Alexander Skarsgard, Michael Shannon on Albums, Embarrassing Moments - Rolling Stone
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The First Time: Alexander Skarsgard and Michael Shannon

‘Little Drummer Girl’ co-stars remember first favorite albums, most embarrassing moments on set

Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Shannon remember their first favorite albums, their most embarrassing moments on set and their first bad reviews in the latest installment of “The First Time.”

Shannon and Skarsgård — who co-star on AMC’s new John le Carré adaptation, The Little Drummer Girl — both revealed the first albums they fell in love with. For Skarsgård, who was raised in Sweden, it was the Italo-disco compilation, Max Mix 4, while Shannon remembered his obsession with Phil Collins’ No Jacket Required. “I don’t really have much of a story about it,” he deadpanned. “It involved listening to the album and liking it a great deal.”

Elsewhere, the two joked about their tall statures and being able to ride whatever ride they want at Six Flags, while they also reflected on the more humiliating aspects of acting. Skårsgard remembered being too scared to play out a confrontation with a mean dog while acting in a film as a nine-year-old, and Shannon said there was rarely a moment when he wasn’t embarrassed. “It’s constantly embarrassing being on set,” he said. “It’s embarrassing being in front of a camera, being around other people — I’m fairly constantly embarrassed, particularly right now.”

Shannon and Skarsgård also dredged up memories of their first bad reviews. Shannon was able to quote, word-for-word, a reviewer’s disparaging quip about his performance in a play in Chicago: “He said that, ‘Michael Shannon is a semi-attractive youngster who thinks acting is rubbing is forehead and flapping his arms like a bird.'”

For Skarsgård, that first bad review came for his performance in the same film he had to square up against a bad dog as a nine-year-old. Though the character was supposed to be sick and die, Skarsgård said he was nevertheless scarred when a critic wrote that he looked like he was dying.


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