Stellan Catches A Robber
"I'm lazy and feel no need to work", says Stellan
Skarsgård, but still catches a robber in Pirates of the Caribbean II. Stardust meets our greatest Hollywood star to
talk pirate life - and private life.
2006 is Stellan Skarsgård's great international
year. In November, he's playing
the title role of the artist Francisco Goya in master director Milos
Forman's Goya's Ghosts.
Among the co-stars we find Natalie Portman and Javier Bardem. And in
July, we already get to see him as
pirate captain "Boostrap" Bill Turner in Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead
"I play Orlando Bloom's father, a pirate captain who spent years at the
bottom of the sea, but returns having
been inflicted with a curse."
You'd think Stellan gets to liven things up with some pirate action, but
that's not the case. Johnny Depp and
Bloom once again bring the action.
"Yeah, I don't have a lot of that kind of thing. But I was promised a
big fight scene in the third film."
Of course, all the international work involves a lot of flying around,
and living in luxurious hotels around
the world. Most of us would call that the height of happiness, but not
Stellan. When he's abroad, he wants to
live in an apartment, or he'll rent a house. This is so he can cook
himself and have guests. It's also important
that friends and family can come to visit.
"I'm addicted to my family. I feel safe in it. And what else would I
use my money for than food and shelter for
family and friends?"
His wife My is an educated doctor, and Stellan is happy she is involved
with something completely different than himself.
"She doesn't have the same kind of anxiety I do," he says, and reveals
he's not the calm guy everyone thinks
"Things take place within me. There's a layer I want to get through
every day. I know myself and how far I must
get. I know what is demanded of me. Actors are the most afraid and vulnerable people there
are. We must
always expose ourselves. I don't believe
in the image of idols and stars. There are a great amount of artists who
are small people. As an actor, you're
always involved. The bubble tends to break."
He tells us of how he once saw Margaretha Krook before a premiere at
"Here she was, this legendary, this legendary entity with over a
hundred years on stage, and she was still
terrified. Then she went on stage and was brilliant. But that did not
end her fear. I'm a lazy bastard myself, and I don't really feel a need
to work. I'm terrified everytime I start a new film,
but I enjoy it when it works."
Despite his unwilling approach to working, Stellan Skarsgård has come a
Once a teenage idol from Bombi-Bitt och jag, he's now a world famous
Directors, producers and fellow actors spread praise over his his
complete lack of diva fashions, professionalism, his kindness, and his
ability to take on a tormented police officer with complete conviction,
as in the original version of Insomnia, to an exorcist in Exorcist: The Beginning.
A lot of people wonder why we don't see more of Stellan in Swedish
productions. The reason is not a high price tag from Stellan's side
"I had hoped things would be like in Denmark, where
they tend to think in more continental ways.
But it's not as open in Sweden. Now I mostly keep in touch with Swedish
cinema through my children."
Yes, the Skarsgård clan is well represented through Stellan's eldest
sons Alexander and Gustaf,
who have both become recognized actors.
"I think both Alexander and Gustaf are better and more mature than I
was at that age.
I was a prisoner of ambition. They're more taken care of than I was, but
they've come furtherthan I had at that age. And they're also more handsome and smarter than
I was as well."
Do you feel like an adequate father?
Never. No chance. You always make mistakes. But I'm at least trying to
follow the motto 'if you can't be good, try to be careful'."
But mottos like those are probably best left at home in your chest when
it's time to go out on
the seas and be a pirate.
by Robin Solsjö Höglund
with our sincere thanks]