Alexander Skarsgård Believes Being Labeled 'Sexy' Actually Hurt His Early Career

Danielle Broadway
Alexander Skarsgard

In many cases, being called sexy can feel empowering and even make our confidence soar. However, for an actor, it can also create limitations. Big Little Lies actor, Alexander Skarsgård, recently expressed that being included on a 'sexy hunky hot list' hurt his career by impacting which roles he was deemed fit for. He thinks he was basically boxed in as the hot guy who's never wearing a shirt and not considered for more serious roles. This stereotyping has been frustrating, as he's been skipped over for acting opportunities, but the tides are changing as time goes on.

He's been typecast in the past.

Alexander Skarsgard
youtube | Warner Bros. Pictures

Known for being the muscly man that plays Tarzan, Skarsgård continued to be offered the same kind of roles. However, he wanted to show off his range as an actor with more serious roles and have people in the industry view him as an equal.

“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 explained in a recent interview.

His background as a Swedish actor may be a factor.

Alexander Skarsgard

While he can't say for sure, the reason that he's given the same kind of roles may be more to do with him being from Sweden and having blonde hair and blue eyes. In Sweden, he looks like everyone else, but when it comes to other audiences — he fits a stereotype of being, well, hot and blonde. This may be a fact that's locked him into a very narrow box when it comes to acting.

He's part of a family of respected actors.

Stellan Skarsgard

As a member of a family of actors, Skarsgård is no newbie to the acting world. His father, Stellan Skarsgård, is taken very seriously as actor. With roles in major films, like Good Will Hunting and Dune, it looks like his father has made it beyond playing the same roles over and over again. His brother, Bill Skarsgård, has also landed a variety of roles, in films like Eternals and It. Maybe he's just gotta stay in the game a bit longer and take some notes from the fam.

Skarsgård has questioned his place in the industry.

Alexander Skarsgård
Giphy | CBS

It can be frustrating when you want to be somewhere in life, but can't seem to get there. Skarsgård was feeling that struggle when he found himself limited to certain roles, but things have gotten better. After being passed up for opportunities and wondering what else was possible, he landed a role in the HBO drama Big Little Lies, which was nothing to take lightly.

His role in "Big Little Lies" was a game-changer.

Big Little Lies

Skarsgård's role as abusive husband, Perry Wright, was deemed by many as compelling, haunting, and exceptional. The show received several nominations, including Skarsgård's Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actor in Limited Series or a Television Movie — and he won. We're not the ultimate professionals of all things acting, but are pretty sure winning an Emmy means an actor is taken fairly seriously.

He's moving past his early career.

While it was a compliment to be named Sweden’s Sexiest Man Alive five times, it didn't speak to this actor's goals. Now, he's getting opportunities with more depth — and people still think he's sexy. He explained to Total Film, that the days were both "physically" and "mentally difficult" when he was filming 2022's The Northman. The viking tale is a thriller film that offers more than just Skarsgård's muscles, but also doesn't leave them out either.

His story extends beyond acting.

Alexander Skarsgard

While his experience speaks to his progress as an actor, Skarsgård also represents the ways in which people struggle when they're trying to get established in a certain industry. Some people consider it paying your dues or leveling up over time — either way, it takes work. His acting career didn't change over night, and it looks like he's continuing to turn his dream into a reality. Of course, coming from an acting family doesn't hurt either.

He dabbles in different genres.

Alexander Skarsgard
Giphy | SuccessionHBO

Now that he's broken the casting cycle, Skarsgård has been able to take on a diversity of roles and show off his range as an actor. From popular comedy dramas like Succession to science fiction films like Mute, along with many others, he gets to do more than just strut his stuff. With continual roles, only time will tell just how far his career will go.

Skarsgård has a lot to offer.

Alexander Skarsgard
Getty Images | Albert L. Ortega

Some people are attractive, but acting isn't their thing — and vice versa. However, Skarsgård seems to be embracing himself fully and acknowledging that people can find him to be a good-looking fellow while also being a serious actor. The two may compliment each other, as Hollywood does typically favor those that are conventionally attractive that also have a nice pair of acting chops.

Let us know what you think in the comments about Skarsgård's sexy dilemma and if you think he's evolved as an actor.