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Alexander Skarsgård dives deep into “Infinity Pool” role


“Infinity Pool,” Brandon Cronenberg’s latest sci-fi horror entry, is one wild walk on the weird side.

Alexander Skarsgård is James Foster, a failed writer on vacation with his wife Em (Cleopatra Coleman) at a private resort on a Third World island, who finds to his horror just how terrifyingly bad his life can get.

Skarsgård dove into this “Pool” after reading just the first page of Cronenberg’s script. “There’s this sleepy conversation between James and his wife just waking up. And he says: White sand brain dead.

“I was like, What is this dialogue!? What are they talking about? I was hooked — and that was it.”

The R-rated “Infinity Pool” pushes the limits with sex and violence. James’ descent involves seductive Gabi (Mia Goth), scary police and being cloned. For a price, a tourist can escape jail and execution by creating a double who “dies” instead.

“James is in many ways quite an easy target for Gabi’s neo-Gothic character” Skarsgård, 46, said. “When we meet him he’s a bit of a shell of a man. His self-confidence has gone. He’s struggling in his career. He is desperately trying to find inspiration.

“In this weird all-inclusive resort, he’s definitely not getting any inspiration there. His relationship is not going well. So he’s a perfect victim for Gabi and her gang when they’re trying to find someone to have some fun with.

“I understand why he would be intrigued and follow Gabi, although the journey he goes on is absolutely crazy. I was interested in exploring what happens to someone who has to confront his own mortality, watch his own demise and fight for his life.

“It’s brutal, it’s visceral,” he acknowledged. “When that happens, how do you move on from that? What will that do to you? Is it a metamorphosis? Or is it more that something inside him is awakened, something that’s always been there. That’s what intrigued me.”

“Alex, aside from being a brilliant actor, is a really interesting contrast for a director,” Cronenberg, sitting next to Skarsgård, said. “He can do the big leading man stuff; he has the presence and charisma. But he’s very game to push himself to extremes and embrace this animalistic side and hedonistic abandon of the character in a really fearless way.

“That contrast is essential to the film. James needs to be someone who almost steps out of a resort brochure at the start but then is convincing as someone in this complete animalistic state. There aren’t a lot of actors who can do both of those things convincingly.”



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