Alicia Vikander Biography

Film Actress, Television Actress, Actress (1988–)
Alicia Vikander is an Oscar-winning actress known for roles in such films as 'Ex Machina,' 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' and 'The Danish Girl.'

Who Is Alicia Vikander?

Alicia Vikander was born in 1988 in Gothenburg, Sweden, and began acting when injuries forced her to reconsider a career in dance. She gained notice in 2005 when first appearing as a series regular on Swedish TV, and her star rose higher in 2007 with a role on the popular show Second Avenue. Her jump to the big screen came in 2009, and since then she has appeared in several high-profile projects, including Anna Karenina, Ex Machina, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and The Danish Girl, earning a supporting actress Oscar for the latter. In 2018, Vikander took on the role of Lara Croft for the latest big screen adaptation of Tomb Raider.


Alicia Vikander was born on October 3, 1988, in Gothenburg, Sweden. Her mother was an actress, but Vikander didn’t start out in her mother’s footsteps, dancing as a youngster and spending nine years studying at the Royal Swedish Ballet School. While there, she appeared in numerous musicals at the Gothenburg Opera before injuries forced her to change her path.

That path led her to acting, and she began her career in 2002 while still a student. That role, in a TV movie, led to a quick appearance in a TV miniseries and then a dramatic series called En decemberdröm (2005), in which she appeared in 13 episodes.

Early Film and TV Work

Vikander’s big break would come two years later, when she landed a recurring role on the TV series Andra Avenyn (Second Avenue), one of Sweden’s most popular dramas. She appeared in nearly 40 episodes over the course of the 2007-08 seasons, becoming a household name in her home country. With that success under her belt, Vikander made the leap to the big screen in 2009 with the lead role in the thriller Pure. For her work, Vikander won the Rising Star Award at the Stockholm Film Festival, the Shooting Star Award at the Berlin Film Festival and the Guldbagge Award for best actress, a huge honor in Swedish film.

Vikander soon appeared in her first English-language film, the 2012 adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. In this film she found herself alongside Hollywood figures Keira Knightley and Jude Law, and she held her own, receiving a BAFTA nomination for her role. She was also dubbed one of the 2012 Hamptons International Film Festival 10 Actors to Watch, and it soon became clear that Hollywood was indeed watching.

With buzz building, Vikander had her choice of roles, and she moved effortlessly between Swedish and English films. In 2013 she starred in The Fifth Estate and also in the Swedish Hotell. For her role in the 2014 film Testament of Youth, Vikander was nominated for a BIFA Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a British Independent Film and a National Film Award for best actress.  

Hollywood Acclaim and Oscar Win for 'The Danish Girl'

While not a blockbuster, the high-profile 2015 film Ex Machina, in which Vikander plays an embodied artificial intelligence, gained the young actress widespread notice. What followed were more attention-grabbing roles in The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Danish Girl and Burnt, all in 2015. 

Vikander earned Golden Globe nominations for both The Danish Girl and Ex Machina, and in February 2016 she received the first Oscar win of her career for The Danish Girl (supporting actress). In that film, Vikander portrays the emotionally conflicted artist wife of Lili Elbe, a transgender woman played by Eddie Redmayne.  

In 2016, she joined the latest installment of the popular Jason Bourne series, starring Matt Damon, and followed with Light Between Oceans, alongside Michael Fassbender. The following year brought prominent screen time in dramas like Tulip Fever and Euphoria, as well as the romantic thriller Submergence.

In March 2018, Vikander starred in another adaptation of the video game franchise Tomb Raider, as heroine Lara Croft. The action flick drew mixed reviews, though critics generally praised Vikander's performance.

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