Alexander Skarsgård is not a swinger. The Swedish actor, 39, says that swinging from tree to tree in the upcoming The Legend of Tarzan (he plays the King of the Jungle opposite Margot Robbie as Jane) didn’t come easy.
“It didn’t look very good,” Skarsgård told me at SXSW, where he premiered his new movie War on Everyone. “I’m not very good at that stuff.” He admits a trapeze artist with 20 years of experience did most of the “crazy stuff” in the film. “I took off and did a little bit of it and then I sat in my chair with my coffee,” Skarsgård said. “He did the amazing stuff and then I came back and did the landing.”
And he did the training. Skarsgård’s Tazan body is, quite simply, unreal.
“I obviously had a very, very good trainer,” he said. “I basically had him and a nutritionist. I’ve never done anything like this before, this extreme. I was just really nervous. It was a big challenge and I didn’t know how my body would respond to the training and diet.” His routine for several months before and while shooting included “a lot of chicken cutlets and crunches,” Skarsgård said with a laugh.
The former True Blood star’s trainer allowed him one cheat day. “He was like, ‘Alex, let’s go for lunch,’ and we went to this Italian restaurant in Notting Hill and sat down and he was like, ‘Order what you want,” Skarsgård remembered. “I started crying. He was like, ‘Have pasta,’ and I had it and then he was like, ‘Are you still hungry?’ I was like, ‘Yeah!’ He was like, ‘Have a pizza then, have some tiramisu.’ It was the best meal of my life.”