Most people know Alexander Skarsgard from his role as a seductive vampire on True Blood, and many of you may be looking forward to his upcoming role in The Legend of Tarzan, but what you may not be aware of is just how much of an ally he is to the gay community.
Skarsgard explains: “It’s always been the most natural thing to me because my uncle and godfather is a gay man and so growing up, even as a little toddler, it was just as natural as being straight. My aunt would show up with her husband and my uncle would show up with his husband. He was, by far, out of my father’s four siblings, the most fashionable and the most trendy, cool guy. So, when I was a kid, he was the one I looked up to. I thought he was really badass: fit and awesome and cool, and obviously not because he was gay. When I became a teenager and the kids made fun of other teenagers who were gay, I never really understood that. It just baffled me because my idol, my godfather, was gay, and he was the coolest guy I knew. I just couldn’t understand how that could be an insult.”
He continues by stating that “a lot of the xenophobia and fear comes from that, from not having a personal connection. People that know someone close that they love who is homosexual or bisexual are more likely to sympathize with people in the LGBT community.”
When asked about his character’s open sexuality on True Blood and his occasional gay sex scenes, the attractive Swede admitted: “It was just one of the most profound experiences ever. Just liberating. Even though there’s shit loads of nudity on the show, it never felt gratuitous. I think that’s when, as an actor, you feel uncomfortable, if you’re standing there with your clothes off and you’re not quite sure why.”
Skarsgard even believes that much of what the characters faced on True Blood had many parallels for how society treats the LGBT community.
“A lot of the storylines are metaphors for the strife people in the LGBT community experience, but it’s done in a very subtle way where people who have never met anyone who’s gay or who have prejudice toward that community would still embrace the show and would still come up (to me) and be super excited about it. They would love Lafayette – I mean, a black, gay man. What (creator) Alan (Ball) did was beautiful and it was groundbreaking.”
As far as his own gay scenes on the hit show, Skarsgard says that he had no choice but to fully embrace them and stay true to his character and the story lines.
“I had two gay sex scenes on the show. They’re incredible scenes. I loved this scene and I remember talking to Theo (Alexander), who played the Greek lover of Russell Edgington (portrayed by Denis O’Hare), and that was the first gay sex scene I had on True Blood. He’s also a straight guy and he was nervous; he had never kissed a guy before. I just said, ‘Look at the scene. It’s this nemesis and he comes in and then it gets seductive and you think they’re gonna make love and it gets into that and then suddenly my character stabs him in the back and he explodes. In two minutes, look at this emotional rollercoaster we’re taking the audience on. If we commit to this, it’s going to be an amazing scene and we’re going to be very happy with it forever. If we hold back, that’s when it gets awkward.’”
Skarsgard continues: “Same thing shooting the other scene with Ryan (Kwanten) – we knew that it was coming because we shot a scene the previous year where I hypnotize him and say, like, ‘When you dream, dream sweet dreams of me.’ Because we did it in a very seductive way, when they said ‘wrap’ and I turned around and I saw the writers, I could just see in their eyes that they were like, ‘We’re definitely gonna see this dream later on in the show.’ We knew it was coming. You have to think of the scene and how it fits in and hopefully be excited about the scene. Then, just dive in.”
Well, we definitely hope he dives in…again and again and again.