Born Noomi Noren, Noomi Rapace is a Swedish actress probably best known in America for her role in “Prometheus,” but she came to prominence in the Swedish films “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl Who Played With Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest.” She can also be seen in “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” and “Passion," among other films.
Though Noomi Rapace has a Twitter account, she is not active on social media.
She was born in Sweden, the daughter of an actress; her father was a Spanish Flamenco dancer. When she was five, she and her family moved to Iceland. She can speak Danish, English, Norwegian, Icelandic and Swedish. She landed her first film role when she was seven and that experience led her to become an actress. When she was 15, she left home and enrolled in a Stockholm theatre school.
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Noomi Rapace said as a teenager, “I was like, ‘Something is wrong with me. I don’t fit in. I’m not like everybody else.’ So I always knew that I wanted to explore and move on, but [my career] was completely unexpected, the way it happened.” She added, “I was a punk rocker when I was a teenager. I wanted to look like Nancy Spungen. I had dyed blonde hair and lots of piercings.”
When she initially auditioned for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” the director thought she was too feminine and soft. She got him to cast her despite his objections. “I started the very next day on a diet…I wanted to get rid of my female softness…I wanted to be more like a boy in my body…I cut my hair, I had real piercings.”
As for filming, Noomi Rapace said, “I like doing fight scenes. I always have, and I insist on doing as much of that action as they’ll let me do. I think that’s easy for me.”
As for fame, she said, “I’m terrified of being too famous. What I’m really afraid of is that the audiences will go into the theatre and not be able to forget that it’s me, that fame will stand in the way of my acting. I want to keep being able to change into different shapes and different personalities.”
Noomi Rapace was married to actor Ola Norell in 2001, and interestingly, they agreed on a new surname – Rapace, which translates in Italian to “bird of prey.” Thad one child, a son. The couple, however, divorced in 2011.