(NEW YORK) — Growing up in Sweden, Alicia [ah-LISS-ee-ah] Vikander never thought she’d be in English-speaking movies, let alone be an action star. But in the new Tomb Raider movie, her transformation into kick-butt heroine is complete.
Tomb Raider is a different take on the early-2000’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider films that starred Angelina Jolie as the video game heroine. This one follows Lara Croft’s origin story, as she tries to solve her father’s mysterious disappearance. The role may seem like a departure for Vikander, who won an Oscar for her role in The Danish Girl, but she’s always loved the genre.
“I grew up in Sweden and my mom was an actress and probably introduced me to a lot of European art house cinema and all that, but [I still do] run to the cinema to see big adventure films and action movies,” Vikander tells Good Morning America. “I was a huge fan of the Indiana Jones movies and The Mummy series growing up.”
In order to perform the intense stunts of Tomb Raider, Vikander worked with a trainer and gained 12 pounds of muscle.
“It’s very empowering ’cause I kind of looked at a lot of female athletes and stunt women that I met over the years in the film industry and I was like, ‘Well if it’s gonna be plausible that Lara can do this’ — ’cause we did a bit more naturalistic take — ‘then I want to look like these women,’” she says.
These days though, she’s living a much easier life away from the grueling workouts and strict diet. She and husband Michael Fassbender have moved to Lisbon, Portugal.
“It’s the most beautiful city and country, great weather, from [two people who are] Irish and Swedish,” she laughs. “We’re very happy that it’s not raining! It’s a great place where you can surf and be close to nature. It’s a city by the water.”
Tomb Raider hits theaters Friday.
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