Award-winning Swedish actress Alicia Vikander recently was honored in the Czech Republic at the 57th Karlovy Vary Film Festival with the President’s Award, in advance of the screening of her latest feature, the historical drama Fireband by director Karim Ainouz. In the film, Vikander plays the role of Queen Catherine Parr, the last wife of King Henry VIII, played by Jude Law.
Incidentally, Vikander’s first international film A Royal Affair in which she played Caroline Matilda, Queen of Denmark and Norway, who ruled in the 16th century, also was filmed in Czech Republic.
At the press conference for Firebrand during Festival de Cannes, the morning after the film’s world premiere, Vikander discussed the difficult, sometimes horrific scenes she and co-star Jude Law had together while filming the period drama, described as “a psychological horror capturing the reality of being married to a tyrant.”*
She commented, “It kind of hit us… while we were making some of these scenes..Really when it was just the two of us…and you know, Jude, you were really wonderfully terrifying. (laughs) And you know, it was those very sensitive moments when I really could dig deep down, it’s the beauty of the work that I do, I get to put myself in situations and imagine together with other people in the space, and it becomes very powerful And then you can get a chance of, like, get a sense of like ‘whoa, okay this is what it could be like for a person who is in this situation’, and I don’t think there is any difference from being there 500 years ago to today.”
Vikander is most known for her work in such films as Anna Karenina, Ex Machina, Jason Bourne, The Light Between Oceans in which she starred alongside her husband Michael Fassbender, and The Danish Girl, for which she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2016. She recently tackled the small screen as the lead in the HBO mini-series Irma Vep.
I was first introduced to the screen beauty early on in her career when the award-winning Swedish film Pure (2010) by director Lisa Langseth was shown on Eurocinema, the premiere VOD channel dedicated to European arthouse films. At the time, it was obvious to me that the young actress was poised for greatness, excelling in the same realm as fellow acting royals like Cate Blanchett, Claire Foy, and Vicky Krieps. Vive la Reine Alicia!
*Vogue, April 2023. Photos: MovieStillsDB