Alicia Vikander ‘doesn’t own much,’ her son ‘has much more stuff than me right now’

We barely talk about Alicia Vikander or her husband Michael Fassbender anymore. Which is on purpose, on their part. They went away. They moved to Portugal, they took time off from the movie-making grind, they started a family, and they rarely give interviews these days. I genuinely wonder if Fassbender is going to even act that much in the future, and whether it will fall to Alicia to be the “breadwinner” for the family. Alicia covers the latest issue of Harper’s Bizarre UK to promote Irma Vep, a series written and directed by Olivier Assayas. She plays an American film star named Mira who comes to Paris to star as Irma Vep in a remake of Les Vampires. It is, I suppose, self-referential and a movie-within-a-series and also. Assayas is basically redoing his own cult-favorite film. Alicia spoke to Bazaar UK about the pandemic, getting pregnant and a lot more – go here to read the full piece. Some highlights:

She’s in favor of on-set intimacy coaches: “The only thing that can’t be improvised is an intimate scene – you have to make choreography and stick to it. It’s the worst thing ever to do those scenes. I am very comfortable with my body and I’ve done quite a bit of nudity and sex scenes, but it’s never easy.” The coaches, she says, “should have existed at the beginning of my career. I’ve been in situations that were not fine, where I didn’t feel I was protected.” She describes one occasion on a set where “everyone was busy doing their own thing and, in the middle, you have an actor who sits there naked for a couple of hours. And someone is supposed to arrive with a robe, and they don’t. It comes afterwards – [the knowledge that] that was not right. I should have been looked after.”

Her female friendships: “I am really attracted to them. Very often, when I see them, I’m like, ‘Woah, she’s so impressive!’ With all my closest girlfriends, I had that first-love moment and I said to myself, ‘I need to be with that person.’ It’s another kind of love. I’ve never wanted to go to bed with a woman, but I’ve definitely had a spark and a magic and a rawness that is intense.”

She’s not sentimental when it comes to possessions. “I don’t own much,” she says. When she travels, she packs light, with one suitcase containing perhaps “two pairs of jeans and three sweaters”. Her son “has much more stuff than me right now”.

Where she spent the pandemic: Vikander and Fassbender lived together in their house in the Basque country in France, and to begin with, she recalls, “there was obviously quite a lot of fear. But I was very fortunate that all my loved ones were fine. And it was the first time I was at home for that long since I was 19. That was quite a blessing, in the end.”

Starting a family: “I tried to get pregnant for a while. So I had tough times during lockdown. I struggled for a while. You saw me now… And I kind of stopped and thought, ‘Am I going to talk about this?’ But I think it’s universal and so many women go through similar things. And it’s tough. I didn’t think I even wanted children, actually, until I was 30.” It was the experience of having a miscarriage that brought home to her how much she wanted to be a mother. “For a while I didn’t think that I could get pregnant.” But now she has her baby, she finds she has changed “in every way. It’s life. It’s so profound.”

The pandemic routine: The pandemic was “a chance for my husband and me to be at home, just cooking. We had a routine. We worked and we met up with five other families on Zoom and worked out Monday to Friday together.” Since the regulations in France at the time were draconian, involving carrying a passport every time you left the house, they stayed at home much of the time, enjoying their garden, reading plays, watching films and “falling in love with movies again”.

[From Harper’s Bazaar UK]

I feel like the “I don’t own much” thing is very Swedish? Alexander Skarsgard says that kind of sh-t in his interviews too, and it just feels like it’s pretty pervasive in Swedish culture, or maybe pervasive specifically in Swedish artist/actor communities, this whole “I don’t need to own anything” or “it’s showy and braggy to own nice things.” Like, it’s a bracelet not a PhD thesis on capitalism. I also wonder why they decided to ride out the pandemic in France, especially given that they bought a place in Portugal, right? I wonder if they were affected by all of the lockdowns and EU border issues? Hm. Anyway, Alicia, Michael and the Fassbaby sound like they’re doing fine.

Cover and IG courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar UK.

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34 Responses to “Alicia Vikander ‘doesn’t own much,’ her son ‘has much more stuff than me right now’”

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  1. Aurora says:

    She doesn’t own much , except a lot of Louis Vuitton she gets as one of their spokesmodels.

    • Barbie1 says:

      Right! That is hard to believe. She didn’t count her designer wardrobe and jewlery safe no doubt.

  2. Nightingale says:

    In all fairness to Fassy, he worked like a dog for a several years and made movies with no breaks in between. The day he wrapped on Assassins Creed, he flew out to start work on The Snowman. He has two movies in post-production and is currently filming another.

    I don’t think it’s fair to assume that he’s going to rely on Alicia to be the breadwinner for their family. His career has been much longer than hers and his fortune is considerably larger than hers (30-40 M vs 8 M).

    • Nanny to the Rescue says:

      He’s also a far better actor, so if she’s planning to be the working one, they’re in for a fall.

    • Ameerah says:

      Exactly. And he starred in a huge film franchise for years. They could in all likelihood live off just what he made in those years. I don’t think she’s the breadwinner. She doesn’t work enough to be and she does small films. The only bid budget film she did, that horrible Lara Croft remake was a flop.

    • NCWoman says:

      Can I just point out that calling the woman the breadwinner isn’t an insult to the man? Maybe his priority is to be with the baby when she’s working. That’s admirable, not an insult to him that requires “fairness.”

      • liz says:

        THIS!!!!! This is the story of one of my child’s closest friends. Mom works at a VC firm and makes money hand over fist. She also travels a lot. Dad is a college professor. He makes a very good living, but nothing near what his wife earns. And since he is a professor, his schedule is much more amenable to child-rearing than hers. When their daughter was little, he scheduled his classes and office hours during his daughter’s school day, so he could be around after school. He was the one who took the kid to playdates and soccer practices (although he was sitting in his car grading papers).

        There should be no shade on either one – they both enjoyed their jobs (as much as anyone enjoys a job) and their child is growing up loved and happy (or as happy as any teenager is these days).

  3. LaraK says:

    I had a Swedish roommate in college, and she also owned relatively little, pictures of her family home also showed a certain sparseness. But she had a designer coat, a family beach house in Spain and a chalet in Germany. I feel like in Scandinavia the priorities are just different. They don’t spend indiscriminately. Like, I’m sure Alicia owns a bracelet. But it’s the right bracelet. And she will buy 1 tshirt that fits great rather than ten cheap tshirts. Honestly it’s probably a better way to live, I kind of admire it.

    • Rae says:

      I agree with this. Quality over quantity. I even find the stuff in Swedish IKEA to be better quality/nicer design too. One of the reasons I love Swedish culture.

  4. rawiya says:

    She needs to take her baby and leave that abusive pos.

    • Rice says:

      Did I miss something?

      • KrystinaJ says:

        His ex, Sunawin Andrews, accused him of domestic violence.
        I don’t really remember what came of it, but I remember the news about her saying that.

  5. Trina says:

    Well, Skarsgard doesn’t need much in the way of clothes. But I do think it’s a very Swedish mindset. I like it.

  6. Ameara says:

    Fassbender just shot a movie directed by David Fincher. It’s called The Killer, I’m assuming it’ll come out later this year.

  7. BothSidesNow says:

    Is anyone else repulsed or uncomfortable with her comment, “Since the regulations in France at the time were draconian,”. Oh, how I wish our country, the US had been “draconian” with regards to the coronavirus!! There are thousands of lives that could have been saved, many which were counted as actual Coronavirus related deaths in the death certificate IF there was an underlying health issue!! We treated the Coronavirus as merely a cold in the beginning and look at the death toll we have. Over 1 million people as of last week.

    She should be kissing the f_cking ground they are walking on. So many people died here needlessly. And blabbing about “draconian” way of thinking, pffttttt

    • Julia says:

      I genuinely don’t think she was throwing any shade, she simply meant that you couldn’t go out, hence they stayed in their house/garden mainly.

      That’s not how I read it at all anyway – just a fact, not a judgment.

    • Elsa says:

      Yeah. I noted that too. I wasn’t sure her meaning. Was she saying it was strict or the way I would normally think of the words use?

    • Sandii says:

      You are definitely reading this through your American lens. France had very violent protests because of the very hard lockdowns. I do not necessarily agree with them, but it happend. And she is actually from Sweden, one of the countries with initially the least regulations in Europe. They very much relied on people staying in home office (which was granted from practically all companies were it was possible). Masks were expected in public transportation and some public services. But that was pretty much it. They had a bad outcome in elder care in the first wave but in the next waves they were prepared for extra precautions in these facilities. And a high date of vaccination helped to get through the next waves quite well.

      The French have a very different mindset so it was managed in a very different way.

      • C says:

        I don’t understand this comment. I am American, my partner is French. The restrictions they were protesting were the same type of protests in the US against lockdowns and other strictures. And the majority of French people supported the health pass despite the people chanting that the requirement for the pass was akin to “apartheid”.
        There are lots of cultural differences but in the end it comes down to the universal issue of either you want to help control the spread or you feel your freedoms are more important. This wasn’t limited to France.

    • lucy2 says:

      I think the journalist wrote that, it’s not a quote from her. Unless I’m reading it wrong.

    • Tiffany:) says:

      It’s not her comment. It’s the writer’s. The quote ends “ “ before that sentence.

    • Truthiness says:

      A good friend of my son’s was on a semester abroad in France during the first wave. She went with friends to Milan for a weekend without checking news or anything and covid was blazing through Italy. Upon getting back France had the girls in a strict 2 week quarantine. She couldn’t go to classes, was a bit put out about it, then lo and behold she had covid and it leveled her. Lost smell & taste for a year.

  8. emmi says:

    I like her, she has a presence on screen and her interviews are rarely boring.

    The whole “not owning much” thing is interesting to me. It’s a thing for wealthy people, right? The whole minimalism trend etc., it’s not poor people who talk about it in a breezy way. “The only signs of her status are that those black trousers are by Louis Vuitton, as are her eye-catching earrings and bracelets. ” That’s a bit of a wild statement considering the “I don’t own much.” Much as in many things? Because that IS a lot. I guess for some people, material possessions become less interesting when they have access to it all. But I do think that there is a general difference between American culture and most European counrties’ cultures in that excess and displays of wealth are often viewed as tacky here (Europe).

    • elle says:

      Yes, it’s a rich person humblebrag, IMO. Kimbal Musk (brother of Elon) is a local restaurateur in my area, and several years ago there was a full-page ad in one of the local papers of him saying, “I only own 3 things.”

      O-o-o-kay. Are we just counting things less than $1 million, like your shirt, hat and pants in this photo ( Imma go ahead and assume you’ve got some shoes, although they’re not shown, so not true) or are we counting things well over $1 million, like your house, private plane and restaurant… oh wait… there’s more than 1 of some of those, so…

      I’m not sure what he was even advertising… himself?

      That’s just what this reminded me of, because I am tired and cranky today!

  9. one of the marys says:

    I didn’t make the leap from not owning much to being anti consumerist. I took it as a reflection of her constantly moving around and not having a home. I also did not get the negative read off draconian. She mentions elsewhere that she was afraid and it worked out for them to stay home.
    I don’t find her particularly talented or compelling but there does seem to be a push to make her an it girl

  10. Kelly S says:

    I think she’s beautiful. And she was so amazing in A Royal Affair with Mads Mikkelsen. So hot.

    Someone above commented on the school of minimalism which is about ONE PERFECT THING. I am a poor person but I try to subscribe to this philosophy. I don’t have much, but everything I have is exactly right. I don’t allow crappy things in my universe. If AV has one perfect pair of LV trousers, great! So many celebrities show off their ridiculous closets (*coughMariahcough*). An extremely off-putting display of excess when so many are struggling.

  11. Hootenannie says:

    I wanted to rewatch The Man from U.N.C.L.E. the other day because she’s funny/has impeccable style in it, but then I remembered Arnie Hammer is one of the leads.

    More power to her is she can pack that lightly. I however am big into thrifting and there’s no way on earth anyone is stopping me from packing four sundresses and two skirts for a three-day trip. Also, I have to pack like 10 pairs of underwear because that’s what my mom always did and I can’t break the habit!

    • lucy2 says:

      I loved that movie and his presence in it has forever ruined it.
      Her styling in it was great, but Elizabeth Debicki’s was perfection.

  12. Anna says:

    Their boy’s name is Frej. I would say they spend 90% their time in France, either Paris or Biarritz, they’re always seen there.

  13. HeyKay says:

    I agree with not owning a lot of stuff.
    In my case, I grew up poor and my parents had the habit of “we might need that someday.”
    So small house, 6 people, lots of clutter + plus the ’70’s interior colors of avocado green and sunburst orange = I like off white interiors with empty space. 😀

    Fassy has a net worth of $30-$40Million. They could both never work for money again and still be wealthy.

    No baby pic? Disappointed.

  14. RINGOFKERRY says:

    She and Fassy definitely took up residence in Portugal for tax reasons. As an expat resident, if your work falls into certain categories, you can qualify for a flat 20% income tax rate for up to 10 years, which is extremely low for Europe (esp. compared to their home nations of Ireland, Germany and Sweden – not sure about France) – and certain income (pensions, crypto lol) is barely taxed at all. Explains why they are always referred to as having ‘moved to Portugal’ but clearly also residing in France / elsewhere. Lots of rich people take up residence here for the attractive tax regime.

    I’m a fan of hers, I find her to have a very strong and enigmatic screen presence – and that despite the fact that her accent work is often distractingly wonky. Still find her compelling!!!

  15. Jaded says:

    When I moved in with Mr. Jaded in 2015 his life was full of crappy *stuff* as a result of a first marriage to a woman who had compulsive spending disorder. I, on the other hand, am of the “less is more” lifestyle, and it took me 2 years to rid our combined household of the detritus she left behind when she dumped him. He’s definitely come around to my way of thinking, and having an organized home and regularly purging of unnecessary stuff makes him happy. So I totally get the “I don’t have much stuff” attitude. Have what’s necessary for daily life but there’s no reason to constantly fill your life with crap that serves no purpose and weighs you down.