Actress Alicia Vikander on rise to stardom

It's been an enchanted year for Golden Globe-nominated actress Alicia Vikander.

At 27, the Swedish actress has become an international cover girl, the new face of Louis Vuitton and starred in six films that have hit the screens in the U.S.

But behind her sudden success is years of hard work that is finally paying off. In a matter of months, Alicia Vikander has gone from obscurity to the "it" girl - an ascent that's taken even her by surprise.

8 films poise actress Alicia Vikander for stardom

"It's insane. I don't think I've got my head around it. I did have a bit of a freak out though when I heard it," Vikander said about her recent double Golden Globe nominations.

She has a best supporting actress nomination for her role as the robot in the artificial intelligence thriller, "Ex Machina," and a best actress nomination for playing Gerda Wegener in "The Danish Girl," based on a true story of one of the first sex change operations.

But growing up in Gothenburg, Sweden, Vikander at first seemed set on a different path, especially having been rejected from drama school, twice.

"I grew up in a country where there's a very small industry. My mom is a stage actress so I know how tough it is, and I never thought you could work abroad," Vikander said.

At age 15, she went off to the Royal Swedish Ballet School in Stockholm. But the demanding schedule made her doubt her commitment.

"I loved to be on stage, but sometimes I questioned, 'I don't want - I can't do this.' And you need to want it so bad that you don't even question any of it," Vikander said. She left ballet school after she won a part in a Swedish TV drama.

"And then I suddenly felt the passion that I had been almost jealous of, that some of the other girls had. And suddenly with theater, I could stay up and read a script from 2 a.m., not sleep, and then go to work, and then do it again," Vikander said. ""I'm able to call what I find my passion, my job."

In "The Danish Girl," Vikander plays Gerda, the wife of Danish artist Einar Wegener, played by Eddie Redmayne. Her character wrestles with loving her husband at the same time she is losing him, as he transitions to become Lili Elbe.

"It's a very tough journey that she goes on," Vikander said. "Lili can't choose to be herself. That's just who she is. Gerda can make the choice to stand by and support her." For Vikander, each role she plays is its own journey. "The most important thing is to always make the truth. That even - why would somebody act like that? You need to find why," Vikander said.

Vikander recently landed her biggest role yet in the fifth installment of the Bourne franchise with Matt Damon.

" I have seen (the Bourne movies), so it feels a bit surreal, stepping on set. And someone says, 'Jesus Christ, its Jason Bourne!' "And I was like, 'Whoo!'" she said, laughing.

Vikander says the most thrilling part of her job is the special feeling she gets on set.

"If you come on set and you feel that you believe in this film and it's something you care about a lot, and when everyone believes in it ... that kind of teamwork is something that I love - that communal creation that you do with other people," Vikander said.

In addition to the Bourne sequel, Vikander will star in another four films set for release in 2016, which is why a cover story in the January issue of Vogue Magazine calls it "the year of Alicia Vikander."