What Alexander Skarsgard Ate To Get His Insane Tarzan Body

by Grace Gill · July 1, 2016

Even if you don't know his name, you know his abs. Alexander Skarsgard, the Swede who sent our pulses racing in his shirtless scenes in True Blood, is back at it again and this time he's only wearing a loincloth. When we didn't think he could get any hunkier, his leading role in the new movie The Legend of Tarzan, hitting theaters this weekend, proved us wrong.

When he's not busy being Hollywood's new hero, Skarsgard, the 6ft 4in, 39-year-old actor, spends time with his girlfriend, OG It Girl Alexa Chung, in New York, or at his home in Sweden, where his large and very colorful family resides. 

In order to play the childhood hero, Tarzan, to perfection, Skarsgard set out on a body sculpting routine that would give him an even godlier frame than he already possessed. Skarsgard revealed that his goal wasn't necessarily to get "huge" but instead, he "wanted every muscle to be there for a reason and have a purpose"... well needless to say, he definitely succeeded. If you think SoulCycle and 3-day juice cleanses are tough, just wait. 

Once the film went into production, Skarsgard set to work. After what he describes as "9 months of chicken breast, broccoli and training," what you will see on screen is not altered, enhanced or photoshopped (sorry gents, it's true). Say sayonara to cream, sugar, butter, bread, fast carbs, pasta, alcohol and basically all things delicious and you're almost half-way to the starting line. 

In the first three months, he bulked up. Eating 7,000 calories a day on top of heavy weightlifting was just the beginning. That was then followed by two months of cardio and six small portioned meals a day. Getting to enjoy bland, flavorless protein every three hours, he suffered through part of the process that would help him rid the extra body fat. The goal, he says, "wasn't to get huge" because they didn't want him to look like a bodybuilder. He laughs when he talks about it but can you imagine? I'm still hungry after a 4 course meal + dessert, which is why I can't imagine how Skarsgard powered through. "I just missed food" he says, "after every meal, it would be like okay, another 2 hours and 55 minutes until the next meal."

It was all worth it for Skarsgard though. Growing up, Tarzan was his childhood hero. He was able to appreciate that "unlike other superhero's who have capes and gadgets, Tarzan still can beat anyone with just his brain and his fists!" Well Mr. Skarsgard, you certainly don't need a cape or night-vision goggles to give us googly-eyes. 

[Photo via Mr. Porter, Tarzan]