Next Gen 2015: 'Ex Machina' Star Alicia Vikander on Developing New Characters and Joining the 'Bourne' Franchise

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The in-demand star has eight credits to her name between this year and next, including an upcoming flick with Michael Fassbender.

A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

In 2013, Alicia Vikander was starstruck when attending the Golden Globe Awards ceremony at the Beverly Hilton, where A Royal Affair was nominated for best foreign-language film (the Danish historical drama, along with Anna Karenina, put the Swedish actress on Hollywood’s radar). “I walked into this room with my director and I just couldn’t stop giggling,” Vikander, 27, recalled at the Nov. 1 Hollywood Film Awards, likewise held at the Hilton. “We talked about how it would be a memory that I would tell my grandkids about.” She’s not giggling anymore. Only two years later, the in-demand actress — who, between this year and next, has eight film credits to her name — accepted the HFA’s award for breakout actress for her performance opposite Eddie Redmayne in Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl (Nov. 27). She’s expected to continue to be a force in this year’s awards race, and wowed in April indie hit Ex Machina. And, in her biggest gig yet, she’s currently shooting the fifth Jason Bourne film opposite Matt Damon. “It’s a franchise, but I’m really enjoying myself. I found myself on set the other day and I was like, ‘Gasp. Oh my God, it’s one of those sets,’” says Vikander. She was the girl-of-the-moment at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, where she promoted her upcoming film, Tulip Fever, as well as supported her boyfriend, Michael Fassbender, who was in Cannes with Macbeth (there’s buzz she and the actor have split). The daughter of Swedish actress Maria Fahl Vikander, her other 2015 films to hit theaters included Testament of Youth, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Burnt. Tulip Fever, The Light Between Oceans, co-starring Fassbender, and Bourne are out in 2016.

Actor I'm dying to work with: Mark Ruffalo and Marion Cotillard. I think she’s amazing.

Director I'm dying to work with: Michael Haneke has been one of my dreams to work with since I was young. He has some very amazing female parts. Also, Tomas Alfredson and the Coen brothers.

Ideal date night: I love to cook. That’s a clear sign that I have some time off. I wake up in the morning, and I go and spend a few hours at the supermarket and find new things. I’ll be Googling trying to find new recipes. That’s a wonderful date night, to cook food.

Biggest challenge: It’s been everything from not working in my native language in most of my films and being an A.I. in Ex Machina. Derek Cianfrance [Light Between Oceans] works in a very specific way and had us live together in the same house for the entire shoot. I think I’ve chosen all of those projects because they have a clear challenge. Being a bit scared is what makes me interested in a project from the get-go.