Before bagging the well-deserved Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress last weekend during Hollywood's most important night, Swedish actress Alicia Vikander was relatively unknown.
Did you know she was once a ballet dancer and also got accepted to law school? Here are facts you may not know about the Belle of the ball, Alicia Vikander.
Strict Work Ethics
In 2015 alone, Vikander starred in six films. She was most notable for her roles in Ex-Machina , Man from U.N.C.L.E., and The Danish Girl. But did you know that she did these in-between shooting another movie? Her The Danish Girl co-star had this to say about her:
There are no kid gloves the way there are sometimes on a movie set, where you’re allowed to save the best performance for the close-up. Alicia grew up with that work ethic. When she came to audition for The Danish Girl, she had just come from The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and she needed to leave in the middle to shoot The Light Between Oceans. I said, ‘You’ve got to take a holiday.’ But no, her appetite was too rapacious for that.”
She More or Less Grew Up in a Theater
Alicia's parents divorced when she was 2 months old. She spent weekends and summers with her father, a psychiatrist, and her 5 half-siblings. She was mostly raised by her mother, a successful theater actress.
At 7 years old, Alicia Vikander landed a role in the production of Kristina from Duvemåla (written by Benny and Björn from ABBA). She performed in the play for three-and-a-half years.
She Trained to Become a Principal Dancer
Vikander started training from the age of nine with the Royal Swedish Ballet School in Gothenburg. She lived on her own at the age of 15, training to become a principal dancer at the ballet's upper school in Stockholm.
She Got Accepted to Law School
In her late teens, Vikander's dance career was sidelined due to injuries. She then applied to law school and passed. However, just before the first semester begun, she snagged the lead role in the Swedish film Pure. This was her first big-screen debut. She also won a Guldbagge (Swedish Oscar) for Best Actress in 2011 for this film.
Drama School Reject
After graduating from ballet school, she filmed episodes of a Swedish soap opera and auditioned for drama school. She was rejected - twice.
She's Quarter Finnish
Hollywood's portrayal of Nordic people is snow white, which made it hard for mainstream audiences to digest that Alicia Vikander is a Swede. Speaking to Vogue, she revealed that she has been asked numerous times to wear long sleeves and SPF 100.
“Two years of films where I had to be white as a ghost,” she says now, laughing. “But I’m a real Swede! In fact, I’m a quarter Finnish. Here I go, exploding stereotypes.”
She Gained International Recognition in 2012
Alica Vikander has been gracing Scandinavian film and television long before gaining international recognition for her key role as Kitty in Anna Karenina. That year, she also co-starred as Queen Caroline Mathilde in the Danish language feature film, A Royal Affair. The latter was nominated for Best Foreign Language film in the 85th Academy Awards.
This power couple allegedly fell in love while filming The Light Between Oceans in 2014. The director Derek Cianfrance had this to say about his two leads:
"The movie is a classic love story, and I cast them with the idea that they would have chemistry together. Evidently they did."
I have to say, they're a match made in heaven.
Alicia Vikander was incredibly busy in 2015 and already has three upcoming films for 2016 - Jason Bourne, The Light Between Oceans, and Tulip Fever. Sweden's talent will prove time and time again, that she's incredibly unpredictable. Just as we love her to be.