Stellan Skarsgard - Rotten Tomatoes

Stellan Skarsgard



A Swedish actor who has become known to American audiences thanks to roles in Breaking the Waves and Good Will Hunting, Stellan Skarsgård is one of Scandinavia's best-known and most well-respected performers. Renowned for giving measured characterizations that draw their strength from a delicate complexity, Skarsgård is one of those rare actors who is able to do strong work regardless of the quality of the material he is in, displaying the sort of quiet fortitude that allows him to survive even the worst screen fiascos.



Born in Gothenburg on June 13, 1951, Skarsgård became a star in his country, when, as a teenager, he was cast on the TV series Bombi Bitt och jag. After his film debut in 1972, he did years of stage work with Stockholm's Royal Dramatic and made a number of dramas with the director Hans Alfredson, the most notable of which, Den Enfaldige Mordaren, featured Skarsgård in a Silver Berlin Bear-winning performance as a misunderstood man with a deformity. In 1988, Skarsgård got a tentative introduction to a transatlantic audience with a small role in Philip Kaufman's The Unbearable Lightness of Being; two years later, he had a similarly minor role in another international hit, The Hunt for Red October.



Skarsgård's true international breakthrough came courtesy of his role as Emily Watson's husband in Lars Von Trier's highly acclaimed Breaking the Waves (1996). The actor more than held his own opposite Watson, who gave one of the year's most lauded performances, and he found previously unimagined opportunities available to him in Hollywood. In 1997, he starred as a frustrated mathematician in Gus Van Sant's award-winning Good Will Hunting and was also featured in Steven Spielberg's Amistad; his work in both films culminated in an Outstanding European Achievement in World Cinema award from the European Film Academy. Later that same year, the actor appeared in My Son the Fanatic as a German businessman with the unfortunate surname of Schitz -- he also gave a stellar portrayal of a detective who slowly loses his mind while investigating a murder in the Norwegian film Insomnia.



A prolific actor, Skarsgård appeared in a number of small ambitious projects in 2000, including Passion of Mind with Demi Moore, Mike Figgis' Time Code, and Harlan County War. The following year, while he showed up in the poorly-received thriller The Glass House, Skarsgård gained critical praise for his performance in Taking Sides.



2003 saw Skarsgård taking a role in Lars von Trier's highly anticipated Dogville and signing on for the oft-plagued The Exorcist: The Beginning. After several debacles, the prequel to the horror classic finally found its way to movie theaters in 2004, the same year the actor costarred in Antoine Fuqua's King Arthur. After going toe-to-toe with the Devil himself in 2005's Exorcist: The Beginning (as well as Paul Schrader's alternate cut Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist), Skarsgård joined the crew of the Flying Dutchman in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and its follow-up Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, and went medieval in the Swedism Arn films. A chilling turn as the ruthless warden in the fact-based King of Devil's Island showed a downright malevolent side to Skarsgård, though it was subsequent roles in the Marvel Comics features Thor and the Avengers, as well as a turn as the mysterious Martin Vanger in David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, that offered the veteran actor the most international exposure in the wake of his voyage on the high seas.

Photos

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
83% In Order of Disappearance
  • Nils
2016
71% Our Kind of Traitor
  • Dima
2016
No Score Yet Hotellet
  • Actor
2016
75% Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Erik Selvig
2015
83% Cinderella
  • Grand Duke
2015
No Score Yet Anita - ur en tonarsflickas dagbok
  • Actor
2015
No Score Yet The Physician
  • Barber
2014
36% Hector And The Search For Happiness
  • Edward
2014
67% The Railway Man
  • Finlay
2014
60% Nymphomaniac: Volume II
  • Seligman
2014
21% Frankie & Alice
  • Oz
2014
75% Nymphomaniac: Volume I
  • Seligman
2014
66% Thor: The Dark World
  • Dr. Erik Selvig
2013
21% Romeo and Juliet
  • Prince Escalus
2013
92% Marvel's The Avengers
  • Selvig
2012
86% The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Martin Vanger
2011
93% King of Devil's Island
  • Governor/Bestyreren
2011
79% Melancholia
  • Jack
2011
77% Thor
  • Professor Andrews
2011
85% A Somewhat Gentle Man
  • Ulrik
2011
No Score Yet Un Chic Type
  • Actor
2011
No Score Yet Muumi ja punainen pyrstötähti (Moomins and the Comet Chase)
  • Actor
2010
92% As If I Am Not There
  • Doctor
2010
50% Metropia
  • Ralph
2010
33% Boogie Woogie
  • Bob Maclestone
2010
No Score Yet Pelle Politibil går i vannet (Ploddy the Police Car Makes a Splash)
  • Producer
2010
37% Angels & Demons
  • Commander Richter
2009
No Score Yet Arn - Riket vid vägens slut (Arn: The Kingdom at Road's End)
  • Birger Brosa
2008
No Score Yet God on Trial
  • Baumgarten
2008
54% Mamma Mia!
  • Bill
2008
No Score Yet Arn - Tempelriddaren (Arn: The Knight Templar)
  • Actor
2007
30% Goya's Ghosts
  • Francisco Goya
2007
45% Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End
  • 'Bootstrap' Bill Turner
2007
No Score Yet Wrath of Gods
  • Actor
2007
48% Beowulf & Grendel
  • King Hrothgar
2006
54% Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
  • Bootstrap Bill
2006
71% w Delta z
  • Eddie Argo
2006
30% Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist
  • Father Lankester Merrin
2005
11% Exorcist: The Beginning
  • Father Lankester Merrin
2004
31% King Arthur
  • Cerdic
2004
20% No Good Deed
  • Tyrone
2003
73% Taking Sides: Le cas Furtwängler
  • Dr. Wilhelm Furtwängler
2003
70% Dogville
  • Chuck
2003
47% City of Ghosts
  • Kaspar
2003
No Score Yet Helen of Troy
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet Kiss Kiss (Bang Bang)
  • Felix
2001
21% The Glass House
  • Terrence Glass
2001
87% Aberdeen
  • Tomas
2001
No Score Yet Powder Keg
  • Actor
2001
68% Dancer in the Dark
  • Doctor
2000
No Score Yet Harlan County War
  • Warren Jakopovich
2000
17% Passion of Mind
  • William
2000
68% Timecode
  • Alex Green
2000
66% Signs & Wonders
  • Alec
2000
57% Deep Blue Sea
  • Jim Whitlock
1999
78% My Son the Fanatic
  • Schitz
1999
56% Savior
  • Dominic
1998
68% Ronin
  • Gregor
1998
97% Insomnia
  • Jonas
1998
No Score Yet The Glass-blower's Children
  • Albert
1998
76% Amistad
  • Lewis Tappan
1997
97% Good Will Hunting
  • Prof. Gerald Lambeau
1997
86% Breaking the Waves
  • Jan
1996
No Score Yet Hundarna i Riga (The Dogs of Riga) (The Hounds of Riga)
  • Actor
1995
No Score Yet Zero Kelvin
  • Randbaek
1995
No Score Yet Jönssonligans största kupp (The Jönsson Gang's Greatest Robbery)
  • Actor
1995
No Score Yet Zero Kelvin
  • Actor
1995
No Score Yet Good Evening, Mr. Wallenberg
  • Raoul Wallenberg
1993
No Score Yet Last Dance
  • Host in Norrkoeping
1993
55% Wind
  • Heiser
1992
No Score Yet Oxen (The Ox)
  • Helge
1991
No Score Yet Parker Kane
  • Van Adams
1990
86% The Hunt for Red October
  • Capt. Tupolev
1990
No Score Yet The Perfect Murder
  • Actor
1990
No Score Yet Women on the Roof
  • Actor
1989
95% The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  • The Engineer
1988
No Score Yet The Perfect Murder
  • Axel Svensson
1988
No Score Yet Hip Hip Hurrah
  • Actor
1987
No Score Yet Ormens väg på hälleberget (The Serpent's Way)
  • Karl Orsa
1986
No Score Yet Pelle Svanslös i Amerikatt (Peter-No-Tail in Americat)
  • Peter Swanson
1985
No Score Yet Noon Wine
  • Actor
1984
No Score Yet The Simple-Minded Murder (Den Enfaldige mördaren)
  • The Idiot
1982
No Score Yet Anita - ur en tonårsflickas dagbok (Anita: Swedish Nymphet) (Anita)
  • Erik
1973
No Score Yet Jim and the Pirates (Jim & piraterna Blom)
  • Actor

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
67% Entourage
2004-2011
  • Verner
No Score Yet Masterpiece
1971-2015
  • Baumgarten
100% River
2015
  • John River

Quotes from Stellan Skarsgard's Characters