How Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender Fell in Love on Set

Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender have kept their real-life romance pretty much off the grid, but as Vanity Fair’s September cover, the lovely actress gave the magazine just the briefest of details on why she fell for her man – and naturally, it revolves how they respect each other as actors.

Fassbender and Vikander met on the set of their upcoming romantic drama The Light Between Oceans, in which they play a lighthouse keeper and his wife, respectively, living off the coast of Western Australia and dealing with a tragic loss. When a baby girl washes up onshore in a rowboat, however, there is hope. They decide to raise her as their own, but a few years later, they discover the little girl’s real mother (Rachel Weisz) has been grieving all this time for her lost child.

The film’s director, Derek Cianfrance, wanted to immerse his actors into the real experience, and so made them live together in isolation on a lighthouse island for a month before shooting the film. Even though Fassbender was at first reluctant, Vikander was totally game. You can guess what happened after that.

Fassbender, who had noticed Vikander at the Toronto Film Festival a year before making Light Between Oceans, told Vanity Fair how impressed he was with her commitment. “She doesn’t take anything for granted. With a lot of these actresses coming out, there’s this bravery that you don’t see so much in male actors…She doesn’t mind taking a character she’s playing to an ugly place. Her level of commitment made me focus and make sure I was as committed.”

She, in turn, appreciated how he opened up to her. She told VF, “He was very sweet at letting me in… He was like, ‘Can you please give me a note? What do you think I should do?’ It was such a sweet thing to kind of let me in.”

Cianfrance saw the chemistry right away. “What I saw was two great people who were so supportive of each other, who were really picking each other up, and pushing each other. . . . They were an undeniably good match and they pushed each other. . . . Michael and Alicia, they were like Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. They were going to make one another better. And they were better together.”

Fassbender added about the chemistry, “These things of course sort of spill through to what you’re doing.”

Read more of Alicia’s VF interview here, including how she’s dealing with the whirlwind that is her career, especially winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her turn in The Danish Girl.  Vikander is currently co-starring with Matt Damon in Jason Bourne.

The Light Between Oceans opens in theaters September 2… watch the trailer!