Alexander Skarsgård on his gay uncle, True Blood's legacy and man-on-man sex scenes
True Blood hunk Alexander Skarsgård will be starring as Tarzan in Warner Brothers' new live action adaptation The Legend of Tarzan.
The film tells the story of how Tarzan’s parents perished in the Congo jungle, leaving him at the mercy of apes, who take him to their bosom and raise him as one of their own; thus making a fearless, muscular warrior of the boy.
In a new interview with Pride Source, Skarsgårdtalks True Blood's influence on the LGBT community, gay sex on TV and how having a gay icon changed his perceptions on everything LGBT.
When asked if it was 'surprising' to hear that gay men love him, Skarsgård said it wasn't.
"That's very flattering to hear. It's always been the most natural thing to me because my uncle and godfather is a gay man and so growing up, even as a little toddler, it was just as natural as being straight."
He continues: "My aunt would show up with her husband and my uncle would show up with his husband. He was, by far, out of my father's four siblings, the most fashionable and the most trendy, cool guy. So when I was a kid, he was the one I look up to. I thought he was really badass: fit and awesome and cool, and obviously not because he was gay."
The 39-year-old, who recently showed off his tighty whities at the MTV Movie Awards, explains that he thinks a lot of "xenophobia and fear" comes from not having a personal connection.
"People that know someone close that they love who is homosexual or bisexual are more likely to sympathise with people in the LGBT community."
Asked whether portraying True Blood's pansexual vampire Eric Northman changed his views on sexuality, Skarsgård said the experience of playing the character as "liberating".
"It was just one of the most profound experiences ever. Even though there's shit loads of nudity on the show, it never felt gratuitous. I think that's when, as an actor, you feel uncomfortable, if you're standing there with your clothes off and you're not quite sure why."
However some people criticised the HBO show and deemed it "too gay".
But Alex argues that it was "a cultural reference and a metaphor."
"A lot of the storylines are metaphors for the strife people in the LGBT community experience, but it's done in a very subtle way where people who have never met anyone who's gay or who have prejudice toward that community would still embrace the show and would still come up and be super excited about it.
"A lot of people who didn't have anyone close to them in the LGBT community had someone in their living room every Sunday night that they loved."
When asked if he has any tips for straight actors doing gay sex scenes, Skarsgård tells them to "embrace it".
He explains how he spoke to True Blood co-star Theo Alexander, who played the Greek lover of Russell Edgington, who was nervous about the sex scene.
"I just said, 'Look at the scene. It's this nemesis and he comes in and then it gets seductive and you think they're gonna make love and it gets into that and then suddenly my character stabs him in the back and he explodes. In two minutes, look at this emotional roller coaster we're taking the audience on. If we commit to this, it's going to be an amazing scene and we're going to be very happy with it forever. If we hold back, that's when it gets awkward.'"
You can catch the full interview over at Pride Source.
Warner Brothers' The Legend of Tarzan hits cinemas this Friday (July 1).
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