Alexander Skarsgard Discusses His Role in ‘The Kill Team’ and Leaning on His Co-stars Through the Film’s Dark Subject Matter

We caught up with Skarsgard about how he recharged after emotional days on set, and what he does to block out negativity.

It’s hard to imagine handsome, charming, and overall nice-guy Alexander Skarsgard as a sadistic and manipulative war leader. But if you plan on attending a screening of The Kill Team, his new film based on a true story as violent as it sounds, it’ll become a whole lot easier.

The film tells the story of U.S. soldiers who murder innocent civilians in 2009 Afghanistan. During the Tribeca Film Festival premiere this past spring, the seasoned actor told us the mindset of his character, the corrupt Sergeant Deeks, was “fascinating to explore.” However, when we caught up with Skarsgard at an October screening of the film, he admitted the not-so-pleasant role proved to be mentally draining at times.

“I’m not a method actor, so I don’t stay in that headspace throughout the shoot, but there were definitely intense moments,” he said. “No matter how dark the subject matter is, it’s important for me, in my own process, to be able to let go and recharge in a way.”

Skarsgard revealed that, during the shoot, he often found spending time with his costars — like Nat Wolff and Brian Marc — helped him remain in good spirits despite what his character demanded of him.

“It was a really great group of guys,” he told Celeb Secrets. “We all had apartments in the same neighborhood [in Madrid], so we hung out a lot on days off, and it was awesome.”

Strangely enough, though, things didn’t exactly start out that way. Skarsgard said he initially kept his distance from his co-stars for the sake of their characters.

“I tried at the beginning to stay a bit on my own, ‘cause it felt like it was good for them to bond as a team,” he said of his co-stars, who play young U.S. soldiers in Deeks’ platoon. “So I was kind of more of a lone wolf [until filming started].”

From our chat with Skarsgard, it became clear that the actor is prone to making smart, calculated decisions in his career and in his life. So it came as no surprise when he mentioned he typically refrains from Googling himself and his films.

“I never read reviews or forums or anything. I always stay away from that,” he explained. “But people have come up to me who’ve seen [The Kill Team] and who’ve been disturbed by it and troubled by it, and I take all those reactions as a compliment because that’s how I felt when I read the screenplay.”

Skarsgard went on to say that while the opinions of critics don’t interest him, his interactions with viewers after The Kill Team screenings have been gratifying experiences.

“It means a lot when you meet people who have seen it and have been affected by it,” he said. “The last thing you want is for someone to walk out feeling nothing.”

Read more about The Kill Team here.

Written by Hillary Maglin