Alex Skarsgard tells WSJ. Magazine about his favorite pagan holiday, Midsommar

Alexander Skarsgard covers the latest issue of WSJ. Magazine. He’s promoting Hold the Dark, which seems like a really dark little film, and The Little Drummer Girl, a miniseries based on John le Carré’s book of the same name. The photos from this WSJ. Magazine shoot are sexy and lovely – go here to see and read the full piece. Alex isn’t really breaking news, but I enjoyed this interview all the same, especially when he talked about Sweden and a pagan ritual. Some highlights:

He’s been doing some really dark roles: “So… a lot of f—ing darkness last year, man. I learned early on if I can’t switch off and clock out, if I carry it with me when I come home, it’s gonna destroy me and my relationships… [during Big Little Lies] I was staying with my friends, and they have two kids, 8 and 10. It meant so much to have that lightness, to go home to a lovely family life and hang out and play with the kids just so I didn’t spend five months in that darkness. They saved me.”

Growing up in the artsy Södermalm section of Stockholm: “It was very lively, crazy, bohemian and intense. I was studious, I was into sports, I was into listening to music. I just wanted to be normal. My biggest wish when I was 14 was that Dad would become an accountant, drive a gray Saab and wear a suit to work instead of cooking these weird dishes naked and drinking wine on a Tuesday with artists—stuff that I love and appreciate about my father now.”

He lived out of one suitcase after ‘True Blood’ ended: “All I needed fit in that suitcase. A giant blow-dryer. And a framed picture of myself,” he says. Although his nomadic ways came to an end—he recently moved into an apartment in New York’s East Village, and then, after one particularly boozy brunch in Stockholm, he bought another in his old neighborhood (“I was tipsy,” he admits)—Skarsgård has no regrets about his peripatetic period.

On the rumors he’s dated Charlize Theron: “It doesn’t affect me. People can think whatever they want,” he says, adding that, although he’s not active on social media, he still hears such rumors. “It’s impossible to live in a vacuum—you hear, ‘Oh, I heard you’re dating so-and-so.’ Sometimes you’re like, ‘Yeah, I did.’ Sometimes it’s, ‘Never met the person but give her my number.’”

He likes his single life: “I really enjoy the adventure of traveling, meeting new people and working a lot. Hopefully one day I’ll settle down.”

He’s going back to Sweden for Midsommar (or Midsummer), his favorite holiday: “For someone who hasn’t experienced it, it’s f—ing surreal,” he says of the pagan fertility celebration. Swedes head to the woods, set out lavish smorgasbords with pickled herring and schnapps and erect a modified maypole to commemorate the summer solstice. “You celebrate by sticking a 20-foot pole covered in leaves and flowers into the ground,” Skarsgård explains. “A phallic pole in a hole—the symbolism is very clear. So, after you fertilize Mother Earth, you get sh–faced and then you dance around the pole and sing… And you do that all night. It’s the longest day of the year. It basically never gets dark.”

[From WSJ. Magazine]

When Alex describes Midsommar, he even sings the the song “Små Grodorna,” or “Little Frogs.” It sounds like… an incredible time to be in Sweden. Is it quite common for Swedes to celebrate Midsommar by going to the woods and fertilizing mother Gaia? That’s amazing. MOAR PAGAN RITUALS. As for the rest of it… Alex just seems like a genuinely cool guy, and his whole “I traveled around and made a choice to live out of a suitcase for three years” thing seems genuine. Such a Viking. Mmm.

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Photos courtesy of WENN, Instagram courtesy of WSJ. Magazine.

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24 Responses to “Alex Skarsgard tells WSJ. Magazine about his favorite pagan holiday, Midsommar”

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  1. Ebi pickles says:

    I’d dance around his maypole anytime.

  2. Lightpurple says:

    Thank you for this.

  3. Kaye says:

    The best comment I’ve ever seen on this site was from someone who said she’d hit it so hard, she’d be speaking Swedish afterwards.

  4. A says:

    Yeah, midsommar is pretty epic. Swedens indigenous population celebrates it well and the cities are noticeably quieter during the midsummer weekend.

    • maisie says:

      Yeah, the British used to celebrate the solstice with May Poles, then the holiday was switched to May 1st, then abandoned altogether because the USSR/Russia celebrated May 1st as their super commie day or something. American schools used to celebrate May 1st in a similar manner, but abandoned it due to Russian Commie Day AND people finally registering its pagan, non-Christian roots (funny that they ignore all the pagan things about Easter and Christmas).

      Which is to say, the British and Americans are no fun, but the Swedes rule.

      • LT says:

        My church has been dancing the Maypole the first Sunday in May for over 120 years. Our pastor just shakes his head at the pagan ritual, but he’s like “eh, what can you do?” It’s a very pretty, but so very phallic, tradition.

  5. Darkladi says:

    I want to be sandwiched between him and his brother Gustaf

  6. Grant says:

    I want to climb him like Mount Everest.

  7. vanna says:

    The boy lies – he is on instagram. Look up rexdanger.
    Anyway – yep I’d try to hit it, even though he only seems to date the tiniest women.

    • Hildi says:

      Having an Instagram account he posts on every couple months and used to like football pictures doesn’t really count as “active on social media.”

  8. Minx says:

    This made my morning! I’d fork over a heavy chunk of my savings to see him dance and sing Små Grodorna. I just love him.

    ^He said he’s not active on SM, not that he’s not on it. Splitting hairs? Maybe, but anyone who follows his IG knows how rarely he posts.

  9. lucy2 says:

    He’s doing some really interesting work lately. Little Drummer Girl looks good, and I’m really curious to see BLL season 2, even though Season 1 was great and could have been left alone too.

    Also…hot! And seems like a cool guy.

  10. Owsmama says:

    I like this guy

  11. Lari says:

    Ya…most places that the vikings colonized still celebrate random pagan events. Ukraine still holds onto their summer fertility festival (ivana kupala…awesome time jumping over fires and drowning gods!)
    But i love that hes vocal about it though! (And hes hot…so so hot)

  12. Hanna says:

    I’m Swedish and yes, we do celebrate it like that. It’s an amazing festivity. Recently some people make vaginas to dance around rather than a pole. No joke.

    It’s funny to read he wanted his dad to be an accountant – Alexander studied economy at university and I sat next to him at the library once. Maybe his ambition then was to be an accountant himself ;)

  13. Rae says:

    I have such a female boner for this guy, it’s embarrassing. Haha

  14. Ernestine says:

    Ah, one of my favorite celebs.

  15. choupette says:

    As an American living in Sweden I can confirm this. Yes, everyone does it. Everyone wants to and you practically can’t avoid it if you don’t. “Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack,
    kou ack ack ack ack kaa!”

  16. Haapa says:

    Yes it is the same in Finland but you are also supposed to build a HUGE bonfire! We call it Juhannus.