Alicia Vikander burst onto the Hollywood scene in 2015 with breakout performances in films like Ex Machina and The Danish Girl, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
However, despite her immense talent and meteoric rise to fame, Vikander has also attracted a fair share of critics and detractors.
This article will explore some of the major reasons why the actress has developed a reputation as being unlikable or disingenuous among certain circles.
Her Rapid Rise to Fame Seemed Unearned
One of the main criticisms leveled at Vikander is that she achieved huge success very early in her career without “paying her dues” first. After small roles in a few Swedish films, Vikander was cast in the big-budget sci-fi thriller Ex Machina in 2014.
That same year she also starred in the Oscar-bait drama The Danish Girl alongside Eddie Redmayne. While her performances were undoubtedly impressive, some felt her quick ascent to A-list status was largely a product of luck and generous backing from influential industry figures like director Alex Garland.
Unlike many actresses who struggle for years before their big break, Vikander’s came swiftly and easily. This fostered resentment from those who saw her as undeserving of such rapid fame and acclaim.
She is Perceived as Cold and Unemotional
Another common criticism of Vikander is that she comes across as overly serious, aloof or robotic in her on-screen roles as well as public appearances. Some feel she lacks warmth and relatability as an actress.
While she tackles intensely emotional material in films like The Danish Girl, Vikander’s detached and objective style of acting can make it hard for audiences to connect with her characters on a deeper level.
Her poised, almost mechanical demeanor in interviews also contributes to an icy persona that rubs some viewers the wrong way.
Her Privileged Background
As the daughter of successful Swedish actress Maria Fahl Vikander, Alicia grew up surrounded by the trappings of wealth and celebrity from a young age.
She was able to easily transition into a thriving acting career with the aid of her mother’s connections and insight into the entertainment industry. To some, Vikander’s privileged upbringing stands in stark contrast to the struggles faced by most aspiring performers.
Her insider access and family resources have fueled resentment from those who feel she didn’t truly earn her way to the top. There is a perception that Vikander was simply handed opportunities that most only dream of.
She is Seen as Overexposed
After Vikander’s sudden rise to fame in 2015-2016, some moviegoers began to feel she was being overexposed by the film industry and media.
She went from relative obscurity to appearing in multiple high-profile films back-to-back along with endless magazine covers and advertisements. For those already fatigued by Vikander’s meteoric success, the constant onslaught of her face and name quickly led to oversaturation.
Audiences craving diversity in the actresses spotlighted by Hollywood began to push back against what felt like nonstop Vikander hype.
Allegations of Faking Her Sexuality
Vikander’s portrayal of real-life transgender pioneer Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl led to an Oscar win and much acclaim from LGBTQ advocates.
However, more cynical observers accused the heterosexual Vikander of pretending to be queer or co-opting a marginalized identity simply to gain social currency and boost her career.
While Vikander identified deeply with her transgender character, others saw an exploitative intent behind her decision to portray a member of a community she wasn’t actually part of. The skepticism tied into wider grievances regarding Vikander’s perceived insincerity.
Her Wooden Acting Style
As evidenced by reviews of films like Jason Bourne and Tomb Raider, another common complaint is that Vikander comes across as stiff, flat and disengaged on screen.
Rather than inhabiting roles organically, her acting is sometimes critiqued as hollow, mannered and devoid of real emotion. Some attribute this wooden quality to the fact that English is not Vikander’s first language.
Others blame her aloof demeanor or the decision to swiftly transition her into big action blockbusters not well-suited to her serious acting chops. While she proved her talent in early films, later casting choices failed to showcase her range.
Perceptions That She Lacks Personality
Between her cold on-screen presence and guarded media persona, detractors consider Vikander to be something of a charisma vacuum – light on personality and averse to letting the public get to know her in any meaningful way.
While A-list stardom demands some degree of privacy, Vikander is regarded by critics as taking this to the extreme. She remains tight-lipped about her personal life and refuses to engage in the lively banter and self-promotion that endear other celebrities to fans seeking a connection.
Her Relationship with Michael Fassbender
When Vikander began dating acclaimed actor Michael Fassbender in 2014, their 21-year age gap raised eyebrows. Her relationship with the notorious playboy also called her judgment into question soon after she rocketed to stardom.
While any mature relationship with a large age difference can certainly work, some perceived Vikander as opportunistic in coupling with an older, more established star to further boost her profile and clout in the industry. The likelihood of longevity for a couple with such disparate ages and life stages was debatable.
A Shift Towards Bland Blockbusters
After acclaimed dramatic turns in Ex Machina and The Danish Girl, Vikander pivoted towards bigger yet underwhelming action flicks like Jason Bourne, Tomb Raider and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. To those celebrating her as a serious new acting talent, this move signaled a disappointing rejection of artistry in favor of blockbuster paydays.
Starring in generic thrillers and effects-driven box office bait marked a stark departure from the craft Vikander demonstrated early on. Fans lamented the wasting of her skills on repetitive roles selected for bankability rather than creative merit.
Is the Backlash Unfair?
While Vikander has undoubtedly made some questionable career moves and her rapid rise invited skepticism, the intensity of animosity towards her seems disproportionate.
She is far from the only nepotistic star lacking charisma or the first actress to leverage sex appeal for advancement. Singling her out as uniquely disingenuous while overlooking a Hollywood culture demanding it seems unfair.
At just 30 years old, Vikander still has ample time to take more risks, showcase her range and turn skeptics into believers. Prematurely writing her off as just another cog in the franchise machine underestimates her proven talent.
With more selective roles and fewer blockbuster tentpoles, Vikander can potentially craft a filmography as nuanced as her breakout performances hinted at.
In examining the various critiques around Alicia Vikander, it is clear the rapid rise of this talented young actress ruffled feathers in Hollywood and invited skepticism from some fans.
However, considering how many performers leverage privilege and commercial appeal early on, much of the specific ire towards Vikander appears overblown. She remains an Oscar-winning talent capable of impressive range.
By taking more selective roles moving forward, Vikander still has a chance to win over her detractors and fulfill the dramatic promise glimpsed in her early acclaimed work.
Only in the third decade of her life and career, Vikander should not be so hastily dismissed by those perturbed by her swift success.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do people think Alicia Vikander’s rise to fame was so fast?
Many feel Vikander achieved huge Hollywood success very quickly without gradually building up her career. She went from low-budget Swedish films to starring in big award contenders like The Danish Girl within just a couple years. This rapid ascent struck some as lucky rather than earned.
What makes Vikander come across as cold or detached?
With an understated and objective acting style, Vikander often seems emotionally distant on screen. Her poised and guarded public persona also contributes to perceptions of the actress being aloof or robotic.
How did Vikander’s privilege aid her career?
As the daughter of an established Swedish actress, Vikander had valuable connections and inside knowledge about the entertainment industry from a young age. This privileged upbringing is seen by some as smoothing her path to fame.
Why do people accuse Vikander of faking sexuality?
Despite being heterosexual, Vikander’s portrayal of a transgender woman in The Danish Girl led to skepticism that she was pretending to be queer just to win acclaim and social currency. The authenticity of her performance was questioned.
What are the main critiques of Vikander’s acting ability?
Some find Vikander’s on-screen presence to be stiff, mannered, and void of true emotion and depth. Blame is placed on everything from her aloofness to English not being her first language.
How has Vikander’s relationship with Michael Fassbender been viewed?
Their 21-year age gap raised eyebrows, as did Vikander coupling with Fassbender soon after becoming famous herself. Some saw it as an opportunistic move rather than a sustainable relationship.
Why was Vikander starring in action blockbusters seen negatively?
Early praise for Vikander’s dramatic acting made her pivot to generic blockbuster films feel like she was prioritizing paychecks over craft. Fans felt her talent was wasted on CGI spectacles.
What are some defenses of Vikander against criticism?
While some backlash is understandable, Vikander has faced disproportionate hostility. Many young actresses leverage privilege and sex appeal to get ahead in Hollywood, so singling her out as uniquely disingenuous seems unfair. She also may take on more artistically ambitious work in the future.