Noomi For TWELV Magazine

Noomi’s photoshoot and Interview for New York’s TWELV Magazine Issue 3 


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Photography CHAMA and CHEK WU


Hair BEN SKERVIN @Magnet.

Makeup CHARLOTTE DAY @See Management.












In the annotated version, this is the perfect backdrop

to interview cinema’s latest It-Girl, the half-Swedish,

half-Spanish Noomi Rapace. The actress has taken

up residence just blocks away as she films Animal

Rescue, a Brooklyn-based flick also featuring Tom

Hardy in the main role, as well as Belgian-born actor

Matthias Schoenaerts, who is waiting at the bar

just upstairs. Rapace waxes philosophically on her

neighborhood of the moment, her next city, and how

she has arrived here.


So tell me a bit about where you’re living these days.


I’ve been staying just near here on N. 10th Street for about five

weeks now. I’ve been here since we started filming Animal Rescue.

After here, I’m off to London and Stockholm, then to Prague for a

few months to start filming my next movie at the beginning of June,

Child 44. Ridley Scott is producing it. Daniel Espinosa is directing

and Tom Hardy is also starring in this one. So is Gary Oldman, who I

have been hoping, wanting, dreaming of working with at some point,

so I’m extremely happy for that. It’s a really good script, so it’s going

to be awesome if we make it right. It’s based on the book, Child 44,

by the author Tom Rob Smith about the Stalin-era Soviet Union.


Let’s backtrack a bit. Tell me about Animal Rescue. Is it based here in Williamsburg?


Well, yes—but in Brooklyn. It’s a Dennis Lehane story, based on a

short novel. It’s one of the best scripts I’ve read. We have a Belgian

director, Michael Roskam. Did you ever see Bullhead? He directed

it. You should see it; it’s a fantastic movie! It was one of those movies

that stayed in me when I saw it—maybe two years ago? From

that point on, I wanted to work with him, so when this project came

along and I heard that he was doing it and that Tom was doing it, because

I know Tom and I’ve been trying to do something [together]

for many years, it felt like the perfect project to do. I’ve been here for

five, nearly six weeks now. We’re about halfway through. The main

character is Bob, played by Tom Hardy. He has his routine; he has

the same schedule every day. He did something 10 years ago that

changed his life. And now he’s trapped in an emotional limbo reality.

He walks home one night at 2 in the morning. He passes a trashcan

and he hears a sound that is a puppy that looks like shit. Someone

had beaten up the puppy and it’s full of blood and shit and stuff. He

picks it up and then he hears a voice asking, “hey, what are you doing

in my trash?”—that’s me. He finds a puppy in my trash. We start to

get to know each other over this wounded dog. My character, Nada,

is a broken soul. My director described her as “an angel with broken



And your movie that’s out now, Dead Man Down?


I did Dead Man Down last summer in Philadelphia and New York.

It’s me and Colin Farrell. We connected instantly. I play this French

girl named Beatrice in the movie who is a very complicated young

woman. She was hit by a car maybe a year before we meet her. She

looks at herself in the mirror one day and she was like “fuck, I’d

rather be dead than look like this.” Her face had actually improved a

lot—but to her, she just looks like a freak. She wants revenge against

the person who hit her with his car—if he’s still alive. Her life stopped

and he turned into an obsession. She wants him dead. She wants him

killed. They go out on a date—and then she kind of forces him and

blackmails him. She becomes complicated. It kind of reminded me

of True Romance—really strong characters.


So Beatrice is externally disfigured. How does this compare to your role in

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, where the character is facing more inner

turmoil? Do you feel this is indicative of the differences between European

and American cinema?


For me, I have to do the same work and put myself into it, regardless

of whether it’s a big studio movie or Euro indie movie. I have to

find a way to bring soul and life into the character. If I decide to take

on and step into a character, I just have to go back and self-identify.

Doesn’t matter how disturbed or crazy they’ve been—there’s always

been a piece of me. I don’t like to pretend or fake things—I have to

run my characters through my blood stream.

Even your first movie role as an extra in an Icelandic Viking flick? Tell me

about your childhood in Iceland.


Hahaha! They put this fat in my hair, this thick, greasy stuff. Anyway,

I moved to Iceland when I was five. I lived there for three or four

years. For me, Iceland is not just about the country. My Icelandic

stepdad became like my own father. All of a sudden I had a big family

and I didn’t have that before. I feel like I belong to Iceland—I

didn’t grow up in Reykjavik, but near a lava flow in the middle of nowhere.

We spent 10 days there when we were shooting Prometheus.

Iceland for me is about getting back to basics. I speak Icelandic but

not Spanish, the language of my biological father.

Ever try hakårl, the fermented shark dish?

Ha ha, all of that Icelandic stuff! Some of it is quite disturbing.

There’s a dish of lamb head, complete with the face. There’s also

blood sausage, liver sausage—all from lamb.


Now that you’ve been in the neighborhood for a bit, tell me about your favorite

places in Williamsburg.


I love this Italian place called Antica Pesa. We’ve been there I don’t

know how many nights. And the football field, I mean soccer field,

right on the water. Williamsburg is my favorite neighborhood of the

city—I’m kind of in love—I might buy a flat here. It’s such a great

combination of things, it’s nice and creative, and just so much going on.