The Legend of Tarzan

Actor Alexander Skarsgård has opened up about his biggest career hurdle: Hollywood considered him too sexy to be taken seriously.

Skarsgård, 45, known for his roles in True Blood, The Stand, and Melancholia, has earned a reputation for his comfort in performing nude scenes, often as sexually fluid characters. In a new interview with The Sunday Times, however, the actor reveals that he struggled to get work early in his career because of his comfort with his body…and how good he looked naked.

“I don’t really know if that was the reason I wasn’t getting roles,” Skarsgård explained. “Starting out in Sweden, there was stuff about being tall and blond. But most people here are tall and blond. Still, after my first job, I was on a stupid ‘sexy hunky hot list’ and then people didn’t take me seriously.”

Related: This weekend, hang with a pair of queer stars and a very naked Alexander Skarsgård

“If you want characters with depth, but have been labeled ‘a dude who takes his shirt off,’ you’re not going to get those offers,” he added.

Lucky for him (and us), Skarsgård has rebounded well. His six years on True Blood made him a bonafide star in the US, and led to him nabbing roles in The East, The Legend of Tarzan, and Big Little Lies, which nabbed him an Emmy Award in 2017.

Oh, and he did manage to appear shirtless or wearing even less in all the aforementioned titles.

Ahead of Skarsgård’s upcoming turn in The Northman, we’ve gone to the liberty of reviewing some of his most famous, er, looks from some of his most popular screen appearances. We’re hoping Hollywood has learned: the man is a fine actor. Emphasis on fine.

Help make sure LGBTQ+ stories are being told...

We can't rely on mainstream media to tell our stories. That's why we don't lock Queerty articles behind a paywall. Will you support our mission with a contribution today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated