Alexander Skarsgard has revealed he quit acting when he first became famous so he could be normal again.

Alexander Skarsgard

Alexander Skarsgard

The 40-year-old Swedish actor is about to return to the big screen in his new film 'War On Everyone' - his first comedy role for more than a decade.

But before he landed his breakout role playing Eric Northman in HBO's cult vampire drama series 'True Blood', Alexander walked away from the profession to preserve his regular lifestyle.

In an interview with Stylist magazine, he said: "I stopped acting for eight years. I did a TV movie ('The Dog That Smiled') when I was 13 which got some attention and it made me uncomfortable. People would recognise me but I just wanted to be normal. I think a lot of kids feel that way - you just want to blend in."

Alexander made his way back into acting when he was aged 21 after he finished in the military - as Sweden had mandatory military service until 2010.

He explained: "The reason I quit had nothing to do with the work, it was everything around it. So I thought, maybe I should give it a go and see how I feel as an adult. I didn't want to wake up when I was 55 and think, 'Ahh s**t, I should have tried that.' So I went to New York to theatre school to check it out."

His father Stellan Skarsgard is a revered actor with roles in movies such as 'Thor', 'Amistad' and 'Romeo and Juliet'.

When Alexander was a youngster he used to visit the theatre where his dad was performing.

He recalled: "My favourite part was the hair and makeup room with all the prosthetics and crazy wigs. It was obviously a dream for a little kid to put that stuff on. There was one big, crazy nose that scared me a bit."

For his latest movie Alexander worked alongside The Martian's Michael Pena, and it's a genre that he says he's been searching for a while.

He explained: "I've been actively looking for a comedy but [film companies] don't send comedies my way. I don't know [why] ... because I'm f***ing boring?"