Rising star Alicia Vikander was in Sydney earlier this year to promote the release of her new film, Jason Bourne. STACK was lucky enough to talk with her about what it means to be a part of the Bourne franchise, and how the films remain relevant to the state of the world.
Jason Bourne is director Paul Greengrass’s third film in the franchise, following The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, and Matt Damon’s fourth round in the title role. It also introduces Swedish actress Alicia Vikander to the franchise as the CIA’s head of cyber ops.
Vikander is quick to admit she’d always wanted to be a part of the series – “I was so happy that they were making a new one. Matt [Damon] and Paul Greengrass teaming up again was big news”– and was thrilled to meet with the director in London to discuss the possibility of being involved.
“I got to sit there and tell him how big a fan I was of his work, and what he’s done with these films – I even brought up that he said years ago that he’d never do another one,” she laughs. “I was so happy that he decided to in the end.”
As a fan of the Bourne films, Vikander found it somewhat surreal to be working alongside the man himself – Matt Damon. “I’d met Matt backstage, but the scenes that we did were never really in the same room.”
She does confesses to being starstruck, however, when she finally got to shoot a scene with him. “One of the first scenes we filmed was in Vegas. There were a bunch of hidden cameras everywhere, because they wanted people to be walking around and not having to worry about them looking into the lenses. We had lived and worked in this casino for about five weeks – I was in full makeup and costume and everything, and I managed to walk straight into and out of a shot without even knowing.”
The fangirl inside her also recalls the moment she saw him in character for the first time: “I was just walking around and suddenly I see this guy with a cap on, and I immediately got that thrill – I thought to myself, ‘that’s Jason Bourne!’, and then as soon as I saw him he was gone.”
In researching the role of a CIA operative, Vikander watched YouTube clips of other hackers, and paid close attention to the conferences they attended.
“The Deep Dream convention we attend in the movie is basically another name for a similar convention held in Vegas every year. It was cool to watch, because most people in that tech industry are all very young, but have important positions in their work.”
Vikander acknowledges how far the tech revolution has come, and the advantage people who can manipulate it have, particularly the ability to compromise security.
“The people with knowledge of computer and IT nowadays are the ones in power,” she says. “It was pretty extraordinary watching a person who is 25 years old hold a speech about something I don’t know anything about. They’re remarkable people.
“I think in one way, with everything that’s going on now, and with the politics and everything in America at the moment, it’s all very representative of the times.”
The prolific actress believes portraying global issues in an accesible “popcorn movie” medium is what the Bourne films do best.
“It’s part of the franchise to be able to bring up issues that are accurate and a real threat in the real world – it helps audiences to enjoy it. Jason has become this action hero that I genuinely believe could be out there in the world today.”
Jason Bourne is out on DVD, Blu-ray & 4K on November 23.