Alicia Vikander, the acclaimed Hollywood actress, received a remarkable tribute akin to that of a beloved monarch at the Cannes premiere of director Karim Aïnouz’s latest film, “Firebrand,” on May 21. The audience, which included distinguished Oscar-winning actresses Michelle Yeoh and Marion Cotillard, erupted into an eight-minute standing ovation for Vikander.
Alicia Vikander Captivates Eight-Minute Standing Ovation at Cannes for ‘Firebrand’:
Radiant with joy, Vikander gestured for the enthusiastic crowd to cease their applause, fearing that tears would overcome her.
Alicia VikanderJude Law, Vikander’s co-star in the film, who portrays the cruel and merciless King Henry VIII, and director Karim Aïnouz were also greeted with thunderous applause at the prestigious Palais venue. Vikander now joins the league of esteemed leading ladies at Cannes, such as Lily Gladstone, Natalie Portman, and Julianne Moore, who have delivered awe-inspiring performances.
In “Firebrand,” an adaptation of Elizabeth Fremantle’s 2013 novel “Queen’s Gambit,” Vikander, an Oscar winner herself, takes on the role of Katherine Parr, the sixth and final wife of the tyrannical King Henry. The gripping narrative unfolds in Tudor England, steeped in bloodshed, as Parr assumes the position of Regent while Henry wages war abroad. However, upon the ailing monarch’s return, he directs his fury towards the radicals and falsely accuses Katherine’s childhood friend of treason, ultimately subjecting her to a fiery execution. Horrified and grieving, Katherine must conceal her true emotions, knowing that she may meet the same fate as Henry’s previous wives.
Reflecting on the film, Vikander expressed her fascination with the neglected perspective of Katherine Parr, stating, “What’s mostly been dramatized are the wives who didn’t make it.” She found it intriguing that people were drawn to somber tales. The actress’s performance in “Firebrand” promises to shed light on this lesser-known historical figure.
Prior to its Cannes debut, “Firebrand” garnered significant attention and sold out internationally, according to an exclusive report by Variety. Prime Video secured distribution rights for several territories, including the United Kingdom. Vikander, in an interview with Variety, expressed her excitement at being part of a costume period drama that ventured away from glamour. She praised the director’s intention to strip down the genre, aiming for a raw and authentic portrayal.
As “Firebrand” seeks distribution in the United States, it is represented by CAA and FilmNation, adding anticipation to the film’s journey beyond the festival circuit.