Alexander Skarsgård Says ‘People Didn’t Take Me Seriously’ Because of His Looks in Early Career

"After my first job, I was on a stupid 'sexy hunky hot list,'" said Skarsgård, who resented being typecasted in his early career.
Alexander Skarsgård attends 'The Northman' photocall in Rome. (Photo by Stefano Costantino / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)
Alexander Skarsgård
Sipa USA via AP

Ah, how much it can hurt to be really, really, really ridiculously good-looking.

“Zoolander” alum Alexander Skarsgård told The Sunday Times that it took years to be taken seriously as an actor due to his movie-star looks.

“I don’t really know if that was the reason I wasn’t getting roles,” the “Big Little Lies” star said. “Starting out in Sweden, there was stuff about being tall and blond. But most people here are tall and blond.”

Skarsgård continued, “Still, after my first job, I was on a stupid ‘sexy hunky hot list’ and then people didn’t take me seriously. If you want characters with depth but have been labeled ‘a dude who takes his shirt off,’ you’re not going to get those offers.”

Skarsgård has been named Sweden’s Sexiest Man Alive five times…and counting. And heavy wore that crown: “I was questioning why I was in the industry,” he said of the “trivial” roles being offered at the time.

HBO limited series “Generation Kill” saw Skarsgård’s career take off stateside in 2008, and lest we forget Skarsgård’s role as The Boyfriend in Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” music video the following year. Skarsgård went on to star in Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia,” “Straw Dogs,” and “True Blood,” as well as “Succession” and “Passing.”

His upcoming collaboration with Robert Eggers for the Viking revenge epic “The Northman,” in theaters April 22, marks a new physical transformation for the star. The large-scale production also stars Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Ralph Ineson, and Björk, and a grueling filming schedule led to Skarsgård admittedly giving his most all-in performance yet.

The “Big Little Lies” Emmy winner previously explained to Total Film that “The Northman” was “physically and mentally the most difficult job I’ve ever had, but also the most rewarding.”

“The days were really long and hard, and we were out in the mud and up on these mountaintops in the wind and the cold,” Skarsgård said. “The week prior, I was working on the television show ‘Succession,’ on which I play a tech billionaire in a villa on Lake Como. So I literally went from playing one of the richest dudes on the planet in a crazy, beautiful villa, surrounded by yachts and helicopters and luxury, and got on a plane and flew to Iceland to get shackled and dragged through the mud. It was definitely a waking-up moment and a humbling experience.”

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