Film: I trained in martial arts 5 times a week
Mar 19 2010 By Graham Young
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
THE Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is making waves in cinemas.
Although it only opened on 114 screens nationwide, it had the fourth highest average gross per screen in the UK last week behind Alice In Wonderland (533 screens) Shutter Island (416) and Green Zone (419).
After opening at Cineworld Broad Street in Birmingham last week, it is expanding into Dudley Showcase from today.
The film is a thriller steeped in intrigue and mystery, and conspiracy theories also surround the death of Swedish journalist Stieg Larsson.
He died in 2004 leaving three unpublished novels, which became the best-selling Millennium Trilogy.
Noomi Rapace stars in the film adaptation of the first book as Lisbeth Salander, a punky loner with a criminal past and a brilliant mind, who makes a living hacking computers.
Directed by Niels Arden Oplev and co-starring Michael Nyqvist as investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist, the action-packed drama sees a twist of fate bring Mikael and Lisbeth together in this dark and shady tale.
Noomi was initially deemed unsuitable for the role, so here she reveals what made her so determined to play The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and what she went through to become her.
Were you a fan of Stieg Larsson’s books?
“Yes, I actually read the books before I even knew they were going to do a film, and I liked it very much, especially Lisbeth. I felt some kind of connection with her from the very beginning. I like that she’s such a survivor. She’s a fighting spirit, she never feels sorry for herself, she always finds a way to act, instead of just being stuck in the middle of emotions. She’s trying to create the life she wants to live and I like that very much.
“Nobody recognises me because I don’t look like her, but I think what I have in common with her is I’ve been on my own in life. I moved from my parents when I was 15 and I always knew that it’s up to me to create the life that I want to live and to follow my dreams.”
Is it true you were turned down for the part at first?
“I think Niels saw a picture of me and he thought I was too feminine or too cute. But he wanted to meet me anyway and then he changed his mind, because I think he felt that I knew something about Lisbeth, like I had some some kind of energy that he felt, that was the same as Lisbeth’s.”
What did you do to become her?
“It was pretty hard sometimes. I was preparing for seven months before the shooting. I wanted to transform. I wanted to be more like a boy. I wanted to be a bit more skinny, a bit more masculine, I wanted to get rid of my female body.
“I was training martial arts like Taekwondo for four or five days a week with a crazy Serbian guy. I was on a certain diet because I wanted to lose some weight and I took my motorcycle driving licence and I cut my hair and pierced myself, so it was a lot of preparation.
“The tattoo was like a kid’s tattoo that we put on everyday with water. But it was extremely important that the tattoo said something about Lisbeth’s past. We were working a couple of months to find the right expression and energy in the tattoo.”
Did you feel pressure because of the books’ popularity?
“I had to ignore the pressure and everybody’s expectations because it was crazy. It felt like some kind of suicide mission to go into this, to be the one who’s going to give life to Lisbeth. So when the film was released I expected everyone to hate me and I didn’t think I could walk on the streets.
“It was extremely important for me to humanise her because in the book she’s a bit cartoonish, she can be a bit unreal sometimes, she can do things that aren’t really credible, so I wanted every scene to be real Lisbeth.”
Would you now like to make English speaking films?
“Yeah, absolutely. I’m actually reading an English script now.”