Alexander Skarsgård on Cooking Beef Bourguignon and Eating Food Off the Floor

Master of stews.
Master of stews. Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Buy Nothing Day, an international protest against consumerism, inspired Alexander Skarsgård’s new film, The East. In the thriller, some of the characters practice freeganism: avoiding waste by reclaiming and eating discarded food. Off-camera, Skarsgård’s actually quite fond of freshly cooked food, and he became the chef of the cast (which includes Brit Marling and Ellen Page). At Monday’s screening of the film at Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema, Skarsgård shared his go-to recipes, thoughts on waste, and why his True Blood character, Eric, no longer just sees humans as food.

Brit [Marling] says that you’re actually a fabulous cook.
I enjoy it. What’s my thang? It’s different to cook for these guys, because they’re all vegans. I like to cook stews like beef bourguignon and coq au vin. I made them a lot of pasta and veggies. Zal [Batmanglij] and Brit had a house in Shreveport [Louisiana], and we would go and hang out there on weekends. We would hang out and cook and drink wine and dance and occasionally get some work done.

One of the interesting ideas the film brings up is how much food is wasted in this country. Do you have a rule for how long food is on the floor before you don’t eat it?
I come from a very big, large family with tons of kids, so I’m pretty used to eating off the floor. With seven siblings, you grab whatever you can. We throw away so much good food in this country, and we don’t even think about how much we waste. We’ve created a society where we consume so much — not just food, but everything. And I’m not judging. I’m part of that system. It’s good to be aware of it.

I’m hoping Eric gets something to do with the whole Warlow conspiracy on True Blood.
We’re shooting the last two episodes, and he might get involved in that. We’ll see. I’ve had a great time this year. It’s a big war going on. Humans are fighting back. They’ve figured out a way to actually be a real threat to vampires. They’ve always just been food to Eric. So, for the first time, he’s got to fight.

Alexander Skarsgård on Cooking Beef Bourguignon and Eating Food Off the