You'll Want to Remember Her Name

by Rachel Simon

Most actresses would consider themselves lucky if they got to star alongside either Michael Fassbender or Eddie Redmayne, but both? That'd be a dream — one that Alicia Vikander, a Swedish actress about to break out in America, is about to live. On Thursday, it was announced that Vikander was cast alongside Fassbender in The Light Between Oceans , and that she's also the first choice of director Tom Hooper to co-star in The Danish Girl opposite Redmayne. Later, she'll act in films that also star Ewan McGregor, Dane DeHaan, Christoph Waltz, and Oscar Isaac. So who is she?

Not a newcomer, although she's less familiar to American audiences as she is to Europeans. Best known for a major role on the Swedish TV show Andra Avenyn, Vikander broke through to North America in 2012 with A Royal Affair, a Danish historical drama that was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars. Later that year, she co-starred in Anna Karenina, replacing Saoirse Ronan in the supporting role of Kitty. Most recently, she appeared in The Fifth Estate, the Julian Assange film released last October.

Despite the attention given to those films, though, Vikander has managed to stay under the radar. Yet that's all about to change, as the actress has eight upcoming films in the works, many of which look like they could easily make her a star. This time next year, it might just be impossible not to know Vikander's name; here's a rundown of her upcoming slate, ranked in order of our excitement.

8. Testament of Our Youth

The actress will play Vera Brittain, an Oxford student who chose to leave her studies in order to serve as a nurse during World War I, in the British biopic. Game of Thrones' Kit Harrington will co-star as her fiance. Here's hoping the words "you know nothing" are uttered at least once.

7. Son of a Gun

In the Australian heist thriller about the relationship between a public enemy and his protégé, Vikander will co-star alongside Ewan McGregor and The Giver's Brenton Thwaites.

6. Ex Machina

This sci-fi thriller stars Domhall Gleeson as an up-and-coming coder who enters an experiment in which he must interact with the world's first artificial intelligence, a robot girl (Vikander). The movie also stars Oscar Isaac.

5. The Danish Girl

In the adaptation of the David Ebershoff novel, Vikander will star as a 1930s woman whose marriage is tested when her husband, a Danish painter (Redmayne) becomes the first man to undergo a sex change operation. Les Miserables' Tom Hooper is directing.

4. Seventh Son

In the upcoming fantasy film, Vikander co-stars alongside Ben Barnes, Jeff Bridges, and Julianne Moore, among others. The movie's very loosely based on the novel The Last Apprentice, and centers around a seventh son's adventures as an apprentice to The Spook. Start your guesses now.

3. The Light Between Oceans

Vikander will play the wife of an Australian lighthouse keeper (Fassbender) who rescues and raises a baby in the latest film from Derek Cianfrance (The Place Between the Pines), based on the M.L. Stedman novel.

2. Tulip Fever

Vikander plays a married woman who begins an affair with an artist in the 17th century love story. Her co-stars? Dane DeHaan, Christoph Waltz, Matthew Morrison, Zach Galifianakis and Judi Dench. Um, YES.

1. The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Now this is huge. U.N.C.L.E. has been anticipated for years, ever since Steven Soderbergh first signed on in 2011 to direct the film adaptation of the cult-loved series. Three years and many cast and crew changes later, the sci-fi comedy is finally set for release, with Guy Ritchie as director and Vikander, Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, and Hugh Grant as its stars. We can't wait for this one.