Cinema: a family affair
The youngest member of the Swedish Skarsgård family, Bill cinematic destiny was preordained. Starring in Millenium and Melancholia, Stellan, his father, already had two sons working in the 7th art. The first played Floki in the History Channel’s Viking series, the second starred as vampire Eric Northman in True Blood. Following small roles on Swedish TV, Bill moved into the movies with Andreas Ohman’s 2010 film Simple Simon. In it he plays a young man suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome. The full-length feature was a success but didn’t end up representing Sweden at the Oscars. A year later he played opposite his Scandinavian compatriot Alicia Vikander in Kronjuvelerna before escaping across the Atlantic to take the role of Captain Makhotin in Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina, a new adaptation of Tolstoy’s novel. Hollywood opened its arms and Allegiant was his first blockbuster.
A small screen hero
While the movies certainly propelled him in the right direction, it’s been thanks to the small screen that Bill Skarsgård reached a wider audience. After Lilyhammer (2012) and House of Cards (2013), came the horror series Hemlock Grove, the third original project produced by the Netflix platform. Eli Roth, the series producer and gore lover described it as a “dark monstrous Twin Peaks”. The 27-year old actor played Roman Godfrey, a millionaire heir at the helm of the Hemlock Grove steelworks in Pennsylvania. Between vampires, werewolves, and Machiavellian laborers, the icy gaze and terrifying charm of Bill Skarsgård prevailed for three seasons.