5 minutes with Alicia Vikander

Hollywood’s new golden girl


The next two years are going to be very busy for Alicia Vikander. The 26-year-old Swedish actress spent the last couple of years adding to her film credibility with the likes of Anna Karenina (with Keira Knightley) and The Fifth Estate (with Benedict Cumberbatch) - as well as winning Editor's Choice at the 2013 ELLE Style Awards. Now, it’s about to pay out - in a big way.

Vikander is a reoccurring presence in this year’s most highly anticipated films, so you can only imagine the leading men she will be starring opposite. We talk to the actress ahead of the release of her new film, Ex-Machina, in which she plays emotionally intelligent robot, Ava…


ELLE: What drew you to the script?

Alicia Vikander: It was one of those extremely rare scripts where you pick it up and you can read it as if you were reading a good thriller; I couldn’t stop turning the pages.

ELLE: What did you do in your interview to secure the role?

Alicia Vikander: At the time, I was shooting a film in Australia, so I made an audition tape in the middle of the night. I remember I had sunscreen all over my face, and made myself all shiny like a mannequin. I know how a human acts, so I tried to make her offbeat and a bit off tune: a little too perfect.

ELLE: How would you describe the film?

Alicia Vikander: It’s a thrilling sci-fi, and incredibly haunting.

ELLE: If you could invent any futuristic object, what would it be?

Alicia Vikander: To be able to turn my legs into bicycle wheels.

ELLE: What are your favourite futuristic films?

Alicia Vikander: I love Metropolis and 2001: A Space Odyssey. I was also really compelled by Moon, which only has one actor in it [similar to Ex-Machina, which throughout its duration, essentially only has four characters].

ELLE: Looking at the forthcoming year, you’re starring in some incredible films, as well as working with some prolific leading men. How was it working with them?

On working with Michael Fassbender (in The Light Between Oceans – out 8 January 2016):

Alicia Vikander: I remember seeing Hunger and Fish Tank a couple of years back, before he broke out into big Hollywood films, and I just think he is one of the best actors of his generation. He’s extremely brave, and an actor who dares to go in different artistic directions; he’s also one of the most humble, easy, and fun guys. It was great to work with him on this film.

On working with Bradley Cooper (in Chef – no release date):

Alicia Vikander: Filming Chef was really fun; I did my scenes with Bradley and he’s an extraordinary actor.

On working with Eddie Redmayne (in The Danish Girl – no release date)

Alicia Vikander: In the film, we’re married. I hadn’t worked with him before, but we presented an award at the BAFTAs last year. We also did some script-writing sessions for a week this summer leading up to rehearsals; we were able to start doing some very intense work. We sat in a room for like ten hours and just brainstormed about the script; it was really fun, but we’re handling the first ever sex change that happened, so we want to portray the story in the most dignified way.

Ex-Machina is out 21 January.

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