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Noomi Rapace

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Noomi Rapace
Rapace in 2019
Noomi Norén

(1979-12-28) 28 December 1979 (age 44)
Years active1988–present
(m. 2001; div. 2011)

Noomi Rapace (Swedish: [ˈnǒːmɪ raˈpasː] ;[1] née Norén; born 28 December 1979) is a Swedish actress.[2] She achieved international fame with her portrayal of Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish film adaptations of the Millennium series (2009): The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest. For her performance in the Millennium series, Rapace won amongst others two Nymphe d'Ors, a Guldbagge Award, and a Satellite Award as Best Actress, and was nominated for a BAFTA Award, an International Emmy Award and a European Film Award. Following the success of the Millennium series, Rapace has gone on to star in American movies.

She has also starred as Anna in Daisy Diamond (2007), Leena in Beyond (2010), Anna in The Monitor (2011), Madame Simza Heron in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), Elizabeth Shaw in Prometheus (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017), Beatrice in Dead Man Down (2013), Nadia in The Drop (2014), Raisa Demidova in Child 44 (2015), the eight lead roles in What Happened to Monday (2017), Leila in Bright (2017), Rupture (2017), Bianca Lind in Stockholm (2018), Sam Carlson in Close (2019), Lizzie in Angel of Mine (2019), Harriet Bauman in Jack Ryan (TV series, 2019), Maja in The Secrets We Keep (2020), Maria in Lamb (2021), Lisa in The Trip (2021), Bosilka in You Won't Be Alone (2022) and Caroline Edh in Black Crab (2022).

Early life[edit]

Rapace in Los Angeles, 2015

Rapace was born in Hudiksvall, Sweden. Her mother, Nina Norén (born Kristina Norén; 1954), is a Swedish actress, and her father, Rogelio Durán (10 November 1953 – 4 November 2006), was a Spanish flamenco singer from Badajoz.[3]

She has said her father may have been of partly Roma descent, and though she is "not sure if it is true," she has "always been interested in the culture."[4][5] Rapace's sister, Særún Norén, is a photographer.[6]

Rapace has said she saw her father only occasionally before his death. "He was not around. The first time I saw him or I met him, I was fifteen and I saw him on stage," Rapace said about her father.[7] At age five, she moved from her native Sweden to Flúðir in Iceland with her mother and stepfather, Hrafnkell Karlsson. Two years later, she made her film debut in a minor role in the Icelandic film In the Shadow of the Raven, along with Hrafnkell.[8] She says, "I came from a poor farm, I’m not educated, no one opened doors for me, I don’t come from money."[9]

Rapace speaks fluent Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, and English, in addition to her native Swedish.[8]


Early work[edit]

At the age of seven, Rapace was given her first film role,[10] a non-speaking part in the Icelandic film In the Shadow of the Raven by Hrafn Gunnlaugsson.[10] This experience prompted her to be an actress.[11] She left home at age 15 and enrolled in a Stockholm theatre school.[12]

In 1996, Rapace made her television debut playing the part of Lucinda Gonzales in the long-running soap series Tre kronor. From 1998 to 1999, Rapace studied at the acting school Skara Skolscen.[13] She has been engaged at Theater Plaza in 2000–01,[13] Orionteatern in 2001,[14] Teater Galeasen in 2002,[13] Stockholms stadsteater in 2003,[13] as well as at the Royal Dramatic Theatre, all in Stockholm.[15]

In 2007, she won acclaim for her award-winning portrayal of a troubled teen mother in the Danish film Daisy Diamond, directed by Simon Staho. She won the two top film awards in Denmark (the Bodil and Robert prize) for Best Actress for her role in the film, which was also selected for the main competition at the San Sebastián International Film Festival.

In 2009, she played the role of Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish-produced film adaptation of Stieg Larsson's best-selling novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, for which she won the Guldbagge Award (Sweden's top film award),[16] and was nominated for a BAFTA Award[17] and European Film Award.[18] She later appeared in the same role in the sequels The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest. All three films were subsequently recut as a six-part miniseries aired on Swedish television called Millennium, for which Rapace received a nomination for the International Emmy Award for Best Actress.[19] The three film adaptations have earned over $200 million at the box office worldwide.[20]

International success[edit]

Rapace at the 2018 César Awards

Following the success of the Millennium series, Rapace started an international career.[21] Her first English-speaking role was the character of Madame Simza Heron in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, released in 2011.[22]

Her international fame has earned her leading roles in mainstream cinema. She was cast in Ridley Scott's blockbuster hit Prometheus, where she played the leading role, a scientist named Elizabeth Shaw. She had met Scott for the first time following the release of the Millennium trilogy movies, at which point he expressed a willingness to work with her and encouraged her to improve her accent.[23] Prometheus was released in June 2012.[24] She did not appear in the final cut of the film's sequel Alien: Covenant (2017), but did act in a short related prologue.[25]

In November 2012, she appeared in a Rolling Stones video for the single "Doom and Gloom", shot in the studios of the Cité du Cinéma by Luc Besson in Saint-Denis.[26]

In 2013, she starred alongside Rachel McAdams in Brian De Palma's erotic thriller Passion, which is the English-language remake of 2010's French psychological thriller Love Crime. They both appeared in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, but did not share scenes. Rapace also appeared in Niels Arden Oplev's crime thriller Dead Man Down, alongside Isabelle Huppert and Colin Farrell.[27]

In 2014, she appeared as Nadia in Michael Roskam's thriller The Drop, alongside Tom Hardy, Matthias Schoenaerts, and James Gandolfini. In September 2014, she was the subject of the short film A Portrait of Noomi Rapace, directed by artist and designer Aitor Throup and scored by Flying Lotus.[28] In the same year, Rapace appeared in the video for the single "eez-eh" by Kasabian.[29] In 2015, she starred as Raisa Demidova in Daniel Espinosa's Child 44, opposite Tom Hardy (her co-star in The Drop) also starring Gary Oldman, Vincent Cassel, Jason Clarke, and Joel Kinnaman.[30]

It was reported Rapace would be in the upcoming sci-fi thriller Brilliance in an unknown role.[31][32][33] The film was later renamed Bright. She also starred in the spy thriller Unlocked, with Michael Douglas, John Malkovich, Orlando Bloom, and Toni Collette;[34] will lead the sci-fi/actioner Seven Sisters (released on Netflix under title "What Happened to Monday")[35] opposite Glenn Close and Willem Dafoe[36] and the sci-fi/thriller Rupture by Steven Shainberg.[37]

In 2019, Rapace starred in the action thriller film Close,[38] released on Netflix on 18 January 2019.[39] That same year, Rapace starred in the psychological thriller Angel of Mine, and in the television series Jack Ryan.

In 2020, Rapace starred in the thriller The Secrets We Keep.

In 2021, the Icelandic folk horror Lamb premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, where Rapace has the leading role of Maria. Rapace's performance in the film gained significant attention and she won the award for Best Actress at the 2021 Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival,[40] and was nominated for the Best Actress award at the 2021 North Texas Film Critics Association.[41]

Rapace also has leading roles in the following features The Trip (2021), You Wont Be Alone (2022), and Black Crab (2022).

In May 2022, Rapace was a member of the jury of the 75th Cannes Film Festival.[42]

Personal life[edit]

Rapace married Swedish actor Ola Norell (born Pär Ola Norell) in 2001. Upon marrying, the couple decided to use the surname Rapace, meaning "bird of prey" both in French and Italian, because it sounded "cool."[9][43] They have a son, born in 2003. In September 2010, they filed for divorce, which took effect the year after.[44][45][46]

Rapace lives in London, England and describes it as her "favourite city."[47][48]



Year Title Role Notes
1988 In the Shadow of the Raven Uncredited Extra
1997 Sanning eller konsekvens Nadja
2001 Röd jul Kvinna på krog
2003 En utflykt till månens baksida Andrea
Capricciosa Elvira
2004 Älskar, älskar och älskar Nelly
2005 Lovisa och Carl Michael Anna Rella
Toleransens gränser Mom
Blodsbröder Veronica
2006 Enhälligt beslut Amira
Du & jag Maja
Sökarna: Återkomsten Enforcer
2007 Daisy Diamond Anna
2009 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Lisbeth Salander
The Girl Who Played with Fire
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest
2010 Beyond Leena
2011 The Monitor Anna Also known as Babycall
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Madame Simza Heron
2012 Quiet Eye: Elizabeth Shaw Elizabeth Shaw Short film
2012 Prometheus Transmission Short film
2012 Prometheus
2013 Passion Isabelle
Dead Man Down Beatrice
2014 A Portrait of Noomi Rapace Herself Short film
The Drop Nadia
2015 Child 44 Raisa Demidova
2016 Rupture Renee
2017 Unlocked Alice Racine
Alien: Covenant – Prologue: The Crossing Elizabeth Shaw Short film
Alien: Covenant Elizabeth Shaw Cameo
Bright Leilah
What Happened to Monday Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,
Friday, Saturday, Sunday / Karen Settman
2018 Stockholm Bianca Lind
2019 Close Sam Carlson
Angel of Mine Lizzie
2020 The Secrets We Keep Maja Reid
2021 The Trip Lisa
Lamb María
2022 You Won't Be Alone Bosilka
Black Crab Caroline Edh
2023 Assassin Club Falk


Noomi Rapace at The Drop European premiere in 2014
Year Title Role Notes
1996–1997 Tre kronor Lucinda Gonzales Main role; 12 episodes
2001 Pusselbitar Marika Nilsson TV miniseries
2002 Stora teatern Fatima TV miniseries
2003 Tusenbröder Hemvårdare Episode: "Tusenbröder II – Del 5"
2007–2008 Labyrint Nicky Main role; 12 episodes
2019 Jack Ryan Harriet "Harry" Baumann
2023 Django Elizabeth Main role; 10 episodes
2024 Constellation Jo Ericsson Main role[49]

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Artist Notes
2012 "Doom and Gloom" The Rolling Stones
2014 "eez-eh" Kasabian

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2008 Bodil Awards Best Actress Daisy Diamond Won [50]
Robert Award Best Actress Won [citation needed]
2009 European Film Awards Best Actress The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Nominated [18]
2010 Nymphe d’Or Best Actress in a TV-Mini-Series Millennium miniseries (TV version) Won [citation needed]
Best Actress The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Won [citation needed]
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award Best Actress Nominated [citation needed]
Guldbagge Award Best Actress Won [16]
Houston Film Critics Society Best Actress Nominated [citation needed]
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award Best Lead Actress Nominated [citation needed]
New York Film Critics Online Award Breakthrough Performer Won [51]
Satellite Awards Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama Won [52]
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Best Actress Nominated [citation needed]
Saturn Award Best Actress Nominated [53]
São Paulo International Film Festival Best Actress Beyond Won [citation needed]
Hollywood Film Festival Spotlight Award Won [54]
2011 London Film Critics' Circle Actress of the Year The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Nominated [citation needed]
Empire Awards Best Actress Won [55]
BAFTA Awards Best Leading Actress Nominated [17]
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films Best Actress Nominated [citation needed]
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Actress Nominated [citation needed]
Central Ohio Film Critics Association Breakthrough Film Artist The Girl Who Played with Fire
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Nominated [citation needed]
Guldbagge Awards Best Actress Beyond Nominated [56]
International Emmy Awards Best Performance by an Actress Millennium Nominated [19]
Rome Film Festival Best Actress The Monitor Won [57]
2012 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress – Action Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Nominated [citation needed]
Choice Movie Breakout Prometheus Nominated [citation needed]
Amanda Awards Best Actress The Monitor Won [58]
2021 Sitges Best Actress Lamb Won [40]


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External links[edit]