Swedish film star Alicia Vikander set up her own Swedish film production company out of frustration at the lack of female directors in Hollywood, she has told Swedish Television.
Vikander, who takes over this March as Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider franchise, said she had tired of the lip-service paid to gender equality in the US film industry.
“Everyone kept on talking about how great it was that I got to play ‘strong, complex female roles’,” she said in an interview with Swedish Television. “I’m so tired of hearing those words! At the same time, there’s not a single woman to work with.”
Vikander was said on a visit to her hometown of Gothenburg to visit the city’s film festival, where Euphoria, the first film produced by her company, Vikarious Productions, was screened as part of its Nordic Competition.
The film, which follows two sisters travelling by train towards a Swiss euthanasia clinic, was directed by Lisa Langseth, who also directed Vikander’s 2009 feature film debut Pure.
Vikander pointed out that when she had started out in film, all of the screen-writers and directors she had worked with had been women.
“I started working in Sweden and only worked with female directors and screenwriters, and then when I went abroad I never got to do that ever again, right up until now, when I got to work with Lisa again,” she said.
She said that she had never herself been sexually propositioned or mistreated by shamed US producer Harvey Weinstein, despite starring in Tulip Fever, which was produced by The Weinstein Company. Although the film was only released last year, it was shot in 2014.
“I myself have been lucky and not involved in such a tough situation myself,” she said. “But I was extremely shocked, upset and angry. I have tried to be there with other women I worked with and supported those who dared to talk.”
Vikander in 2015 won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role as the painter Gerda Wegener in The Danish Girl, and was nominated for a Golden Globe and a Bafta for her role as a humanoid robot in Ex Machina in 2015.
Tomb Raider will be released in the US on March 18th.