She's in a whopping seven films this year, so it's about time you got to know Michael Fassbender's girlfriend Alicia Vikander

Alicia Vikander might not be a name that rings a bell at the moment, but it certainly will be by the end of this year.

You might recognise the gorge Swedish actress from supporting roles in the likes of Anna Karenina, The Fifth Estate and Testament of Youth, but 2015 is the year she’s coming into her own.

She’s already starred as an android in Ex Machina, and appears as Gaby in Guy Ritchie‘s The Man From U.N.C.L.E. remake, which is out today (August 14). You’ll also catch her in upcoming flicks Tulip Fever, The Light Between Oceans (opposite her boyf Michael Fassbender), Burnt, The Danish Girl and an as-yet-untitled Bourne sequel. Here’s the lowdown on lovely Alicia.

1. She starred in a Danish film…despite speaking no Danish

Alicia won the part of Queen Caroline Mathilde in the 2012 historical drama A Royal Affair, despite it not being in her native language. The Swedish actress had a novel – and quick – way of learning Danish for the part, though. She got her Danish mother’s friend to speak all of her lines into her iPhone, which she’d then listen back to and practice. Even now, she says she doesn’t dare speak Danish unless she’s had a glass of wine.

2. She was going to be a dancer…

alicia vikander

Alicia is in a whopping nine films this year, but had she pursued her career of choice, she wouldn’t have been in any. She actually wanted to be a ballerina when she was younger, and trained at the Royal Swedish Ballet School, but opted for the less strenuous acting profession after a number of foot and back injuries made dancing increasingly difficult for her.

3. …then she was going to be a lawyer

Despite already having won a part in a popular Swedish sitcom at 16, Alicia thought she’d give a ‘proper’ career a go, and applied to law school. She was accepted, but two weeks before she was due to start, she was offered her very first feature film role in the Swedish flick Pure. We can’t blame her for sacking off university!

4. She’s already won her first acting award

Her very first film, Pure, bagged Alicia a Guldbagge Award for Best Actress (that’s like the Swedish Oscars). Impressive!

5. She has a very unique achievement to her name

ex-machina-poster

In weird-world-record news, Alicia is only the second ever dancer-turned-actress to play an artificial life form. Erm, congratulations? Earlier this year, she wowed audiences as an AI robot in Ex Machina. The other woman who shares this accolade is Summer Glau, a prima ballerina who played a cyborg in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

6. She’s close to her parents

So close, in fact, that she gets them to read all her movie scripts before taking the part in the film. Not surprising, really – her mum was a stage actress.

7. She lived on her own at 15

While most of us these days languish around our parents’ houses in a millennial stupor til the age of 28, Alicia moved alone from her hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden, to Stockholm aged just 15. She attended the Royal Swedish Ballet School’s upper school and lived in conditions that are probably depressingly familiar to any flat-sharers: “half a room with a tiny kitchenette. I even had a minibar because it didn’t have a fridge!”

8. She’s willing to rough it for her job

alicia vikander, keira knightley

While filming Anna Karenina with Keira Knightley and Domhnall Gleeson in Russia, Alicia found herself in a less than comfortable situation. She and her co-stars had to stay in a cabin without hot water for five days, in temperatures of minus -40 degrees Celsius. As if that wasn’t bad enough, wolves and bears were wandering around outside, and guards were hired to protect them. Erm…can we cancel our trip to the Russian wilderness, please?

9. She’s on Tinder

Well, sort of. At this year’s SXSW festival, she was involved in a very clever viral marketing campaign for her movie Ex Machina. A Tinder profile was created for her character in the film, Ava, who’s actually a robot. Anyone who swiped right could then talk to Ava, who would reveal at the end of the conversation that she was really an android, and send a link to a page that explained the stunt. We bet loads of guys were really disappointed that day.

10. She’s got pop star friends

alicia vikander, icona pop

In 2012, Alicia lived in Notting Hill with her pals, Swedish pop duo Icona Pop, and another mutual friend. They weren’t immune to the struggles faced by Generation Rent – she described the experience as ‘a flat with rats, and four girls sharing two single beds. We had a big pile of clothes in the middle of the room and just shared everything.’ And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what you call a floordrobe.

11. She’s been linked to Alexander Skarsgard…

…but she’ actually dating Michael Fassbender. Rumours were floating around in 2012 that she was an item with hunky True Blood star Alexander, but they both denied it at the time. He’s now dating Alexa Chung, and Alicia has been loved up with Michael Fassbender since late 2014, when they met on the set of upcoming movie The Light Between Oceans.

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