Ali­cia Vikan­der on Michael Fass­ben­der and their film

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - ENTERTAINMENT - Ruben V. Nepales E-mail rvnepales_5585@ya­hoo.com. Fol­low him at http://twit ter.com/nepalesruben.

LOS ANGELES—“You al­ways won­der if you are go­ing to have chem­istry,” Ali­cia Vikan­der said about her lead­ing men as she starts each new movie. The ac­tress cer­tainly won­dered about Michael Fass­ben­der when they be­gan film­ing “The Light Be­tween Oceans. ”

Well, not only does the pair have good chem­istry; they fell in love on the New Zealand set of di­rec­tor Derek Cian­france’s adap­ta­tion of ML Sted

man’s novel of the same name.

In the drama set af­ter World War I, Ali­cia and Michael play a light­house keeper (Tom) and his wife (Is­abel), who’s re­cov­er­ing from two mis­car­riages and one still­birth. When a baby washes ashore in a lifeboat, they raise her as their own.

Rachel Weisz also stars in the movie that re­cently de­buted in the Venice Film Fes­ti­val. Ali­cia, 27, and Michael, 39, made a sweet cou­ple on the red car­pet at the film’s pre­miere in the fes­ti­val on the Lido.

The Swedish ac­tress looked lovely in a sim­ple linen white dress in this talk in West Hol­ly­wood, Cal­i­for­nia. She was film­ing Wim Wen

ders’ “Sub­mer­gence” and was set to go on lo­ca­tion in the Faroe Is­lands, an ar­chi­pel­ago lo­cated be­tween Nor­way and Ice­land.

“I am thrilled to go to the Faroe Is­lands,” she said. “I have never been there, and Wim says it’s like Mars.”

Ex­cerpts from our in­ter­view:

What was it like to work with Michael? Was there im­me­di­ate chem­istry be­tween the two of you? We had met in in­dus­try

events, like the Toronto Film Fes­ti­val and the Baf­tas. But the first time we re­ally had a chat was when we started re­hearsals in Welling­ton (New Zealand).

You al­ways won­der if you are go­ing to have chem­istry with your coac­tor, es­pe­cially when mak­ing a film that is in­ti­mate and emo­tion­ally in­tense. Yes, it felt easy from the very be­gin­ning.

Do you re­mem­ber the first time you watched Michael in the movies?

I was in this lit­tle in­die theater back home in Stock­holm, Swe­den, where I saw both “Hunger” and “Fish Tank” many years ago.

I thought he was one of the bravest ac­tors I had seen. So, for me, to know that Derek Cian­france and Michael were in­volved in this project made me re­ally want to be a part of it.

Were you in­tim­i­dated to work with him, the first time on the set?

Yeah, be­cause you can see in his work how well-pre­pared he is as an ac­tor. And also be­cause I ad­mired that in each role I have seen him in, it feels ex­tremely nat­u­ral ... and yet, ev­ery char­ac­ter feels dif­fer­ent.

I knew that with the role of Is­abel and what had to be told, for this story to work, I had to fight to make peo­ple un­der­stand her—even though she makes a tough de­ci­sion and maybe not the right one.

But it helped to have a chal­leng­ing ac­tor [ like] Michael to push both of us. From the very be­gin­ning, he was sup­port­ive, and it was easy when I got there.

Love trans­forms these two char­ac­ters. Has fall­ing in love changed the way you look at the world?

Love is within ev­ery­one. I don’t know if that changes the way I look at the world. Since I was a kid, I have been sur­rounded by peo­ple who have given me love.

If you grow up in a home where you don’t get that, you might have a dif­fer­ent life. By know­ing love, I’ve learned how to re­spect other peo­ple—and give that back to oth­ers.

How did you re­act when you read the novel?

The book is an in­ter­est­ing [read]. It’s dif­fi­cult to de­fine what love is. This story is par­tic­u­larly about peo­ple who meet over a few days and have ex­tremely dif­fer­ent ideas about the world.

When they meet, they clash be­cause they’re dif­fer­ent from each other. Then, they con­nect over the fact that they have the same pas­sion and drive to find the essence of life, hu­man­ity and love— and that’s what at­tracts them to each other.

They don’t have a re­al­iza­tion of what hap­pens when they are in it, [but] re­al­ize its im­pact af­ter.

If you get a chance to work with Michael again, would you like it to be a com­edy or a ro­man­tic drama?

Those are two dif­fer­ent ques­tions, I guess (laughs). De­pend­ing on the genre, that’ll prob­a­bly [de­pend on its] story or the di­rec­tor [han­dling it]. I don’t make a de­ci­sion based on what genre I want to do next.

Michael and I don’t have any project now—but, yes, he is one of the most bril­liant peo­ple I have worked with. If we get the chance to do it again, that would be great.

Does Tom, Michael’s char­ac­ter, have qual­i­ties that ap­peal to you?

To have some­one (like Tom) whom you can trust and whom you be­lieve is kind and would sup­port you in any­thing you do is some­one I’d pre­fer to be close to.

Since the film ex­plores moth­er­hood, can you talk about your mother? Do you want to be­come a mom some­day?

I am my mother’s only child. I’m very close to my par­ents, who di­vorced when I was very young. I lived with my mom. I have half- sib­lings on my dad’s side.

Since I was a teenager, I al­ways wanted to have a fam­ily of my own one day.

I was only 26 (dur­ing film­ing), but Is­abela is ac­tu­ally the sixth time that I have played a mother at quite a young age (laughs).

The film has op­ti­mism, es­pe­cially when Lucy/Grace (the baby) shows up. In your own life, is there some­thing that you re­ally cher­ish, some­thing you might not other­wise have?

A lot. My God, I think that’s life. There are a lot of things that I am mourn­ing that didn’t hap­pen or I thought I lost and some of them I prob­a­bly still mourn over.

But what’s in­ter­est­ing about life is that if you get enough dis­tance, you start to see what roads you went down on and how you ended up some­where else.

What other movies are you do­ing?

I am head­ing straight to Mu­nich to start my prep on “Eupho­ria” with (di­rec­tor) Lisa Langseth. Then, I will hope­fully start “Tomb Raider” by the end of the year.

Can you talk about “Tomb Raider” and tak­ing over from An­gelina Jolie in play­ing the iconic Lara Croft? Do you re­mem­ber when you saw it the first time?

I don’t re­mem­ber the ex­act mo­ment when I saw it. But I re­mem­ber when it came out and I was re­ally ex­cited.

First of all, I love ad­ven­ture movies. I grew up watch­ing ev­ery­thing, from “In­di­ana Jones” to “The Mummy,” when I was 10 to 12. I was very happy when that came out.

I played the video game. I was thrilled be­cause it was the first time I got to play a fe­male pro­tag­o­nist. An­gelina Jolie made her an icon.

When we think of “Tomb Raider,” we think of An­gelina. That was some­thing I men­tioned when I heard they were go­ing to make the film.

But I was in­tro­duced to the re­boot game, which I now play. It’s quite dif­fer­ent in style, be­cause it’s more of an ori­gin story. I’m meeting Roar ( Uthaug, di­rec­tor), who has the most amaz­ing name (laughs), later to­day.

Where is home for you these days?

For five years now, I have con­sid­ered Lon­don as my base. I went there from Swe­den when I started and just be­fore I got the role in “Anna Karen­ina.” So that is where I started to meet cast­ing di­rec­tors for English­language films.

MICHAEL Fass­ben­der (left) and Ali­cia Vikan­der in “The Light Be­tween Oceans”

RUBEN V. NEPALES

ALI­CIA Vikan­der

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