“He’s an extraordinary actor and a wonderful, incredible friend and man,” Vikander told TheWrap. “To see when I came to my audition the amount of work he had put in … I was already so impressed there.”
The Swedish-born actress plays Gerda in “The Danish Girl,” the wife of Einar Wegener (Redmayne), who became one of the first men to undergo a sex-change operation. At the beginning of the movie, Gerda asks Einar to stand in for a female model who didn’t show up for a painting she’s working on, and the act of posing as a female figure unravels Einar’s lifelong dream of identifying as a woman named Lili Elbe.
Vikander described her intense audition process with Redmayne and director Tom Hooper. She read the scene in which Lili kisses a man at the ball.
“During that scene, it got completely silent afterwards, and Tom just sat like this,” she said, lowering her head to illustrate. “And you know, as an actor in that situation you read everything. I really loved the script and this film and it was of course something I treasured a lot, it meant a lot. … Then I looked up and he had apparently gotten quite emotional …We all had a good feeling, and I was like, that felt good, and I really enjoyed it, and then of course I walked out and all I could do was wish that I would get a call.”
During TheWrap’s screening series, in which “The Danish Girl” was shown at the Landmark Theatre in Los Angeles in November, Vikander told the audience that the audition process was emotional and scary. But she eventually felt comfortable.
“I don’t think I’ve ever felt so safe as I felt in that room and in an audition before. Eddie and Tom were already there, and they just said, ‘Lets just sit down and talk for half an hour.’ So that’s actually what we did.”