The actress, who takes on the starring role of Lara Croft, says she started by “bulking up quite a lot a first, and then trying to just, like, tone down,” Vikander, 28, tells ELLE for their September cover.
She even gained an incredible new skill while preparing for the movie: “I’ve never been able to lift my own weight, and the day when you have that capacity, it’s pretty empowering!” Vikander says.
The former ballerina says the hard-core prep work reminded her of dancing.
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“I’ve never done action scenes on this level — not even close. It feels like I’m back to dancing — the training, the intensity. You need to be aware of your movement up in the wires and how your body works,” she says.
“[Angelina] set a whole tone for that kind of role, so I knew we had to do something very different.”