Tarzan is back on the big screen. After living in London with his family he returns to the wilds of Africa to rescue his friends from being sold into slavery. Alexander Skarsgard plays Tarzan and this time around, he had to sculpt his body meet the requirements of the role. He shares his journey of playing the lead. with Noel de Souza
How did you do it?
Alexander Skarsgard: Well, I did it in different phases. I wanted to put on weight in the beginning. So for the first three months while I was wrapping up True Blood in Los Angeles, I was on a 7,000 calorie a day diet. This meant eating steak and potatoes constantly and lifting weights. The goal wasn’t to get bigger, I wanted to increase a bit in volume but I didn’t want to look like a bodybuilder in the jungle. It was important that when Tarzan returns to the jungle, that he looked very athletic and flexible and nimble, so about two months before the shoot I did yoga, pilates and that kind of stuff. So I started to work with Wayne McGregor who’s an incredible choreographer, he worked on my movement and more cardio and weight lifting.
After all, that training I am sure that you needed a whole new wardrobe.
Alexander Skarsgard: Yeah, none of my clothes fit so I had to buy new jeans and a whole new wardrobe. But I also didn’t have a social life for nine months, so it wasn’t like I needed a lot of clothes. I basically wore sweat pants because I was either on the set or in the gym or in bed for nine months.
I started to work with Wayne McGregor who’s an incredible choreographer, he worked on my movement and more cardio and weight lifting
Tarzan is so very much in love with Jane, so you as alexander, what have you done for the one you love?
Alexander Skarsgard: I’ll tell you the most stupid thing that I have done for love. I was in New York and I went to drama school to study theatre. But a couple of weeks before I left my home for New York I had met this girl, I was 20 and she was 18. The school was a great opportunity but I felt that I got to move, I got to drop out of school and move back to Sweden for this lady, this is it, so I left everything, moved out of my apartment and moved back to Sweden. I think it lasted 14 days maybe and we broke up, so you can also do something like that for love. Very romantic, Huh?
Tarzan cherished nature and preserved the environment, today there is the threat of global warming, we see what is happening the world over. Are you an optimistic about the future?
Alexander Skarsgard: I feel that we have to be optimistic because otherwise it is too late. I mean it’s an uphill battle that we have to fight hard. What I hope this movie will do is make people aware that during King Leopold’s reign one of the worst genocides of all times took place in the Congo. Maybe some people will go home after the movie and think about that, do we have to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. The same thing with the environment, how some corporations and governments are destroying the land on a daily basis and hopefully by seeing these, the beautiful landscapes of Gabon and man’s inhumanity to man and nature that hopefully people will appreciate how important it is to preserve nature and stop deforestation.
Noel de Souza is a gold card member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Earlier this year, he was nominated for The Excellence In Media award by the publicists guild of America. His love for writing blossomed at an early age. Moving to America he began writing about Hollywood. Besides his journalistic activities, de Souza has worked on both sides od the camera in Hollywood prompting him to be listed as one of the top twenty influential Indians in Hollywood. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is the organizations that celebrates the best in cinema and television in Hollywood and abroad by honoring them with the Golden Globes, he has been an active part in the production of the show. He is a member of The Television Academy and a blue ribbon panel member. He has written for around the globe, Amica in Germany, Haaretz in Israel and Magyar in Hungary among many others.