Randall Flagg might seem unassuming at first, but as it turns out, he’s the main villain of The Stand‘s entire narrative. Also known as the Dark Man, the Tall Man, and the Walkin’ Dude, Flagg is a purely evil being who seeks utter destruction throughout the human world. An ageless being who’s apparently survived multiple eras, Flagg can assume any form he wants, and he uses that power to manipulate the survivors of the plague, spreading hate and discord everywhere that he goes.
The difficult role of Randall Flagg is a huge undertaking for any actor, but Emmy winner Alexander Skarsgård is perfect casting, thanks to his versatility and strong presence. Skarsgård made his film debut in a small role in Zoolander, but he honed his dramatic chops in HBO shows like Generation Kill and True Blood, playing a regular role in the latter as brooding vampire Eric Northman.
After appearances in films like Melancholia, Straw Dogs, the much-maligned Battleship, and The Legend of Tarzan, Skarsgård returned to HBO for the first season of Big Little Lies, a critically acclaimed series where he played the abusive husband of Nicole Kidman’s character, Celeste Wright. Skarsgård ultimately won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries for Big Little Lies, perfectly priming him for huge, dramatic roles — including Randall Flagg.