Here is what Vikander told me when I interviewed her for The Hollywood Reporter:
It was wonderful to have Gerda’s art, her personality came through. She was successful in her own time, experiencing that struggle any artist undergoes trying to find their own voice and be true to it. Other people will start to appreciate the work once you find your own voice. Gerda started to become very successful when she found her muse in Lily [Eddie Redmayne’s transgender artist]. It’s pivotal in the beginning with Gerda starting to paint Lily — both of them go on the journey of allowing Lily to step forward and see her true self. Gerda goes on a journey, too. With transgender people, and the loved ones or friends of transgender, you realize that every single story is different. People forget that the wife was on a transition as big as her partner. They were a couple going thru a big change together. I was privileged that my emotions, that are my tools, were employed to portray such an extraordinary woman, the pain and tough road that she also travelled. Gerda always knew that the most important thing was that the person she loved became what she wanted. That sort of unconditional love is inspiring.