Alicia Vikander: ‘I could never compete with what Angelina Jolie did’

Alicia Vikander poses during the 'Tomb Raider' photo call at the Pergamon Museum

Here are some photos of Alicia Vikander promoting Tomb Raider in Germany and London in the past week. The photos of Alicia in the Louis Vuitton dress are from the German photocall for Tomb Raider. The photos where Alicia is wearing slacks and a camel-colored coat are from her promotional appearance at “Tomb Raider Escape” which is some kind of set piece thing for fans, where they can actually go in and see the real set they used for Tomb Raider and play interactive games in the little mini-amusement park or whatever.

When I covered Vikander’s American Vogue interview a few weeks ago, I took issue with the fact that people involved with this new Tomb Raider movie were sort of throwing shade on the two Angelina Jolie-Lara Croft movies. Dominic West – who plays Lara’s father in the new Tomb Raider – told Vogue that this version will be “Less boobs, more fighting.” There was also some general thoughts that Alicia’s Lara is “more flesh and blood” (or realistic) than Jolie’s Lara. Which makes me laugh because I’ve seen the trailer for Tomb Raider, and it’s a mess of CGI. Anyway, it was a thing and I guess people were wondering if Alicia was going to spend a lot of time trashing Angelina Jolie during this promotional tour. She is not. Vikander told one magazine:

“I could never compete with what Angelina did. She made her into an icon because she is an icon. But this is our different interpretation, we’re focused on the reboot of the game which came out a few years ago. It’s the origin story – we’re not trying to copy or reinvent what she did.’

[From The Daily Mail]

Which is a good answer. Alicia was asked about Angelina again in a British interview, and she had nice things to say about Jolie… and Michael Fasssbender.

Alicia Vikander gushed over her marriage to Michael Fassbender by revealing she has had “the most happy year”. The pair tied the knot last year after meeting on the set of 2016 film, The Light Between Oceans. Vikander spoke with a “twinkle in her eye” about her hew husband, according to stand-in Lorraine host, Kate Garraway.

The Swedish star said: “I’ve had definitely, maybe the most happy year. I carry a smile on my face I think most of the time,” adding that Fassbender is currently in town and hinted he could attend Tuesday night’s Tomb Raider premiere. The couple are famously private about their lives, with the 29-year-old saying: “It’s a lovely thing. It’s a nice thing to choose to be private even though you have the job you do.”

Vikander’s latest on-screen role is as Lara Croft, taking over the iconic role from Angelina Jolie.

On taking over the role, the actress explained: “I grew up playing the game actually and saw Angelina Jolie up on the screen. It meant a huge amount back then to finally see a woman lead that kind of action film.”

[From The Evening Standard]

So there you go… Alicia is not going to make this promotion all about how Angelina’s Lara is big-boobed trash. Alicia is going to make this promotion about how happy she is with Michael Fassbender.

Tomb Raider Escape in Spitalfields, London

Tomb Raider Escape in Spitalfields, London

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, WENN.

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76 Responses to “Alicia Vikander: ‘I could never compete with what Angelina Jolie did’”

  1. Nicole says:

    I don’t think she ever was but the media LOVES to pit women against each other as if we can’t coexist peacefully

  2. LAK says:

    The boobs thing *was* the point of the original LC game. Big boobs and tiny shorts and vest. When they came to make the film, there was lots of angst because apparently AJ wasn’t booby enough. They actually photoshopped her boobs bigger in the posters to appease the gamers and fans.

    I’m glad it’s being pointed out that this new version is not about the boobs because it was a ridiculous thing to begin with and should never have been LC’s narrative in the game.

  3. hey-ya says:

    …completely miscast in the last Bourne …maybe a poc might make the next TR reboot more interesting…

  4. Lela says:

    Is she naturally that dark or does she tan?

    • SlightlyAnonny says:

      Self tanner galore. She’s Swedish, she literally paints herself another ethnicity. Yes, yes, there are multi-ethnic Swedes but SHE is not one of them.

    • Div says:

      She’s like Lena Olin (another Swede) in that both have an olive complexion and they choose to additionally tan. So while she tans, she’s never been super pale like the stereotype a lot of people have about Scandinavians.

      Also, she’s talked about being told to stay out of the sun for a film role and I believe they even put powder on her to make her look paler for A Royal Affair, so some (although I doubt all) of the tanning may just be natural exposure to the sun. Some people naturally tan up quite a lot…I’m a light skinned Black woman, about Zendaya’s color, but I deepen a few shades when I’m out in the sun a lot. My ex bf was Southern Italian and during the summer he would naturally tan a lot.

  5. Izzy says:

    Dominic West was the jerk here. Why should Alicia Vikander have to answer for his or anyone else’s bad behavior?

    • LAK says:

      I don’t know how old you are, but when the game first came out, Lara Croft’s boobs were the point. Real life models were trotted out at advertising shows with their boobs being the most important attributes. It was also important that she wear the tinniest shorts and vest top with her gun holster pushing her boobs out to make them bigger.

      When AJ was picked to play her in the film, there was real angst that she wasn’t booby enough. Her boobs were photoshopped bigger for the posters to satisfy the character’s fans.

      Out of context, Dominic West’s comments are crass, but if you paid attention to the original narrative of the character and the marketing around it, boobs were the most important attribute of the character. Nevermind anything else.

      Dominic is essentially telling people who are still sold to that old, degrading idea that this Lara is not going to pander to them like the old one did.

  6. Mona says:

    She is more talented than Jolie.

  7. Kate says:

    The media’s desire to pit women against each other will never cease to amaze me. I’m not sure Jolie and Vikander have even met and it was Dominic West who made the comment, not Alicia (by the way, that sounds like something notorious, cheating douchebag Noah Solloway would say). Someone should ask him to further explain himself rather than trying to drag Alicia into it.

  8. Gretchen says:

    She seems to get a lot of flak here, but sod it, I like her.

  9. FishBeard says:

    I’m kinda warming up to this film? If it’s anything like the rebooted video game, it will be a fun popcorn flick. Alicia’s a fantastic actress, and anyone who has seen Ex Machina knows that she can do tough and resilient well.

  10. Snazzy says:

    Excellent response, honestly.

  11. bma says:

    I don’t think West’s comments were a slam on Jolie, but moreso a slam on the marketing and original LC movies/games. They were all boobs–that was the point. It was degrading. And although Jolie fit that bill for that iteration of the game (she has always had a larger chest for her frame), it still wasn’t enough and they digitally altered her chest to be even bigger for posters and whatnot.

  12. Missy says:

    I *love* her in that coat! I love that entire outfit. She would benefit from taking style cues from Meghan Markle, IMO.

  13. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I appreciate Jolie far more now than her past. Maturation and all. Aside from a couple of decent shows, her acting consisted of a long series of poses and gaping mouths. She was the perfect choice for the first Tomb Raiders. My boys have always been video gamers (all of us actually), and we have a ton of merchandise for several platforms dating back to the mid-90s. It’s a shame comics, animations, Manga, ect depict women as they do, but the history revolves around exaggeration. And female attributes are no holes barred. Heavy Metal keeps flashing in my mind, but they’re all the same with varying degrees of nudity. That’s why Jolie was perfect physically. Boobs, boobs, boobs. Early game releases were marketed specifically using Croft’s exaggerated attributes against the creator’s vision. I do hope with our shifting culture, women will be designed, drawn and created without ludicrous proportions, but I’m probably dreaming… Disney has its own problems too. In any case, I’m thankful they’re trying to focus on storylines and less on stimulation and exposure.

  14. Div says:

    The director did that amazing Norwegian film The Wave…so I hope this turns out decent. I usually hate reboots but I’m cautiously optimistic.

  15. GigiC says:

    She’s so incredibly boring and bland that it’s quite baffling. I’m like “wtf just why?” when I see her articles lmao

  16. Naddie says:

    When I first saw Gal Gadot I didn’t believe she could pull Wonder Woman off, but at the moment she landed on to save Batman, my heart was taken. So I’m really rooting for Alicia.

    • Sophia's Side eye says:

      One thing about Gal though is she’s very charismatic. Charisma is something that Alicia, even with all of her talent, does not have. Usually you’re looking for the charisma of the actor in these type of films because the story is second to the action, and not that great.

      • teacakes says:

        Gal is charismatic and a perfect physical fit for Wonder Woman but unfortunately, remains a mediocre actress at best – see: every single scene where she had to portray anything resembling an intense emotion eg grief, rage, etc. Emoting is not her strong suit.

        Alicia is the opposite – talented but not really making a strong impression offscreen. Jolie had both the talent and the offscreen magnetism, but personally if I had to pick someone with just one, I’d rather see a capable actress trained into handling action, than have the producers attempt to reverse-engineer an ‘action star’ into a decent performance. I mean, they did it with Jyn Erso and now with Captain Marvel (Felicity Jones and Brie Larson), unless Alicia really sucks onscreen then I don’t think her version of Lara Croft is going to suffer.

      • Naddie says:

        Yeah, her charisma oozed through, but I couldn’t see it in pics or her previous job (Fast and furious). Plus I had Lynda Carter in mind, and they’re so different physically, plus she’s iconic so I got to the point of almost pittying Gal for taking this role. However, it was a sweet lesson I learned, and now I could watch Gal’s WW all day.

  17. Tanesha86 says:

    I don’t like or dislike her much like J Law I’m just not seeing what all the fuss is about. Both women are beautiful but AV is boring and J Law always plays the same character I feel 🤷🏾‍♀️

  18. derpshooter says:

    I can take her or leave her. I thought she was good in Ex Machina, but I’ve been pretty underwhelmed ever since. However, my estimation of her as a person has just increased 100% now that I know she used to play the TR games.

  19. Sarah says:

    I wish they had cast someone in this role who had some muscles and strength ( Jolie certainly wasn’t as thin then as she is now, but she never looked athletic.) I can’t picture Lara Croft as teeny tiny…I picture her looking muscular and strong, like Mia Hamm.
    Gimme someone who can kick some butt! 😁
    (Does that body type even exist in Hollywood? Probably not! )

  20. Loo says:

    Jolie’s two TR movies were awful and Jolie’s performance in them was shallow. This Tomb Raider will probably suck like all videogame movies but that doesn’t make Jolie’s movies any good.

    • NoSugar says:

      I agree. I would see Alicia’s version though. It’s more realistic and it’s refreshing to see an action heroine who hasn’t been exaggerated in some way (height, Sigourney Weaver or T&A, Angelina Jolie) to justify her existence. If you’re a fit woman, you can be a credible action heroine. Alicia’s pro-level ballerina; that’s fit in my books.

      • anon says:

        All tomb raiders are reallisticaly average with tiny but fit bodies, anyone knows that! It’s a shame that such a hard profession has such low wages, but then again there are less and less tumbs lying around to be found and the robots are taking all the good raiding jobs… actually, a robot has taken this job too, go figure!

      • teacakes says:

        I agree with this, actually, even though Angie was iconic in that role.

        I like that the new Star Wars movies have female leads who, as you said, aren’t physically exaggerated or sexualised. Same with Charlize Theron as Furiosa (though I think she’s even more badass with her mechanical arm). And I’ll always consider it a crying shame that Uma Thurman was so badly injured on the set of Kill Bill thanks to Tarantino’s negligence, that she never did another action role again after The Bride. (Though idk Sigourney Weaver was actually enhanced onscreen as Ripley, isn’t her actual height like 6 feet or something?)

      • NoSugar says:

        @Teacakes, well said. You don’t need an “excuse” (except physical fitness, which can be in a slender form) to make a woman compelling in an action-heavy role.

    • citney says:


      Angie doing almost all her own stunts in the LC films was the best part of the films. The bungee ballet Angie did was awesome.

      Angie trained her butt off, had to gain 20 pounds, which was hard for a naturally slim body type such as Angie’s.

      Alicia trained hard too, not to the point Angie did, plus Alicia had 8 or 9 stunt doubles doing her stunts, where Angie had one stunt double.

  21. Lyla says:

    When she was on Graham Norton, she said that in her version, the boobs are less pointy.

  22. NoSugar says:

    I like Alicia and I don’t think she’s bland. Alexander Skarsgård and Joel Kinnaman have a similar demeanour to Alicia; they’re not noted for being bland. I prefer this type of realism in female action heroines where it’s not all about the physical. Also, I like how diplomatic she’s been with the Alicia-versus-Angelina angle the rags are predictably going with.

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