Why She's On Our Radar: Already a star in her native Sweden, the gorgeous Alicia Vikander is best known for her role in the Swedish TV drama "Andra Avenyn." Earlier this year she turned heads in Berlin, where her period drama "A Royal Affair" had its premiere. Just yesterday, the actress made our list of 10 up-and-coming actors set to breakout in Toronto this year, thanks to her scene stealing work in the aforementioned film and Joe Wright's hyped "Anna Karenina" adaptation, both of which are playing at the festival.
More About Her: Inspired by her mother, Swedish actress Maria Fahl Vikander, Vikander initially trained to be a dancer at the Royal Swedish Ballet School after taking parts in a few musicals and TV series. After enduring quite a few injuries, she decided to quit dancing only to follow her true passion, acting. She's since gone on to win the coveted Rising Star Award, at the Stockholm Film Festival.
What's Next: Up next for the budding star is another period romp, albeit a supernatural one. In the 18th-century adventure story "The Seventh Son," Vikander will star opposite Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Olivia Williams and Ben Barnes. The film is set to open October 18, 2013.
What lead you to want to take acting on as a profession?
My Mother is an actress, so it’s always been a part of my life. I was in a few musicals when I was younger but when I was 16 Tomas Alfredson ["Let the Right One In"] offered me a part in a TV series and this was the real moment I decided to quit dancing and pursue acting as a career.
You initially trained to be a dancer. What made you give that up?
I endured quite a few injuries when I was younger and had my first surgery on my foot when I was 15. But I love dancing. "Anna Karenina" was great for me as it meant I could combine the two and I actually went back and did some classes. I just knew after the TV series with Tomas that my passion laid with acting.
Have you always had the ambition to break into the English language market, or was this all unplanned?
No. It wasn’t in my plan at all. My agent is Sweden used to send off interview tapes but I decided to take it upon myself and come to London to visit casting directors which is when things first started taking off for me. I love Sweden but the industry out here is quite small so when I was given the chance to go internationally I took it.
What was it like sharing the screen opposite an actor like Mads Mikkelsen in "A Royal Affair," so early in your career? What did you learn from the experience?
It was amazing! He is the most renowned actor in Scandinavia. I was only nervous for about 5 seconds as he was so charming and put both Mikkel and I at complete ease on set as he was so relaxed and welcoming, he was a real inspiration to me.
What was it like going from one period film "A Royal Affair" to the next "Anna Karenina"?
If I can say anything practical I would say corset training! By the time I went on set of "Anna Karenina," I was already used to being pulled in and wearing one on a daily basis so there was no fear of fainting on set! You never really enter production for a period drama thinking of the particular moment in history. You relate to the characters as people and their emotions as humans because people never really change that much but circumstances in different periods do.
Tell us about what you have in the works, and which project you’re most excited to share with your new fan base?
Earlier this year I finished filming the adventure film "The Seventh Son," which is based on Joseph Delaney’s novel. I play the role of Alice who is half witch, which was really fun to play. At the moment I am back in Sweden filming "Hotel."
Which actors do you credit as your biggest inspirations?
Women who have been brave with their role choices. For example, I love Kate Winslet and Tilda Swinton is really amazing, especially in "We Need To Talk About Kevin," which I recently watched and it has now become one of my all time favourite films.
Any favorite films?
I love films that make me react emotionally and physically when you walk out of the cinema. Two of my favorite films however have got to be "The Tree Of Life" and "The Piano Teacher," which also stars one of my favourite actresses Isabelle Huppert.