Sylvia Hoeks is a Powerhouse Headed To the Top

Sylvia Hoeks is a Powerhouse Headed To the Top

The Dutch model and actress finds her dark roots in Steig Larsson's tangled web.

The Dutch model and actress finds her dark roots in Steig Larsson's tangled web.

Photography: Sharif Hamza

Styling: Lorenzo Posocco

Text: Maxwell Williams

Sylvia Hoeks has been certifiably famous in the Netherlands for years, but after pivoting from a fruitful modeling career to an indie acting track, she had to start from square one: “I was ready for new challenges, and to me, it was very normal that I had to start at the bottom. You have to work your way up—that’s how I was brought up, and what I believe in: working hard.” She soon found success in out- of-the-box roles, earning a Golden Calf, the Dutch equivalent of an Oscar, for her breakthrough performance as a cashier in Duska, followed by starring TV roles in shows like Overspel (“Adultery”). And since appearing in 2017’s Bladerunner 2049, Hoeks has been on the path to the American mainstream.

While she insists she’s not after global domination (“I didn’t ‘leave’ Dutch cinema,” she explains), Hoeks may have found, far from the green pastures of Holland, a creative niche in high-budget dystopia. In The Girl in the Spider’s Web, the next installment of the insanely popular Millennium series, Hoeks takes on the role of Camilla, the villainous but complex sister of Claire Foy’s Lisbeth Salander. “I love playing villains or bad guys or bad girls,” says Hoeks, who grew up idolizing noir icon Johnny Depp. “I don’t love to generalize, because I think every person has bad and good in them. I don’t see [my characters] as villains. It’s all about making choices in life, and which path you follow and what you’ve been through. I try to show the humanity in those characters. And I love that a villain doesn’t necessarily have to have the morals, so you have a broad spectrum to work with. I think that’s a big freedom.”

Her next role is opposite Jason Momoa in the TV series See, produced by Apple and set in another futuristic, complex realm—this one beset by mass blindness. “We’re doing blindness training,” she says. “Learning how to be, in a sense, a person that has never seen before. Her normal way in her life is through different senses—hearing and smelling and feeling.” With challenging roles like these, it’s easy to see a future in which everyone knows Hoeks’s name.

SLYVIA WEARS DRESS VALENTINO, SLIP COCO DE MER, BOOTS STUART WEITZMAN, EARRINGS HER OWN

Credits: MAKEUP HOMA SAFAR, HAIR ANNA LYLES (ATELIER MANAGEMENT), MANICURE MERRICK FISHER (OPUS BEAUTY) USING CHANEL LE VERNIS, PRODUCTION KRISTEN TERRY, ANTHONY CABERO (ROSCO PRODUCTION), DIGITAL TECHNICIAN GARY HAMNER, PHOTO ASSISTANT CORY HACKBARTH, STYLIST ASSISTANT ABI ARCINAS

UP NEXT

Lil' Miquela Premieres Documentary Short