Brit Marling and Alexander Skarsgard

Brit Marling and Alexander Skarsgard in ‘The East’

*There is a lot of “True Blood” star Alexander Skarsgard popping up lately.

He was seen recently as the wife of Paula Patton in “Disconnect” and currently as Julianne Moore’s beau in the wonderful film, “What Maise Knew.”

Now he stars in the gripping, eye raising and paramount picture that serves to alert those who have not seen the excellent documentaries done on the harmful and deadly transgressions corporations perpetuate on citizens without any consequences. “The East” also stars Brit Marling, Ellen Page, Julia Ormand, Alsia Hodge and Patricia Clarkson.

The Film Strip asked Skarsgard, who was at the Crosby Hotel in New York to promote the movie if he had any trepidations taking on such a controversial topic in an era where terrorism is on the minds of everyone?

“That’s what I loved about the script,” was his enthusiastic response. “Even if I agree with what the filmmaker is trying to say, I hate it when I feel like they’re trying to shove an opinion down my throat. I always prefer when it raises questions and it makes me think, makes me question my own opinion, my own beliefs and that’s how I felt with the script. I think we all talked about that when we shot the film; about it not being clear who the good guy is.

“It could have easily been a movie where Sarah (Marling) is very successful, in Washington and she works for a big corporation but then she goes out into the woods and she hangs out with these people. They don’t shower, he’s (Benji) got a beard and she’s like, ‘oh, this is the life. These are the good guys,’ and then she falls in love with him. Then they go fight the corporations and live happily ever after, you know. But they’re smarter than that. It’s all in the script. It has so much depth. Even within The East, they don’t agree on everything and that’s the core of it. How far are you willing to go? How militant are you? If you say our motto is an eye for an eye, are you willing to hurt someone? Are you willing to break the law, are you willing to kill someone for this? Benji and Sarah don’t even agree, which I thought was very interesting.”

It is very interesting that Skarsgard is one of the hottest actors around but he’s the coolest! After the interview, he was found in the Hospitality Suite where the reporters gather before and after interviews. The talent is never seen there. But Skarsgard was there hanging out and eating with them!

Before talking to Skarsgard The Film Strip asked co-writer and actress Marling if she thought some would misinterpret the ideas in the film to suggest subversive actions?

“I think it’s really interesting what people are feeling now,” she said. “Rather you’re on the right or left side of the spectrum, everyone right now feels frustrated by corporate malfeasance and just the inability to hold them accountable. In any other system if someone misbehaves or commits a crime, you’re sort of punished in proportion to the crime.

“’The East’ is a made up group but all the things that happened, the corporate crimes, they are real and just pulled out of the headlines and what’s it’s really about is the kind of rebellion or the spirit of rebellion where people stand up and say, ‘ok, enough is enough. You dump oil all over the coast of Louisiana. We’re gonna dump oil in your house. You know you can’t keep doing [this sort of thing].’ Not one person is in jail if you think about it. It is a crime and not one person is in jail yet.”

Syndicated veteran reporter Marie Moore writes about film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected]