In five years, she has gone from art house to a-list. Swedish actor Alicia Vikander talks to Louise Gannon about transforming her body to play Lara Croft, her unhappy life as a child ballerina, and her interesting journey via London, to where she is now.
In the luxury apartment of a West End hotel, the Oscar-winning actor Alicia Vikander is not quite feeling herself.
“This makes me feel very small and a bit overwhelmed,” she says,
nodding towards the spacious sitting room furnished with embroidered sofas and hand-painted armoires.
“This is really not who I am.”
She opts to sit on a stiff dining chair, pulling it up close to the table, and she does look quite small.
Her possessions largely books and casual clothes barely take up half of one of the many wardrobes in the apartment,
which is her home for a week during the promotion of her latest film, Tomb Raider.
The only exception to this frugality is a large double-banded diamond ring on her wedding finger.
But Vikander is not small. Right now, in the film industry, the Swedish daughter of a psychiatrist (Svante) and a stage actress (Maria) is huge.
She has managed to pull off the difficult trick of being acclaimed by critics while having the populist clout to put bums on seats in cinemas.
She has also given gossip columnists plenty to write about after marrying the equally sought-after German-Irish actor Michael Fassbender at a low-key ceremony in Ibiza six months ago.
From art house to fantasy and blockbusters
Vikander started her film career in Swedish art-house films such as Pure (2010), in which she played a troubled 20-year-old who finds solace in the music of Mozart,
before appearing as the ingénue heroine Kitty in Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina (2012) and then starring in the globally acclaimed Testament of Youth
(she played a young Vera Brittain) and Ex Machina (which saw her nominated for Golden Globe and Bafta awards).
Two years ago, she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for The Danish Girl,
in which she pretty much stole the film from Eddie Redmayne as Gerda, the conflicted wife of Einar Wegener (Redmayne), the first known assigned-male-at-birth person to transition, in 1920s Denmark.
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