There’s no doubt Alicia Vikander can do it all. She started acting in theatre at the age of 7, trained as a ballet dancer from age 9, and got into law school (she didn’t go – she got her first major acting role at the same time). Since then, she’s gone from strength to strength: In 2016, she was nominated for two Golden Globes for her performances in Ex Machina and The Danish Girl, and won an Oscar for the latter.
Now Alicia’s taking on something completely new and becoming an action hero as the iconic Tomb Raider herself, Lara Croft. So when we got the chance to meet Alicia in London to talk about the film, we took the chance to get to know her a little better…
Puppies or kittens?
Alicia Vikander: Puppies!
What animal do you think you’re most similar to?
AV: I want to be an owl.
Have you ever been mistaken for another celebrity?
AV: Kate [Middleton]! I’ve always wanted to be a princess.
Lara Croft is a seriously badass woman. Who’s one badass woman who inspires you?
AV: I’m going to say Angelina Jolie. I think the transition of being an actress into directing her own films and being a producer [is inspiring].
What’s the weirdest possession you own?
AV: I always carry with me a pack of cards or Yahtzee in my bag.
What’s your favourite pizza topping?
AV: Oh, salami. And that’s weird, because I very rarely eat red meat. The one time I do is either when I have pata negra in Spain or when I have my pizza.
What’s your drink of choice?
AV: That is a very dry Ketel One martini, straight up, with three olives.
What’s your favourite drunk food?
AV: All my friends in London laugh at me, because when they come back to my house and they open my fridge in the middle of the night, I always have a piece of hard bread and pickled herring from the Swedish store. It has protein, it has a lot of water, a lot of salt, and it’s great after a long night out.
What’s your favourite swear word?
AV: Jävla skit, helvete.
BF: What does that mean?
AV: I can’t say. [laughs] Google.
What advice would you give to your teenage self?
AV: Just be nice to yourself.
And what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
AV: People told me just that, growing up. You just need to be more kind to yourself. And that was the hardest thing.
What’s the craziest fan encounter you’ve ever had?
AV: I got a letter from a 12-year-old boy once, which was drenched in perfume, and it said, “I really like watching you up onscreen. It makes me feel funny inside.”
Have you ever freaked out about meeting another celebrity?
AV: Yes, I have! I met Isabelle Huppert at the Oscars, and I was with one of my best girlfriends who was next to me, and she was like, “Oh my God, you literally couldn’t get a word out.” I was so nervous, but she was very sweet. She took my hand and I just took a few breaths before I got to tell her what a wonderful actress she is, and how much she’s inspired me.
Do you have a secret talent?
AV: My friends call me Mrs Google. I’m really good at Googling answers on anything, and I’m very good at planning travels.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
AV: I’ve always wanted the ability to fly! And I’m very lucky, because in many dreams I have, if I can remember them, that is the one superpower I always get to have.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
AV: I had this situation this morning. I’ve been travelling a lot in hotels, and I don’t understand why every night I have to go and release the sheets. Why do they always tuck the sheets?! Especially when they have turn-down service, because nobody really wants to go to bed not being able to move their feet.
What’s the most challenging role you’ve ever played?
AV: It’s always really challenging, because I always try to take roles that are really different from anything I’ve ever done before. I learned Danish for a role, and that was just an immense amount of hours I had to put in. It does sound a bit like they have a potato stuck in their throat.
And what’s the most fun you’ve ever had playing a role?
AV: I got the chance to dance a lot in Anna Karenina, and to meet up with, like, 150 people for a week and learn choreography. We just continued laughing throughout that whole shooting experience, which was a lot of fun.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
AV: Oh, so, I don’t normally get to have a say in this. Just because I’m Swedish, people tend to put ABBA on.
BF: What’s your favourite ABBA song?
AV: I would choose… [long pause] “SOS”.
What’s the last song you listened to?
AV: [starts singing “Gloria” by Laura Branigan] Gloria, Gloria!
Last book you read?
AV: Homo Deus.
Last movie you saw?
AV: Icarus, the Netflix documentary.
What’s your favourite movie?
AV: Oh, it’s so hard to say — I’ve gone through so many stages in life. I’ve seen Some Like It Hot maybe 30 times in my life, so I guess that’s one of my favourites.
What would you want to do if you weren’t an actor?
AV: Going back to being Mrs Google, I would probably have my own travel agency.
What’s your signature dance move?
AV: [dancing] I can just keep on going.
What’s one career goal you have yet to accomplish?
AV: First of all, I hope that if I had a chat with myself in five years, I’d be surprised and doing something that I don’t even know what it is at the moment. I do love making movies, and I look up to directors a lot. Maybe if I’m brave enough, I’ll step into that chair at some point.
Last question: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
AV: Hopefully a lot. I think going back my favourite song, “Gloria”, if you have a look at my playlists that would be a bit of a surprise. It’s a lot of ‘80s, cheesy music in there.
Thanks for chatting with us, Alicia! Catch Tomb Raider in UK cinemas now, and worldwide from Friday.