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Stellan John Skarsgård

Stellan John Skarsgård is a Swedish actor. He is known for his roles as Jan Nyman in Breaking the Waves (1996), Prof. Gerald Lambeau in Good Will Hunting (1997), Bootstrap Bill Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007), Bill Anderson in Mamma Mia! (2008).

Background

  • Skarsgård was born in Gothenburg, Sweden, the son of Gudrun (née Larsson) and Jan Skarsgård. He moved often in his childhood and lived, amongst other places, in Helsingborg, Totebo, Kalmar, Marielund and Uppsala.

  • Career

    • karsgård started his acting career early; and, by the age of 21, his experience in film, TV and stage was considerable. Most of his early roles were in Swedish television (such as Bombi Bitt) and films. Of Skarsgård’s work in Swedish film, he is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who worked to save Holocaust victims.

      Skarsgård is particularly associated with director Lars von Trier and has appeared in six of the Danish auteur's features: The Kingdom, Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Melancholia and Nymphomaniac. His most personal working relationship, however, is with Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland, who has directed the actor in Kjærlighetens kjøtere, Aberdeen, "In Order of Disappearance" and A Somewhat Gentle Man. Skarsgård considers Moland a close friend and, in 2009, he said of their relationship: "We're like an old married couple and I get separation anxiety." Another Scandinavian work that he is known for is the 1997 Norwegian film Insomnia, in which he plays the guilt-ridden policeman Jonas Engström.

      Skarsgård’s first American film was the 1985 film Noon Wine, directed by Michael Fields, in which Skarsgård played a mentally-disturbed immigrant farmhand being chased by a bounty hunter. He acted opposite Fred Ward, who portrayed the farmer. In 1990 he starred in another American film, The Hunt for Red October, playing the character of Captain Tupolev, a Soviet submarine commander.

      He was considered for the role of Oskar Schindler in Schindler's List. Skarsgård reported that people often mistook him for Liam Neeson who portrayed Schindler in the film. Skarsgård would, in fact, replace Neeson in the 2004 film Exorcist: The Beginning. He appeared as a guest star on the HBO TV Series Entourage, as Verner Vollstedt, the German director of the fictional film Smokejumpers, who has a bias against the main character Vincent Chase, one of the stars of the film.

      Skarsgård played Dr. Erik Selvig in Marvel's 2011 film Thor, and then reprised the role in the 2013 sequel Thor: The Dark World, as well as 2012's The Avengers and 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron. Skarsgård reteamed with Thor director Kenneth Branagh for the 2015 film Cinderella, in which he played The Grand Duke.

      Skarsgård has also appeared in music videos alongside fellow Swedes. He was in Eva Dahlgren's "Vem Tänder stjärnorna" (Who Lights the Stars) in 2009 and Lykke Li's 2011 music video, "Sadness Is a Blessing".

    Religion

    Skarsgård was brought up by humanist, atheist parents and had an atheist grandfather and a deeply religious grandmother. According to Skarsgård, this never led to any problems because of the family's mutual respect for each other's opinions. After the September 11 attacks, Skarsgård set out to read the Bible and the Quran, both of which he condemns as violent. Skarsgård is also a critic of religious independent schools in the Swedish educational system. Skarsgård has said he considers the notion of God absurd and that if a real God were actually so vain as to constantly demand worship, then he would not be worthy of it.

    In 2009, Skarsgård, along with other non-religious artists, authors and entrepreneurs including Christer Sturmark, Björn Ulvaeus and Christer Fuglesang, wrote an article in Dagens Nyheter stressing the importance of secularity. The group also criticised the UN for its stance on blasphemy laws.

    Connections

    • He married My Agnes, a physician, in April 1975 and together they had six children: Alexander (b. 1976), Gustaf (b. 1980), Sam (b. 1982), Bill (b. 1990), Eija (b. 1992) and Valter Skarsgård (b. 1995). Alexander, Gustaf, Bill and Valter are also actors, while Eija is a former model. Skarsgård and My divorced in May 2007.

      Stellan married Megan Everett in January 2009. The couple have two sons together, Ossian (b. 2009) and Kolbjörn (b. 2012).

      Actors Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly named their son Stellan after Skarsgård.Skarsgård has been best friends with Peter Stormare since 1976. Skarsgård designated Stormare the godfather to his son, Gustaf.
    • spouses: My Agnes
    • Megan Everett
    Stellan Skarsgård
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    Born June 13, 1951
    (age 66)
    Nationality
    Ethnicity:
    • 1968 - present
      Actor
      Sweden