Alicia Vikander's 10 Best Roles, Ranked

Though Alicia Vikander may not be playing Lara Croft anymore, she has since grown to become an established actress, with her latest venture in HBO's Irma Vep. And while a span of Vikander's career has been in movies ranging from period dramas to action-packed video game adaptations, her turn into television as Mira Harberg was a refreshing challenge.

Having only been in Hollywood for a short time, her magnetism and vitality make her an unforgettable presence onscreen. Due to Vikander's impeccable acting talents and versatility to take on any role, it comes as no surprise that she earned the prestigious Oscar gold in 2016 and continues to perform well in independent films like The Green Knightand Blue Bayou.

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10 Caroline Matilda of Great Britain - A Royal Affair (2012)

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Alicia Vikander in A Royal Affair

This 2012 film, A Royal Affair, stars Alicia Vikander and Mads Mikkelson at the center of a forbidden romance. This lavish costume drama sees Vikander's Caroline Mathilda fall for her physician and set in motion a tumultuous series of events.

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Vikander's leading role as the queen of Denmark lets the audience into a fascinating chapter of European history. Her intensity and tenderness shines in her performance, as she becomes entangled in a love triangle with her husband and Mikkelson's physician. Vikander commandeers the screen with passion and youthful radiance.

9 Lara Croft - Tomb Raider (2018)

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Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider

In 2018's Tomb Raider, Vikander headlined the rebooted video game adaptation as the titular tomb raider, Lara Croft. This action adventure film follows Lara as she embarks on a perilous journey to a fabled island. Using her feisty spirit and innate adventure expertise, Croft leads the audience on a whirlwind adventure.

While Tomb Raider may seem like an unusual pick for the dramatic actress, this action-adventure blockbuster shows Vikander in her boldest role yet. This stripped-down version of the character sees Croft in her first adventure, and her commitment to the role was refreshing, performing the daring action sequences. Despite the unpopular opinion regarding the Tomb Raider character not being as emotional complexity as her others, many people still enjoyed Vikander's iteration as the dauntless Croft, whose story was much more sophisticated compared to the Angelina Jolie versions.

8 Essel & The Lady - The Green Knight (2021)

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Alicia Vikander with Dev Patel in The Green Knight

The Green Knight features Dev Patel as King Arthur’s headstrong nephew Gawain, who must embark on a quest to confront The Green Knight, a mysterious giant who demands his head. The film is intentionally abstract and is among the best movies set in the Middle Ages. Vikander plays dual roles as two women Gawain encounters and loves.

Vikander’s dual roles as Gawain’s lover Essel and the mysterious Lady makes this performance incredibly versatile. She effortlessly switches between kindness and ferocity while playing two separate characters. The sincere peasant girl and seductive noblewoman represent Gawain’s temptations on his quest for glory. While the film is rather unremarkable, her dual performance is pleasantly surprising.

7 Kathy LeBlanc - Blue Bayou (2021)

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Alicia Vikander and Justin Chon in Blue Bayou

In 2021’s Blue Bayou, Vikander co-starred with Justin Chon as a married couple who grapples with the possibility of Chon’s character being deported. This melodrama is set against the lush Louisiana bayou backdrop with a timely message and engaging characters.

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This intimate, small-scale story is told with intensity, thanks to Chon and Vikander's stellar performances, as the film follows the impact racial deportation has on a family. Vikander, whose performance is absorbing, plays Kathy, the loving, pregnant wife of the main character, and is the emotional anchor to her Korean husband deportee.

6 Mira Harberg - Irma Vep (2022)

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Alicia-Vikander in Irma-Vep

Irma Vep has Vikander play an American movie star, who goes to France to star in a remake of a 1930s silent film. Her psyche begins to blur the line between fiction and reality, as she prepares for a new role. This limited series is about cinephiles, for cinephiles, and fans of HBO's Irma Vep.

Vikander electrifies in this behind-the-scenes film world comedy as an actress longing for better work than what she's been given. The series both skewers and honors the film industry, with Vikander's Mira transforming into the titular Irma Vep, showcasing vulnerability and steely intensity. Vikander's commanding and vulnerable portrayal as an actress navigating the film space is worth watching.

5 Princess Ekaterina "Kitty" Alexandrovna Shcherbatskaya - Anna Karenina (2012)

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Alicia-Vikander as Kitty in Anna Karenina

In Tolstoy's big screen adaptation of Anna Karenina, Vikander portrays Dolly's younger sister. Vikander plays Kitty, who becomes entangled in her own love triangle, and through the films events, goes from a naïve child to mature woman.

In her first major role in an American film, the Swedish actress stole the show as Anna Karenina’s innocent sister. Infusing Kitty with romantic innocence, Vikander takes on the incredible job of showing the quick growth of a young girl in Russian aristocracy. Kitty undergoes a full character arc when falling for Aaron Taylor Johnson's Vronksy, transforming from innocent to mature. It remains a real testament to Vikander's talent.

4 Isabel Graysmark - The Light Between Oceans (2016)

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Isabel and Tom in Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans is a romance starring Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender. The film is an emotional drama about a married couple, who steal an infant lost at sea and must deal with the consequences. Based on the book of the same name, this romance showcases much emotional complexity.

RELATED: 10 Best Romance Book-To-Movie Adaptations

As Isabelle, Vikander shines as a mother with a quiet longing and fierce protectiveness to keep what she has wrongfully stolen. Her chemistry with Fassbender earns this pick a higher ranking, and their heartbreaking performances makes this film worth watching. Vikander, in particular, carries the film with an emotional weight that anchors the rest of the story.

3 Gerda Wegener - The Danish Girl (2015)

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Alicia Vikander as Gerda Gottlieb in 'The Danish Girl'

2015’s The Danish Girl stars Vikander in her Oscar-winning role as Gerda, wife of Einar Wegener who undergoes a transgender operation. Her internal struggle at losing her husband gives way to gentle tenderness and understanding to the woman he is becoming.

Though this film has become quite controversial in recent years due to the casting of Eddie Redmayne, Vikander's prominent and strong role is worth noting. She plays Gerda with a patience and loyalty that can be felt through the screen, and the depth she conveys is an absolute must-watch.

2 Vera Brittain - Testament of Youth (2014)

Stream On Starz

Kit Harington and Alicia Vikander in 'Testament of Youth'

Starring Alicia Vikander, Kit Harrington, and Taron Egerton, Testament of Youth follows Vikander as real-life author Vera Brittain, who becomes a nurse while her lover, brother, and suitor fight amidst the World War trenches.

Vikander gives an impassioned performance as a woman who postpones her studious dreams to pursue a wartime calling. As Brittain, Vikander embodies a stirring performance that demands to be seen, showcasing both steely resolve and emotional vulnerability. Her range in this film is beautifully crafted and multi-layered and remains one of her more underrated performances.

1 Ava - Ex Machina (2014)

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Nathan, Ava, and Caleb in a promotional image for Ex-Machina

The 2014 sci-fi thriller Ex Machina stars Domnhall Gleason and Oscar Isaac as a tech employee and employer who, at a remote mansion, test the consciousness of a beautiful AI, played by Vikander. The film remains one of director Alex Garland's best work.

Her role as Ava became Vikander's breakthrough role as the beautiful AI interacting with Caleb. The wealth of humanity Vikander gives Ava is all the more frightening at the film’s surprising conclusion. Her wide-eyed innocence takes a terrifying turn when she betrays the two tech geniuses and leaves them for dead. Vikander's performance remains both subtle and explosive, with Ava's manipulative nature warranting a re-watch.

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2022-09-11T01:38:44.000Z

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