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Alex Skarsgård joined The Giver to work with Meryl Streep

Alexander Skarsgård joined the current YA phenomenon when he signed on for The Giver, but the actor revealed a surprising reason for taking the role.

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“It was a small supporting role, but how could I possibly turn down the opportunity to work with Meryl?” he told People.

In the end, the True Blood star was never able to meet the actress because of their tight shooting schedules, even though they share a scene. But Skarsgård is still thrilled to have been given the chance.

“We were never able to overlap, so that was quite disappointing,” he said. “But I’m still in the same movie as Meryl Streep!”

The Giver also stars Jeff Bridges, Katie Holmes and Taylor Swift, and was an important opportunity for Skarsgård.

“It was definitely a character I hadn’t played before,” Skarsgård said. “Every year, when we wrap up a season [of True Blood], I look for things that are different from Eric Northman. It was a real challenge because he is a character who does horrendous things, but that said, he’s not a bad guy. He just doesn’t know any better.”

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Despite rumors Skarsgård and co-star Katie Holmes are dating, he confirmed they are just good friends. The actor did say, though, that the rest of the cast became close and Bridges made it a social event. For the actor, that environment helped him with his role.

“All that kind of stuff is so important, especially when you play a character that’s quite difficult,” he adds. “It was really nice on weekends to hang out with the cast and crew and Jeff, he was the anchor of the group.”

The Giver opens in theaters on Friday, Aug. 15.

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