Let’s just come out and say it, Stellan Skarsgard is a very scary-looking individual when he wants to be and he can be menacing as hell when the situation calls for it. But he can also be the kindly and companionable individual that a lot of people want him to be since he does have that capacity and it is in him to be warm and inviting. In other words he’s one of the most balanced actors out there and it’s fun just to watch him to see what side is going to come out and know that it doesn’t matter since it will be enjoyable all the same. When it does come to him being the bad guy though the only thing that would slow him down in terms of competing with other bad guys is his physical stature since he’s not a powerhouse, but he still cuts a very impressive figure. That being said though just his gravely voice at times is enough to send a chill down the spine.
Here are the five best movies from his career.
5. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Whoever took the antiquated legend of Davy Jones and supercharged in this manner is to be commended since if you read the actual legend you’ll know how many liberties Disney took with this story. But the idea of the lot of them being cursed thanks to Jones’ inability to keep to his duty was brilliant since it added in another element to the story that was ghastly to look at but created yet another enemy that was seemingly unstoppable and absolutely ruthless. The fact that Davy Jones and Captain Jack Sparrow had a pact wasn’t too surprising since Sparrow was bound to do anything and everything to become a notorious pirate captain.
4. King Arthur
The legend of King Arthur has been debated and retold many upon many times throughout history as the myth and the legend has continued to grow. While this movie was insanely fun to watch and quite action-packed there’s no doubt that despite the claim of people finding proof of a King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table, it’s still a lot of guesswork and conjecture since this particular legend has been around for some time. How much of what’s been left behind is true is kind of hard to gauge since honestly so much of it has been appropriated throughout the years that the original tale and possibly the origin of it all has been hopelessly muddied.
This movie didn’t get a whole lot of respect and it’s hard to even call it a cult classic since a lot of people still don’t know about. But when you get a group of trained professionals together, especially those that have worked against each other in the past, there’s bound to be trouble. An ex-CIA agent and an ex-KGB agent aren’t bound to make the best team even on the best of days if you ask anyone, but in this thriller you can’t help but think that Stellan’s character is as shifty as they get from the word go. His ability to deadpan it as much as possible only adds to the feeling, but his turn is still, despite being expected, something of a shock.
2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
This is where Stellan really starts to seem kind of scary since during this torture session he’s completely calm, not yelling, not shouting or screaming, but perfectly at ease in his character and just watching as his intended victim is squirming in what could be called agony. This is why the guy is so terrifying to watch sometimes, and it’s because he has that ability to go complete and utter psycho when he wants to and it makes a person wonder if he could possibly do that when the camera isn’t rolling or if it’s something that’s conditional and needs an audience to make it work. There’s that shudder again.
1. Good Will Hunting
This was a good pairing since it pitted Stellan as an intellectual against Williams as more down to earth person against one another despite the fact that they’re supposed to be old friends that are trying to reach the same goal. This is why, sometimes, those that are TOO intellectual aren’t considered to be easy to work with since their standards are insanely high and they don’t know how to relate to people as well as others do. But the dynamic between Gerry, Sean, and Will is great since it really shows how a bond develops between Sean and Will and how Gerry is simply out in the intellectual ozarks until near the end of the movie when he and Sean finally reconnect on a personal level.
He’s a scary guy when he wants to be, but he’s a good actor all the same.