New article courtesy the New York Times Magazine: In 2007, Noomi Rapace read for the part of Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish film version of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” as a long-shot contender. Though she was a smart and seasoned actress who had worked in film as well as onstage, she was known mainly to Stockholm theatergoers. Her name barely surfaced in the lively public debate in Sweden over who should play Lisbeth, one of the most sought after film roles for a Swedish actress in recent memory.
Moreover, the film’s director, Niels Arden Oplev, feared that Rapace was too attractive to portray the androgynous Lisbeth. After working through a scene with her, though, he changed his mind. “When she’s Lisbeth and you put a camera on her, and she’s just sitting there looking at you, you think, Oh, my God, what is she going to do?” he says. “There’s an unpredictable, dark, dangerous energy that flows from her.” At first, Rapace balked at the prospect of a news conference, because it would be in English, a language she wasn’t yet comfortable speaking. In a clip posted on YouTube of a May 2009 interview, she insisted (in quite passable English) that she belonged in European films. “I don’t have this crazy dream about going to Hollywood,” she says in the video, “because I really love to watch movies and do movies that are complicated, and I want more strange things and complicated things.” The complete article can be read here.