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Stellan Skarsgård

Stellan Skarsgård
Skarsgård in Kalmar, July 2009
Born Stellan John Skarsgård
(1951-06-13) 13 June 1951
Gothenburg, Sweden
Occupation Actor
Years active 1968–present
  • My Skarsgård (m. 1975; div. 2007)
  • Megan Everett (m. 2009)
Children 8, including Alexander, Gustaf, Bill and Valter

Stellan John Skarsgård (Swedish pronunciation: ; born 13 June 1951) 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 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), Martin Vanger in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011), and Dr. Erik Selvig in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Thor (2011), The Avengers (2012), Thor: The Dark World (2013), and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).


  • Early life 1
  • Acting career 2
  • Personal life 3
    • Views on religion 3.1
  • Filmography 4
    • Film 4.1
    • Television 4.2
  • Awards and nominations 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Skarsgård was born in Totebo, Kalmar, Marielund and Uppsala.[3]

Acting career

Skarsgård started his acting career early; and, by the age of 21, his experience in film, TV and stage was considerable.[4] 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.[5]

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 Nymph()maniac. His most personal working relationship, however, is with Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland, who has directed the actor in Kjærlighetens kjøtere, Aberdeen 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."[6] Another Scandinavian work that he is known for is the 1997 Norwegian film Insomnia, in which he plays the guilt-ridden policeman Jonas Engström.[7]

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.[5] 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.[8]

Skarsgård played Dr. Erik Selvig in Marvel's 2011 film Thor, and then reprised the role in the 2013 sequel Thor: The Dark World,[9] as well as 2012's The Avengers and 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron. Skarsgård re-teamed with Thor director Kenneth Branagh for the 2015 film Cinderella, in which he played The Grand Duke.[10]

Skarsgård appears in fellow Swede Lykke Li's 2011 music video for her song "Sadness Is a Blessing".[11]

Personal life

He married My, 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 and he married Megan Everett in January 2009. The couple have two sons together, Ossian (b. 2009) and Kolbjörn (b. 2012).[12][13]

Actors Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly named their son Stellan as a tribute to Skarsgård.

Skarsgård has been best friends with Peter Stormare since 1976 and even made Stormare the godfather to his son, Gustaf.

Views on religion

Skarsgård was brought up by humanist 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.[14] After the September 11 attacks, Skarsgård set out to read the Bible and the Quran, both of which he condemns as violent.[14] Skarsgård is also a critic of religious independent schools in the Swedish educational system.[14] 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.[14]

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.[15] The group also criticised the UN for its stance on blasphemy laws.[15]



Year Film Role Notes
1972 Strandhugg i somras Erik
1972 Firmafesten Peter
1973 Åttonde budet Short
1973 Fem døgn i August Christer
1973 Bröllopet Roffe Eriksson
1974 Anita: Swedish Nymphet Erik
1975 Swedish Sex Games Peter Delaney, their son aka The Intruders and Let Us Play Sex
1977 Taboo Jan-Erik
1977 Hemåt i natten Kurt Sjöberg
1981 Kyssen Short
1982 The Simple-Minded Murderer Sven
1983 P & B Karl-Johan 'Charlie' Pettersson
1984 Åke och hans värld Ebenholtz
1985 Falsk som vatten Stig
1985 Noon Wine Olaf Helton
1985 Peter-No-Tail in Americat Pelle Swanson (voice)
1986 Ormens väg på hälleberget Karl Orsa Markström
1987 Jim & piraterna Blom Gustav, Jim's Father Also writer
1987 Hip hip hurra! Sören Kröyer
1988 The Unbearable Lightness of Being The Engineer
1988 Vargens tid Peder Ulfstand
1988 Friends Matt
1988 The Perfect Murder Axel Svensson
1989 S/Y Joy Klas Larsson
1989 Täcknamn Coq Rouge Carl Hamilton
1989 Kvinnorna på taket Willy
1990 The Hunt for Red October Captain Viktor Tupolev
1990 Good Evening, Mr. Wallenberg Raoul Wallenberg
1991 The Ox Helge Roos
1992 Den Demokratiske Terroristen Carl Hamilton
1992 Wind Joe Heiser
1993 The Slingshot Fritiof Schütt
1993 Sista dansen Host in Norrköping
1995 Jönssonligans största kupp Herman Melvin
1995 Zero Kelvin Randbæk
1995 The Dogs of Riga Magnus Björk
1996 Harry och Sonja Harry Olsson
1996 Breaking the Waves Jan Nyman
1997 Insomnia Jonas Engström
1997 My Son the Fanatic Schitz
1997 Good Will Hunting Prof. Gerald Lambeau
1997 Amistad Tappan
1998 Glasblåsarns barn Albert
1998 Savior Peter Dominic
1998 Ronin Gregor
1999 Deep Blue Sea Jim Whitlock
2000 Harlan County War Warren Jakopovich
2000 Passion of Mind William Granther
2000 Signs & Wonders Alec
2000 Timecode Alex Green
2000 Dancer in the Dark Doctor
2000 Aberdeen Tomas Also associate producer
2000 Powder Keg Harvey Jacobs Short
2000 Kiss Kiss (Bang Bang) Felix
2001 Taking Sides Dr. Wilhelm Furtwängler
2001 The Glass House Terrence 'Terry' Glass
2002 No Good Deed Tyrone
2002 City of Ghosts Joseph Kaspar
2003 To Kill a Child Narrator Short
2003 Dogville Chuck
2004 Eiffeltornet Jakob Short
2004 King Arthur Cerdic
2004 Exorcist: The Beginning Father Merrin
2005 Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist Father Lankester Merrin
2005 Torte Bluma Stangl Short
2005 Beowulf & Grendel Hrothgar
2005 Guilty Hearts Stangl
2006 Kill Your Darlings Erik's Father
2006 Goya's Ghosts Francisco Goya
2006 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Bootstrap Bill Turner
2007 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Bootstrap Bill Turner
2007 The Killing Gene Eddie Argo
2007 Arn – The Knight Templar Birger Brosa
2008 Mamma Mia! Bill
2008 Arn – The Kingdom at Road's End Birger Brosa
2009 Angels & Demons Commander Maximilian Richter
2009 Boogie Woogie Bob Maccelstone
2009 Metropia Ralph Parker (voice)
2010 A Somewhat Gentle Man Ulrik
2010 Frankie and Alice Dr. Oz
2010 Moomins and the Comet Chase Moominpapa / Hemulens (voice)
2010 Submission Narrator (English version)
2010 As If I Am Not There Doctor
2010 King of Devil's Island Bestyreren Also executive producer
2011 Thor Dr. Erik Selvig
2011 Melancholia Jack
2011 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Martin Vanger
2012 The Avengers Dr. Erik Selvig
2013 Romeo and Juliet Prince of Verona
2013 The Railway Man Finlay
2013 Nymphomaniac Seligman
2013 The Physician Barber
2013 Thor: The Dark World Dr. Erik Selvig
2014 In Order of Disappearance Nils Executive producer, stunt driver
2014 Hector and the Search for Happiness Edward
2015 Cinderella The Grand Duke
2015 Avengers: Age of Ultron Dr. Erik Selvig
2015 Our Kind of Traitor Dima Post-production


Year Series Role Notes
1968 Bombi Bitt och jag Bombi Bitt TV series (5 episodes)
1972 Magnetisören Soldier TV film
1981 Skärp dig, älskling Georg TV mini-series
1981 Babels hus Dr. Mattsson TV mini-series
1981 Olsson per sekund eller Det finns ingen anledning till oro The tardy one TV film
1983 Farmor och vår herre Nathan TV mini-series
1983 Hustruskolan Horace TV film
1985 Den tragiska historien om Hamlet - Prins av Danmark Hamlet TV film
1985 August Strindberg: Ett liv Verner von Heidenstam TV mini-series
1989 The Wild Duck Gregers Werle TV film
1989 Förhöret Carl Hamilton TV film
1990 S*M*A*S*H Statssekreteraren TV mini-series (1 episode: "Wow, håll käften!")
1990 Parker Kane Nathan Van Adams TV film
1994 Rapport till himlen Gary TV mini-series
1997 The Kingdom II Stig Helmers advokat TV mini-series (1 episode: "Gargantua")
2000 Harlan County War Warren Jakopovich TV film
2001 D-dag - Den færdige film Lise's Mand TV film
2003 Helen of Troy Theseus TV film
2008 Masterpiece Contemporary Baumgarten TV series (1 episode: "God on Trial")
2008 Entourage Verner Vollstedt TV series (3 episodes)
2010 Arn Birger Brosa TV mini-series
2012 Rouge Brésil Villegagnon TV series
2012 Playhouse Presents The Man TV series (1 episode "The Man")
2014 Quarry The Broker TV film
2015 River John River TV series

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Film Result
1982 Berlin International Film Festival Best Actor The Simple-Minded Murderer Won[16]
1982 Guldbagge Awards Best Actor The Simple-Minded Murderer Won[17]
1990 Guldbagge Awards Best Actor Täcknamn Coq Rouge
The Women on the Roof
1998 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Cast Good Will Hunting Nominated[18]
1998 European Film Academy European Film Award for Achievement in World Cinema Amistad
Good Will Hunting
2000 European Film Academy Best Actor Aberdeen Nominated[20]
2001 European Film Academy Best Actor Taking Sides Nominated[21]
2002 Mar del Plata Film Festival Best Actor Taking Sides Won[22]
2004 Denmark's National Association of Film Critics Best Supporting Actor Dogville Nominated[23]
2004 Robert Award Best Supporting Actor Dogville Nominated[24]
2006 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Best Actor Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist Nominated[25]
2008 International Press Academy Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film God on Trial Nominated[26]
2009 People's Choice Awards Favorite Cast Mamma Mia! Nominated[27]
2010 Norwegian International Film Festival Best Actor A Somewhat Gentle Man Won[28]
2012 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival Career Achievement Award Won[29]
2014 Bodil Awards Bodil Award for Best Actor Nymphomaniac Nominated


  1. ^ "Stellan Skarsgaard Biography". Retrieved 2010-03-05. 
  2. ^ Thyselius, Erik; Lindblad, Göran (1999). Vem är det?: Svensk biografisk handbok: Volume 44. Norstedt. p. 1004. 
  3. ^ "Hollywood’s Lonely Hero". Retrieved 2010-03-05. 
  4. ^ "Stellan Skarsgard (Bootstrap Bill) Biography". 2007-01-13. Retrieved 2010-03-05. 
  5. ^ a b Gross, Larry (1998). "Stellan Skarsgård".  
  6. ^ Stiller opp for Moland
  7. ^ Brad Brevet (10 December 2012). "RopeofSilicon Movie Club: 'Insomnia' (1997)". Rope of Silicon. LLC. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  8. ^ Mike Ryan (21 December 2011). "Stellan Skarsgard on 'Dragon Tattoo', Not Being Satisfied with 'The Avengers' and His 'Good Will Hunting' Scarf". Moviefone. Aol Inc. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  9. ^ Rappe, Elisabeth (2009-10-05). "'"Stellan Skarsgard Joins 'Thor. Cinematical. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  10. ^ Stellan Skarsgard in Talks to Join 'Cinderella' (Exclusive) Hollywood Reporter, Retrieved July 12, 2013
  11. ^ Lykke Li (26 April 2011). "Lykke Li - 'Sadness Is a Blessing' (Director Tarik Saleh)" (Video upload). YouTube. Google Inc. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  12. ^ Gilbey, Ryan (5 April 2012). "'"Stellan Skarsgård: 'I'm a castrated bull.  
  13. ^ Abramovitch, Seth (24 August 2012). "Stellan Skarsgard, 61, Welcomes Baby Number 8". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c d Skarsgård, Stellan (14 December 2008). "Stellan Skarsgård: Bibeln och Koranen får inte styra skolan" [Stellan Skarsgård: The Bible and the Quran can not control the school].  
  15. ^ a b "Därför är det viktigt med ett sekulärt samhälle" [Therefore, it is important to have a secular society].  
  16. ^ "Berlinale: 1982 Prize Winners". Retrieved 2010-11-11. 
  17. ^ a b "The Swedish Film Database". Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  18. ^ "4th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  19. ^ "1998 European Film Awards". Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  20. ^ "2000 European Film Awards". Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  21. ^ "2001 European Film Awards". Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  22. ^ "2002 Mar del Plata Film Festival". Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  23. ^ "2004 Bodil Awards". Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  24. ^ "2004 Robert Awards". Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  25. ^ "2006 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards". Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  26. ^ "2008 Satellite Awards". Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  27. ^ "2009 People's Choice Awards". Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  28. ^ "2010 Amanda Awards". Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  29. ^ "Jameson Dublin International Film Festival: Audience Awards". Retrieved 2013-04-07. 

External links

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