Alexander Skarsgard on that bloody Rolling Stone cover
October 4th, 2010
07:49 AM ET

Alexander Skarsgard on that bloody Rolling Stone cover

Most celebrity photo shoots take weeks of planning, but that controversial Rolling Stone cover featuring a nude and bloodied trio of "True Blood" stars? It "just happened on the day" - or so claims Alexander Skarsgård in a new interview with GQ UK.

"We showed up and we shot very PG-13 with our clothes on for basically the whole day, like six or seven hours," says Skarsgård, who posed alongside co-stars Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer. "Then towards the end the photographer said, 'I have this, these shots are beautiful and the magazine is going to be happy with them, but I'd like to try something if you guys are game.'"

After the photographer explained his concept, Skarsgård says, "It was just one of those things in the moment where we all looked at each other, we'd spent all day with the photographer, we felt comfortable with him, we knew that he was great and the atmosphere was right, and we were like, '[Expletive] it, let's do it.'"

The actor admits that no one thought Rolling Stone would actually run the gutsy photo. "They want to sell at Walmart," he explains. "We thought this was going to be too offensive."

Ultimately, however, Skarsgård, 34, is glad that the shocking shot made the cover. "I liked it a lot," he says. "It was definitely more interesting than the safe version…"

Oprah: I don't want to be Michael Jackson
October 4th, 2010
07:46 AM ET

Oprah: I don't want to be Michael Jackson

Two decades after its inception, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network is set to launch in January. But according to Oprah Winfrey herself, it almost didn't happen.

Winfrey, 56, tells Fortune magazine she was reading an article about Michael Jackson last summer and one particular quote from the late singer's friend really struck a chord: After the 1982 hit "Thriller" became the best-selling album of all time, the pal said, Jackson became paralyzed with fear that he could never top it.

"All the bells went off," says Winfrey. "This is why I lived in fear about this network. I kept thinking I have to repeat the 25-year phenomenon of the 'Oprah' show." And, she tells Fortune, "I don't want to be Michael Jackson."

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