Equal pay important irrespective of gender or skin colour: Actor Stellan Skarsgard

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New Delhi : Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard, who has been part of films like "Good Will Hunting", "Thor", "Avengers" and "Mamma Mia!", says equal pay and opportunities should be a truth for all -- irrespective of gender or ethnicity.

"I think it (the debate on pay parity and diversity) is absolutely a viable discussion. I think it is very important that you have equal pay no matter if you have penis or not. And no matter what skin colour you have, you should have equal opportunities," Skarsgard told IANS over the phone from Scotland.

"My analysis is that we can create equality by creating equal opportunities for each child -- which means every child should have equal opportunities to get good education, good health care and good nourishment. If we do that, then all those problems will be solved."

As a child, Skarsgard wanted to become a diplomat and travel the world spreading the message of harmony and peace. But instead found his way into showbiz and went on to do iconic roles like Jan Nyman in "Breaking the Waves", Professor Gerald Lambeau in "Good Will Hunting", Bootstrap Bill Turner in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, Bill Anderson in "Mamma Mia!", Dr. Erik Selvig in the "Thor" and "The Avengers" franchise.

The actor turned 67 in June this year. Indian channel Sony Pix had a special screening session and aired some of his iconic films as part of the birthday celebrations.

Recalling his journey in showbiz, the actor said: "Well, I am ashamed to say that it wasn't much of a struggle…I have been struggling with every role but I haven't faced struggle in my career.

"I am very fortunate and very spoilt. I got to do very different kind of projects and I got to choose between those, so I am probably the most spoilt actor in the world."

The actor avoids doing similar roles -- and that keeps him motivated.

"I go with different kind of roles and films, but the thing that keeps me motivated is the incredible joy that I find by being on the set, together with other actors and creating something that is bigger than what we separately couldn't imagine at home when we were reading the script.

"It is the collaboration with other actors and the director -- that is the joy."

Skarsgard says he forms a view of life based "less on my career" and more on his family.

"I have eight wonderful children, two wonderful wives. I have been very lucky," said the actor, who will be back as Bill Anderson in "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again", slated to release in India on August 3.

A sequel to the 2008 film "Mamma Mia!", the film will take the audience back to the Greek island of Kalokairi. It also features Meryl Streep, Julie Walters and Christine Baranski.

Skarsgard says the film has the same qualities as the first one.

"It is a very generous and heart-warming film. There is a lot of music. I think it is more modern and it is also spiced up with some younger versions of ourselves."

(Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at sugandha.r@ians.in)