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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.


Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.


Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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GIFs via Giphy

Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:


The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.


They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!


Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.


Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.



Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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GIFs via Giphy

Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”


IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?

Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!

Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.

Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 


IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.