Alicia Vikander Says She Was 'Most Sad' at 'My Height of Fame': 'I Was Always by Myself'

The Oscar winner opened up about what life in the public eye can be like

The 75th Annual Cannes Film Festival
Alicia Vikander. Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty

Alicia Vikander is opening up about living life as a celebrity.

As her profile grew in Hollywood — notably, after 2014's Ex Machina, and her Oscar win for 2015's The Danish Girl — "there was juxtaposition," the Irma Vepp actress explained in a new interview with The Sunday Times.

"In other people's eyes, [when] I was at my height of fame, I was the most sad. I kept telling myself, 'Take it in. It is incredible.' But I didn't know what to do. There were all these first-class flights, five-star rooms. But I was always by myself," the 33-year-old added.

Filmmaking on location can be "very lonely," she continued, recalling her first movie made away from her family, 2014's Seventh Son. "If I didn't have my friends to call, it would have been difficult. I've seen what can happen to people in my industry."

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Alicia Vikander
Alicia Vikander. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

The Swedish actress said a double life can be a common reality for celebrities, who often put up a brave front for cameras.

"Sometimes you go through things that are tough in life and if you have an office job you can step away for a bit. But there are times that myself or colleagues have been through something and, well, I can't understand how they went on to the red carpet afterwards," Vikander said.

"To be met by people asking, 'How are you doing?' Given what they had just been through? Most people would not be able to step out of their house," she added.

Vikander is currently enjoying motherhood, after having her first child with husband Michael Fassbender. The couple married in Ibiza, Spain, in October 2017, and welcomed their now-17-month-old son in 2021.

Fassbender, 44, and Vikander met in 2014 on the set of their film The Light Between Oceans, in which they played husband and wife. They currently live in Lisbon, Portugal.

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander attend the Vanity Fair x Louis Vuitton dinner during the 75th annual Cannes Film Festival at Fred LEcailler on May 20, 2022 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Louis Vuitton)
Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty for Louis Vuitton

Vikander, who opened up about previously experiencing a miscarriage, started filming the HBO limited series Irma Vep in Paris when their baby was 3 months old — and like many new parents, she's trying to find a work/life balance.

"We do every second job," she says of how she and Fassbender ensure there's always one parent around. "One stays at home while the other works."

And how did Vikander feel about going back to work so soon? "Excited, but it was intense," she said. "Sometimes they came to the set just so [my son] could see my face."

In September 2021, Vikander chatted with PEOPLE about becoming a mom and embracing her new life changes. "I now have a whole new understanding of life in general," she said of motherhood. "That's pretty beautiful, and obviously will give a lot to any of my work in the future."

Vikander recently wrapped the shoot of Firebrand, in which she plays Catherine Parr, the last wife of King Henry VIII of England, and stars opposite Jude Law.

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