Ten-Hut! Battleship's Alexander Skarsgård Reveals Navy Past

Scandinavian hottie chats about enlisting with the Swedish military and working with costar Rihanna

By Alexis L. Loinaz Apr 30, 2012 9:29 PMTags
Watch: Alexander Skarsgard Reveals Military Past

When it comes to Alexander Skarsgård, ship happens!

The star is gearing up to drop box-office anchor in Battleship, the alien-invasion maritime actioner that opens in the U.S. on May 18 and has already set sail in select countries worldwide.

E! News' Jason Kennedy recently caught up with the sexy Swede, who, it turns out, has as lot more in common with the naval-officer character he plays in the flick, the heroic Stone Hopper, than you'd think.

While chatting with Kennedy on a real-life ship (verisimilitude!), Skarsgård let loose that he had actually enlisted in the Swedish navy when he was a teenager.

His rank? Sergeant!

"I was 19 and [military service] used to be mandatory," he says. "There was this unit that I really wanted to join. My unit was part of the navy, but we weren't on big ships. It was a small unit protecting the islands in the Baltic [Sea], basically."

So what pushed him to leave his cushy upbringing (dad is celebrated actor Stellan Skarsgård) and sign up for the military?

"I grew up in a very bohemian, hippie family in south Stockholm in a very urban area," he explains. "I needed a challenge—I wanted to be out in the woods."

Skarsgård also weighed in on costar Rihanna, who's making her big-screen debut in Battleship as an officer who knows how to wield some very big and badass guns.

"She was just one of us," he says, adding that her larger-than-life persona helped her nab the part.

"Just by watching her on stage, she's got an amazing energy and charisma and personality. I'm sure that's why [director Peter Berg] cast her: because he saw that energy—she'll be perfect for this part."

Judging by the flick's bombastic trailer, looks like Ri-Ri, Skarsgård and crew are ready to rock the boat!