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Noomi Rapace talks about tattoos, piercings and Millennium...
As Lisbeth Salander in the Millennium trilogy; below with Michael Nyqvist
28 Dec 1979
Hudiksvall, Gävleborgs län, Sweden
|B Y R I C H C L I N E
The late Stieg Larsson's bestselling Millennium trilogy has been turned into a series of hit movies in Sweden, and now David Fincher is adapting them for subtitle-phobic English-speakers. But as Rooney Mara takes over the iconic role of Lisbeth Salander in the remakes, she'll struggle to overcome impressions of the indelible performances of Noomi Rapace in the three Swedish thrillers The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest.
Like Mara before her, Rapace won the role after an extensive casting search. And it was her leading role in the feature Daisy Diamond that caught the producers' eyes — another a brave role that required both physicality and mental strength.
Rapace, who never went to drama school, radically changed her appearance for the role, cutting her hair, building up muscles and piercing her eyebrow, lip, ears and nose. She even got her motorbike licence. The only thing that wasn't real was the tattoo...
What was it about the script that caught your attention?
When you read the books, did you imagine that you'd be Lisbeth?
Never. It was totally the opposite. I read in the paper that they were going to do a film of the first book and I was so upset because I was sure that they wouldn't even think of me. I was convinced they would consider me too girly or too cute. Even when they phoned to ask me to audition, I prepared myself for rejection. And I was almost right because the director of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Niels Arden Oplev, now admits that he had seen some pictures of me before we met and he had said no.
Did you change anything about your appearance for the audition?
Were those real piercings?
Lisbeth is a very strong character.
People think of Sweden as being very tolerant and laidback. Is this film more accurate?
Everybody says that. This picture of Sweden surprises them. Sweden is a fair country in many ways; it's equal, free and calm. But it's often just surface. People are determined to keep up this nice attitude, even though everything might chaotic at home or you might have had a big argument with your boyfriend. Everybody stays in line but eventually someone will always burst out.
What's next for you?
And you're a mother in real life.
What would be your dream role?
THANKS TO TO HOLLY AT THINKJAM • AUG.10
© 2010 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
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