The New York Times Magazine features an in-depth look at actress Noomi Rapace, whose new Hollywood movies—including Brian de Palma’s Passion and Ridley Scott’s Prometheus (a film that “shares its DNA with Scott’s Alien,” although it specifically not supposed to be a prequel or a sequel) are destined for considerable box office and critical attention. We learn many new facts about Rapace’s life before she caught a powerful slice of world film attention as Lisbeth Salander in the Scandinavian version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its sequels (for example, she played Blanche in a Swedish language production of Streetcar when she was in school, and a Spanish surnamed gang girl in a Swedish soap opera). But most of all, we learn what the actress — who in many Stieg Larsson fans’ minds will always be the definitive image of Lisbeth — has been up to for the last few years. According to the article, we should get ready to share her with the rest of the world, since Prometheus is likely to make her a global sensation. As to what’s next for Rapace, the magazine quotes her manager, Shelley Browning: “She laments the same thing that all female actresses lament, that there are rarely great roles for women.” The article goes on to note:
“Rapace is at low risk for being typecast, because she conforms to no recognizable type. Her face is arresting, with large, alert eyes and cheekbones that seem poised to burst, “Alien”-style, out from beneath her pale skin. She won’t show up in a romantic comedy any time soon, Browning says — “I just don’t know that she responds to those kinds of characters” — but she is not ruling anything out. After I spoke with her in Berlin, Rapace was reunited with Oplev, the director of the first “Millennium” movie, to shoot a thriller in Philadelphia co-starring Colin Farrell, in which she portrays a woman who was disfigured in an accident. She also plans to play opposite her ex-husband in a biopic directed by Catherine Hardwicke, about the romance between the boxer Bo Hogberg and the singer Anita Lindblom.
“I’m terrified of being too famous,” she says. “What I’m really afraid of is that the audiences will go into the theater and not be able to forget that it’s me, that fame will stand in the way of my acting. I want to keep being able to change into different shapes and different personalities.” She says she never wants to play the sexy sidekick and that she still wants to compete with the guys — Leonardo DiCaprio, Josh Brolin, Christian Bale and Michael Fassbender, her “Prometheus” co-star, are among the actors she admires. “They’re not working out of vanity,” she says. “They’re not trying to look hot all the time.”
The full article is available here.
Interestingly, using the New York Times “most recommended for you” feature, our interest in Noomi Rapace leads us to a recent editorial called, “The Campaign Against Women.” The editorial observes: “Republicans are not backing off their assault on women’s equality and well-being. New laws in some states could mean a death sentence for a pregnant woman who suffers a life-threatening condition. But the attack goes well beyond abortion, into birth control, access to health care, equal pay and domestic violence.”
Stieg Larsson would find nothing surprising in the editorial. Indeed, that’s one of the main reasons he wrote his novels and created the Lisbeth character: to dramatize the war on women that is sometimes insidiously and sometimes overtly being waged throughout the world, even in the most gender equality conscious western democracies like Sweden and the United States.