Swedish star speaks out on Hollywood pay gap

Swedish star speaks out on Hollywood pay gap
Alicia Vikander with her co-star Eddie Redmayne in 'The Danish Girl'. Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Sweden's newest Hollywood actress Alicia Vikander has jumped into the high-profile global debate on equal wages for male and female actors, calling it a chance for women to "step up".

Swedish Alicia Vikander, who is set to star opposite Matt Damon in the upcoming Jason Bourne action sequel, joined an increasing number of actors of both genders criticizing the Hollywood pay gap in an interview with the Reuters news agency.

“It's all about information,” she said. “It's all about bringing awareness, to educate people and the more you bring something into the limelight I think it makes, maybe not the biggest step, but small steps and you will continue to make change.”

The debate began when 'American Hustle' actress Jennifer Lawrence slammed the Hollywood pay gap last week, saying she was appalled to find out her male co-stars had been paid far more than her for starring in the same movie.

It has since seen actors such as Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller take a public stance in favour of gender equal wages. And on Wednesday comments made by Vikander on the red carpet at Monday's Elle magazine's Women in Hollywood Awards were making international headlines.

The 27-year-old actress, who is currently starring in a new Louis Vuitton commercial campaign with Michelle Williams, said she welcomed the public debate, calling the open discussion a “great opportunity for women to actually step up”.

While one of the most gender equal countries in the world, Sweden, where Vikander was born, still has a 15 percent pay gap between women and men according to the OECD.

Following in the footsteps of Swedish Hollywood stars such as Noomi Rapace and Joel Kinnaman, the Gothenburg-born actress rose to international fame when she appeared in Anna Karenina with British star Keira Knightley three years ago.

Since then, she has laid claim to the title as one of Hollywood's new favourite sweethearts, with roles in blockbusters such as Academy Award-nominated Danish film 'A Royal Affair', opposite Benedict Cumberbatch as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 'The Fifth Estate', and more recently British sci-fi thriller 'Ex Machina', released earlier this year.

Evidently leading a hectic life, the Swede is appearing in a grand total of nine movies in 2015, including director Guy Ritchie's action comedy 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.', opposite Eddie Redmayne in 'The Danish Girl' and the fifth instalment of the Bourne saga.

Currently locked in for release in July 2016, the hyped sequel will see US actor Matt Damon return to the title role as action hero Jason Bourne. Julia Stiles, who starred in the first three films, is also set to return to the cast.