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IGN – Alicia Vikander ushers a new generation into the Bourne franchise in the upcoming flick Jason Bourne.
Marking a continuation from the original Bourne trilogy, the Matt Damon-starring, Paul Greengrass-directed movie tackles modern issues like privacy on the Internet. Vikander’s Heather Lee is a CIA agent who is part of the new generation that’s emerged since The Bourne Identity hit theaters in 2002. As Damon’s Jason Bourne is engaging in epic car chases and running past obstacles, her hacker character is combating him at every turn from behind a computer screen.
Taking on a role in Jason Bourne was more than just a smart career move for Vikander, who won raves for her role in Ex Machina and an Oscar for her part in The Danish Girl; it was a fangirl’s dream come true. Read our interview with the 27-year-old to hear her discuss why she always felt herself drawn to the Bourne franchise, what appealed to her about playing Heather and whether she’ll be back for future films in the series.
IGN: What intrigued you about the character of Heather Lee in your decision to come on board Jason Bourne?
Alicia Vikander: I’d seen the films several time, and I was just so excited when I found out Paul and Matt were teaming up again and making a new one. I remember I met Paul, and sometimes in those meetings you start chatting a bit and talking about the film. Probably the first thing I said was, “I’m a big fan. I’m so happy you’re making a new one.” [laughs] I had read the script at that point and I was very intrigued by the character of Heather Lee, mostly because she’s a symbol of what has changed since 2007, since the last Bourne film, in our world with technology and tech. She’s part of a new generation of young people who kind of hold the power nowadays regarding how we live our lives through technology and run companies and governments and such. To get a chance to play someone like her I found really interesting.
IGN: It’s interesting how she’s very much a match for Bourne even though she’s a very different character with a very different skill set. Did you view her more as a hero or a villain in this story?
Vikander: It’s part of the kind of franchise of trying to find out the identity of a person. That’s kind of what you do with Heather. I remember I read it the first time, the script, and I kind of wanted to get under her skin and figure out. I love the fact that in this film Riz Ahmed’s character, who’s this head of this social media company, and she kind of have the same background. They are both prodigy hackers, but she’s of course chosen to use her abilities and go into working at the CIA. But throughout this film it seems like it’s almost not only that you’re trying to figure out if she’s on one side of the conflict in this film. It almost feels like she has a higher kind of personal agenda throughout the film. And I think to play that ambiguity was a lot of fun, but of course Paul and I had discussions of what we were playing.
IGN: There’s definitely an opportunity for another Bourne film that would be more focused on the dynamic between her and Bourne.
Vikander: I’ve seen the film now, and I think [Greengrass] gave us all fans the essence of what the previous Bourne movies were and put them into a new context and they feel like they stand on its own and it’s new. But I know that Matt has also said that he wouldn’t do any one if Paul wasn’t on board. With these films and franchises, it’s first of all the film is going to come out. We are very proud of this film and we hope that people are going to enjoy it, but it’s so much in this industry nowadays that it’s of course depending on — well if the studio first of all decides to make a new one, and then if they would invite me to come and join again. If they would then I would love to. I really had such an amazing time on this film.
IGN: Did you sign a deal for you to appear in multiple films beyond this one?
Vikander: I would say that is kind of the norm today. I don’t think any studio starts something that could and is—I mean it is a franchise. So that’s always kind of part of the contract. But then it’s all about—that doesn’t define that this character’s going to be in there, but if they decide to bring her back in then of course I’ll come back, but this wouldn’t feel like a contract to me or I would love to make a new one if I ever would be offered.
IGN: I didn’t realize you were a fan before you were approached to star in the movie. What did you enjoy most about coming into this action franchise?
Vikander: I love that she is an action hero and she is responsible for so much of the plot and the actual action sequences through what she does behind the scenes. One way I kind of also think that that shows how the world is today, it’s a lot of things that are ruled not in personal combat but actually behinds screens and behind tech. And that is as lethal sometimes as being in a fight. So of course I didn’t have to go to the gym as much … but as you said I love these films so to be standing here and seeing what they are so known for have done in their earlier work to kind of reinvent what we thought was [cool].
I hadn’t seen this kind of action that felt so up front and authentic, and yet they’ve pushed it this time and gone further. I mean, they closed off the strip in Vegas. I was up in one of the highest rooms in one of the hotels looking out, and I think today you just assume that a lot is CGI and green screen. Paul Greengrass, maybe from his documentary background, he kind of is so keen on it looking like it’s a certain something that could be similar to our world, and that’s also why you get affected so much watching it. I actually saw these cars fly in the air and I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Jason Bourne hits theaters on July 29th.