Stellan Skarsgard will have been reminded of one past performance more than would have liked in recent weeks.
It’s nothing embarrassing, like an acting early gig unearthed in some grainy McDonald’s ad. Quite the opposite: it's his brilliant turn as a bolshie professor who attempts to tame Matt Damon’s tortured genius in Good Will Hunting, alongside, of course, the late Robin Williams.
With every airing on Netflix in tribute to his now departed co-star, we’re inadvertently reminded of Skarsgard’s own raw acting talent, which as it happens, was the Swede’s first major role in Hollywood. And it wouldn’t be his last - when we caught up with the actor in London recently, Skarsgard had just finished his final scenes on The Avengers 2, reprising his role as Marvel's go-to scientist.
While we wait for that, we can currently catch him at cinemas in Order Of Disappearance, a first-rate action revenge thriller in which the actor, obviously unleashing his Scandinavian Bryan Mills, goes on a vigilante rampage after discovering his son died of a heroin overdose.
Sounds dark, right? To lighten everyone’s spirits, we asked Skarsgard about his guilty pleasures…
In Order Of Disappearance is in cinemas now
"I think everything I eat I should indulge in, so I have no guilt whatsoever. The closest I get to fast food is making my own hamburgers, but when I make a hamburger I make it from very good meat, adding bone marrow like Richard Corrigan would to make it even fatter. It’s funny, on the set of Expendables, I’m the only one not carb-loading, they’re all in great shape."
"I read a lot of fiction, but a guilty pleasure reading habit has to be historical books. I devour them. One I read recently was The Guns Of August, about the start of the First World War, which is a beautiful description of human folly and the horrible consequences of it. When Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany hears Russia and England declares war, he said “How can Georgie and Nicky do this to me? This would have never happened if grandma would have been alive,” because they’re all cousins and their grandma is Queen Victoria. So this family squabble cost the lives of millions and millions of people, and it teaches you something about the value of monarchy as well."
"I usually work too much to surf the web but I do use Facebook. Under an alias I even have an identity which allows me to be friends with my children and see with whom they drank last night. I go under a woman’s name, but they know it’s me, I would never spy on them. I can see why everyone gets addicted to it, but I don’t have time for it. I wouldn’t be able to make as many films if I spent half as much time on it as most people. Although I did get hooked on Angry Birds, too. That’s addictive, so much that I’ve done all the games and got three stars on every level. Ironically, I also have a few apps with real bird sounds on it."
"Maria Rita. She’s a Brazilian Samba singer, with a band. There’s a sensual, laziness to her music, and there’s a bizarre Brazilian instrument known as a Cuica, which is a fiction drum I’ve fallen in love with. You don’t even play it in a regular way and I’ve fallen in love with it. It wouldn’t be such a guilty pleasure if I could move with Latin vibe. I was out in Mexico partying with the director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who told me flatly that I ‘danced like a German’. That wasn’t nice to hear!"
"My first single was given to me by my parents and, unfortunately, it was Cliff Richard. I had it for quite a long time – I think it was Unchained Melody on. Ask about my own favourite acts and I grew up listening to popular rock music like The Beatles, those were the albums I wanted but I had to save up money for them. I suppose with nothing else to listen to, this song was my guilty pleasure back then."
"I’ve got small children so I watch a lot of kid’s films, and I must say that the Despicable Me series is not too bad. Sometimes they’ll move away from the TV and play outside and I’ll keep enjoying it. It works on a level for adults, too. It’s very intelligently written and funny with good characters. I’ve done the voiceover for a Swedish sci-fi animation called Metropia. It’s weird, recording it, you go into a room and you feel more like you're on radio than a film set."
"Curb Your Enthusiasm. [We tell him it's not really a guilty pleasure because it's mainstream and critically-acclaimed]. What? Well I find it very funny and painful at the same time, which means there is guilt there. I love Susie [Essman] as Susie Greene, because nobody can deliver a sharp and insulting line with the venom she can. I love every time Larry David lies in the show because you know that he’s going to suffer for it. And he really does give a shit. The pettiness and selfishness of it all – he’s very good."
In Order Of Disappearance is in cinemas now