07Jul 18

The Telegraph - Though I have never been interested in a career, I have always loved being an actor - Stellan Skarsgard

Stellan Skarsgard has been a familiar face in films — Holly biggies to indie fare — and has played memorable roles, including Bootstrap Bill Turner in the Pirates of the Caribbean films and Erik Selvig in the Avengers franchise. With Sony PIX celebrating the Swedish actor’s birthday by screening some of his films, t2 caught up with 67-year-old Skarsgard for a phone chat. When you look back at your body of work, what’s the emotion like — humility, amazement, regret or that you aren’t really done yet? Honestly, I never look back at what I’ve done. I just approach every project as if it’s my first and my last. I don’t watch my own films very much. I really enjoy my work, but I don’t see it as a ‘body’ of work or anything that’s monumental by any means. You continue to make many movies every year. What would you say has been the defining moment for you as an actor? Though I have never been interested in a career, I have always loved being an actor. When I work with other actors, I always look at what they give me and what I can give them and what we can create together. I am as happy as a child in a sandbox when that happens. Superhero films to intimate indie productions, which genre challenges you and what do you enjoy doing most? Films are like food… you want a varied diet. So when I am doing a Hollywood movie where there is an interesting mix of top actors, then I like doing that. Similarly, I am kicked when I am approached for an indie film because that means that the director is the one completely in charge. I’ve made over a 100 films and if I had done all of them in the same genre, then I would have been bored by now. I really enjoyed the variety. You’ve made many notable films with director Lars Von Trier. What works for this winner of a working relationship that you share? The wonderful thing about working with him is that he always makes films no one has seen or attempted before. He doesn’t copy anyone… everything he does is original. Whether you like his films or not, they all have a distinct voice. Also, it’s the most relaxed set you can be on. He’s the friendliest man and there’s no hierarchy on his set. Everybody is allowed to say what they think. On his set, it’s like being with siblings — good siblings — and you just enjoy the process. And I know that I can always trust him with the final product.