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“We got some pretty freakish results,” says trainer Magnus Lygdback, who was the mastermind behind Alicia Vikander’s physical transformation to play Lara Croft in Warner Bros.’ Tomb Raider reboot (March 16), which caused a social-media frenzy when images of the Oscar winner in a red bikini in Spain circulated in July.
Vikander, 29, added 16 pounds of muscle to her slender 5-foot-5 frame for the role. Lygdback says he and Vikander didn’t look to the early 2000s franchise star Angelina Jolie for inspiration: “Angelina did a great job, but this is something completely different from the original movies.” Instead, they focused on the physicality that the Swedish-born actress and trained ballet dancer would need to perform acrobatic stunts, from diving off of boats to free climbing in caves. “It’s a modern Lara Croft, a strong, independent woman, and I think it’s exactly what the world needs right now,” says Lygdback.
This story first appeared in the Jan. 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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