I get to wear cowboy boots, man. And I get to ride horses and shoot zombies… I’m kinda living the dream. -Andrew Lincoln
Face it, you sold your soul the day you put on that first pair of Jimmy Choo’s.
Alexander Skarsgard Joined The Giver to Work with Meryl Streep
Alexander Skarsgard is best known for playing True Blood’s resident bad-boy vampire Eric Northman, but he found his role as the kindly Father in The Giver to be a welcome departure.
"It was definitely a character I hadn’t played before," the 37-year-old tells PEOPLE. "Every year, when we wrap up a season, I look for things that are different from Eric Northman.
"It was a real challenge because he is a character who does horrendous things, but that said, he’s not a bad guy," adds Skarsgard. "He just doesn’t know any better."
The Giver features a bevy of big-name stars like Jeff Bridges and Taylor Swift, but there was one actress in particular the True Blood star was excited to work with: Meryl Streep.
"It was a small supporting role, but how could I possibly turn down the opportunity to work with Meryl?" he says.
Unfortunately, though he shares a scene with her, Skarsgard never crossed paths with the actress thanks to their tight shooting schedules.
"We were never able to overlap, so that was quite disappointing," he laments. "But I’m still in the same movie as Meryl Streep!"
He did bond with his other cast members, however, enjoying joint dinners on their downtime.
"It was a lot of fun," Skarsgard laughs. "Jeff is a very social guy. He’s a great musician, so there’s a lot of singing and guitar playing.
"All that kind of stuff is so important, especially when you play a character that’s quite difficult," he adds. "It was really nice on weekends to hang out with the cast and crew and Jeff, he was the anchor of the group."
Fellow castmates Katie Holmes and Swift provided delicious sweets for the cast and crew, but Skarsgard stayed away from baking.
"There were definitely some cupcakes on set," he says. "Unfortunately, I didn’t bake. I probably should’ve returned the favor, but they would’ve all gotten food poisoning."
And, for the record, no he is not dating Holmes, despite what the Internet says: “Katie’s a dear friend and I really loved working with her. She’s a sweetheart and a great actress. But no, we’re not dating,” the actor clarifies.
As the end of True Blood approaches, Skarsgard admits he already feels nostalgic for the HBO series.
"I remember shooting my last scene with Kristin Bauer [van Straten, who plays Pam]," he says. "I knew that it was going to be very emotional, I knew that it was going to be difficult, but I had no idea how hard that would hit me the second they yelled cut on our last take together."
He adds: “In that moment, we just looked at each other and burst out crying.”
The Giver opens in theaters on Friday.
(Source: People.com, Photo credits: Originals: TheGiverMovie twitter & Gage Skidmore flickr)
Q: Supernatural is one of your best notable works. Do you still remember how you were cast as Dean Winchester 11 years ago?
A: I had contact with the director and production team before, and we knew each other pretty well. When the director approached me, he felt I am suited to play this character. Therefore I was auditioned twice only and confirmed shortly after.
Q: What are the similarities and differences between yourself and Dean Winchester?
A: Actually we are pretty different. Dean Winchester is a typical hero; he will forever be the first one to charge and fight. He has a very distinct personality. However I am more like a peaceful person off screen. I don’t like adventure. It’s not fear of failure. It’s just if life is good and happy then there is no need to impose changes. I am gentle and accommodating in real life.
Q: Had the thought of quitting ever crossed your mind in past 11 years? Were there any moments that made you hesitate?
A: Definitely not. I spend 10 months a year on doing Supernatural. There is not much time left for me to take other offers. Because we work together so well, I usually sign up Supernatural firstly each year to ensure its time requirements. Most of the companies in the entertainment industry know my schedule, so generally they approach me for short-term activities. I ask my agent not to inform me even it’s a really good offer. Since I have already decided to work on Supernatural, why should I be bothered by things I am definitely not able to accomplish? I always tell my agent to just inform me works we decide to do and nothing else.
Q: What are your criteria for selecting scripts and works?
A: Production team. I care about if I can work with the team happily and smoothly as well as if the story and characters are creative and interesting.
Q: How do you define “success”?
A: Happiness, to make myself and other people happy. I believe happiness, health, comfort are the essences of life. I look forward to an simple, joyful and comfortable life.
Q: Do you think you are a successful actor?
A: Yes, haha. I think I am doing fine. People seem to like me.
Q: Do you have any idols in life or in work?
A: I admire my father the most. He is a very wise man. On one hand he can see the easy path and the hard one in the first place; on the other hand, he will not stop me from choosing the hard path, he will gladly let me do anything I want but meanwhile he is prepared to overcome those difficulties with me. I hope I can be a father like him in the future.
Q: What’s your priority in your life? Career, family or love?
A: Family will always be my first priority. My wife, daughter, parents are the most important. I will never prioritize my work over the time I can spend with them. I won’t choose anything over the happiness of my family. I think it’s good that my wife and daughter stay with me and I have a job that I like.
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