also pay some bills.

What living or departed person would you be interested in interviewing?

August Strindberg and Hjalmar Söderberg are names that first come up, but Hitler, Shakespeare, and Mohammed are also hot candidates.

What is your criteria in accepting a role?

What you're looking for is not only good roles, but also great adversary and exciting directors.

Any genre you would like to work more in?

Some more comedy might be fun ...

Do you have a favorite among colleagues in Hollywood?

Difficult to say, but Holly Hunter, I think, as both an actress and human being.

What is it like to work with Lars von Trier?

I have great fun when I play with Lars. It's doesn't feel like a job at all and the freedom is total. The actors are real and present and without private vanity.

What is Tom Hanks like?

He is what you think. Very nice, pleasant, funny, clever and a little bizarre.

Did you read the book before you got the role of "Angels and Demons"?

When I was contacted, there was no script yet so I read the book and told Ron Howard that I had found there was no role I wanted to do in it. They then created a role.

What is the funniest memory you have from your years as an actor? Something that even today makes you laugh.

I don't know. Maybe when I played a small role as Fortinbras in "Hamlet" at the Royal Dramatic Theater. Where I came on during the final act and everyone on stage was struck with laughter because Jan Malmsjö had got the wrong cup when he forces Georg Rydeberg to drink the poison. It was full of raklödder and Rydeberg looked like a dead Santa Claus.

How does it feel to see yourself on film?

I don't think it's fun to watch myself because I just think of what I could done better.

Do you have any dream role?

I have never really had any dream roles... But I think that Oliver Twist would suit me and this year I tried to get the rights to the Coetzes book "Disgrace" to get it done with me in the role of supervisor.

Do you have any tips on what to think about before my first audition?

Breathe. Fuck what they think and do not be afraid.

Are you going to write a biography?

No, no autobiography.

Is there an upcoming project that you can tell us about?

I have just completed a project in Norway and will take it easy and change diapers for a while.

Your best / worst cinema memory?

The best was probably when I along with my mom to see my first film, "Alice in Wonderland". Worst was the premiere of a film called "Tabu".