Here comes a great article by Vice‘s Early Works section, in which Noomi Rapace recalls her upbringing and first acting job in Sweden and her transition from an unknown theatre actress to Salander superstar. The complete article can be read here.
We lived in Iceland when I was a child, and my stepdad is Icelandic. My mother was a drama teacher and acted in smaller theater groups—very alternative. I was brought to an Icelandic viking film set when I was seven, because there were children in the film. I ended up being in the film for three weeks, and I loved it. It was a very brutal, bloody, muddy, intense, crazy film. The director was very loud and quite demanding. There was one specific night where we’d been shooting for 15 hours; the lead actress was tired, and people wanted to take a break. I was doing the same thing over and over, and all of a sudden the director had this big outburst. He was screaming, “What is wrong with you guys? Look at this girl! How old are you?” I said, “Seven,” and he said, “She’s seven years old, and she’s not complaining! This is a real actress!” I was like, “Wow!” I kept that in my heart.