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It seems an appropriate location for an interview with the vampire. It is not long before Skarsgård bounds up the steps to the lobby, showered and dressed in a simple grey T-shirt and jeans, looking very tall – he is 6ft 4in – and glowingly healthy.
At the gates of the 15th-century manor house where the cast are staying, a small group of Swedish autograph hunters tell me that Skarsgård went out for a run an hour ago and has only just returned. The contrast with Eric, whose deathly pallor projects cold menace, is heightened by his friendliness, but common to both are the most striking pale-blue eyes.
But after just six months he flew home to Stockholm. She broke up with me because it wasn't working out, and I was heart-broken. I spent six months creating her in my mind.' Skarsgård stayed in Sweden and began to pick up acting jobs there.
'I had met this girl in Sweden three weeks before I went to New York. 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. He starred in soap operas and theatrical productions, as well as films.
I needed some kind of structure, I think, because it was so chaotic in the rest of the apartment.' His father was performing in repertory theatre at the time, and would often be rehearsing one play during the day and performing in another in the evening.
And in Alexander Skarsgård, who stars as the 1,000-year-old Viking vampire Eric Northman in the American drama series True Blood – soon to start its second series on Channel 4 – it has an actor who has brought a new level of cool to the vampire genre.
Tall, blond and beautiful, Skarsgård mixes sex, danger and laconic humour in a way that sets femoral pulses racing.
'He worked a lot,' Skarsgård says, 'so I would hang out backstage at the theatre and just play there because it was pretty much the only chance I got to spend time with my dad. " – the movie I did was because the director was a friend of my dad's.
A lot of the plays were Ingmar Bergman-directed, but I didn't care about him. 'They came to say "Hi", or get an autograph, but it made me kind of paranoid and very insecure. 'I wasn't like a Hollywood child actor – "I'm five! I told my parents, I don't want to do this any more.