She’s had over 30 roles and won more than 30 awards and counting. And she’s only 29! Much like the Lara Croft before her, Alicia Vikander is a force to be reckoned with.
We aren’t exactly sure when we irst found out about Alicia Vikander; for someone with so much talent and an Oscar win under her belt, the Swedish actress has somehow managed to keep a surprisingly low proile. But suddenly her name was popping up everywhere. And now, with Tomb Raider about to hit, the buzz is louder than ever.
When Alicia Vikander began her journey to gaining 7kg of pure muscle and becoming Lara Croft, fellow Swede Alexander Skarsgård was her “gymspiration”. “I told my trainer I wanted to look like Alexander in Tarzan,” she giggles cheerfully. “He was my end goal.”
Having seen shots of Alicia on a boat in Ibiza revealing her abs of steel earlier this year, it’s clear she has achieved her end goal.
In person, our interviewer says she’s warm and chatty but a reserved underlay is always present. And she remains steadfastly rooted in her desire to keep married life irmly under wraps. A warning from her publicist also reiterates that fact. When it comes to Lara, however, Alicia is entirely forthcoming.
Lara was one of the first feminist icons in video games and then Hollywood movies. Was this a large part of the appeal for you?
Yes, absolutely. I played the games... and then grew up watching Angelina in the movies. We know that video games are a very male-dominated world, so to have a female protagonist in this way was so intriguing to me.
Were you ever concerned with comparisons to Angelina Jolie, who played the original Tomb Raider?
I could never compete with what Angelina did. She’s perfect! She made her into an icon because she is an icon. But this is a different interpretation. We’re focused on [adapting] the reboot of the game, which came out a few years ago. It’s an origin story; we’re not trying to copy or reinvent what she did.
Tell us more about this adaptation.
The reboot, which came out ive years ago, was an examination of how she eventually becomes the Tomb Raider. So we’re seeing Lara at a very different stage in her life, where she’s trying to understand who she is and what path to take. You get to learn how and why she goes on to become this icon.
She’s this action hero, or she will become this action hero, but she’s also a very relatable young girl who’s ordinary in so many ways. She’s living in East London at the beginning, living her life and just trying to ind her place on her way to her destiny. She still has the same ire and drive and spirit, but without all the experience under her belt [laughs].
The rise of Alicia Vikander
As a teen, Alicia trained as a ballet dancer at the Royal Swedish Ballet School and the School of Amercian Ballet.
2002 - Shortly after this, she began her acting career in Swedish short films and TV shows.
2009 - Makes her feature film debut in Pure.
2012 - Gains international attention in Anna Karenina, alongside Keira Knightly. The same year, she also starred in A Royal Affair.
2015 - Has substantial roles in multiple films, including The Danish Girl, for which she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
2016 - Appears alongside Matt Damon in Jason Bourne.
2018 – Stars in the highlyanticipated Tomb Raider.
How awful was the training?
Not awful at all [laughs]. I learned more about physicality than I ever realised and I’m shocked at how my body reacted to this training and lifestyle.
Have you kept up the regime?
No, it’s slipped a little by the wayside. Six days a week in the gym, couple of hours a day; that’s very gruelling. Without my amazing trainer, I don’t have the discipline to do it on my own.
But you must be quite used to it from your days as a dancer. Did that help?
It’s a different world. But that’s a big reason why I wanted to do something like this. I was after a role with high endurance physicality and it doesn’t get more physical than Lara.
You’ve just produced your first movie, Euphoria. Was it challenging?
Producing it was such a daunting challenge, but I was surprised by how naturally it came to me. I felt very comfortable in the role and also liked being involved from the ground floor up.
Sometimes, as an actor, you can come into a movie a week before they start shooting and you’re very detached from the [process]. Whereas for this movie, I was there from the start.
The entire journey was an education. Each task as a producer was a irst for me, and there were the inevitable bumps along the way. It’s a learning curve that you appreciate.
Wonder Woman was the biggest hit of last year and a huge step for women in the industry…
I saw that while we were shooting and seeing the opening sequence with all those women in that amazing ight scene, I was blown away. I don’t think I had ever seen that before.
How do you view the equality movement in Hollywood?
Society is changing for the better, and as long as the conversation continues, positive change will come... I want to be actively involved and do whatever I can to work with incredibly talented women, propelling this shift.
It’s been almost two years since you won your Oscar, but we hear you left it behind in LA the day after. Have the two of you reunited?
Yes, we’re reunited now after a long distance relationship. It’s tough [laughs]. Because I was working so much, I envisioned it getting lost with all the travel. So I decided to leave it with my friend’s daughter, who I knew would be careful and caring of him. She was always sending me updates to let me know he was OK, so that was sweet.
So it’s with you in London now. Is it on the mantelpiece?
I still haven’t decided where he’s going to go. He’s quite eye-catching, you need to ind the right spot.
Images TPG/Click Photos, Interview Hub Text Interview Hub.