Alexander Skarsgrd - 'Straw Dogs' remake is different from original

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PHOENIX -- You normally see Alexander Skarsgård in the hit HBO series "True Blood" as vampire sheriff Eric Northman, but this week he's on the big screen in the remake of the 1971 film "Straw Dogs."

Skarsgård checked in with Tara Hitchcock live via satellite from New York City.

The Swedish-born actor said the Southern accent of his character a bit on the tricky side, but he nailed it with the help of a dialect coach.

"Fortunately we shot it in Shreveport and that helped a lot, as well, to be down there" he said.

Skarsgård said he saw the original "Straw Dogs" several years ago and then watched again it after meeting with the directors for this version.

"What attracted to me to this project, what drew me to it, is that it is quite different," he said. "We're not just copying [director Sam] Peckinpah's movie because creatively it just didn't make any sense for me to do that.

"As an actor, you want to be able to explore and find a character, and not just do what someone else did 40 years ago."

While the team talked about how to approach some of the pivotal -- and very tough -- scenes, Skarsgård said they were careful not to over-rehearse.

"We just got in there and shot them," he said. "We felt like ... if you rehearse it, there could be moments during that rehearsal that we could never recreate. We wanted to capture that."

"Straw Dogs" is rated R. It scheduled to open Sept. 16.