Alicia Vikander became the first Swede in 41 years to win an Oscar for acting when she collected her award for Best Supporting Actress at the ceremony on Sunday.
The last Swedish actor or actress to win an Oscar was Ingrid Bergman in 1975 for Murder On The Orient Express. Greta Garbo, Ann Margret, Lena Olin and Max von Sydow have all received one or more nominations but never won.
Vikander received the prize for her role in The Danish Girl, in which she portrays Gerda, an artist whose husband Einar (Eddie Redmayne) begins to dress as a woman, but then gradually reveals that he is a woman deep down and starts to live as Lili.
In her acceptance speech, Vikander thanked her co-star Eddie Redmayne and her parents:
“Eddie, thank you for being the best acting partner. I could never have done it without you. You raised my game… My mum and dad, thank you for giving me the belief that anything can happen – even though I would never have believed this.”
After the ceremony she said: “My parents have always told me that I can do this. Although I have hesitated hundreds of times, they have always been there for me. Everything is clearly possible, things that I had never imagined before.”
“And all this has been possible because I have had strong women who have backed me up. And that’s what I want to say to all the young girls out there. Keep fighting.”
Alicia Vikander’s path to stardom began in 2010 when she received the Rising Star award at the Stockholm Film Festival, and went on to win the Guldbagge award for Best Actress in Lisa Langseth’s Pure (Till det som är vackert).