Stars turn out for True Blood premiere 10 Jun At 33, he is the oldest of Stellan's six children from his first marriage: Sam, 28, has also dabbled in the family business.
His sister, Eija, 18, is a model; his mother, My, a doctor. Family life, he says, was 'pretty chaotic', the atmosphere 'very liberal'. His father strolled around naked a lot. Aunts, uncles and grandparents all lived close by. On any given night, there would be 10 to 15 people around the dinner table. It was very loud, very crazy, there was a lot of food, a lot of alcohol, but it was also very loving. I was very much part of the chaos but I also had my room, and in there, when I was four or five, I would organise my cars and my action figures.
I needed some kind of structure, I think, because it was so chaotic in the rest of the apartment. A lot of the plays were Ingmar Bergman-directed, but I didn't care about him. It was more fun to play around in the costume department. Girls would hang around outside the house. I didn't like it at all. I can sing, I can dance, I can act! I wanna be a star! I told my parents, I don't want to do this any more.
My dad said, "You have to love it, if you don't feel that way, do the other thing, whatever it is. I would have listened to him if he'd said, "Keep going". I would have tried, and I would have done it for a few more years probably, but I'm absolutely sure I wouldn't be acting today.
I would have crashed and burned after a while. He spent his teenage years 'not hanging out with his family', listening to punk with his friends, getting drunk at the weekends and following his local football team, Hammarby, home and away. When he was 19 he applied to do his national service in the marines. Sweden is not like the States or England where you might get sent to Afghanistan next month. For me it was just a personal challenge.
I'm very happy that I did it. I hated it at times; the unit I was in dealt with anti-sabotage, anti-terrorism in the archipelago, so some of the people who applied were total warheads. There were a lot of really cool guys, but the mentality sometimes got a little too testosterone-fuelled for my tastes. We both liked Leeds United, so we thought, let's go there.
We didn't study much, we just had a blast. People were super-friendly and I had a great time. I still support Leeds United. He landed a place on the course and moved to New York in , renting a room in an apartment off Times Square from a flamboyant French-Filipino designer named Rene. But after just six months he flew home to Stockholm.
We had this long-distance relationship. We would speak on the phone once or twice a week. She broke up with me because it wasn't working out, and I was heart-broken. I thought, I can't do this, I miss her so much, I've got to go home. I got back and we hung out for a little while, but we were just too young and too different.
She was 18 and I was She's a lovely woman but I didn't even know her. I spent six months creating her in my mind. He starred in soap operas and theatrical productions, as well as films. His romantic life, however, continued to be turbulent. They're subdued and calm, I'm more playful. I'm pretty intense when it comes to relationships, platonic ones as well. If I feel a connection with someone, I'm willing to go there.
I can't really get too close to someone who's too destructive, or too dark, because then I might go down the rabbit hole myself. I was fortunate enough to be working, but when I was 28 or 29 and the offers were still "college guy, misunderstood, wants the girl", I just needed something different.
I wasn't a snob. I just needed to connect with the character. I didn't leave Sweden for that. After four auditions, in New York, London and Baltimore, he learnt he had got the part just 36 hours before he had to fly out to Namibia to begin seven months of filming. At first he didn't mention to his fellow actors that he had been in the military.
I was the lead of this huge mini-series for HBO, there was a lot of weight on my shoulders. I remember the night before we were supposed to start on day one of the shoot, I was still trying to figure out this whole "Iceman" thing. Then Evan Wright played me a short clip from inside the Humvee during a firefight in Iraq. They're being shot at, you can hear bullets ricocheting off the Humvee, and he's talking to the guys, giving orders.
I was blown away by how calm he was. It was the last piece of the puzzle. When the series got the go-ahead, they called him in Africa, offering him the part of Eric Northman instead. Is he glad he was offered the role? So how did he manage to get his head around playing a vampire? But this guy functions in a human society. He's a club owner. So I wanted to underplay it a bit and make it real. At the same time, I try to find that animalistic quality, and the element of danger.
When he just sat down and looked straight at the cameraman, he did absolutely nothing, but for a second you didn't know whether he was going to yawn and fall asleep or pounce. I thought it would be interesting to try to find that.
You don't show your teeth, you don't say anything, you don't show it. It's the not knowing that's interesting. He's more than the evil vampire. He can be very loyal. It's definitely more emotional. Does he see himself as beautiful? I don't think I'm better looking now than I did three years ago. I think it's artistic suicide if you're too vain, or if you're afraid to play ugly.
I would never fall for that. And this is Lars. They want to know why he hasn't appeared for dinner. I ask him what it's like working with von Trier, the Danish director of such controversial films as The Idiots and Antichrist, who was accused by Nicole Kidman of torturing her on the set of Dogville. You don't have to sit around for super-long takes.
You play around with the scene, change things, it's just so creative and, er, lovely. All the people are around, the siblings, family, friends. I'm not going to say where it goes from there. There have also been rumours of a planet crossing orbit with Earth. Is he attracted to the idea of becoming an action hero? I don't think five or 10 years ahead. I take it one step at a time.
I ask if he and Bosworth are dating. I've never said anything. I'm going to let them stay rumours for a while,' he says.
He will begin shooting the fourth series of True Blood in a couple of months. The third is already showing in the US. How long does he see himself continuing in the show? I'm not supposed to age, so we might have a bit of a problem when I'm 55 and still playing Eric, it might get kind of pathetic.
We still have a couple of years. I do live in LA, so I can cheat with Botox and plastic surgery.