Stellan Skarsgard says words about America, the color pink & morality clauses

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I’m old enough to remember when Stellan Skarsgård was hot stuff. Truly! He was seen as a sexy Swede, an avant-garde and sex-soaked Scandinavian back in the day. Maybe some people still see him that way, but he’s transitioned nicely into a varied character actor in film and TV projects. He sat down with The Big Issue for a promotional interview for the BBC series River, but he ended up talking a lot about his work with Marvel (Thor/Avengers), how he flat-out refused to sign Disney’s morality clause (because he loves to go without pants) and how America “stole” Texas and California. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

He envies actresses: “I often envy actresses. They get to show uninhibited emotions, everything that is going on inside the character. Most male characters are, for cultural reasons, written to contain their emotions. But in all the scenes with the manifests my character River is wide open. That is very liberating.”

His work on Mamma Mia: “We were supposed to be cute and silly – typical bimbos. I really enjoyed it. In a way it was an extremely feminist production, written, produced and directed by women.”

The Millennium Trilogy (the Lisbeth Salander books/movies): “Nordic Noir got a great push from the Millennium Trilogy. That is a really mediocre crime story but it has really interesting characters. Scandinavia is far more emancipated than any other corner of the world, which means our female characters are written in a different way.”

Why is the UK so repressed? “I don’t know! I’ve been asking that myself. Why did you put pink lights on Tower Bridge when a princess was born? Is it a f–king Barbie country? We don’t colour code our children depending on whether they have a penis or not.”

The immigration debates in America & Britain: “It’s the attitude. When should you have closed your borders? Before 1066 maybe? Or before the Vikings came? You have to understand people will move, societies will change and we all live in a little flicker of time. In America they want to build a wall between Mexico. First of all, America stole Texas and California and most of the southern states from Mexico – but I think who really should have been restrictive with immigration was the Indians!”

Defending Benedict Cumberbatch: “After the Enlightenment you’re supposed to be allowed to say everything, and still you’re not allowed. You’re not even allowed to use all the words you want to use. When Benedict Cumberbatch used the word ‘coloured’, which once was the decent way to describe a black person, he got so much sh-t that no one listened to what he was actually saying. It’s so weird in America – the crime is to use the wrong word but at the same time you have double the infant mortality amongst blacks than whites. You don’t change anything by changing the words.”

Disney’s morality clause: “Disney has had it for years. It basically says that if you upset a substantial part of society they can take your name off the film, sue you and do other evil things to you. I’ve never signed it. I said that’s infringing on my freedom-of-speech rights, my constitutional rights – and I also said, what society are we talking about, Salt Lake City or Kabul? So they reformulated it for me. I can still take my pants off in public without being sued by Disney.”

[From The Big Issue]

Just to nitpick for a moment, Benedict Cumberbatch did say “colored actors” while doing press in America, but most of backlash he got was from British sites and British groups. While his comments were a story in America, the fact that he issued a sincere and exhaustive apology almost immediately did tamp down the controversy. As for the rest of it… Stellan is an interesting guy. I don’t really agree with him about everything, but I like that he’s a strong, liberal Swede who is unapologetic about his politics. Plus, he stands up for the rights of the pantsless.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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191 Responses to “Stellan Skarsgard says words about America, the color pink & morality clauses”

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  1. Kate says:

    Love him!

  2. CM says:

    He’s great. And yes – I feel bad that I skimmed the entire interview looking for references to Alexander.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      You were not alone.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      Out of the 3 Skarsgard brothers who are actors, I find Alex the least atttractive. He’s quite boring looking. Like Chris Hemsworth.

      • CM says:

        Excellent! I’m not great at sharing.

      • Leah says:

        I think Bill is better looking in a more unique way. Alex is quite conventionally handsome if you like that kind of thing. Apparently Gustaf is the most talented of the brothers.

      • Sara says:

        Gustaf is pretty good at playing crazy. Probably because he’s such a pretentious asshole in real life.

        And yes, I’ve met most of the Skarsgårds during my frequent trips to Stockholm. Out of them all Alex is the most nice and fun to be around.

      • Sochan says:

        Alex’s face leaves much to be desired, but his body is out of this world. I’d put a paper poke over his head and go to town!

      • Betti says:

        My fave is Gustaf – he has an unique look. All 3 boys look like their father in their own way, particularly Gustaf and Bill when Stellan was younger.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Have to say, I prefer Gustaf as well. The guy is just SO good at what he does. And very cute. But Stellan gives such a good interview, I was – for once – actually not looking for a mention of his son(s). … Kinda surprised myself there because I’m easily entertained and distracted like that.

    • Bettyrose says:

      I clicked hoping for a picture of Alex. But Stellan rocks too. Just in a different kinda way.

    • Evie says:

      I am all about his son Bill. He looks a little bit like a serial killer, but it works for me.

  3. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Grump.

    • MrsBPitt says:

      GNAT….totally agree with you! He sounds like a total grump! Hey, Stellan, go back to Sweden, and stay out of England and the USA, if you find them so repulsive. Oh, but, then, what would happen to your career???? There is an old saying “don’t bite the hand that feeds you”!!! Oh, and Mama Mia was CRAP!!!!

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I couldn’t even finish watching Mama Mia, and I adore Colin Firth. Ugh. And thank goodness no European country EVER changed its boundaries through war and aggression. Such a peaceful spot in history, Europe, almost like a little garden of quietude.

      • Locke Lamora says:

        Europe certainly has had their fair share of wars and violence. The difference is – US is the country that came to be because of immigrants so I guess people see it diferently.
        Also, most European countries that have to deal with the current refugee crisis had nothing to do with the mess in the Middle East. The US did. The US and The UK should step up and get involved more. Much much more.

      • celine says:

        Why can’t people express criticism without being branded a hater or grump? Most of his statements I find completely logical and accurate. Nowadays it’s all about censorship of opinion or thought in order to be accepted and liked. Yeah, color coding children is a form of conditioning, and stupid to light a tower in pink. Imo if you contribute to society, pay taxes and live in any country, you can pretty much say whatever you want.

      • Leah says:

        Don’t speak for england, we love an old grump here. Hes an awesome actor. He was great on River, him and Lesley Manville together was literally an acting masterclass. Furthermore hes an intelligent, interesting person. He doesnt have to kiss ass just because hes foreign. If you read his interviews he has a wry, critical view of pretty much everything. He comes across as socially evolved and intelligent.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        @Celine
        There’s always somebody who whines that people can’t say whatever they want without other people reacting. He can say what he wants, of course. And I can think he’s a grump. He thinks it’s stupid to have pink lights for a girl. He thinks his constitutional rights are violated by a business contract, which is an idiotic argument. He thinks nobody should have commented when his friend used the expression “colored” because when his friends say things, it’s ok. He thinks Americans should have open borders because parts of the U.S. used to belong to Mexico. He strikes me as a sullen grump. And I get to say so without being told by you that I’m not allowed to react. He can strike you as a cheerful ray of sunshine. Everyone is allowed to react however they do.

      • Liv says:

        Celine, agreed. His statements were perfectly fine imo. And why not criticize the land you’re working in? I bet he has a lot to say about his country or Europe in general as well. Chill.

      • Leah says:

        GNAT
        The barbie/colour coded comment is very scandinavian, not necessarily grumpy more an expression of the society he grew up in. I have very good friend from norway and they all think that kind of thing is sort of ridiculous. Their ideas about nudity are also different from england never mind the US. I find that his opinions are pretty normal in that part of the world whereas in your world they might come across as grumpy. Its all about cultural perspective. I find it interesting and enlightening personally. I certainly don’t think like MrsBPitt that everyone who doesnt see the world the way we do should go back to their country.

      • Fran says:

        Are you serious? “Go back to your country” response is so American/British, what a poor stereotype you are.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        @Leah
        May be, but he’s not IN Scandinavia. Why does it bother him if another country wants to have pink lights for a princess? Why would that even register? I’ll tell you why – because he’s a grump! Imagine if I went to his country and started ragging on the stupidity of his country’s traditions? I would be the ugly American. Why does he care if some pink lights are up? I don’t believe in forcing gender roles on children – you have to like dolls because you’re a girl or football if you’re a boy – you can’t show emotion if you’re a boy, but have to share if you’re a girl – but really, pink lights to announce a girl? Is that really even worth mentioning? Apparently so, if you’re a grump. LOL

      • MrsBPitt says:

        GNAT….I LOVE YOU!!!!!

        @Fran….I love my Country….I think I am a fantastic stereotype!!!!!! You can say what you want, Skarsgard can say what he wants, and I CAN SAY WHAT I WANT!!!! And, if SS doesn’t like it here, what is wrong with me telling him to go back to Sweden, which he obviously finds far superior…I’ll tell you why…he wouldn’t make the money that he makes in Hollywood!

      • Leah says:

        GNAT & MrsBPitt
        Pretty sure he critiques Sweden too. I find that americans are always more sensitive about this kind of stuff. I honestly don’t mind if you guys shed a critical light on england its not as if i think only english people can critique england. i am interested in different cultural experiences and views, we can all learn from each other. You’re welcome ;)

      • SugarQuill says:

        @Leah, this is actually quite tame (although the potential for it to escalate is quite present, as is always the case when somebody dares to be anything but complimentary re: the US). You should go visit the Emily Blunt citizenship threads on here to see the Murica lunacy out in full force, brandishing pitchforks and calling for Emily’s head. ;)

      • MrsBPitt says:

        SugarQuill and Leah….You make me laugh!! The ONLY Country, I ever see being bashed on this site is the USA….I’m fine with anyone speaking their mind. I’m speaking mine…Peace!

      • Kitten says:

        @SugarQuill- The overwhelming majority of people on this American gossip blog DEFENDED Emily Blunt. It’s ok to dislike the US, but let’s not rewrite history here.

        I don’t mind constructive criticisms of the US (hell I have plenty of my own critiques) but being the world’s favorite punching bag is so damn old at this point. It’s just tiresome, particularly when nothing particularly astute or valuable is being brought to the conversation. Meh. BORING.

      • Jess says:

        @Kitten!
        Being the worlds punching bag comes with the territory of a reigning superpower. It used to be Great Britian now it’s America soon it will be China. Enjoy it while you can!

        @mrsbpitt
        That simply isn’t true, frequently there are discussion about the British Class system, racism in the British movie industry and so on.
        Perhaps you only remember those that speak negative about your own country.

      • Liv says:

        Kitten, really? I probably just read the comments against her because I thought she got ripped apart for it.

        Jess, do you really believe what you write? People from other countrys compare the USA to their own or others…it’s a natural thing and like Leah says I think we can all learn from each other.

      • Jess says:

        To @liv who wrote:

        “Jess, do you really believe what you write? People from other countrys compare the USA to their own or others…it’s a natural”
        Can you explain where I said otherwise. I am very confused at your reply to my post. My comment was in relation a comment, in which its claimed people only ever say negative stuff about America.

      • SugarQuill says:

        @Kitten, I’ve followed all of those threads and things got ugly. Really, really ugly. There were commenters here and there who were defending her, but for the most part she got ripped apart for a remark that wasn’t even that much a slight against the US by any stretch of imagination.

      • Kitten says:

        @Liv & SugarQuill-I remember those threads VERY well and it was a case of the people who disagreed with her commenting more frequently. It was a handful of people who wanted to be heard, which is not unusual to see on public forums–the people who are often the most ignorant are also the loudest. *shrugs* They do NOT represent the vast majority of us–make no mistake. Also, keep in mind that this is an American blog. Ever read the comments from British folks on the Daily Fail? Really, it’s a lot of overblown patriotism and ignoramuses who happen to be the squeakiest wheels. It’s really no different, sorry to tell you.

        @Jess-I don’t even think of our country as a “reigning superpower” anymore. In a lot of ways I think we’re falling behind and we’ve had our ups and downs economically since 9/11 as well as some seriously detrimental/backwards foreign policies, which have quite frankly f*cked us pretty badly. JMO.
        The most progress we’ve made over the past decade is actually socially. Legalizing gay marriage, legalizing weed (hopefully soon on a Fed level) etc etc. I don’t doubt that Sweden is far more progressive than us in a lot of ways, but it seems like people always ignore the progress that the US has made in favor of pointing out how far we have to go. I find it redundant, reactionary, and unhelpful.

        FTR, I’m not really worried about pink baby clothes right now, I’m wondering how we’re going to handle ISIS and how far into my womb the next president will be.

      • Locke Lamora says:

        World’s favourite punching bag? You’ve got to be kidding me. North America and Western and Northern Euripe are the only places on Earth that are not portrayed in a stereotypical and offensive manner in the media. It happens ocasionally, but not all the time. To other countries it happens all the time.

        And we’re finally living in a time where acess to infornation allowed us to see that the US has made many mistakes when in comes to their foreign policy.

      • Liv says:

        “Being the worlds punching bag comes with the territory of a reigning superpower. It used to be Great Britian now it’s America soon it will be China. Enjoy it while you can!”

        Whoopsie, I probably read it wrong! ;-)

        Whatever, I think we all agree that every nation has flaws and virtues.

      • Kitten says:

        @Locke-Fair enough and I agree with you but FTR I said nothing about how the US is portrayed in the media.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        LOL Oh god, sometimes it’s good to be German. I’m so fine with people ragging on my home country. I’m used to it. Don’t mention the war! … is all I’m saying.

        There’s always something in a country’s history that’s worth bashing, we’re all in the same boat. However, Sweden has been a pretty peaceful country for a very very long time now.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        I’m from the US. I’m from Canada. It’s hard to see how things are from the inside. People in each country make too many assumptions about the other, drawing on the worst stereotypes. That said, the USA has a complicated and violent history (internally and externally), it is riven with ugly divisions and it has a complicated and violent present. It also has a lot of strengths and a lot of good, hard working, tolerant and optimistic people. But it’s not the “best place” in the world. No where is the “best place” in the world. Everyone thinks their place is the best place in the world, at least until they have to leave due to poverty, discrimination and violence. We all love where we are from, because it’s where we are from. But it doesn’t make any one place naturally superior. The US is clearly not superior along many measures. There is too much poverty and disease, too much racism, too much violence, too much inequality. But it is also big, powerful, influential — and lately not living up to its potential. It is not taking care of its most vulnerable people and it has meddled around the globe in a way that has created many millions more vulnerable people. To me that is a more important measure than the size of its military. Just my values.

      • chelsea says:

        And you wonder why the world hates Americans.

      • Dangles says:

        America the world’s favourite punching bag? You’re seriously playing the victim card? America dishes out way more than it takes. Compare the number of American casualties via terror attacks to the number of people the American military have killed.

      • Sunglasses Aready says:

        I live in the UK and yes, ‘He is a grump old git with the face to match’
        The end

    • Bettyrose says:

      As long as we’re doing this, can I just say that the whole America “stole” CA/TX argument just glosses over that all of North and South America were stolen by Europeans who slaughtered the native population. Are we really squabbling over which murderous Europeans ended up “owning” California?

      • MrsBPitt says:

        @Bettyrose….Fantastic point…the Spainish, the French, the English, the Italians, etc. were the came over and “stole” this Country….I didn’t steal anything…I was just born here!!

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Right. I think it was Spain who “owed” or conquered those territories.

      • Kitten says:

        +1,000,000
        But don’t worry, I’m sure everyone will gloss over your comment as well, Bettyrose. lol

      • SugarQuill says:

        I believe that that’s pretty much the point Stellan was making. He was using this example to illustrate the hypocrisy that is so prevalent in the attitude towards refugees and immigrants.

      • kri says:

        Bettyrose-you’ve got it by the facts, my darling! You are quite right. Well said.

      • Sochan says:

        It’s not a matter of “glossing over” anything. It’s acceptance of the past — while holding one’s nose — and moving on. What are we supposed to do — REALLY — about injustices done 300 years ago? Stop loving our country? Lose our faith in humanity? Hate white people? Go live some place else? Drudge up the past every chance we get? I mean really, what’s the end game?

      • Pondering thoughts says:

        @ Bettyrose

        1. As soon as those “Europeans” entered the grounds of today’s USA they became Americans. Most of them had left their European birth countries and fully intended to forfeit their European citizenships and never go back. The rest is merely legal formalities. So in fact the Americans did kill the native Americans.
        It is pathetic to deny the genocide of the native Americans with the argument that the Europeans killed them all the while those people who killed them are in fact the ancestors of todays Americans.

        2. The murderous US Americans had no qualms killing those native Americans back then and the US Americans of today have no qualms today in killing Iraqis, Afghan people, Syrian people and other nationalities in the name of “war on terror”. Although the US military interference creates more terrorism than it dissolves the US Americans aren’t capable of stopping their own military from interfering. It seems like the US Americans have lost grip on ruling and governing their own country.
        In accordance with my first point I fully expect US Americans to claim they / their military didn’t kill anybody in the middle east but that it had been somebody else.

        There is a reason why so many people do strongly dislike the USA.

      • Pondering thoughts:
        1. As soon as those “Europeans” entered the grounds of today’s USA they became Americans. Most of them had left their European birth countries and fully intended to forfeit their European citizenships and never go back. The rest is merely legal formalities. So in fact the Americans did kill the native Americans.
        It is pathetic to deny the genocide of the native Americans with the argument that the Europeans killed them all the while those people who killed them are in fact the ancestors of todays Americans.

        A: First, no one denied the genocide. No, Europeans did not throw off their European identity when they arrived in the Americas. That’s ridiculous. As soon as those “Europeans” entered the grounds of not only today’s USA but also all of Latin/South America, they were agents of their colonial benefactors who sent them there. Spain, Portugal, Italy, England etc. The Spanish willingly decimated the native tribes of South America and the pre/post-1776 colonists also. Are Spain’s actions in South America also the USA of today’s fault? What about the European colonies in Africa and how that turned out? Is that also the USA of today’s fault?

        2. The murderous US Americans had no qualms killing those native Americans back then and the US Americans of today have no qualms today in killing Iraqis, Afghan people, Syrian people and other nationalities in the name of “war on terror”. Although the US military interference creates more terrorism than it dissolves the US Americans aren’t capable of stopping their own military from interfering. It seems like the US Americans have lost grip on ruling and governing their own country.
        In accordance with my first point I fully expect US Americans to claim they / their military didn’t kill anybody in the middle east but that it had been somebody else.

        A: I agree the U.S. interference in some parts of the Middle East and the killing of some of it’s population was not in the national interest of the U.S. and can be considered wrong. You keep saying “US murderous Americans” but you seem to completely leave out Muslim on Muslim murderous acts in those same countries. Nope, USA isn’t perfect but neither is anyone else, not Europeans, not Muslim countries, no one. And no, the USA is not the worst of the lot. Humans are fallible since the beginning of time, murderous, greedy, selfish, war-mongering peoples. But also loving, caring, generous, forgiving and compassionate. It’s a mixed bag for all of us.

    • Mgsota says:

      I really liked everything he had to say. Especially the part about how hung up we are on certain words but we don’t seem to be bothered by the actual problems/statistics behind those words.

      And speaking of grumpy…..

    • Crumpet says:

      I agree, though I love to have a little grump with my morning coffee (just ask my husband). I love Stellan, if only for his jaw dropping acting. I am working my way through River – what an incredible series.

    • Nhi says:

      With all due respect but GNAT is kinda the biggest grump around celebitchy. I love reading comments here, they make me laugh, giggle, shake my head etc. and I have done it for yrs now, but GNAT you take stuff way to personally. Why can’t he (Stellan) say what he thinks and what 99% of Europeans think of America, UK and so on?
      Ps no hard feelings xoxo

      • MC2 says:

        I totally disagree! I’ve been a lurker for years & now started commenting and I’ve found GNAT to be respectful & open to other people’s comments. I really enjoying seeing her comments, find them well thought out & productive to the discussion at hand. I like the conversations here & how they help me rethink my position or opinions on things. That was a personal dig that I think was untrue & unnecessary. You remind me of Anchorman where he says “no offense but you’re an a$$hole…….I said no offense!!!!”

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Thank you, MC2. I try to be fair and respectful, but I have really bad moments, as we all do.

        @Nhi, you’re entitled to your opinion, and he’s entitled to his. What you overlook is that I’m also entitled to mine. I never said he can’t say what he thinks. Why is it not ok for him to say “what 99% of Europeans” think, but it’s not ok for me to think he’s grumpy?

      • Bae says:

        I’d say GNAT is, judging by the posts she posts here, a really great person. However, anything regarding America said by foreigners seems to be her sore spot. Which is fine, We all have one.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I’d say Bae is a very insightful person.

        Ps to Nhi
        no hard feelings

      • MC2 says:

        Much important correction to my post- it was Will Ferrel but he was in Taledega Nights as Ricky Bobby where he said “no offense…..”

      • Pondering thoughts says:

        GNAT has to get used to the fact that people have opinions about the USA and its citizens. She has no qualms or regrets to freely air her rather demeaning comments about Europe so why can’t Europeans return the politeness?

        It seems to me that many many US Americans do still feel culturally inferior to Europe which explains their behaviour and their demeaning attitude.

    • vauvert says:

      I did not see his comments as grumpy. I agree that some actors come across as over privileged, entitled a**holes who don’t appreciate their good fortune, but actually everything he said made sense to me. Lighting up a tower or whatever for a baby’s birth – in pink?? How silly. Why not white, or rainbow? Or save the energy and not celebrate the birth of another super rich elite child…

      I can’t speak to the US stealing or not the states from Mexico – but that is his opinion and he is entitled to it. History is very often a matter of who won the day and rewrote the story with sometimes fact thrown in, and a good dollop of personal interpretation. And the further we go back, the murkier the water becomes.

      I do have trouble though with people yelling “go back” every time a non-American criticizes something or the other… again – there are some stars out there who can’t find a single good thing to say, and who are worthy of snark, but he doesn’t strike me like that at all. I can’t think of a single country, my own included, that would come up aces in every aspect. You know what not allowing criticism and dissent reminds me of though? The super oppressive communist regime I grew up under. Everything was always unicorn smiles and pure liquid sunshine and you could be sent to the mines for life for even voicing a suggestion that things were not quiet as heavenly as all that.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        When did I say “go back?” When did I not allow him to say what he thinks? When did I “not allow” criticism and dissent? The people on here are, for the most part, piling on ME for saying one thing – I think he’s grumpy. And now I’m a communist regime. Ok. How do I even respond to that? Why should I even bother?

      • Sochan says:

        I think “grumpy” is quite a kind word in the case of the things SS has said in this interview. Rude things, false things, inflammatory things. He comes across to me as cynical and angry and wants everyone to know how dumb and dull he thinks everyone outside of Skandi is. It’s arrogance on a national scale. So what if someone lit up something in pink. SO WHAT. People have their preferences and they like what they like. I can’t stand Stellan’s attitude. I can live with his opinions, but his attitude stinks.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        @Sochan
        Thank you. I have to say, I’m a little surprised that I’m getting so much flak for saying someone was a grump. And he IS a grump. But, whatever. I guess that’s what I get for making a negative remark about a favorite.

  4. Lilacflowers says:

    STELLAN!

  5. Snazzy says:

    I love the barbie country comment. I have a Swedish friend who always says the same kind of thing. He is super focused on being able to counter any gender related stereotyping his daughter faces at school, what she sees on TV etc, so that she is free to become whatever she wants to be. It’s quite wonderful to see, actually.

    • anna says:

      i cant believe that really happened. pink lights? holy crap so much second hand embarrassement.
      and sweden is really great in terms of gender-neutrality. for example i love the gender-neutral bathrooms. if you think about it male/female toilets are really useless. everybody pees.

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        I have been saying this for years. And yet in the United States, the Equal Rights Amendment was defeated largely because conservatives feared gender neutral bathrooms. Seriously.

      • Crumpet says:

        I actually don’t want my little girl going into the same bathroom as grown men.

      • anna says:

        why is that?

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Houston just had a campaign to defeat a LGBT-friendly ordinance due to that FEAR of big creepy men coming into the bathroom with little girls.

        It was clearly homophobic.

        When our kids are little we go in with them, right?

        This bathroom thing is very interesting!

      • Carol says:

        Gender neutral bathroom seem like a good idea but I think America is more violent than Scandinavia. So for that reason, I would want to keep the bathrooms separate. I wouldn’t want my little niece to go to the bathroom with a bunch of men either.

      • MC2 says:

        I’m the mother of two boys and I frequently get nervous when they go into a public restroom & I can only wait outside & pace. I try my very best not to give them my paranoia. Gender neutral bathrooms does not mean that abuse would happen any more or less. It’s not only girls that are targeted by pedos…….please remember that boys are the subject of pedos as much as girls. Gender only bathrooms only give pedos a place that moms (if that’s who is with the kids) can’t go. I HATE not being able to have my 5 & 8-yr-old sons in the bathroom with me & they have to go to a public men’s restroom- it makes my skin crawl. Since we don’t have gender neutral bathrooms I’ve had to stand outside bathrooms and pace……Boys are just as much a target as girls for pedos. I think we should all be able to escort our kids to the bathroom. I’m all for gender neutral bathrooms because I could finally be in the room while my son used the bathroom or shower (camping)…….i think it lowers the risk of pedos not increases it.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        @MC2
        I think people would certainly understand if you wanted to bring your little boys into the ladies room. I don’t know where you live, but I often see boys that age in the ladies with their moms in places with lots of strangers, and I don’t mind because I know their mothers are just protecting them.

      • Sunglasses Aready says:

        @MC2
        I agree with the comments made by GNAT. I come from the North of England and little boys of 5-8 yrs visit the loo/bathroom with their mothers. No one minds when they are that age.

    • Cee says:

      That’s the type of parent I want to be. It always saddens me when I see parents conditioning their own children (often times they don’t realise they’re doing it).

      • Pedro45 says:

        I was recently in the children’s section of Barnes & Noble and was shocked at how many toys were still gendered. Even science kits “for girls” were pink! It’s almost 2016!
        By the way, this was in Boston not Duggarville, or wherever Duggars come from.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Toys were better for a while gender-neutrality-wise, then they got worse again. I think Toys R Us was a big influence, they might have started losing sales as the birth rate dropped. They started separating by gender again. It was awful.
        We’d always cruise all the aisles to make sure everything got covered…bugs and Barbies.

    • SugarQuill says:

      Yup, love that comment too. As innocuous as it seems, the colour coding of babies’ genitals is exactly how the forcing of more harmful gender stereotypes on children begins and kudos to Swedes for recognising that.

    • Lindy79 says:

      I am concerned about the pink thing on a superficial level (possibly the colours of the union jack would have been better) but I’m more concerned about toys still being very much gender focused in favour of girls automatically being the homemaker or in different jobs to boys.
      I was shopping for something for my 3 year old niece and honestly, the bullsh*t you see in a toy store is disturbing! Doctor costumes with boys on them and the girl was on the nurse costume, which of course was a dress…because nurses wear dresses and boys dont wear dresses therefore boys cant be nurses, well thanks but my niece wants to be a doctor so f*ck you and my friends little boy got himself a little kitchen for Christmas last year.

      No boys on any of the kitchen or cooking stuff, and toy hoovers, dustpans and brushes all in bright pink with girls on the packaging. I was one of those crazy ranting people wandering around the shop

      Oh, and Kinder can also go f*ck themselves with their boy and girl Kinder eggs.

      • anna says:

        preach it! i want my gender-neutral kinder eggs back, i loved them as a kid. they used to be a great example of little toys for all kids, instead of “little princesses” or “little cowboys”. blech!

      • SaucePacket says:

        I have three girls and some of our friends try so hard to gender-neutralize their daughters that it feels forced, and in some cases, sends a message that femininity is weak — that pink is a lesser choice.

        Yes, I’m teaching my girls to know that they can do anything, be anything and buy whatever they want, but I don’t cheer harder when they choose something blue or yellow (or pick basketball over ballet). If they want to be engineers, great! If they want to be fashion designers, that’s great, too! I prefer to focus my energy on teaching them to be good people than training them to bypass traditional gender choices.

        So I guess my question for Mr. Skarsgard is, “What color lights should they have chosen?” Does he just hate color coding in general, or does he think pink is pathetic? If it’s the latter, I don’t know that he’s any more open-minded than anyone else.

      • neutral girl says:

        I feel like this whole “neutral” thing of 3rd (4th?) wave feminism is like the second wave where everything was about “girls can do everything boys do! Watch me kick a man’s ass even though he is much bigger/taller and stronger than me,I woman, hear me roar!”.
        Same extremes, different generation.
        Having “girl-things” and “pink sections” is perfectly fine, what we really should strive for is balance. We can have the neutrals AND the pinks.

        And someone said something about gender neutral public bathrooms…ummm, no.
        Bad idea, very, very, bad idea.
        All girls bathrooms are STILL needed as safe spaces for women & girls and that will never change because we don’t live in a utopia.
        What we should have is separate bathrooms for those who identify as transgendered, but right now that is such a small minority (especially those who transition), that it is deemed unnecessary which I can understand, however, that does NOT mean pushing out all women’s bathrooms in order to push yourself in. There is a lack of respect for women’s spaces and for women in general. We are still not equal and we are overall weaker physically. Like I said, balance.

      • Lotta says:

        @ neutral girl

        Why do women need public bathrooms for safe space? I really want to know because for me it sounds crazy to even go to a place where I might have to run and look myself in the bathroom to be safe. And how do you know that a man hasn’t already gone in to the womens bathroom and is waiting for you? I once went into a womens bathroom at an italian airport and while I was doing my thing I saw an hairy hand reaching under the door to grab my bag. The female sign outside did nothing to protect me.

        I don’t want both sex bathrooms because men’s bathrooms usually smell and I suspect they pee on the cover, and maybe other places.

      • Lindy79 says:

        I’m not saying pink and blue should be discarded, I agree but toys and even costumes to a point etc should be pretty much gender neutral, i.e have both sex children on the packaging, how can it be ok for all the homemaker stuff to be solely aimed at girls, it sends both girls and boys the wrong messages. Equality isnt about a woman saying they can physically overpower a much bigger stronger man, but showing a boy as a doctor and a girl as a nurse is just wrong. Same with having only boys in police and fireman costumes, these aren’t fairies and magical creatures, these are everyday jobs that women can do. Even the more scary traditional halloween costumes for kids tend to be aimed at boys (as in, in the boys sections) while girls are offered princess or fairy and that’s it.

        I stand by my Kinder rant, it was utterly pointless to make them gender specific. They whole point was it was a surprise

        *also, surely having completely separate bathrooms for trans people alienates them even further? I don’t agree with doing that at all. It also opens them up to exposure.

  6. Darkladi says:

    Go, Stellan!

  7. GiGi says:

    Um, “used to be hot”? No! Is FOREVER hot. Love him!

  8. als says:

    Maybe Disney is going too far with the ‘morality clause’ but I can’t say there is a difference between them and a man who thinks expressing freedom is mostly about dropping his pants.
    The UK and the US need to be less uptight but I bet it wouldn’t hurt him to be a little less ‘liberal’.

    • Saphana says:

      i dont even fault Disney for it. you want to produce a film and make a lot of money and then suddenly you lose a lot because someone was being an idiot in public, how would you feel about that?
      how hard can it be to behave if someone pays you millions? he is acting like there is a morality police arresting you if you wear the wrong color. he is free to not work for Disney and Disney is free to no hire him if he does not want to sign it.
      if wearing pants in public is oppressive to you simply dont sign with Disney, problem solved.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Maybe he was just giving a hyperbolic example? He did work it out with them, apparently both parties were able to be reasonable. I think it’s fair for an actor to question that clause, you never know what direction your life will take. They are entitled to try to protect their ‘brand’ and he was entitled to negotiate the terms of that protection, and he did, end of story.

    • anna says:

      if any of the rumours about the treatment of disneys child-stars are true, they are the worst kind of hypocrites and not in a position to impose morality clauses. moral values according to some undefined “society” no less.

    • Harryg says:

      Disney is a weird company.

  9. Armenthrowup says:

    I love him – esp when he says ‘We don’t colour code our children depending on whether they have a penis or not.’ God, I love him – and BTW he is STILL hot stuff. Give me Stellan over Alex any day!

  10. Bae says:

    Well, the US is the country with the shortest memory span – they forget the things they did all the time.

  11. Hejhej says:

    I love Stellan. I can’t say I still would but he’s the smartest Skarsgård out there and that makes him quite attractive.

  12. tmc says:

    very smart. love when people are really thinking about issues and express it so well. That show is really good too!

  13. ds says:

    He’s always been my fave actor; and I’d totally have a beer with him.

  14. Saphana says:

    i for one can never read enough about white men defending the use of racial slurs. it never gets old!

    also im sure actresses envy him, no woman could be looking like THAT and still work.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      *snort*

    • Liv says:

      I guess you didn’t get his point.

      • SugarQuill says:

        I know, right? It’s ridiculous how many people here seem to be in need of reading comprehension classes (and I say that as a staunch advocate of PC). The sheer amount and nature of some of the crap extrapolated from Stellan’s statements is worrisome, to say the least.
        And, of course, the Murica ‘Go back to your own country!’ clown car has also rolled in, right on cue.

      • Sara says:

        Except he has definitely defended his right to use the n-word in movies because it’s just a word.

      • Saphana says:

        ever thought that he didnt get it? as a white man his opinion is not only worthless but also not needed but he obviously feels entitled to spam the media with it. like Claire McAskill said: Men need to shut up way more often.

      • Liv says:

        His opinion is worthless because he’s white? Yeah, that’s a great attitude. Whatever, his point is that we shouldn’t discuss the word Cumberbatch was using but the message he wanted to spread. I’m not even saying that I agree with it or not, just that you obviously missed his point.

        Sara, I don’t know anything about that but in my opinion it depends on the time the film is supposed to play in. I think it’s fine when it’s a period film and an expression of the time, but another topic if it plays in our time and age and supports racism.

      • Sara says:

        It was in Nymphomaniac, which is set in the present time.

  15. Cora says:

    “River” is now available for streaming on Netflix and it’s absolutely fantastic! Highly recommend.

    • lucy2 says:

      I was excited to see that, I was hoping it would be on there soon. I watched the first episode, it was good. I like Stellan a lot as an actor, and I can’t argue with much of what he says here.

  16. Pedro45 says:

    I love the Barbie country comment but about the morality clause? No, your rights of free speech are NOT being infringed; you are signing a private contract with an employer who has certain rules. Don’t like it? Don’t work for them. But it has nothing to do with Constitution rights. That is such a FOX News argument.

    • Pedro45 says:

      Ugh. Meant Constitutional.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Agree with you. Everybody’s all “he’s SO intelligent!” That is a stupid, inaccurate, ignorant argument. A private contract can specify whatever legal thing the parties agree to. It has nothing to do with the constitution.

      • Pedro45 says:

        And what is with the pantsless comment? Does he want to do more nude scenes? Or does he just want to walk around set naked? If it’s the latter then, no.

      • JenniferJustice says:

        A private contract can speicify whateever legal things the parties agree to, but that doest necessarily deem the contract binding no matter what. If human rights or constitutional rights were infringed upon a court will hear and the victim will win. I wish he wouldn’t have made the panstless comment because it waters down the point he was trying to get across.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        You’re giving him too much credit.

      • Pedro45 says:

        @Jennifer, I went to law school too. Disney is not infringing on his Constitutional rights to be a rich white man.

  17. serena says:

    I like him a lot and agree with some of the things he said here.

  18. VecchiaSignora says:

     ”You have to understand people will move, societies will change and we all live in a little flicker of time. ”
    Go Stellan!

  19. GlimmerBunny says:

    I live in Sweden and I’d wager that most of the country agrees with him on most of the “controversial” things he said here. We live in a very liberal society here.

    • Leah says:

      Thats what i said too. One of my best friends is norwegian and i met a lot of scandinavians through her. I get the impression most of what he said is just normal opinions over there.

    • claire says:

      Yep. I have several friends in Sweden and this is consistent with the levels of feminist and equality lines of thought. It’s nice to chat with them about these issues.

  20. here or there says:

    My favorite Skarsgård is Gustaf. Floki forever!!

  21. Sochan says:

    His diatribe about Texas, California, “and most of the southern states” is so wrong it’s embarrassing.

    • Sara says:

      Right? Like if you’re gonna go on a rant about history how about you not forget the Louisiana Purchase, mmkay?

  22. Sara says:

    Stellan is an old school Scandinavian, which isn’t a great thing. He’s far too liberal. He defended his right to use the n-word in nymphomaniac by pulling out the “don’t be so PC!” garbage. I always side eyed him after that.

    • Leah says:

      My friend is a 25 year old scandinavian, she thinks the same as he does about most of these things so i don’t know if hes that old school.
      I don’t know the context for the use of the n-word. You should be able to use certain words that aren’t PC if they are an expression of character. Its weird that actors have to defend that. But I hate when people pull the don’t be so PC crap.

  23. Fran says:

    “Scandinavia is far more emancipated than any other corner of the world, which means our female characters are written in a different way.”

    ^^^
    This is so true. I love ALL scandi characters in series and books! So much more ballsy!

  24. db says:

    I like Stellan, but he’s got the history a bit wrong. And there is no such entity as “Mexico” without Spanish colonialism.

  25. SBS says:

    Yay, Stellan!

    • SBS says:

      I guess I’m just an awful liberal Swede, but I think most of what he says make perfect sense (I don’t know the details of how the US got its states). And like others have said, to us these are opinions not controversial opinions.

      • Sara says:

        If you don’t know the details, as Stellan clearly doesn’t either, would you go acting like you knew everything?

      • SBS says:

        @Sara Which is why I said “most of what he says make sense” not everything. Again, to a Swede these are pretty normal opinions.

      • Tina says:

        Honest question here – hasn’t Sweden just had to close its borders to refugees because the country is full (and the minister cried at the press conference, etc)? I don’t get why Skarsgard is criticising the US and UK for something that even liberal Sweden has had to do.

      • SBS says:

        @Tina We haven’t closed the border, the government had to make severe restrictions because of the large influx of refugees over the last few months. About 80 000 refugees came to Sweden over the last 2 months, the largest per capita number in Europe. The government had to make sure that we could actually take care of the people who’re already here. A large part of the problem is that other EU countries accept a lot less refugees. So, this was a desicion made because we were at our breaking point.

      • claire says:

        @Tina: I think it was done more for humane reasons not discriminatory reasons. There is simply an infrastructure crisis going on, since they have taken in such a large amount (and have been for quite a while).

      • Tina says:

        @SBS sure, and that makes perfect sense. We in the UK have had a record high of 636,000 migrants in the past year. One of the reasons that the UK government is less inclined to take large numbers of refugees is because there are so many migrants from within the EU, specifically Romania and Bulgaria. I just think it’s a complicated issue and I think he was over-simplifying it.

      • Bae says:

        I don’t think you can compare immigrants from within the EU such as Romanians and Bulgarians who entered the UK with the current migrants and refugees from the Middle East and Africa. How many of those has the UK taken in?

      • Tina says:

        Cameron has committed to taking 20,000 refugees, which is of course not nearly enough. But a person is a person is a person. Whether they come from within the EU or outside it, they all need housing, and the children need schools, and the NHS has to deal with health care. The UK is very attractive to many migrants from poorer countries, EU and non-EU (witness the camps in Calais) and the government has to deal with the absolute numbers coming in, no matter where they come from.

      • Bae says:

        Most of the Romanians and Bulgarians that come from withing the EU came after they secured a job. They pay taxes and are not a burden on the NHS or whatever. People coming in now are not coming to secured jobs. You’re xomparing apples and oranges.

      • Tina says:

        Where on earth are you getting that information? You’re telling me that most of the 187,370 Romanians and Bulgarians who were given National Insurance numbers in the UK in 2014 had secured a job before they arrived in the UK? (That’s up from 27,700 in 2013, btw). It’s simply not true. (And of course they’re a burden on the NHS. All people living in the UK are a burden on the NHS).

      • Rosalee says:

        Stolen – murdered the original peoples shuffled the survivors off to useless pieces of land. Signed nation to nation treaties not worth the papers they were written on..governments changed their minds cutting off territories that held valuable minerals such as the Black Hills. Removed children and sent them to missionary schools run by Christians who wanted to kill the Indian in the child, widespread sexually, verbal, physical and emotional abuse and starvation. Extreme poverty, thousands of missing women..but hey..at least they have casinos!!

      • Tina says:

        Rosalee – I think your reply is in the wrong place. For what it’s worth, I agree with you entirely.

      • Tina says:

        Oh and also – all of us who live in countries with sizeable populations of indigenous people could learn a lot from New Zealand. They have achieved more than most countries could ever do.

  26. Sarah01 says:

    I recently finished watching River, it was heartbreakingly beautiful. Stellan was incredible, the rest of the cast, especially Nicola Walker were up there too!
    I watch mostly European TV because it’s really about the story rather than the actors or actresses.
    The writing in River is fascinating it had a lot of gold nuggets.
    We have a few Scandinavian friends and they are so low key, straight up and open minded. I would love to live in Sweden, it seems a very liberal and open society, they don’t get hung up about everything little thing and create barriers.

  27. Rita says:

    This man is one that I find hot in every way, always have, always will, cannot help it.
    Don’t care how old he gets. He just does it for me.

  28. Saks says:

    Legit question: how are you taught the Mexican – American conflict in the US at school? (I mean, the reasons, the context of the conflict)

    I ask because we Mexicans consider you “stole” those territories from us (we don’t even call it a war, but an invasion); yet I’m sure you also have your side of the story, and that is interesting.

    • Lambda says:

      Re: Texas, we’re taught the conflict originated in the Anglo settlers’ desire for independence (or otherwise joining the mother Union). This was definitely the nuance I got from school: it was historically inevitable that Texas will join the Union since the Mexican govt (not the federal, the state one) was incapable of proper colonization. Still true that it was never glossed over the fact that the Anglos were bringing in and using black slaves.
      Plus, we treated it as an invasion also, with some glee I should say, esp the Veracruz deployment (groundbreaking military operation, rah rah rah).
      I love Stellan and everything he had to say. He’s my favorite old guy.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      It’s really interesting. Growing up in the US we were taught that the Alamo was some kind of great victory, then we learned it was a Pyrrhic (sp) victory – the Anglos died! From what I remember learning since. Anglo settlers went into what was then Mexico to ranch, etc., becoming citizens of Mexico etc. Then they switched sides, decided to claim the land for themselves/USA instead – so those who had become Mexican were actually betraying their country. And suddenly it was all about “independence,” like some 2nd American Revolution.

      But, land first, I guess. It’s always about the land. But this wasn’t some kind of “states rights” thing, there was no state. Also what does it mean that Mexico was “incapable of proper colonization?” I know the Spanish were not as, ahem, “good” and efficient at colonizing as, say, the English, but … this is getting messy. All those conquerors were out for themselves, shameless land grabs, assuming whatever national identity worked for them.

      Trivia: The Texas state capitol building in Austin has Ge. Washington embedded in its floor tiles of its “heroes of independence” (something like that) because, as my guide explained, “We figured that he was from the South so he would have been in our side.”

      Messy, messy, messy.

      • Lambda says:

        I’ll clarify a little, though my memory on that part of my schooling is fading. When I said federal vs state govt, I was talking about the Mexican federation, not about the US. Ironically, centrifugal (Mexican) states’ tendencies played a role in Texas breaking out of the Mexican republic (something to do with local Tejano elites allying with the Anglos against the central govt in Mexico City, following a military coup? Bah, sorry, don’t remember very well).
        The part about “improper colonization” belongs to the voice of my educators, and it’s obviously tendentious. I put it down as it was given to me. I believe it was meant to justify Texas independence, arguably because the Mexican authorities were ‘shortsighted’ enough to invite non-Spanish speakers, Protestant settlers. According to this view, the secession of Texas was inevitable.
        One other tiny thing: the settlement was not a haphazard land grab, but a rather organized real estate development orchestrated by some NY big shot.

      • Sochan says:

        As an aside:

        George Washington “from the South”? What? He was a British subject born in a British colony to parents who were also British subjects. The father of our nation is one of my favorite historical figures but he was not “from the South”.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Sochan
        Further proof how misguided the Texas capital designers were

        Tho they were surely referring to his Virginia plantation

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Lambda, thanks so much for all this and I’m sorry that this comment is probably going in the wrong place. Fascinating. And really – a real estate developer from NY was in charge of this? Was his name by any chance…Trump?

  29. Manjit says:

    OMG, he’s so great in “River” and the relationship between him and Nicola Walker is heart-wrenching.
    Nicola Walker was also brilliant in another recent series, “Unforgotten”. Fantastic cast and great writing.

  30. iheartjacksparrow says:

    Don’t say anything bad about Bootstrap Bill. He was miserable serving on the Flying Dutchman.

  31. Green Is Good says:

    Disney has s morality clause?! What the hell, do the execs there think it’s still the 1950′s?

  32. I Choose Me says:

    “I don’t know! I’ve been asking that myself. Why did you put pink lights on Tower Bridge when a princess was born? Is it a f–king Barbie country? We don’t colour code our children depending on whether they have a penis or not.”

    Like what he had to say here. No comment on the other stuff which is clearly up for debate. :)

  33. wood dragon says:

    Say what you will, but he was right about Texas and California.
    Ps. My mom is a Texan and I was born in CA and spent a chunk of my life in New Mexico.

  34. Argirl says:

    As long as he “says words.” SMDH. There is no hope.

  35. melior says:

    Looovvee his stance on feminism. More Stellan pleassssee!

  36. Slushie says:

    Great interview. I like his point about the pink lights. He’s a very interesting actor who can bring out the creepy just like that. He was excellent in Nymphomaniac.

    • Sochan says:

      The Empire State building was lit up green for Islamic Eid. The White House was lit up rainbow for the SCOTUS gay marriage ruling. The British royal family lit up something in pink for the birth of their daughter. People do what they like. Why is it worthy of negative commentary? Pink is a beautiful color. The only offense is the one folks manufacture.

      • Slushie says:

        Colours, whether you like it or not, are associated with certain characteristics, emotions, and values. That’s why advert people focus on colours so much. You could argue that assigning pink to the princess’s birth celebrations is projecting a narrow set of values based on gender. It’s quite different when it’s Saint Patrick’s Day or Christmas or Red for Valentine’s. There’s not that gender element to it; it’s more a traditional and general cultural association, and often there’s some specific story or historical context with it that’s not to do with gender. And the rainbow’s always positive and multifaceted, not narrow.

  37. Lotta says:

    About the comment saying he should leave if he doesn’t like it… He doesn’t live in the U.S, he still lives in Sweden. He goes there for work every now and then, just like americans will sometimes come here for a movie and then get to answer questions from journalists about what they feel about our country. I also think that Stellan is a very political person, he likes to talk about society, religion, and political questions. His generation of actors in general are very political. Like the use to do political theatre and stuff like that.

    He also makes european movies so he doesn’ just work in the U.S.

    Stellan still lives in Stockholm (in an area called Söder (The South), and sometimes I see him. I have worked with both Stellan and Gustaf and I thought they both were nice people (especially Stellan). :-)

    I also get the “drop my pants thing”. Firstly it’s a very romantic swedish idea of getting naked for a swim on a warm summer night. It’s kind of our picture of freedom. A lot of swedish movies or even songs are about stuff like that.
    Then I also think he is referring to a very famous shot he made in the movie “Breaking the waves”. It was a close up of his penis that covered the whole screen. The story goes that he was at the opening of the movie and watching it with the audience, and he knew he had done a naked scene, and suddenly he sees his penis all over the screen (he later commented that he never saw it look so big before). And what he means with the Disney thing is that he want’s his artistic freedom when he does future work.

    His penis can also be seen in other movies, mostly in Trier films, if anyone want’s to have a look. ;-)

  38. Lotta says:

    Double post

  39. M.A.F. says:

    Well, he’s not wrong about any of it if you stop, listen and/or pay attention to the world.

  40. Yelp says:

    I absolutely LOVE Alexander Skarsgard, and everytime I see a interview with Stellan I am reminded where he gets his awesomeness from :)

  41. AnotherDirtyMartini says:

    He’s an odd mix – he is arguing against being PC which is, in the US, the Right Wing Republican’s deal. But he has other liberal ideas.

  42. AnotherDirtyMartini says:

    Hey! I’ve never heard of River! Thanks for bringing it up, peeps 😃 I just finished watching The Knick & am looking for a new series to binge on.