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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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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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