Best known as Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish sensation “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, Noomi Rapace has now crossed the Oceans to tackle Hollywood. The acclaimed actress makes her Blockbuster debut in “Sherlock Holmes : A Game of Shadows” and next, appears opposite Michael Fassbender and Patrick Wilson in Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus”. Alicia Malone waxed lyrical with the lovely Ms Rapace at the “Sherlock Holmes : A Game of Shadows” junket.
As the newcomer to this franchise, I was just wondering what it was like getting adjusted to Guy [Ritchie]’s style of directing. Was it easy for you?
You know from most I’ve done before, I’ve done a lot of preparation and I’ve known about them long before and I prepped and I’ve changed my body and I’ve done research, you know you can imagine before. But on this one, I met Robert and Susan like maybe six weeks, seven weeks before we started to shoot. It was a good quick meeting in LA. We didn’t really talk about Sherlock Holmes but we talked about movies and dreams. I remember Robert asking me, “How do you want to work? What movies do you want to make?” It was really super intense. I walked out of that meeting and called my manager, I was like, “Wow, those two are amazing. I would love to work with them.” Then Warner Brothers wanted to send me over to London to meet Guy Richie. I was there for an hour and we talked. It was really also very intense and I came out of that meeting and was like, “Whoa, I would love to work with these people.” But I didn’t expect anything. I think like a week later, or two weeks later, they wanted me to do this role and then we started to shoot like three weeks later. So I just kind of jumped into it. It was super intense and so much fun. I was really nervous before. It was my first English-speaking movie and I talk English, I didn’t speak English like three years ago. I didn’t really know how to deal with it and how it would be for me.
But Guy was great?
Everyone was very open and it was very playful and easy and creative. So it felt like you embraced my ideas. It felt like we kind of created this character together, in a way. I was surprised the way they kind of just opened their family for me and I became one of their boys pretty much.
The way Guy works, I don’t remember a single situation when I came on set and Guy said, “Okay, this is what I you to do exactly. “ He always asks me how do you want to do this, Noomi? How do you see this and what do think Sim would have done?” That’s pretty much the way I loved to work in a very searching, creative, open way. So you always need to use you know what kind of shape are we today and what do we feel, you know what’s the energy today and we use the energy today and go from there in a way. It was fantastic.
It’s a great start to your Hollywood career. You’re also in Ridley Scott’s ”Prometheus”. How has your experience been in Hollywood movies? Is it a dream come true?
Well, I think I’m really spoiled now. You know this was the first American or English-speaking movie I did. I don’t know. I didn’t know what to expect before but the way those people work, and the way we work together, was just amazing and the journey we went on together felt like we actually—you said that we were in London all the time, I kind of forgot that because it felt like we were in a different place but it felt we went through things together. It felt like you and me and Jude came closer and closer in this group. It was really fantastic. I remember I never felt like—I’ve heard that you’re waiting around and you sit in your trailer and you wait, then you go in and do something and then you go back to your trailer and wait. I don’t remember I was waiting at all. I was extremely happy.
I went amazingly enough straight into Ridley’s. I started to prep Prometheus straight after. I was in that movie for 5-6 months. It was a really intense year. Now I’m here and I’m really grateful for you, for those people that they believed in me and gave me the chance and invited me to this journey. So I’m extremely grateful and proud.
Could you tell us what was the most difficult scene that you had to do either emotionally or physically?
I like doing fight scenes and those more physical scenes. I always enjoy that I tried to do as much as they allow me to do of the stunt stuff and the more complicated things. I think that’s always quite easy. You just have to kind of crack on and do it and of course, you’re bruised and your body is aching and you hurt yourself a lot sometimes but that’s kind of a part of it. I’ve done fight scenes and stuff like that before and I always find it quite amusing.
The emotional scenes, in the end, when I lose a person that I really love and that I feel kind of guilty for letting down, that was quite complicated because it’s like you need to really get into that situation and it was like a lot of people around me. It was a room full of people and everybody was kind of watching and you feel like, in a way, just want to hide and do it really private but of course you need to do what’s real in the situation. I think it’s always the emotional situations that are more tricky to nail and to get into because I don’t want to pretend. Weird enough, I don’t like to pretend. I try to use things in me and translate them into the situation in the character. It always needs to run through my own veins in away so it was emotional scenes that was kind of more, difficult to find into because I’m really self critical as well so I don’t want to pretend.