Alexander Skarsgard Image Credit: Mr Porter

Before he swings into the cinemas as Tarzan on July 28 in the UAE, Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgard has landed on the cover of Mr Porter’s Journal. Shot by Bjorn Iooss in Manhattan, the 39-year-old models the latest looks from the men’s style and shopping portal, and discusses everything from his hippy childhood in Stockholm, his time in the Swedish army and his breakout role as Eric Northman in the hit TV series True Blood.

He also spoke about getting in shape for his next big role as the iconic character Tarzan.

Alexander Skarsgard Image Credit: Mr. Porter

In The Legend of Tarzan, Skarsgard spends most of the film running and swinging and grappling without his shirt on. He says Warner Bros offered to pair him with one of their trainers to get him in shape, but he asked to work instead with his friend Magnus Lygdback, a trainer-nutritionist and fellow Swede whom he’d got to know socially while living in LA.

“When you have to see the same person every morning at 4.30am, it’s important you get on well with them,” he says in the interview.

Naturally lean of frame, he spent three months bulking up, adding more than 11kg by eating “an insane” 7,000 calories a day (three times his usual intake) and lifting heavy weights.

Alexander Skarsgard Image Credit: Mr. Porter

The actor says he hates dieting, but loves an intense physical challenge. In 2014, he trekked to the South Pole with Prince Harry to raise money for charity. “He’s an incredible storyteller, so I think he’d be a very good actor,” he says.

Skarsgard, who will turn 40 in August, also says he’s in no hurry to start a family.

“Yeah. I’m not married, I don’t have kids,” he says. “I feel OK about it. No midlife crisis yet.”

For the full interview, go to mrporter.com. The Legend of Tarzan releases in the UAE on July 28.