U.N.C.L.E. star reveals 'Hepburn' moment

IN DEMAND: Vikander represents Louis Vuitton and will star in the next movie in the Bourne franchise.


    Aug 27, 2015

    U.N.C.L.E. star reveals 'Hepburn' moment

    SOMETIMES, even film stars can get overwhelmed by famous movie locations.

    Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, 26, who has been on numerous film sets, candidly admitted that she gets quite distracted when she shoots in an iconic location.

    The stylish star of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., remembered her "Audrey Hepburn" moment when she shot a scene for this 60s-era spy film on the Spanish Steps at Piazza di Spagna in Rome.

    "I was thinking about gelato," said Vikander, with a cheeky smile.

    "When I ran down those Spanish Steps, I had that scene of Audrey Hepburn having a gelato in my head," she added, referring to Hepburn's classic movie Roman Holiday from 1953.

    Vikander was in London's Claridge's hotel last month - with co-stars Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer and Elizabeth Debicki - to talk about the new Guy Ritchie-directed film based on the cult 60s TV series.

    She played Gaby Teller, a smart East German auto mechanic-turned-secret-agent, who is the estranged daughter of Udo Teller, once Hitler's favourite rocket scientist.

    Dr Teller has gone missing, launching both Cold War rivals - the United States and Soviet Union - into a race to find him before he is forced by a mysterious criminal network to build a nuclear bomb. And his daughter Gaby may be the only one who can draw him out.

    Ritchie also co-wrote the script with fellow British screenplay writer Lionel Wigram. Both went for an origins-based story and kept the 60s spirit alive in their movie.

    Unlike the TV series, which was all about the spy duo of Robert Vaughn and David McCallum, Ritchie's U.N.C.L.E. sports strong female characters - and Vikander leads the line.

    "I loved the fact that Guy (Ritchie) made Gaby Teller a cool, tomboyish girl with a lot of character," says Gothenburg-raised Vikander, who put the pedal to the metal from the start, taking on an epic car chase scene in Berlin with Cavill's Central Intelligence Agency agent Napolean Solo character, before dressing up and going undercover as Hammer's KGB agent Illya Kuryakin's wife.

    "Gaby was brought up in a man's world, so she's quite feisty and knows how to stand her ground," added Vikander, whose recent roles include a World War I nurse in Testament Of Youth (2014), a witch in Seventh Son (2014), and an android in Ex Machina (2015).

    She has come away from the U.N.C.L.E. film with her espionage and fashion credentials in high demand - she snagged a starring role in the next instalment of the Bourne action franchise (opposite Matt Damon), and is also the ambassador for French fashion house Louis Vuitton.

    "It's such a specific genre - making a spy film. Each piece of the puzzle is as important as the next. I was really impressed by the way the film was edited. You had all the different tempos, the music, and how the humour kind of sneaks up on you without you knowing… that's your bit of Guy Ritchie magic right there," she says.

    She also mentioned that Ritchie and Wigram turned up with a very progressive-minded script for the female characters in the film.

    "Someone said it was an 'equal opportunities' spy film! The way you see the characters in the film, that's the way they existed in the script. The way Guy forwarded the plot was special. He was always encouraging us to explore and expand on the characters, and I think we created more with them."