Stellan Skarsgård: ‘My tips for fatherhood? Don’t lie. Even about Santa Claus’

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Do you ever get frustrated wearing clothes while you work? Do you think you are better at your job if you are able to be naked? kb123

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I usually take off my clothes when I come home but I don’t have any particular ambition to be naked on screen. And I am getting fewer and fewer offers. I don’t know what it means.

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Was it intentional to channelize your inner Colonel Kurtz into Doon? calimac

I had no intention of starting over, but I understood when I saw the silky pajamas and Denis (director, Villeneuve) asked me to lower my head and put my hand on it. I think it was his idea. It’s just the bald head, the dress, the gesture – that’s it. but it’s fun.

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Skarsgard in Doon. Photograph: PictLux/The Hollywood Archive/Alamy

Have you ever considered publishing a cookbook? baking glass

No, I am a good amateur and I love to cook. But there are lots of great books out there by professionals. I don’t like celebrity cookbooks and coffee-table stuff. That’s why I try to stay away. It’s like when people ask me if I want to write my memoirs. There’s no joy in that. The public side of being an actor is not a pleasure for me. I mean it’s fun to talk to a journalist, but then it’s in the newspaper. So it’s not fun.

I only do it because I want a project to appear, like in this case with Hope: a really cool film made by an amazing Norwegian filmmaker, Maria Sodahl. Her husband, Hans Petter Moland, is one of my best friends; I have done six films with him. So when Maria got cancer in a very, very bad way and was told she would die, I followed through on that terrifying position because they were friends.

Then he asked me if I wanted to do a film based on it. And I said: Oh no, no, no, no, not another fucking cancer movie. But this is not a cancer film. Actually it is a love story. And I could say: Oh no, no, no, not another fucking love story, but it is a good love story. And it’s got cancer.

Do you get tired of being cast as a smart person? Ptolemysoter

Yes. One of my favorite roles was in The Simple-Minded Murderer, for which I won an Actor Award in Berlin at some point in the last century. [1982], He was a man who was very sweet, not very smart, behaved really badly and was also the protagonist of the story. It was a lovely role to play. I would really love to play more stupid people. There are a lot of them; All you have to do is open the paper.

Did having eight kids affect your career? lrbnvntr

I’ve learned so much with my kids that it’s probably been very positive. And since I finished work at The Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm in 1989, I haven’t done any theater and I’ve only worked four months a year, so I’ve changed diapers for 40 years. I have cooked a lot for kids and I have watched them grow up and when we travel I usually bring them all. So I have lived a real normal life and the way it has affected me is that I am able to steal from my children because in them you see humanity in its raw form, which is hidden. You can watch a three-year-old kid and then you can play the President of the United States no matter what, because you understand that.

what is your topDo’s and Don’ts for Parenthood? middle ofwaves

Stellan Skarsgard with his son, actor Alexander Skarsgard.
Stellan Skarsgard with his son, actor Alexander Skarsgard. Photograph: Greg DeGire/FilmMagic

Do not lie. Even if they ask you very difficult questions at a very young age, be truthful. Otherwise, sooner or later they will realize: Oh my god, my parents are lying to me. Even about Santa Claus. He is not present. At least there is no proof of existence.

And don’t interfere. You have to give them so much love and protection that when they are young, almost from the age of 16, all the decisions are theirs.

What does it mean to you to be Swedish? brassmonkey

It impresses you that you grew up in a country that was like a bubble in the world in terms of social security and healthcare better than anywhere else. It is a very secular society and is brilliant in that sense. We still had compulsory Christian lessons in school when I was a kid, but that stopped when I was 10. My parents were atheists and my father was strictly against any social norms. It wasn’t always good. But it gave me an idea of ​​freedom. You have not accepted any other right than you competently. I don’t respect anyone because he is rich or powerful or owns half the world. It doesn’t make any sense. But if I see a cobbler who is really good at fixing my shoes, I respect that.

The pandemic hit Sweden hard at the beginning as it came when it was winter break for all schools and all Swedes went to the Alps and skied and brought back Covid. The initially high mortality rate also came from the fact that many of the care homes were privatized, but they were also governed by the municipality, meaning that every little shithole in Sweden had to look after them. The conditions were not good enough. And they had a lot of employees who didn’t understand Swedish because they were cheap.

So there were a lot of big mistakes, but we have been able to live a normal life in Sweden and there are no more deaths per capita in England. Last year I spent 10 months shooting in London in lockdown. Staying in a hotel in Soho and being able to sleep with the window open was an extremely pleasant experience. But I was constantly thinking of other people in East London who were living eight adults and five children in two rooms without safety nets.

Apart from films, which art inspires you creatively? sevenpenguin

Literature. I read a lot. I just read Colm Tobin’s The Magician, about Thomas Mann. that was fantastic. Now I’m reading a fairly entertaining book that’s a little light: The Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead. It’s fun. Not as dark as his previous books.

Skarsgard in Thor: The Dark World (2013).
Skarsgard in Thor: The Dark World (2013). Photograph: Marvel Studios/SportsPhoto/Allstar

What’s your funniest Lars von Trier anecdote that you’ve never shared before? lightsynthdesk

He appears to be a demonic Nazi who hates women. That is absolutely wrong. He is the happiest person to be with and has the most open, open set. He is very low-key and everyone feels safe. There is no hierarchy. Anyone can call her anything, and the tone is playful and ironic. You insult each other all the time and that’s so cute.

Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Stacy Martin and Lars von Trier promoting Nymphomaniac in 2013.
Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Stacy Martin and Lars von Trier promoting Nymphomaniac in 2013. Photograph: Christian Liliendahl/AFP/Getty Images

I don’t think he is crazy. He is usually happy when he is shooting but gets plagued by demons. For a while he could not go to the bathroom and wash his hands when the lights were on, because he was afraid that blood might enter the sink. stuff like that. He is not a happy man. But he is also a funny man, very gentle and kind and nice. And most women who have worked with him agree. Except Björk: All directors are control freaks and Björk has always controlled everything they do. So it didn’t work.

the beatles or rolling Stones? Or Abba? mixketola

At that point it was totally The Beatles for me. I ordered Sgt Pepper from England before moving out to Sweden. The Rolling Stones that I love now. At that point, you had to take sides; Now I can love them equally. When Abba took a break in the 70s, I was in my 20s and trying my best to be a very dark minded artist. And it was too light for me. Now I can listen to them and enjoy it.

Skarsgard with Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth in Mamma Mia!  (2008).
Skarsgard with Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth in Mamma Mia! (2008). Photograph: Universal Pictures / Relativity Media / Littlestar / Platon / Koble / REX / Shutterstock

I loved Mamma Mia!, such a fun, sunny movie! If you were Bill in real life, would you like to know whether or not you were a father, or would you be happy to stay in the theoretical third? pookifgelstein

The final solution was really cool: they shared. I would prefer not to know because there was a 66% chance that I would not be a father and that would have been sad.

Can you elaborate on some of the acting performances of others that deeply influenced you. tedhume

When I can’t see their equipment. When it looks like I’m an amateur watching. That’s why Björk was brilliant in Dancer in the Dark: There was no skill involved in his acting. What Kirsten Dunst did in Melancholia was brilliant: how her face described the different stages of depression. It’s silly of me to pick two Von Trier movies, but it reflects what I’m looking for.

What is your take on the criticism of superhero films by directors like Martin Scorsese and Ridley Scott? Hoggy Bear

I’ve got nothing against superhero movies. I’ve stayed in a couple and they definitely have a place. The problem is that the system of holding half the wealth to eight people in the world exerts market forces, so small and independent cinemas rarely exist outside of a few large cities. There is no distribution channel for all mid-budget movies that have the best actors, best writing, because they can’t throw $3 million for a marketing campaign. When theaters let them in, they do so for a week and if it doesn’t pay off in a week, they leave.

Remember that The Godfather first opened in 100 theaters in the United States – the big movies now open in 4,000. He had small commercials in the New York Times, but it grew and grew because it was such a good movie. People’s opinion has no chance now. And it’s sad.

I think we should have Marvel movies and more rollercoaster movies. We should have other films as well. And that’s the sad thing: When raw market forces come in, studios are run by companies that don’t care whether they’re working in movies or toothpaste as long as they get their 10th. % Is found. [return], When AT&T acquired Time Warner, it immediately asked HBO to become lighter and more commercial. He was always earning money. But one is not enough…

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