Alicia Vikander: A fearless, unstoppable Hollywood performer

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Alicia VikanderHow badly do you miss your life in your native Sweden?
Sweden will always be a huge part of me. But you know the funny thing? You only start to appreciate your cultural heritage when you’re traveling and you’ve basically left your country, which is what happened to me. I’m very glad to have this wonderful opportunity to live and work in so many different cities and see things from a different perspective, but I still feel very close to my country and that special feeling you have for your own culture. That will never change.

In Tulip Fever you act in another period piece. Do you enjoy these kinds of historical dramas?
I love exploring different times.  It’s exciting to do the research and understand how people behaved in different ways and there were different sets of rules governing their behaviour.  You try to put yourself in the position of a woman in past times whose world was much more restricted and you try to imagine how you would feel and how you might want to rebel against those limitations. It’s fascinating.

Do you become very philosophical or caught up in the lives of a woman like Sophia or other women characters like the one you played in The Light Between the Oceans?
I become very invested in my characters and I try very hard to understand their emotional world and their psychology. What’s interesting for me is being able to push myself and get outside of my comfort zone.

It may seem strange, but I usually look for roles which scare me and make me worry about whether I can really pull it off. I feel that the more I challenge myself the more I will evolve as an actor and as an individual.

Is it important to you to play strong-minded and determined women?
If possible, yes. I feel drawn to characters that have a lot of willpower and spirit and I like to be able to go on a journey with them. The most important thing is to find a good project and make a film that you will enjoy being part of and create something that the audience will enjoy.

How do you feel about taking on the Lara Croft role in Tomb Raider?
I’m thrilled to play Lara Croft. I still remember how excited I was when the first film with Angelina Jolie came out. Our story is more of an origin story, though, although I’m not allowed to tell you anything more! (Laughs)

What about the physical preparation?
I’m looking forward to that. I trained as a ballerina so I’m used to working very hard on training my body and this will be a different kind of a challenge. But I love the physical aspect of this kind of a story and I’m really excited about it.

Do you like the idea of playing a very physical role in a big action film like this?
Yes.  I’ve always been such a big fan of these kinds of action and adventure movies and I have been a big fan of the video game of Lara Croft, too.

When I was a teenager, I would always watch the Indiana Jones movies and then of course it was such a thrill to be playing in the Jason Bourne film even though my character didn’t get to do action scenes. So playing Lara Croft is something I would never have dreamed of doing. But that’s how incredible and unpredictable this business can be.