Well, dear readers, dear cineastes and dear Stieg-0-philes, I FINALLY had my big interview with the legendary Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, who has the third and final film of the late Stieg Larson’s ”Millennium Trilogy”, “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” which I liked A LOT, needless to say,opening this week. And she was here in New York to talk about it and to kick off her campaign for an Oscar for Best Actress. She’s Foreign. She’s new. But then so was Marion Cotillard. And look what happened to her! She talked to me and against all odds, she won! And that video is still up and getting over 200,000 hits on YouTube!
So a Golden Globe nomination from the Hollywood FOREIGN press, I do think she’s already got in the bag, and this year the category of Best Actress is JAMMED to the gills. And the Golden Globes have a bit more lee-way having ten slots. Five for Best Actress, Drama and Five, for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical.
Whereas the Oscars of course have only five Best Actress slots. She has a lot of competition this year, whereas Marion didn’t, but if ID-PR and UTA get her out there and talking, so charmingly, so wistfully, as she did with me today. Then VOILA! Noomi might get in!
If you’ve been reading this blog, you know how much I’ve been posting about these books and movies and Noomi. I mean, for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been obsessed!
And Nooooomi, which is actually pronounced like that, Like “Nuumi” a long “U” sound and her last name is pronounced like “Replace” but it’s Rapace. I knew I was never going to get the correct pronunciation until I met her today, and what a moment that was!
She floated into the swanky (always) New York City hotel room where we were to film the interview for my Cable Television Show and my YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/StephenHoltShow with such grace and glamour and delicacy, every inch a great European film star.
And how she managed to float on high heels as tall as the Empire State building, I do not know.
She is very beautiful in person. And indeed her beauty and charm were her major obstacles in over-coming the film director’s reservations in casting her in the first place as Lisbeth Salander, the most famous female character ever to emerge from a work of fiction, a novel (or series of novels) since Scarlett O’Hara.
I am beginning to think that the three novels are really one BIG novel an epic, in Iceland they’d call it a Saga, like “Gone With the Wind”. It’s a Swedish “War and Peace.”
I’ve read the first novel in a serious (ra)pace this weekend, then saw the first film last night, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” Phew!
I haven’t read #2, “The Girl Who Played With Fire,” but I saw the third film “The Girl Who Kicked Over the Hornet’s Nest” first a couple of weeks back, as I told you in this blog. And I couldn’t believe the impact it had on me! I felt like I’d had my head blown off ,and I knew I was in the presence of a great screen actress giving a legendary, incomparable performance.
And I’ve been trying to catch up ever since. It’s a VERY complicated story and you really do need to read all three books. (Which I still haven’t) to get the full effect.
Disguised as a crime novel, it really is the late Stieg Larson’s social chronicle of life in Sweden today. It’s an indictment, really. And it isn’t pretty.
Though in the movies the city of Stockholm and the surrounding countryside and many islands all look sumptuous. Stockholm has never looked more beautiful. And at times, it’s so romantically photographed in these films you wonder why its’ beauty hasn’t been used more often as a great, cinematic location.
So last night, also in preparation of this interview, which I was strangely, atypically very nervous about, I watched every single solitary interview Noomi Rapace has done so far in English on YouTube, and there aren’t that many. So far. Just wait….
And of course, everybody asks the same questions of her, and I wasn’t going to do that.
I was determined to ask her things that nobody ever interviewed her about. I wanted to bring out another side of her.
And I knew how to do that. To talk about ICELAND! Where she spent part of her childhood and where she started her film career in Hrafn Gunlagsson’s “In the Shadow of the Raven” as a little child.
Hrafn which is pronounced “Rafe” like Fiennes, is the Icelandic word for Raven, and Gunlaugsson has the reputation of being the most difficult director in Iceland. I know because I was fortunate to have traveled to Iceland twice. Once in December of 1999 for a series of “Christmas in Iceland” shows I did, and once again the following summer of 2000 when the sun is up all day long, for a series of shows(nine episodes!) on film and theatre in Iceland.
So when Noomi realized I just wanted to talk about how beautiful she was, and different from Lisbeth Salander she is, and how talented she was, and how wonderful a place Iceland is to have spent (at least part of) her childhood in, she just melted.
She loves shoes, especially expensive designer shoes, and she was wearing black(her favorite color) sky-high stilletto heels, and I got her to put her feet with the shoes on them on to the low coffee table in front of us and I held her ankle. Turning it for the camera to see in its full effect.
I don’t think I’ve ever held a woman’s ankle before. I’m gay. When would that situation arise? Anyway, she just loved that I got her to show off her VERY shapely Scandinavian cinema goddess legs. She was wearing a skin-tight, black mini- sweater-dress,and her hair is brown, a dark brown, but not black. And when we sat down on these very LOW cushioned chairs in the hotel suite, her dress went up so high, I could barely see it anymore!
This video is going to get A LOT of hits on YouTube!
And she was so delighted to not have the SAME questions asked that everybody else has asked her over and over and over again about Lisbeth Salander.
The magic word was ICELAND!
And I got her to speak Icelandic! I got her to say “I Love You” in Icelandic, and I repeated it to her.
It was a rapturous moment…
I can’t wait to see the video! And you can’t miss it either. But it won’t be up on YouTube for at least a week or so… But when it is it’ll be here www.youtube.com/StephenHoltShow
I brought out her sweet side. SOOOOO different from Lisbeth Salander. Which I feel is one of the great, legendary screen performances by an actress.
I really hope,and WANT Noomi to get an Oscar nomination for Best Actress this year, and so does her publicist, of course.
Those three performances in three films, put together and filmed right after each other is an overwhelming achievement. One of the greatest acting feats ever by a woman, I feel, and so do many critics.
I was so excited and thrilled to meet her, I hope I told Noomi all this. But not as succinctly as I’m expressing it now.
What a lovely lady!
And I just HATE David Fincher more and more for not using her in the American adaptation that he is filming now with Rooney Mara.
Noomi was devastated by this.
In one interview, in English on YouTube,she blurted out “They didn’t want me!” And I just wanted to cry.
This tiny, brave, beautiful, young woman put every ounce of her heart and soul and intelligence and TALENT into these three UNFORGETTABLE performances.
And then to be ignored by the Americans!?!…
David Fincher…you made one film already this year that I hated, as you all know, “The Social Network,” and YOUR version of these fantastic books had better be BETTER than the beautiful Swedish versions!!!
I HATED “Benjamin Button,” “The Fight Club” and “The Social Network” and I did like “Zodiac” and “Se7en” which are both about serial killers, a crime genre at which he really does excel. And of course, the Stieg Larson trilogy IS, partially about a serial killer, at least the first book.
But poor Noomi! She’s doing all right though, and seemed to be enjoying the hell out of her New York press day!
And all I can say is ” I LOVE YOU, NOOMI!” I’d say it again in Icelandic, if I could remember it, and GIVE THAT GIRL AN OSCAR NOMINATION!?!?!?