Alicia Amanda Vikander born 3 October 1988) is a Swedish actress. She is the recipient of such accolades as an Academy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award, and has further been nominated for two Golden Globes and three BAFTA Awards.
Born and raised in Gothenburg, Vikander began acting as a child in minor stage productions at the Gothenburg opera house and trained as a ballet dancer at the Royal Swedish Ballet School in Stockholm. She began her professional acting career by appearing in Swedish short films and television series and first gained recognition for her role as Josefin Björn-Tegebrandt in the drama series Andra Avenyn (2008–2010). Vikander made her feature film debut in Pure (2010), for which she won the Guldbagge Award for Best Actress. She gained wider recognition in 2012 for playing Kitty in Joe Wright’s adaptation of Anna Karenina and Queen Caroline Mathilde in the Danish film A Royal Affair.
Vikander achieved global recognition for her roles as activist Vera Brittain in Testament of Youth (2014), a humanoid robot in Ex Machina (2014), for which she was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, and painter Gerda Wegener in The Danish Girl (2015), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 2016, Vikander was listed by Forbes in its 30 Under 30 list. She has since held a supporting role in the action film Jason Bourne (2016) and starred as Lara Croft in the adventure film Tomb Raider (2018).
Vikander was born in Gothenburg, the daughter of Maria Fahl Vikander, a stage actress, and Svante Vikander, a psychiatrist. Her parents are from small villages in the north and south of Sweden, respectively. They separated when Vikander was two months old, and she was mostly raised by her single mother. She has five half-siblings on her father’s side. Vikander has said that she had the best of both worlds growing up, being an only child to her mother and being surrounded by a big family when she went to her father’s house every second week. Her ancestry is Swedish and one-quarter Finnish.
Vikander started her career as an actor at the age of seven, starring in a production of Kristina från Duvemåla at The Göteborg Opera, which was written by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson from ABBA, performing in the play for three-and-a-half years. She appeared in several musicals at the Opera, such as The Sound of Music and Les Misérables. In 1997 she participated in the TV4 kids’ singing show Småstjärnorna; she performed the Helen Sjöholms song, “Du måste finnas”. She won her episode with praise by the judges for her stage presence.
Vikander trained in ballet from the age of nine with the Svenska Balettskolan i Göteborg (1998–2004). At the age of 15, Vikander moved from Gothenburg to train at the ballet’s upper school in Stockholm, living on her own. She trained one summer at the American Academy of Ballet in New York.
At the age of 16, she almost left school to commit fully to the television series she worked on with director Tomas Alfredson, realizing her passion for acting. Her dance career was sidelined by injuries in her late teens. She auditioned for drama school but was turned down twice. At one point, Vikander was admitted to law school but she never attended, following her dreams to become an actress instead.