Fans who love Alexander Skarsgard for his role as Eric Northman in HBO’s hit series “True Blood” won’t see too much of their favorite fanged Viking in his recent roles. In “Straw Dogs” he plays a villain who ends up brutally raping his ex-girlfriend, in “Battleship” he’s a naval officer, and in the upcoming indie “The East” he’s the head of an anarchist activism organization.
“The East” star and co-writer Brit Marling recently caught up with IFC to promote the DVD release of her film “Another Earth,” and said that she thinks fans should be really excited to see Skarsgard in their movie. The entire cast, from Skarsgard to Ellen Page and Patricia Clarkson, have put their everything into the movie and will be “unrecognizable” when compared to the characters they typically play, Marling said.
“I think everybody’s going to be surprised to see everyone in this. The characters and the world are very extreme. I don’t think anyone is recognizable, if that makes sense,” she explained.
Marling and her “Sound of my Voice” co-writer and director Zal Batmanglij have reteamed in their respective roles for the upcoming thriller. The flick tells the story of a contract worker named Sarah (Marling) who is given the job of infiltrating an anarchist group, but ends up finding herself aligning with its beliefs and falling for its leader (Skarsgard). In the interview, Marling said she won’t be sure what the focus of the movie will be until after a first cut is edited, but that her onscreen love story with Skarsgard will definitely take a significant part.
“I think you only know what it is once it’s been edited, because it is a thriller, it is an espionage story, it is a love story, there’s some coming of age in there. It also is an action movie. There’s a lot going on,” Marling said. “I don’t think we’ll know until there’s like a first cut of it what we’re actually dealing with, if that makes sense.”
“The East” likely won’t end up being a love story with a dash of espionage and thriller tossed in, but the synopsis sounds somewhat similar to “Another Earth.” The love story ends up becoming the focus of that film, and it also centers on an unlikely couple brought together by tragic circumstances. So fans will definitely be seeing some romance brewing between Marling and Skarsgard.
Everyone in the cast has thrown themselves entirely into their roles, according to Marling. Since none of the actors are extremist anarchists (that we know of), they all had to put a lot of research into making sure their performances were believable and accurate. Needless to say, Marling was duly impressed.
“I could not possibly express to you how amazing the cast on this movie is. Alex and Ellen and Toby [Kebell], they work so hard. They have done so much preparation, it’s like we all come to work every day and you feel everyone’s devotion to the material,” Marling said. “It’s a hard shoot. It’s an ambitious movie. And it’s being shot very quickly. Their work on it is astounding. It really is inspiring.”