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Alexander Skarsgard wants to work with Lars von Trier again — even in his hardcore sex film

Alexander Skarsgard wants to work with Lars von Trier again — even in his hardcore sex film (photo)

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Director Lars von Trier doesn’t have the best reputation as an actor’s director (he also doesn’t have the best reputation as a public speaker, but that’s a conversation for another time). He supposedly fought with Nicole Kidman on the set of “Dogville” and the star definitely didn’t return for the film’s sequel, “Manderlay” (she was replaced by Bryce Dallas Howard). For years, rumors swirled that Bjork vowed never to act in a film again after the grueling experience making von Trier’s “Dancer in the Dark.” She later claimed she never wanted to act at all but made an exception for von Trier. Then again; she has acted a couple more times, including in the film “Drawing Restraint 9,” so who knows.

What I do know is talking to the cast of von Trier’s “Melancholia,” which opens this Friday, gives you a different portrait of von Trier. Maybe his style has changed, maybe his mindset has changed, but to a man (and woman) they all relished the experience of working with him. “True Blood” star Alexander Skarsgard wanted to act for von Trier so badly, he did something he’s never done before: he took a role without reading the script first.

“When I got the phone call,” Skarsgard told me, “I just said yes immediately. I hadn’t even read the script, I didn’t even know what he wanted me to do, if he wanted me in front of the camera or to take care of craft services. I just wanted to be there, you know? It’s the first time ever that I’ve said yes to something without reading it.”

The press might have created this image of Lars the Directorial Monster, but Skarsgard knew otherwise from family experience; his father, Stellan Skarsgard, has worked with von Trier on numerous occasions (he also appears in a small role in “Melancholia”). Being “such a huge fan” and hearing about “my dad’s experiences working with him” convinced the younger Skarsgard that he “didn’t want to miss out.”

In the film, Skarsgard plays Michael, newly married to Kirsten Dunst‘s Justine. The couple arrive for their wedding reception, but everything is not quite as peachy keen as it first appears (that bright glowing speck in the sky called Melancholia isn’t as harmless as they all think at first either). Skarsgard says the secret to von Trier’s approach is the reality he brings to these scenes. “The characters are real,” he added. “They’re amazing. There’s depth there. There’s darkness. And it’s always fun to dive into that and explore that.”

Skarsgard told me he loved the experience of working with von Trier so much that he’d jump at the chance to do it again. But von Trier’s next movie is “Nymphomaniac,” a story of “the sexual evolution of a woman from birth to age 50,” that the director has vowed will feature hardcore shots of sexual penetration. If von Trier asked you to appear in “Nymphomaniac,” I asked Skarsgard, would you do it?

“I think my dad’s gonna be in it. But then Lars said, ‘I’m not gonna let you have sex in it.’ Dad was very disappointed. He was like ‘Lars, why not?!?'”

Okay, but what about Alexander? I asked again.

“I want to work with him again. Of course.”

So there you go, Skarsgard fans. He’s up for a hardcore sex film. Start your letter writing campaigns to Lars von Trier now!

Here are some excerpts from my video interview with Alexander Skarsgard:

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Would you want to see Alexander Skarsgard in Lars von Trier’s “Nymphomaniac?” Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.