LOS ANGELES—While the producers of the English-language version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo were out looking for an American to play the role created by Swedish actor Noomi Rapace in that hit film, Rapace was looking for work in American movies. She found it rather quickly. On December 16, she will make her English-language movie debut in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. And in June of next year, she will star alongside Charlize Theron in Ridley Scott’s sci-fi film Prometheus.
In an L.A. hotel room, Rapace says that she came into Sherlock Holmes concerned that she wouldn’t be as adept at English as her role required but that Ritchie and the film’s lead, Robert Downey Jr., made her feel welcome.
“I didn’t start talking English until three years ago, so I didn’t know how it would be for me. But the way Guy works, everything was open and playful and easy and creative. It felt like he embraced my ideas and that we created it [the character] together. I was surprised at the way he and Robert brought me into the family [for the sequel], but I can’t remember any situation where Guy said, ‘This is what I want you to do.’ He always asked me, ‘How would you like to do this? How do you see this? How do you think this would work?’ And that is very much the way I like to work. You are always looking at that day and what the energy is that day and what kind of shape you are in on that day. So it was fantastic.”
Ritchie says Rapace was his, Downey Jr., and producer Susan Downey’s first choice. “I think we saw The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo at the same time and there was an unconscious collective agreement by the time we got on the phone about Noomi. After a short meeting with her, our desires were confirmed and she ticked all the boxes.”
Although it would seem like revenge of sorts that she has been embraced by Hollywood after having her role in Dragon Tattoo recast, she says that she’s just excited to be taking her career to another level. And she says that although she had low expectations about making American movies, thus far things have been pretty good.
“I am spoiled now. This was my first American movie, and I didn’t know what to expect. I had heard about Hollywood movies, that you are waiting around and in your trailer and then you do something and go back to your trailer and wait. I don’t think I was waiting at all, so I was extremely happy. Then, amazingly enough, I started to prep Prometheus right after that. I was in that movie for five or six months, so it was a very intense year. But I am grateful to the people who invited me on this journey. I am extremely grateful and proud.”
Watch the trailer for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.