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10:37 GMT, 11 May 2012
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Actress Noomi Rapace says she's 'not here to be sexy'
Noomi Rapace is shouting. ‘I’m not here to be sexy! More sweat, more dirt!’
We’re alone in a Soho hotel room and I found out later there was some concern as to what on Earth we were getting up to.
Noomi is an actress — a bloody good one, too — and she was telling me about her experience working with Ridley Scott on the eagerly awaited science-fiction drama Prometheus, which has its world premiere in London on May 31, the night before it goes on general release.
In the film Noomi plays Dr Elizabeth Shaw, an archaeologist on a quest to discover the origins of life. I’ve seen some footage and the picture does look awesome.
‘Elizabeth has this battle going on inside her between religion and science, and that’s so much like Ridley,’ she said, adding that she and her director had an enjoyably intense professional relationship during filming. ‘He doesn’t see it from a man’s perspective, and at times we were like kindred spirits, sharing the body of the character.’
Her passion for acting is exciting. It showed in the original Swedish versions of the Millennium Trilogy, where she played anti-heroine Lisbeth Salander — the girl with the dragon tattoo.
And it shows in Prometheus, too. ‘I’m running around half naked in a couple of scenes and I never thought about it. Ridley didn’t want me dressed that way for kicks. It’s not sexy — just very basic — and it serves the scene.
‘I saw Sigourney (Weaver) did a similar underwear shot in Alien. All Elizabeth Shaw wants is to discover how life started, and the film explores how she transforms and becomes more of a fighter, survivor and a trooper.’
Ridley would push her and other cast members. ‘He doesn’t want us to hold back. Sometimes, I was so bruised, and my body was in so much pain, but the character wouldn’t give up, and neither would I.’
And then we’re back to ‘sexy’. ‘I’m not here to be beautiful,’ she told me. ‘I’m not here to be sexy.
‘Sometimes you can do a sexy part, or play a woman who’s supposed to be beautiful, and then we can do beauty. That’s for another movie.
‘But for this movie it was sweat. More sweat, then more dirt. More blood.
'The make-up artist said that it was quite unusual for actors to ask for more fake blood and sweat, but I loved it.’
She feels there’s a connection between Lisbeth and Elizabeth.
‘They’re both fighters and they don’t feel sorry for themselves. And they will fight to the bitter end and not give up. That can become sexy, but not in the typical boring way.’
Believe me, there’s nothing typical or boring about Noomi Rapace.
Much cheering and excitement at Hampstead Theatre over Mike Bartlett’s stage version of Oscar-winning picture Chariots Of Fire.
Director Edward Hall and his designer Miriam Buether have their athletic actors sprinting on track on stage and around the stalls.
The producers are hoping to set up a racetrack in the Gielgud Theatre’s auditorium when the play transfers there from Hampstead from June 22.