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In Focus: The daring and diverse career of Stellan Skarsgard

8th September 2014

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Stellan Skarsgård has proved his rare ability to flit between blockbusters, indie and foreign films with apparent ease since breaking into Hollywood, and is one of the most consistently raved-about actors of the 21st Century.

This month he stars in Norwegian dark comic thriller In Order of Disappearance. To celebrate the release, on September 12th, we take a look at the captivating career choices of the Swedish actor.

Good Will Hunting (1997)

In this heart-warming, Oscar -winning drama written by newcomers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Skarsgård plays distinguished mathematics professor Gerald Lambeau, who discovers the talents of a wayward, unrecognised young genius named Will Hunting (Damon). The film follows Will as he struggles to get his life on track with the help of Dr Sean Maguire (Robin Williams), while realising his potential as his talents are discovered.

Dogville (2003)

Skarsgård is particularly associated with auteur director Lars Von Trier and has appeared in six of the Danish filmmaker’s movies - including Dogville, a story about a mysterious woman (Nicole Kidman) who whilst on the run is welcomed into a small community, only for them to turn on her when they discover she is wanted by the police. Skarsgård is understated as villager Chuck, ambiguous in his intentions and with a questionable morality.

Mamma Mia! (2008)

In a drastic change of genre, Skarsgård sings and dances his way through the ABBA musical as Bill, one of three potential fathers to Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) who wishes to meet her dad before her wedding day, much to the chagrin of her mother (Meryl Streep). Tricked by Sophieinto coming to the Greek island where their ex now lives, Sam (Pierce Brosnan), Harry (Colin Firth) and Bill find that the possibility of a daughter brings a whole new meaning to their differing lifestyles!

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

In the Fincher-directed mystery thriller based on the best-selling novel by Stieg Larsson, we see Skarsgård as Martin Vanger, as seemingly charming character with a dark side. The story follows a disgraced journalist, Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), as he investigates the disappearance of a wealthy patriarch's niece, aided by a computer hacker named Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara).

Thor (2011)

After appearing in the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise, Skarsgård furthered his blockbuster credentials by signing up for the Marvel Universe, playing Erik Selvig, a scientist studying wormholes in both the Thor and Avengers movies. Erik and his colleague Jane (Natalie Portman) find themselves in the company of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) after he is cast out of the planet Asgard, before being drawn into epic battles with unknown universes.

In Order of Disappearance (2014)

Directed by Hans Petter Moland, a close friend of Skarsgård, who has now appeared in four of his films, In Order Of Disappearance tells the story of Nils (Skarsgård), an angry father seeking revenge for the murder of his son. As Nils quietly works his way through the criminal underworld, stopping at nothing to get to the man who ordered his son’s death, he unintentionally gets caught in the crossfire between two rival drug gangs.


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