Alexander Skarsgård talks to Kirsten Dunst about pleasure and pain

DUNST: What makes you happy? Czech beer?

SKARSGÅRD: More Czech beer.

DUNST: [To her son] Want to ask Alex what his favorite candy is? I will ask him. What is your favorite candy?

SKARSGÅRD: That’s an excellent question. I like salty licorice.

DUNST: Most people reading this probably think it’s so gross, but I love it too.

SKARSGÅRD: It’s an acquired and sophisticated taste for people like us, Kirst.

DUNST: Who scares you, Alex?

SKARSGÅRD: Sometimes I tend to scare myself.

DUNST: What scares me sometimes is the vastness of the universe. We just float in space and die and are born. If I get too caught up in this, it starts to scare me a little.

All the clothes of Hermes.

SKARSGÅRD: I’m afraid of the vastness of my own ego.

DUNST: [Laughs] What relaxes you?

SKARSGÅRD: Going out in the archipelago outside of Stockholm. My mother lives on an island in the Baltic. We took winter baths there.

DUNST: Do you jump into freezing water? I get the concept of that, but I’m also like, no thanks. Let me be in the hot tub watching you all, drinking my Fernet.

SKARSGÅRD: You jump into the water and it’s freezing cold, but then you go in and sit by the fireplace. I’m roughly 1.58 seconds.

DUNST: I jumped into a freezing lake and immediately jumped out. It wakes you up in a way that nothing else does. No one can predict the future, but what would you like for your future?

SKARSGÅRD: I just hung up, it’s my future.

DUNST: You’re like, “Fuck that question.” Do you want to have children one day? Would you like to lead? Where do you live, by the way?

SKARSGÅRD: I divide my time between New York and Stockholm because my family is in Stockholm. I just hope that I will continue to be curious as I get older. I have co-workers and friends who, as they get older, feel like the curiosity fades.

DUNST: As we get older, I hope we become more quirky and funky. I think surrounding yourself with young people is important as you get older.

SKARSGÅRD: My grandmother was like that, my favorite human being. She didn’t care what people thought of her. She would say anything. Until the day she died, she had this incredible curiosity. She wanted to learn, try new things, meet new people, and not just waste away.

DUNST: I haven’t left the house much and I do everything on Zoom. I feel a little stuffy like that, a little Groundhog Day. That’s great The power of the dog came out and everyone loves it, but you’re not getting any feedback on it.

SKARSGÅRD: Does that sound surreal to you in any way? Almost as if it hadn’t happened?

DUNST: A little. I do hair and makeup for Zooms, and I do interviews and things like that, and then I’m with my kids in sweatpants all day. Either I prepare a snack, or I have my hair and makeup done. It doesn’t go together. Let me come back to those questions. Who do you feel closest to? Who’s your crazy Swedish friend again? What is his name?

SKARSGÅRD: Dad?

DUNST: Dad, yeah. Are you still in contact with Dada?

SKARSGÅRD: He lives in my flat in Stockholm.

DUNST: Of course he does. I love this guy. When I think about doing Melancholyit was one of the funniest moments I’ve ever had on film, and it’s literally about the most depressing thing.

SKARSGÅRD: When I watch this movie, all I think about is how much fun we had. Maybe the only way to get through such a depressing movie was to have fun.

All of G’s clothesucci.

DUNST: It was like acting camp. We were in Sweden during the summer and there were music festivals. I haven’t danced in forever. I think you guys did a lot more than me, because obviously I had to be safe for my kids too. I didn’t want to work right after having another child, because I won’t have another child. I wanted to enjoy the early stages of this again and not go straight back to work. There was nothing I was dying to do anyway. Now I am very ready. OK, Alex, what’s the best thing about being Swedish?

SKARSGÅRD: When people are yelling at each other and it’s polarized, you can always say to yourself, “Hey, I’m Swedish, I don’t know. I’m in the middle, I’m right here. You don’t have to take a stand. It’s perfect.

DUNST: Who was your first crush on cinema?

SKARSGÅRD: My first love was Jessica Lange when I was a child and I watched Tootsie. I smelled butterflies.

DUNST: Look, it’s tasteful.

SKARSGÅRD: I had no idea what it was. I just knew I wanted this girl back on screen.

DUNST: My son really likes Daisy Duck. It’s the eyelashes.

SKARSGÅRD: She has amazing eyelashes. Also, the fact that she’s not wearing pants.

DUNST: Oh my God. She has bloomers in everything we watch. She is more modest now. Do you want to say something else? It’s great that you’re on the cover. I like Interview magazine.

SKARSGÅRD: I’m going to get to work on our next project with the whole Skarsgård clan, and you and Jesse.

DUNST: That would be my dream.

SKARSGÅRD: Likewise.

Coat by Salvatore Ferragamo. Shorts by Loewe. Hat by Gucci.