Cape Town – The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a super-stylish spy movie directed by the talented Guy Ritchie.
At the height of the Cold War, a mysterious criminal organisation plans to use nuclear weapons and technology to upset the fragile balance of power between the United States and Soviet Union.
CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and KGB agent Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) are forced to put aside their hostilities and work together to stop the evildoers in their tracks.
The duo's only lead is the daughter of a missing German scientist, Gaby (Alicia Vikander), whom they must find soon to prevent a global catastrophe.
Here are 5 quick questions to Alicia about her role in the movie:
QUESTION: You are probably too young to have watched the 1960s TV series that inspired The Man from U.N.C.L.E., but did you have any reference for what it was or were there any aspects of it that you wanted to pay homage to?
ALICIA VIKANDER: We all were quite aware that this was going to be quite a different animal from the old series, and still paying, of course, homage to it. You want everybody who comes in with their own reference and memories of the series to feel like we’ve treasured this with delicacy, and that we really give privilege to the series that it was.
I had some reference of watching the series on British television, actually, when I grew up. My dad used to watch it and I kind of peeked over his shoulder, and saw a few episodes. But then I took the decision not to watch it before we started to shoot this.
I would love to see the series now, after you’ve kind of done the thing. I’m really curious to see what the similarities and differences are.
QUESTION: There are two strong female characters in this film, which is not so typical in movies of this genre. Can you talk about working with Guy Ritchie and his approach to your character?
ALICIA VIKANDER: I don’t think that when I read the script, I said, ‘Oh, this is a strong female character.’ It was like, ‘Oh, these are just great parts.’ But it’s interesting that so many journalists want to talk about having two strong female characters in a film. We saw old films, and there are a lot of strong female actresses from that time. But, sadly enough, especially in this genre, it isn’t really representative.
QUESTION: What did you like most about your character when you read the script?
ALICIA VIKANDER: Well, I think it was that thing of finding a very strong, fierce female character. Also, because of the ambiguity that Elizabeth mentioned, I knew that I was stepping into a film where people would have their idea of what role I had in this story, and then that role flips quite a few times throughout the film. And then I had never done a comedy or an action movie, and I got to do both here. And I’m a big fan of Guy Ritchie’s previous work. I think I was very curious about his very specific sort of black humor and his style and the ease to his films, and how he manages to get that performance out of his actors.
My character goes on quite a journey. She’s a girl who’s brought up behind the [Berlin] Wall, and she has never experienced any of that kind of ‘60s style revolution herself. So she goes on that journey, experiencing that in this film.
QUESTION: There are some major chase sequences in this film. Is it true that you couldn’t drive?
ALICIA VIKANDER: No. None of us had a driver’s license.
QUESTION: What was the most challenging in terms of the action for you?
ALICIA VIKANDER: I actually come from a physical background. I danced, and so I really enjoy the physical aspects of any character that I take on. And then doing action – a high level of action – you get to try things that you wouldn’t ever normally do. To be in a harness and throw yourself off of a building was just a lot of fun.
I don’t even drive a car myself, but to sit behind a steering wheel and then actually pull all the wires through the car, and there’s a [stunt driver] in this tiny cage – it’s a funny picture, and I think I still have it on my computer. He actually drove the car for me.
But people asked me after the first take, ‘How are you? Are you fine? Was it scary?’ I hadn’t even thought of the fact that I was in the car. So, actually, it was quite dangerous, all those little alleys. But, yeah, I just had so much fun. I really enjoyed it.
(Photos:Warner Bros. Pictures)
Opening in cinemas nationwide on Friday, 21 August.
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