Noomi Rapace rose to international fame in her memorable role as Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo film tragedy. Since then she has carved a name for herself in the action and sci-fi genres, having taken on the role of Elizabeth Shaw in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and, most recently, seven lead roles in Netflix’s What Happened to Monday. Now she is taking on the role of a CIA agent in her next action film Unlocked.
Screen Rant got a chance to chat with Noomi Rapace on press day, where we discussed her reactions to the Unlocked script, how much training she did for the stunts, and how she accidentally broke her nose.
I don’t know who to trust. This movie made me question everything because there are so many twists and turns. So I was wondering when you got the script and were flipping through the pages, what was your first general reaction?
Noomi Rapace: I love to be surprised and when I came to the end, I was like: “Oh my God. I didn’t see that coming.” And then I was like, I want to do this because I’ve seen a lot of spy movies. I’ve seen the CIA agent that fights the bad people, but this was a fresh take on it and the enemy can be the one that you least expect it to be, which I really liked.
I like that aspect too because I did not see that coming. This is like the female Jason Bourne and I love it.
Noomi Rapace: My son said that last night. He saw it with me and he was like: “It’s like a female Jason Bourne.” And I was like, “Yeah.”
It’s so cool, but how much training did you have to do for the stunt choreography because it’s intense.
Noomi Rapace: Yeah. Oh God. [laughs] Normally, you have a fight scene almost every second week. It was something almost every day. At the end of the first week I could not walk. I had ice packs everywhere. I was so bruised. I ripped a muscle in my tummy. It was a very intense shoot, but I did a lot of training with the stunt team. I always have been doing martial arts since I was quite young and I love it, so that’s something that’s a part of my everyday life and then, when I prep for a movie like this, you kind of go into a razor focus. I don’t have a life. I only do that.
Well I heard, and I don’t know if this is true or not, but did you break your nose and not know that you broke your nose on this film?
Noomi Rapace: Yeah. My nose got fractured. I got elbowed and it was like...[makes cracking noise] and I blacked out. I went down and I stood up and we kept going. And then I came out and my nose was jammed. I have a big bump here. And I remember we iced it and with makeup we tried to cover it up and when I got back to London after we finished the film, I went in to check it and it was like: “Your nose is broken. It’s fractured. You should have gotten it checked two months ago.”
I have a question about Alice. She seemingly towards the end without spoilers, because I don’t want to give anything away, she seemingly solves most of the problems, but there’s still some lingering things towards the end of the film while she’s talking to John Malkovich’s character. Do you think that leaves that open ended for a sequel with bioterrorism?
Noomi Rapace: Yeah. I think she’s a character, she’s on a journey and I love that with her. In the beginning she’s almost in a mode where she is shut down and protecting herself and she thinks she really messed up and then she realizes that is not the case. So she is coming back to life through this journey even though it’s violent and very intense. So she’s like, in the end, she’s kind of newborn. She’s breathing again and she’s ready for the next chapter, which could be. [laughs]
Well this movie has a great balance of story and action and there’s obviously a plethora of amazing actors in this like Michael Douglas and John Malkovich. Is there anything that you learned from them on set that you may have taken with you to future projects? I know you have Bright coming up, so something like that.
Noomi Rapace: Yeah. Well, Michael Douglas was just, it was for me it was such an amazing experience to meet him and work with him because he’s so humble. He’s so funny. He’s so supporting. He came to me on his last day and he hugged me and he said: “Kiddo, you got it in your hand. You got it all.” And he just hugged me and, normally, I’m quite tough but I was all teary. He was so generous and so caring and he’s been working for so long, and is still just so curious and so open. That was for me something that I kept in my heart. That was amazing to discover.