Interview with Noomi Rapace
How did you score this highly coveted role of Lisbeth in the Millennium trilogy?
I read in the paper that they were going to do The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and I was so angry and sad and upset, because I was so sure that they wouldn’t think of me or call me. I didn’t expect them to be able to imagine that I could conform into her. I have done films and TV stuff, but things that were much more feminine or girly and, you know, cute. But I knew that I had her inside me. I was actually very surprised when they called me and wanted me to come in to meet the director.
Did you make yourself all badass for the audition?
I borrowed clothes from my husband. I said to him, if you want me to play her, to do my own fighting scenes, I would like to pierce myself for real. You know, cut my hair and really transform into her.
But no giant tattoo?
What makes Lisbeth the unique character she is?
The element that kicks almost everybody in the heart about Lisbeth is she’s such a survivor; she’s such a fighter. She has gone through so many terrible, horrible things, but she always finds a way to collect herself. She doesn’t accept that people piss on her or treat her bad.
Ever disturbing to come home from work and go back to being a mum?
Yeah, my son asked me once, “Mommy, why do you look like a teenage boy?” I’m always doing characters that are complicated and difficult. Sometimes it feels weird to come home and cook food and to put him to bed. I was very angry and I was very tense; I think I was very aggressive because my husband said to me sometimes, “Noomi, please take it easy.” I would say, “What, what the fuck do you mean? What, what are you, why are you attacking me?”
What’s the first thing you did when you were done with the last movie? Did you put on a pink dress and go smile for a week?
No! It was so funny. I think I was working for one and half years for the preparation and filming, and when we were done, the producers and everybody [had] champagne, and you know they wanted to celebrate. And I was throwing up, I was lying in the bathroom – I couldn’t stand on my feet. My body was throwing Lisbeth out of me. So, it was very physical.
Did you petition to play Lisbeth in the American versions?
No, I think I’ve been clear on this point from the beginning that I don’t want to do her again. I’m finished, I did everything that I could and I’ve moved on. It’s up to somebody else to step in her shoes.
Are there any perks to being the most famous woman in Sweden?
It’s good because people all over the world send me scripts and I can meet people. It can help me work more outside Sweden, so the whole circus is good in one way. But to be a known person everywhere, it’s like you don’t have any privacy.
Is Lisbeth a hero?
Yeah, I think so. Everybody has some moment in their life, people that are treating them bad and I think that everybody [has] wanted to kick back. But we’re not allowed to be angry because that’s rude or that’s psycho. You’re supposed to be calm and charming and nice and beautiful and sexy and all that. I think it’s such a relief when somebody breaks all the rules and says “Fuck you” and “Do it my way.”
Would you hang out with Lisbeth if she were real?
I don’t think she would hang out with anybody, but I think she would be one of the best friends you could ever imagine. She’s loyal and she would really die for you if she lets you into her heart. I would hope that she would accept me as a friend.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest screens from Thu 3 Mar
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