Kathryn Shattuck | NY Times: When Alexander Skarsgard was a boy in Sweden, his father, the actor Stellan, introduced him to a favorite character. And when Alexander grew up, he decided to play him.
“My dad is the biggest Tarzan fan ever, and we watched the old Johnny Weissmuller movies when I was a kid,” Mr. Skarsgard, 39, said. “So I was super excited about the idea of playing Tarzan. And I was curious: This is a story that’s been told 100 times over the past 100 years. What’s their take on it?”
The Legend of Tarzan,” opening Friday, July 1, transports Edgar Rice Burroughs’s jungle boy, now living as Lord Greystoke in Britain, to the Congo Free State on a public relations tour sponsored by King Leopold II of Belgium. Accompanied by his wife, Jane (Margot Robbie), and George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson), an American politician on a fact-finding mission, Tarzan stumbles into a trap masterminded by Captain Léon Rom (Christoph Waltz).
Whether critics consider this a timely critique of colonialism or another white-savior movie, Mr. Skarsgard is primarily focused on the opinion of one specific person. “My old man,” he said over lunch at Café Mogador in the East Village, his hard-won physique camouflaged by a crisp white shirt. “He has loved Tarzan since he was 6.” These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
By the way — the casual reference to “another white-savior movie” is not going to be the last time we hear that. ….. brace yourself.