Scottish actor Ewan McGregor and Swedish actor Alicia Vikander will be honored at the 57th Karlovy Vary Film Festival, where they will receive the President’s Award, and present their latest films. The festival will open with “Firebrand,” in which Vikander has the leading role of Katherine Parr. McGregor will present “You Sing Loud, I Sing Louder,” in which he stars alongside his daughter Clara McGregor.
McGregor’s role in Danny Boyle’s dark comedy “Shallow Grave” (1994) earned him an Empire Award for best British actor, and their next joint film, “Trainspotting” (1996), was an international sensation. McGregor and Boyle teamed up again for the 1997 romantic comedy “A Life Less Ordinary,” in which McGregor appeared alongside Cameron Diaz.
There followed two films from the world of music: “Little Voice” (1998) and “Velvet Goldmine” (1998). In 1999, McGregor portrayed Obi-Wan Kenobi in George Lucas’ “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace,” after which he shot the war drama “Black Hawk Down” (2001) with Ridley Scott and the musical “Moulin Rouge!” (2001) with Baz Luhrmann. “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” hit cinemas in 2002.
Over the years, McGregor’s talents have been sought out by a number of renowned directors, including Tim Burton (“Big Fish”), Michael Bay (“The Island”), Marc Forster (“Stay”), and Lucas, who again cast him as Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” (2005). In 2009, McGregor appeared in Ron Howard’s “Angels & Demons,” and the following year he excelled in Roman Polanski’s thriller “The Ghost Writer,” for which he won the European Film Award for Best Actor. The romantic film “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” (2011) earned him his second Golden Globe nomination.
In 2016, McGregor made his directorial debut with a film adaptation of Philip Roth’s “American Pastoral,” in which he played the main role.
The following year, he again teamed up with Boyle for “T2 Trainspotting,” which revisited the main protagonists of their cult film 20 years later. In 2019, he played the main role in the horror-thriller “Doctor Sleep” (2019).
In Emma Westenberg’s road movie “You Sing Loud, I Sing Louder” (2023), a father and daughter set out on a journey filled with unexpected encounters during which they find a way back to each other after a period of alienation.
Vikander’s debut film role, in Lisa Lansgeth’s “Pure” (2010), won her a place on the Shooting Star program for promising young actors at the Berlinale. She went on to star in “A Royal Affair,” which received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language film.
The following year, she appeared alongside Keira Knightley and Jude Law in Joe Wright’s adaptation of “Anna Karenina.” That same year Vikander was nominated by BAFTA for the Rising Star Award.
In 2015, Vikander appeared in Guy Ritchie’s “The Man from U.N.C.L.E” and Alex Garland’s sci-fi psychological thriller “Ex Machina.” Vikander earned Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for her performance. She also starred in Tom Hooper’s drama “The Danish Girl,” and won both a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
In 2016, she starred alongside Matt Damon and Tommy Lee Jones in the action thriller “Jason Bourne,” and later that year in the romantic drama “The Light Between Oceans.” Vikander starred in “Euphoria, with Eva Green, and directed by Lisa Lansgeth. Vikander produced the film through her production company Vikarious.
In 2018, Vikander took on the action hero Lara Croft in action feature “Tomb Raider.” In 2020, she starred opposite Julianne Moore in “The Glorias,” a biopic about feminist icon Gloria Steinem, and also “The Green Knight.” 2021 saw her star in “Blue Bayou.”
In 2021, Vikander starred in the television adaption of Olivier Assayas’ cult film “Irma Vep.”
Vikander’s latest project is “Firebrand,” which was in Cannes Official Competition and sees her take on the role of Katherine Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII, played by Jude Law.
The film is directed by Karim Aïnouz from a screenplay by Henrietta Ashworth and Jessica Ashworth, based on the novel “Queen’s Gambit” by Elizabeth Fremantle.
In blood-soaked Tudor England, Parr is named Regent while Henry is fighting overseas. She has done everything she can to push for a new future based on her radical Protestant beliefs. When an increasingly ailing and paranoid King returns, he turns his fury on the radicals, charging Katherine’s childhood friend with treason and burning her at the stake. Horrified and grieving, but forced to deny it, Katherine finds herself fighting for her own survival. Conspiracy reverberates through the palace. Everyone holds their breath – for the Queen to slip up, for Henry to take her head like wives before. With the hope for a future free of tyranny at risk, will Katherine submit to the inevitable for the sake of King and country?