Alicia Vikander, Testament of Youth

By Mitchell, Wendy | Screen International, December 19, 2014 | Go to article overview

Alicia Vikander, Testament of Youth


Mitchell, Wendy, Screen International


Alicia Vikander tells Wendy Mitchell about doing Vera Brittain justice in Testament Of Youth and finding roles of emotional substance.

Alicia Vikander says she is drawn to "that rare thing of good female roles. Especially for young women, I try to find roles of emotional substance and not just only being 'the girl'."

That is certainly true of her part in Testament Of Youth, which sees her portray the young English writer Vera Brittain as she deals with the loss of her fiancé and brother in the First World War.

Growing up in Sweden, Vikander had not heard of Brittain. Yet she was immediately drawn to Juliette Towhidi's script. "I was so passionate about the project. She's such a powerful woman who had this strong life journey. It's knowing what journey women have made over 100 years. Emotionally it feels like a girl you could know now, but the rules and context of life back then were different - you needed a chaperone to take a train and you couldn't decide your own education."

A life in letters

Vikander prepared for the role by reading Brittain's books - not just the 1933 memoir of the same name but her letters as well. "The book that collects the letters between her and her brothers and Roland, that's what helped me the most. The novel was written by a woman in the early '30s looking back on her life, while the letters were her in the moment. It was the young woman's words."

She also had the chance to meet Brittain's daughter, Shirley Williams. They had tea together and "she shared her experiences, but of course that's a different woman that she knew than the period in the film; that was the woman leading up to the war, not a mother after the war".

'I try to find roles of emotional substance and just only being the girl'Alicia Vikander

Vikander, like the rest of the cast, worked with a dialect coach to ensure she had the correct regional tones of the time period. "Being foreign, it was intimidating to take on the part of such a British icon," she recalls, although her accent in the film is pitch perfect (she has lived in London for several years). "I had to try to nail a British accent. That was probably the toughest thing so far; I really wanted to get it right, to give justice to her."

The actress pays credit to UK director James Kent, who makes an impressive feature debut after working in television. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Alicia Vikander, Testament of Youth
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.