In 1997, he enrolled in a theater course at Marymount Manhattan College and moved to New York City.
He returned to Stockholm after six months, but the time he spent studying theater showed him that he wanted to act.
The part of Brad Colbert was the closest to a "lead" in Generation Kill, and director Susanna White and executive producer David Simon at first disagreed about casting Skarsgård.
White wanted to cast him but Simon was not convinced he could pull off the American accent.
After four auditions in three cities, Skarsgård learned the part was his just 36 hours before he had to board a plane for Namibia where the project was filming.
The cast and crew filmed for seven months in the desert, shooting six days a week.
He is best known for his roles as vampire Eric Northman on the HBO series True Blood, Meekus in Zoolander and Brad Colbert in the HBO miniseries Generation Kill. Skarsgård played Tarzan in the 2016 film The Legend of Tarzan.
A friend of his father, who was a director, gave Skarsgård his first film role when he was seven years old.He played Kalle Nubb in Åke och hans värld (Åke and His World).In 1989, the lead role in the Swedish television production Hunden som log (The Dog That Smiled) made him famous in Sweden at the age of thirteen.Uncomfortable with being recognized, he quit acting for the next seven years.After completing his service in 1996 he left Sweden and attended Leeds Beckett University in England for six months.He enrolled to study English but admits he did not study much and "had a blast" instead.