Daisy DiamondOriginal Release: November 23, 2007 (Denmark)
Directed by: Simon Staho
Written by: Peter Asmussen, Simon Staho
Produced by: Sigrid Dyekjær
Running Time: 94 minutes
Anna (Noomi Rapace) dreams of making it as an actress. Without telling her wealthy family, she moves to Copenhagen to pursue her secret ambition. But fate has other things in store for her. She falls pregnant and has a baby girl. Although she struggles to give her daughter a good start in life, she ultimately fails to combine her dream of acting with a safe and loving environment for her child, culminating in a desperate act with fatal consequences for mother and daughter alike.
Cast & CharactersNoomi Rapace (Anna), Trine Dyrholm (Eva), Sofie Gråbøl (Sofie Gråbøl), Bent Mejding (Far), Beate Bille (Søster), Anne-Lise Gabold (Mor), Kirsten Olesen (Præst), Christian Tafdrup (Thomas Lund), Charlotte Munck (Ida), Michael Moritzen (Mikael), Dejan Cukic (Bettina), David Dencik (Jens), Thure Lindhardt (Actor)
Production NotesCo-written by director Simon Staho and Peter Asmussen, "Daisy Diamond" is about a young woman struggling to find her own identity. She tries - both as a mother and as an actress - to find out who she is and what her role in life is. For Staho, it's a film about identity. "What prompted me to make the film was the question: Is a human being sacred because it has a unique core - or is it something fit to be used and thrown away at will, because really it is nothing but an empty shell? Which again poses the question: Is there anything we really believe in - or is everything for sale for the right price? Anna’s odyssey through the story is about finding your way home. About finding yourself and the ability to love - and as a mother to find love for your child. This makes it a love story about a person finding the ability to love." Staho, who's been called a great actors' director - and whose 2004 film "Day and Night" won a Silver Hugo for its ensemble cast at the Chicago International Film Festival - has again put together a stellar cast, including Sofie Gråbøl, Trine Dyrholm, Beate Bille, Charlotte Munck and Stine Stengade, among others. But the focus relies on Anna, a role which requires an actress baring his soul and body. Despite the merciless cruelty of the audition process and of being an actress in general, "Daisy Diamond" required a share of nude and humiliating scenes for its central character.
At the time of its casting, Noomi had been mostly done theatre work, including recent appearances in Lars Norén's "Krig" and Sarah Kane's "Bombad" (Blasted) at the Theatre Galeasan. But her feature film work was limited to a handful of supporting roles and romantic comedies. Rapace remembers, "when the director sent me the script, my son was 2, and I was like, 'This is impossible. I can never understand this, a monster who kills her baby. But when I don’t understand things, I become passionate to understand," she says. She agreed to do the part and researched it by talking to a woman who had harmed her baby, as well as to a psychiatrist who worked with such women. When the film was shot, in Copenhagen, "my whole soul was really dark. It was a tough, tough summer. My son and my husband came to visit on weekends, but I was very isolated in this weird reality." Once Rapace has taken on a role, her impulse is to part with the everyday world, which is to say her everyday consciousness, in favor of the character’s. "When I was younger, I went really deep, as deep as I could, leaving the world behind and stepping into another universe," she says. "But when I had my son, I had to find a way to be aware of what’s what."
"Daisy Diamond" had its world-premiere at the 2007 San Sebastian Film Festival to critical acclaim and had a successful run at international film festivals, including in Montreal, Istanbul and Copenhagen. For her mesmerizing performance as Anna, Noomi Rapace won both the Danish Bodil Award and the Robert Award as Best Actress. "Daisy Diamond" further received six more nominations for the latter award, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Editor, Best Make-Up, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Trine Dyrholm. As expected for a film of this nature, it wasn't widely distributed outside of Denmark. But it provided Noomi Rapace with a "business card" that would help her to score the breakthrough role as Lisbeth Salander two years later.