Friday , May 17 2024
Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard has appeared in a wide range of films, from Blockbusters like last summer's Thor to small indies.

Stellan Skarsgard as Martin Vanger in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

In David Fincher’s adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard plays Martin Vanger. His imposing presence intimidates, despite his outwardly affable façade, creating a moat around the secrets that lie within.

Last year, Skarsgard appeared in Marvel’s Thor as Dr. Eric Selvig, a role he will reprise in The Avengers, due for release this summer. The 6’3” actor has worked for many years on both sides of the Atlantic—in the U.S. as well in his native Sweden. A frequent collaborator with legendary Danish director Lars von Trier, Skarsgard has starred in four of his projects including, Breaking the Waves (1996), Dogville (2003), and last year’s Melancholia, and 1994 Danish mini-series The Kingdom. Skarsgard has had an even closer working relationship with Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland, having worked with him numerous times over the past 20 years.

Skarsgard has been seen more and more in Hollywood films, particularly since the late 1990s, making him, perhaps one of the most famous Swedes in film since Garbo. Alternating between lighter fare like Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) in which he played Bootstrap Bill (he also appeared in the 2007 sequel) and the musical Mama Mia, Skarsgard also continues to star in more serious Hollywood—and independent—film.  Playing the Prince of Verona, Skarsgard is currently filming a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It is due out later this year.

During his distinguished career, Skarsgard has received much critical and popular acclaim, including several acting awards both in the U.S. and in his native Europe. In 2008, the actor received a Best Actor Satellite Award nomination for his portrayal of Baumgarten in Masterpiece Contemporary’s chilling Holocaust drama God on Trial.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo will be released on Blu-ray and DVD March 20, and is now available for pre-order.

About Barbara Barnett

A Jewish mother and (young 🙃) grandmother, Barbara Barnett is an author and professional Hazzan (Cantor). A member of the Conservative Movement's Cantors Assembly and the Jewish Renewal movement's clergy association OHALAH, the clergy association of the Jewish Renewal movement. In her other life, she is a critically acclaimed fantasy/science fiction author as well as the author of a non-fiction exploration of the TV series House, M.D. and contributor to the book Spiritual Pregnancy. She Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (

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