Film Feature by James Stephens
Many people might have heard of Gothenburg, Sweden and some may have even been there, but this past February it proved to be the birth place of Alicia Vikander. The 2016 Academy Award winner for Best Supporting Actress for the film The Danish Girl (2015). Whilst people may have heard of Gothenburg, even fewer people would know who Alicia Vikander is. In terms of female Actress Oscar winners from Sweden there have only ever been two. The iconic Ingrid Bergman and now, the more recent, Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl. One big difference however are the seven nominations, including the wins, that Ingrid has compared to the one nomination and one win that Alicia has. Catapulting Vikander into the public eye by way of a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award has officially made the Swede one to watch out for. Which is something very strange to say about an actress following an Oscar win but still at a young age and a burgeoning career ahead, the 27 year old is showing no signs of slowing down having taken up residence in the heart of London with fellow actor and boyfriend Michael Fassbender whilst working on four new films, one of which just so happens to be the latest instalment in the Jason Bourne series. 2016 could well be the year that proved to be the first of many Academy Awards for a future iconic Swedish talent.
Vikander was born and raised in Gothenburg where she began her acting career from the tender age of seven, appearing in various productions and musicals. Vikander even appeared on a popular Swedish show called Småstjärnorna performing a song in front of a panel of judges which she won. This was her first recognition as an actor and performer and one which pushed her to achieve more and pursue a career in the arts. From here she began to train as a ballet dancer but this passion was sadly cut short due to an injury but it proved to have a silver lining. Due to her injury it allowed her to focus on acting and after a few short film appearances, Alicia landed a role on the popular Swedish TV drama Andra Avenyn. Gaining fans and critical acclaim Vikander landed the lead role in the 2010 Swedish film, Pure. This led to Vikander’s second glimpse of award acclaim and stardom in the form of the Rising Star award in 2010 at the Stockholm Film Festival, the Shooting Star Award at the Berlin International Film Festival and the prestigious Guldbagge Award for Best Actress.
Vikander and Eddie Redmayne drinking cocktails in The Danish Girl
After winning such awards at globally recognised film festivals it was only a matter of time before Hollywood came calling. In 2012 Vikander appeared in the British historical romance, Anna Karenina alongside Keira Knightley, a film which gained worldwide acclaim including four Oscar nominations and six BAFTA nominations. Quite an achievement for Alicia's first film away from Sweden. She followed this up with A Royal Affair (2012) which culminated in earning an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. Hollywood had taken notice. Following up A Royal Affair with The Fifth Estate (2013) and Son of A Gun (2014) Vikander began to add to her already impressive credentials. 2015 however proved to be her biggest year.
Ex Machina (2015) featured not only some of the best visual effects seen to date but it was also one of the most thought provoking films to be released in recent memory. Starring as Ava, a robotic humanoid with Artificial Intelligence, Vikander garnered critical praise for her portrayal and ability to act in a heavily laden special effect atmosphere. Along with Ex Machina roles swiftly followed in The Man From U.N.C.L.E (2015), Testament of Youth (2015), Seventh Son (2015) which was temporarily shelved for several months upon completion and The Danish Girl (2015). Having amassed such a career film reel at only 27 years of age, it's something that would make any actress jealous but the best years in terms of acting are yet to come from Alicia Vikander, Oscar winner.
Dancing with Armie Hammer in The Man From U.N.C.L.E