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Alexander Johan Hjalmar Skarsgård (born August 25, 1976) is a Swedish actor.

Skarsgård is best known for portraying Nordic vampire Eric Northman on HBO's True Blood, based on the Southern Vampire Mysteries book series by Charlaine Harris, for the entirety of its run.

He's also notable for his work in other HBO dramas based on novels: war drama Generation Kill, and domestic dramedy Big Little Lies, for which he received an Emmy award in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie category.

An actor in his native Sweden for many years, he's since crossed over into mainstream American films like Zoolander, the 2011 remake of Straw Dogs, Battleship, and The Legend of Tarzan as the title character.

He is the first son of Stellan Skarsgård and the brother of actors Gustaf, Bill and Valter Skarsgård.

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Selected filmography:


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Alexander Skarsgard provides examples of the following tropes:

  • The Big Guy: He's 6'4'' and naturally slender, but has bulked up for numerous roles to play very physically imposing characters.
  • Family Business, His father, Stellan Skarsgård, three of his four grown brothers (Gustav, Valter, and Bill Skarsgård) and his sister all have more-or-less successful careers in acting or modeling. The fourth grown brother, Sam, is a doctor like their mother.
  • Former Child Star: Subverted. He was a famous child actor in Sweden, but found life as a public figure increasingly awful as he entered his teens. He then took a break from movies and completed high school, went through a stint in the Swedish army and did a semester of college before rediscovering his passion for acting and going to acting school, and eventually began to pick up work again.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Has very pale blue eyes that probably contribute to his being cast as villains or cold-hearted characters.
  • Surprisingly Good English: He learned English in Sweden and didn't move to the United States until his 20s. When speaking off the cuff, he has a noticeable Swedish accent, but he can mask it well enough when delivering lines that he can play native-born American characters.
  • What Could Have Been:

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