'I realised that I was number 499 to audition for a small part in a bad horror movie,' he says. At first he didn't mention to his fellow actors that he had been in the military.
'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.
Family life, he says, was 'pretty chaotic', the atmosphere 'very liberal'. 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.' 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.
His romantic life, however, continued to be turbulent.
In a recent radio interview, he dedicated the Buzzcocks' song Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)? I'm pretty intense when it comes to relationships, platonic ones as well.
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.
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 briefly considered becoming an architect – 'I spent a lot of time drawing buildings, even entire towns' – but changed his mind.
Sweden used to be known for peace, Abba and long hours of daylight.