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And he is currently shooting Lars von Trier's new sci-fi film Melancholia alongside Kirsten Dunst, John Hurt and Kiefer Sutherland, as well his father, Stellan Skarsgård, best known for his roles in Breaking the Waves and Mamma Mia! They are filming in Trollhättan – or Trollywood as it is sometimes known – where von Trier has made three previous films.
The town is said to have got its name because people believed trolls lived in the nearby river.
True Blood, created by Alan Ball, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of American Beauty and Six Feet Under, is based on the Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris.
Its dark tales of 'glamouring' vampires, who can hypnotise their human victims; fangbangers, who are addicted to vampire sex, and users who get high on 'V' – vampire blood – have made it the most watched series on HBO in the US since The Sopranos, as well as an internet phenomenon.
'I didn't want to show up for boot camp being like [puts on jock voice], "Yeah, I know this guys, I was in the Swedish marines for 15 months so I can tell you all about it." 'I was scared, you know.
to another former girlfriend from this period in Sweden, whom he dated on and off for three years. If I feel a connection with someone, I'm willing to go there.' Is he attracted to extreme situations?
'It was very passionate,' he says, 'but we just couldn't get from the passion stage to the nice relationship phase.' I ask him how such an impulsive, emotional person came to be known for playing two characters who are so outwardly cool as Brad Colbert and Eric Northman. 'Sometimes, yeah, but I also know I have to be careful because there is something destructive within me, I think, and I can have a tendency to just search for the kicks.
In Britain it opened with more than two million viewers.
Skarsgård says its appeal is that 'you can sit back and enjoy it, but it's also really intelligent.