If you head to the cinema any time at the beginning of 2015 you’re more than likely to come across Alicia Vikander. The Swedish actress with perhaps the best name ever has got a casual eight films coming out this year, starting with this week’s Testament Of Youth, which sees her play writer Vera Brittain in the adaption of her much-loved memoir.
‘I’m so humbled to be able to play such an icon.’ Alicia said when we caught up with her last week at the Corinthia Hotel. IRL, Alicia's got the best skin ever; it kind of looks like ours (did when we were five) and she's wearing a nifty pair of patent brogues that we considered wrestling her to the ground for.
For those that don’t know, Vera Brittain is the writer of* Testament of Youth*; one of the most-loved accounts of WWI. She was also mother to politician Shirley Williams. Vera attended Oxford University before women were recognised as real students then left when war broke out to become a nurse on the front line of battle. ‘The feminist struggle she went through!’ Alicia says admiringly. ‘Just the fact that she couldn’t walk outside on the street without a chaperone... Her biggest dream was to get educated at Oxford and no one would let her so she did it herself without a teacher. I admire her a lot being an 18 year old doing that.’ Makes you realise 2015 is probably a pretty good time to be a woman. ‘Yeah, we need to be reminded especially because although we are in the last steps, there are still so many countries around the world where women are not as privileged as we are'.
Playing Alicia’s fiancé Roland in the film is Kit Harington, known better to Game of Thrones fans as the dishy Jon Snow. Alicia has been friends with Kit since before the show started. ‘I think he had just shot the first scenes when I met him’ she says. Is she a GoT fan? ‘I actually told him on live radio today that I’ve only seen half of the first series and I’m so sorry! It’s hard to find time to watch series. I did True Detective and I sat up all night and I had to shoot the next day and I was like: “What have I done!”'
Alicia’s not exaggerating when she says she’s busy. As well as the aforementioned eight films (next up Ex Machina, a sci-fi film in which she plays a robot, ‘It took four and a half hours to build my head, I was up at 3:50AM every day for six weeks’) she’s straight off for rehearsals for her next film. ‘I’ve really tried but there wasn’t one week off last year really.’ Does she miss her friends and family in Sweden? ‘I am lucky I have a lot of friends in the music industry who travel a lot too so we meet up on different sides of the world.’ Anyone we’d know? ‘Tove Lo and Icona Pop; those three girls are my best friends she says, confirming herself to be part of perhaps to most successful friendship group of all time. ‘I grew up with them! I lived with Icona Pop in London. We shared a single bed in Notting Hill three years ago and couldn’t pay our rent. It’s crazy to see them explode.’
Unlike her musical pals, Alicia’s not decided not to sign up for social media. ‘Sometimes I think “Should I have it?” But I don’t really feel like it. I don’t like it. The actors and actresses I admire – I kind of like not knowing what they do all day and who they are. I like that I can see them transform and float between characters’. So she's keen to keep the fourth wall firmly up? ‘Yeah. I think it helps keep a bit of the mystery.’
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.