Long before he became the sexiest vampire on TV, "True Blood" star Alexander Skarsgard was already a star in his native Sweden -- and he liked it about as much as Eric likes Sookie's relationship with Bill.
In the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival film "What Maisie Knew," the 36-year-old actor plays the doting father of a seven-year -old girl (Onata Aprile) whose mom neglects her. And in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Skarsgard reveals that his response to fame as a child was the polar opposite to Aprile's, who joyfully bounded around the room during the interview.
Back in 1984, the "True Blood" vamp starred in his first film, the Swedish movie "Åke and His World," about a six year old in 1930s Sweden who lives in a fantasy world. Five years later, at the age of 13, he blasted to fame on a Swedish TV show "The Dog That Smiled," but Skarsgard was so uncomfortable with the attention he got from it that he quit acting for the next seven years.
"Fame is f---ing weird, and especially when you're 13, and you have no idea what's going on, and who you are," the actor told EW. "There's nothing natural about being a celebrity. When I was that age, it made me paranoid. I didn't like it at all."
Skarsgard told Newsweek in 2009 about the attention he got as a kid.
"I was really self-conscious and I wasn't comfortable with all the attention," he said, adding, "People on the street would recognize me, and I hated it. It was too much. I said to my dad and mom, 'I don't want to do this. I want to play soccer.' I wanted a girl to like me because I was funny or cute, not because she saw me on TV. So I quit."
After finishing school, Skarsgard served in the Swedish military (a fact that first came out in a 2010 interview with the UK's Telegraph). Afterwards he moved to New York to study theatre and, upon his return to Sweden, he started acting again. He moved to Los Angeles in 2004 where he was cast in HBO's "Generation Kill." Four years later he joined the network's new campy vampire drama "True Blood."
"There's got to be something interesting, a discovery, in roles. If there's no exploration, then what's the point?" Skarsgard told the mag. "Especially on a show like 'True Blood,' there's so much attention."
Sounds to us like he hasn't quite gotten over the weirdness of fame.