Alicia Amanda Vikander (Swedish pronunciation: [aˈliːsɪa vɪˈkandɛr]; born 3 October 1988) is a Swedish actress and former dancer. Born and raised in Gothenburg, she began acting as a child in minor stage productions at The Göteborg Opera and trained as a ballet dancer at the Royal Swedish Ballet School in Stockholm and the School of American Ballet in New York. She began her professional acting career by appearing in Swedish short films and television series and first gained recognition in Northern Europe for her role as Josefin Björn-Tegebrandt in the TV drama Andra Avenyn (2008–10). Vikander made her feature film debut in Pure (2010), for which she won the Guldbagge Award for Best Actress. She attracted widespread recognition in 2012 for portraying Princess Ekaterina "Kitty" Alexandrovna Shcherbatskaya in Joe Wright's film adaptation of Anna Karenina and Queen Caroline Mathilde in the acclaimed Danish film A Royal Affair, receiving a BAFTA Rising Star Award nomination. She went on to star in the 2013 Swedish drama film Hotell and appeared in the Julian Assange-biopic The Fifth Estate that same year. In 2014 and 2015, Vikander achieved global recognition and acclaim for her roles as activist Vera Brittain in Testament of Youth, a humanoid robot in Ex Machina (for which she was nominated for the Golden Globe and BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress) and painter Gerda Wegener in The Danish Girl, for which she received the Academy Award and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress, among other awards.