×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Bill Skarsgard: Entering family business

Berlin Film Festival: Shooting Stars 2012

Given that he’s the son of Swedish thesp Stellan Skarsgard — and the younger brother of “True Blood” heartthrob Alexander — it’s not surprising that 21-year-old Bill caught the acting bug early. He made his screen debut at 9, and later earned attention for a string of supporting parts — most notably in the second installment of Peter Flinth’s broadswords franchise “Arn” in 2008, and Carl Astrand and Mats Lindberg’s comedy “Kenny Begins,” the following year.

“Acting was always there, it’s true,” he laughs. “But for a long time, in my teenage years, I wasn’t sure about it — not because I didn’t like it, but I didn’t want people to think I hadn’t earned it. Sweden is a small country and, well, our family’s pretty prominent in that world, I guess. And I really didn’t like the sound of just being ‘the fourth acting Skarsgard.’ I needed to be myself and find my own identity.”

It was his lead perf in Hannes Holm’s “Behind Blue Skies,” as a troubled young man searching for a father figure, that clinched it (“just the thrill, I think, of creating that character from scratch”); and he followed it with another tour de force,in Andreas Ohman’s Oscar-shortlisted “Simple Simon” (2010). Portraying a character afflicted with Asperger syndrome, he admits, came with certain responsibilities: “I did a lot of research, for sure — I wanted to be as truthful as I could. But Asperger’s varies so much from one person to another, that I didn’t feel like I had to portray the entire scope of the syndrome. I just had to find one character, and his own particular truth.”

Last year he starred in Lisa Ohlin’s “Simon and the Oaks,” as a Swedish youth discovering his Jewish birthright in the aftermath of WWII. English-lingo auds will soon catch him in Joe Wright’s adaptation of “Anna Karenina,” where he will play Capt. Machouten opposite Keira Knightley and Jude Law.

Return to the Berlin Preview >>

More Film

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Tops International

    'Curse of La Llorona' Tops International Box Office With $30 Million

    Warner Bros. and New Line’s “The Curse of La Llorona” led the way at the international box office, summoning $30 million when it opened in 71 foreign markets. The supernatural thriller collected $26.5 million in North America for a global start of $56.5 million. “La Llorona,” based on the Mexican folklore about the Weeping Woman, [...]

  • Box Office: 'Curse of La Llorona'

    Box Office: 'Curse of La Llorona' Wins Worst Easter Weekend in Over a Decade

    Warner Bros. and New Line’s “The Curse of La Llorona” ascended to the top of domestic box office charts, conjuring $26.5 million when it opened in 3,372 North American theaters. “La Llorona” is the latest horror movie to outperform expectations, further cementing the genre as one of the most reliable box office draws. Even so, [...]

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow

    'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow Easter Weekend at the Box Office

    New Line’s horror pic “The Curse of La Llorona” will summon a solid $25 million debut at the domestic box office, leading a quiet Easter weekend before Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters on April 26. The James Wan-produced “La Llorona,” playing in 3,372 theaters, was a hit with hispanic audiences, who accounted for nearly 50% [...]

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Little Woods

    Film Review: 'Little Woods'

    So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and on the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico. But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long? “Little Woods” opens [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content