Veteran Swedish thespian Stellan Skarsgård recently took the opportunity while doing press for his dark, comical crime-caper "A Somewhat Gentle Man," to discuss his interesting plate of upcoming projects, namely David Fincher's forthcoming adaptation of the first installment in Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," as well as Lars von Trier's psychological end-of-days pic, "Melancholia."
"I’m having a lot of fun. David shoots constantly, and I don’t like to be in my trailer, so I’m really happy," Skarsgård told Collider of Fincher's film, not so subtly hinting at the director's now infamous and much publicized meticulous style. "When you shoot with him, he does 35 or 40 takes of almost every set up. Since he rolls all the time, it’s fine. You just get more and more energy from working with that drive. He’s a very good director, so I’m really having fun. I’m going to L.A. in a couple of days to continue doing interiors there."
Skarsgård then went on to reveal the shooting schedule, noting that the production "started in September, and I’ve done exteriors in Sweden since then, and we broke for Christmas. We’ll start in L.A. in January, and I’ll be there for two or three months, and then I’ll go back to Sweden to finish it off in April or May... The film is set in Sweden, but we are doing some interiors on soundstages in L.A."
As for Fincher's "The Social Network" star Rooney Mara filling in the big shoes of Lisbeth Salander, played with acclaim by Noomi Rapace in the Swedish-language adaptation? "I’m convinced she can take it on. I’ve only had a few very short encounters with her. Most of my scenes are with Daniel Craig. But, I think she’s good enough. I think Noomi Rapace was fantastic, and this is another kind of Lisbeth Salander. I think [Rooney] will do something beautiful with it." Mara, Skarsgård and Craig star alongside Robin Wright, Christopher Plummer, Joely Richardson, Steven Berkoff and David Dencik for the adaptation which is scheduled to hit theaters December 21, 2011.
Another one of Skarsgård's upcoming films we're highly anticipating is Lars von Trier's "Melancholia." Starring John Hurt, Kirsten Dunst, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Charlotte Rampling, Udo Kier and even Skarsgård's son Alexander, the film centers on two sisters and their relationship as a disaster nears. "The film starts with a wedding, with a lot of guests, and I’m only in the wedding, in the beginning," Skarsgård notes. "And then the film narrows down to fewer characters. I am actually my own son’s best man. My son, Alexander, is getting married to Kirsten Dunst, at the beginning, and I’m his best man and also Kirsten’s employer."
"I’ve worked with [von Trier] several times before and I really like him. He’s a very good friend. But, his way of shooting is so relaxed for the actors, if you don’t want to be in control of yourself. You really try to shoot the scenes in different ways and explore the possibilities of the scene. There’s no pressure and you’re allowed to make as many mistakes as you want. When we did 'Breaking the Waves,' he had a sign on the wall that said, 'Make mistakes.' It’s really nice. For 'Dogville,' when I had to rape Nicole Kidman about five times, in different ways, he suddenly told me, 'Stellan, don’t you think you could play it as a romantic comedy?' I thought of 'Notting Hill' and I said, 'Of course, Lars.' And then, I went in and played the scene like a romantic comedy and, of course, the scene didn’t work, but one or two lines, because of the different angle of attack, suddenly became very interesting." No release has been set for "Melancholia" but a Cannes premiere this spring seems likely and should be very interesting following the outrage after 2009's "Antichrist" became of the talk of the Croisette.
Of course, there's also Skarsgård's role in Kenneth Branagh's Marvel comic adaptation "Thor," in which the actor plays the role of a scientist who along with "Natalie Portman and Kat Dennings are doing research on strange atmospheric and space stuff going on in the sky in New Mexico." The actor fascinatingly added that he was yet to watch any of the Marvel films that have already been adapted, noting "that’s not the kind of homework I did. I’m not sure that would have helped. And, I was not familiar with Thor at all, when I started, but I became familiar. They gave me comic books and stuff, and [Kenneth] educated me."
That film hits theaters this May and sees Chris Hemsworth star as the titular character along with a quality supporting cast, including Skarsgård, Portman, Dennings, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Jaimie Alexander, Colm Feore, Ray Stevenson, Tadanobu Asano, Idris Elba, Rene Russo and Adriana Barraza.