Stieg Larsson

Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander

Noomi Rapace is the Swedish actress playing the part of Lisbeth Salander in the Millennium movies. Initially questioned whether she could handle the strong and unusual role of Lisbeth, she has risen throughout the movies. Today, her critically acclaimed part as Lisbeth has awarded her with multiple prizes from different Swedish juries. 

Noomi Rapace, née Noomi Norén, was born in Järna, outside Stockholm, Sweden. Her father was Rogelio Durán, a Spanish Flamenco singer, and her mother is Nina Norén, a Swedish actress. When she was five years old, she moved with her mother and stepfather to Flúðir, Iceland, where they stayed for three years. She gained her first acting experience when she played a non-speaking role in “Í skugga hrafnsins” by Hrafn Gunnlaugsson when she was eight years old.

Seventeen years old, she debuted on TV with the part of Lucinda Gonzales in the series “Tre Kronor”. 1998 to 1999, Noomi Rapace studied at Skara Skolscen. The following years, she worked at a couple of smaller theaters in Sweden until she was engaged at Swedens two finest theaters, Stockholms stadsteater and The Royal Dramatic Theatre in 2003. Until this date, she has participated in many Swedish plays and movies.

In 2010, Noomi Rapace was awarded for her leading actress role in the Swedish “Män som hatar kvinnor” (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) with a guldbagge (a Swedish Oscar) as well as Dagens Nyheters kulturpris.

Noomi Rapache is married to actor Ola Rapace, and together they have a son, Lev.

Quotes (translated)

“I’m interested in the darker aspects of mankind, that which is not easy or well balanced. The cracks.” (DN 2007-11-23)

“We need more extreme movies in Sweden, personal projects not necessarily aimed towards a big audience. I think such goals (big audiences) inhibits creativity” (DN 2007-11-23)

344 comments on “Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander”

  • Estarme Navaja, Marin co. USA says:

    After getting sick of watching television rot my mind, during an extended injury recovery, I sent back the Dish equipment for Netflix. Then, after shredding through The Sherlock Holmes series everything else, with some exceptions, were just shades of grey. Until The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo. Superlatives would be voluminous and inadequate, let us call it a creative vortex. God what a rush. I must disagree with my previous fellow commentator, Noomi Rapace is an extraordinarily perfect mesh of masculine / feminine intensity. I was an only child and find myself wishing to have had a sister like Lisbeth. Magnifico, Sabroso, Perfecto! Danke!!

    - Estarme Navaja, Marin co. USA,


  • MIKE ?/C W8 4OF says:

    MEINE FRAU WAS BRILLIANT

    - MIKE ?/C W8 4OF,


  • Joseph says:

    I admired Noomi Rapace’s acting, but I thought she was miscast for the role – her physique was way too muscular to play the slightly built, almost anorexic looking Lisbeth.

    I thought Rooney Mara was much closer to the picture of Lisbeth I had in my head while reading the book.

    In fact, I think that all the actors in the american version were closer in appearance to how they were described in the book.

    - Joseph,


    • Joseph, says:

      Absolutely agree with you. I was so amazed by Rapace’s performance I bought all 3 Swedish movies a week after seeing the first movie and Noomi kept me hooked to the last second. I love her, Mara is no match for her.


    • Ray Vieira, says:

      I agree… Noomi is a lot better than the english Rooney Mara… she should be known around the world like Lisbth Salander… she’s amazing!!!

      - Pitorra,


  • Careen Longhurst says:

    I am glad to learn that Noomi Rapace has won a Swedish Oscar for her role as Lisbeth Salander. She was outstanding. No one could possibly touch her performance as Lisbeth.

    Very well done!

    - Careen Longhurst,


  • Ana (Portugal) says:

    CONGRATILATIONS TO ALL PEOPLE OF SWEDISH VERSION!!!! I loved the books… but the movies… are amazing… it seems we’re inside it!!! Noomi Rapace…. you’re fantastic!!!

    - Ana (Portugal),


  • Poppsie says:

    Fantastic trilogy with Noomi as Lisbeth. Much better than English version. Sad that Steig died before he could realize the rest of his brilliant writing career and carry us all through to the end with Lisbeth. Noomi should be highly honored around the world for her acting in the trilogy.

    - Poppsie,


    • Pitorra, says:

      I watched the American version last night and was disappointed that it did not keep true to the book. Anita was Anita and Harriet was found in Australia. Much preferred the Swedish version.

      - Name/signature,


  • Harbinger1 says:

    I expected to be disappointed with the American version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, but was pleasantly surprised that it kept true to the original story. Even though I love the new version Noomi will always be the “real” Lizbeth Salander!

    - Harbinger1,


    • Name/signature, says:

      Really? I hated the American version of her. Mara was a poor actress and didn’t look at all the way I imagined her to be. No one can beat Rapace’s performance I think. The American version was very disappointing and quite dull.


  • Autumfrost says:

    I watched the Swedish Trilogy a couple months ago, watched the American version of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and decided that I love them both. I am just now finishing up Mr Larson’s three books and feel so bad for losing him as an author and am very sorry that his partner in life has had to deal with such injustice.

    - Autumfrost,


  • asphyxia says:

    go noomi go!

    - asphyxia,


  • Frances says:

    I read all of the books and had an image in my head of what Lisbeth would be… I was nervous to watch any film because films rarely ever do a book justice. I think Noomi Rapace is an absolutely incredible Lisbeth, but I was blown away by Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth. I think the Swedish version of the films were much more suspenseful and extremely effective thrillers, and those are all things the American version lacked. However, Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth kind of changed the game for me. I thought she was perfect… She was fierce, intense, and intimidating in all the ways I thought Lisbeth Salander would be. I just didn’t feel as strongly watching Noomi Rapace play Lisbeth.

    - Frances,


    • admin says:

      I`am agree

      - Peter Stutz,


  • Lex says:

    Noomi, u r gr8 acter!!!!!!!!

    - Lex,


  • necros 4 from Greece,Thessaloniki says:

    Noomi rules!!!

    Epic actress!!!

    Bow to Noomi!!!

    - necros 4 from Greece,Thessaloniki,


  • Selma from BIH says:

    Noomi Rapace is a thousand times better than Rooney Mara!!!!!

    - Selma from BIH,


    • admin says:

      This movie was based on the life and treatening experiences of the character and all too graphic as it may be, it was the center stone of the drive that made the character come alive. I come from a world of violence, and to see it will make you feel it, she did this in her potrayal of this character and this is what is lacking in the American version, the ruthlessness of a women’s place in the world, let alone death is just another word. With the potection and sanction of American movies on death and voilence, the hollowood version is left behind. The swedish version makes you feel alive, on the edge, and wanting to hack something and find that mystery that makes us feel, feel anything in our skins. Noomi, needs to be honored first in America, as well as she was in Sweden. HOMAGE to the real Lisbeth!

      - Vicious,


    • Peter Stutz, says:

      I agree. The swedish movie is far better.

      - Lida,


  • Clint/Holland says:

    I think It’s sad that they make a hollywood millenium. it wil not over win the swedish movie’s. It was better when they came around with stieg larson and made part 4, 5, and 6

    - Clint/Holland,


    • admin says:

      I agree. The American one was so boring and Mara wasn’t anywhere near as good as Rapace. The Swedish films are amazing, a straight 10/10 for me, while the American one just made it to a 3.5/10. I hope Hollywood stops making them, no one can outshine Rapace and the Swedish films.

      - KP,


    • June Colbert, says:

      Mara was a terrible actress. The movie was boring and she wasn’t half as good as Rapace. No one will ever be as good as Noomi was she IS Lisbeth

      - KP,


    • Gina Buenaventura, says:

      It was watered down. Why change the ending of the American version when the Swedish version followed the book right to the end. Very disappointed with it.

      - Name/signature,


    • Boba, says:

      fuck you tyler rooney is a cocky nasty bitch and if u think the american version is better your an idiot…i mean cmon DANIEL CRAIG as michael bloomqvist why not cast tom hanks, tom cruise, and angelina jolie get all the overseen overated hollywood actors…NOOMI RAPACE IS LISBETH SALANDER

      - tyler is a bitch,


    • Vicious, says:

      Yestaerday I saw the US film. I just loved it. Rooney Mara is really great. But deeply in my heart, Salander is just like Noomi Rapace.

      - Edmundo Velázquez,


    • Lida, says:

      I agree

      - john Athens Greeece,


  • Harry says:

    Sweden and the Scandanavian countries most definately represent the “darkest” part of the world given the absence of light those countries are subject to for many months of the year.

    - Harry,


  • Jon says:

    I am American, but I dont think anyone will ever outshine Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander…I want to watch the hollywood remake, but I dont want to judge it unfairly…I think Noomi’s portrayal was complex and believable, I became an instant fan…I look forward to seeing her in next summer’s Prometheus.

    - Jon,


    • Edmundo Velázquez, says:

      I second your thoughts concerning the movies (Noomi Rapace will always be Lisabeth Salander to me) I also agree with you about Stieg Larsson’s books

      - Frank,


    • john Athens Greeece, says:

      I agree

      - marty,


  • Willy Fetcher says:

    So sad that Larsson died so early.I really think we missed a lot of very good suspense. I have read the trilogy for the third time and it is over and over a great pleasure to read it. I am sure that Hollywood can not beat the Swedish film version and i am glad for it.

    - Willy Fetcher,


    • Frank, says:

      Grow up and get over yourself…Mara is wonderful. directed towards PM

      - TylerL,


    • marty, says:

      Rooney Mara is just the worst person ever… Lisbeth Salander is only one and she is European! F k David Fincher!

      - PM,


  • Asashii says:

    she will always and forever be The girl with the dragon tattoo dont care who else plays the role, but id like to know what Rapace will say about the new Americanized version or will she even she it

    - Asashii,


  • cb says:

    It will take a lot of effort to do as good a job as Lisbeth Salander played by Noomi Rapace. I hope Rooney Mara can fill her shoes

    - cb,


    • PM, says:

      Love sting Larsson

      - Christine liberson,


    • TylerL, says:

      The Swedish version of the movie… close to perfection. The performance of Ms. Rapace… absolutely amazing. I’ve watched all three movies twice, and enjoyed them every time.One thing I cannot agree with you: to my personal taste, Ms. Rapace is far from being sexy, but as Lisbeth… she rocks.

      - Marcel,


    • KP, says:

      i agree. i actually described the first film “disturbing” because of the rape scene. but hands down to stieg larsson and to noomi rapace! she delivered every part of her role quite perfectly.

      - polapoi,


    • tyler is a bitch, says:

      Well, extreme violence, graphic violence in movies is there for the rush that the audience gets off of it. Of course it is exploitation. Only it is done in a way in which the audience can feel that they are innocent spectators. If the violence is terrible, if it offends the senses, then people would stop paying their hard earned dollars to get a good look.

      - Harry,


  • Nani says:

    I abhor violence, and would have normally not have continued to watch after the first hint of the graphic nature of these films, but I was completely taken in by the characters, and watched to the end. As Lisbeth, Noomi is simply astonishing– delicate, furious, with modulated, skillful expression, piercing focus. She was so believable that I found myself feeling a loss at the end of the last film…wishing I could follow Lisbeth’s path as her life continued… now that’s good acting, to make a character so real you’re gonna miss them when they’re gone…

    Noomi, in an interview with Charlie Rose, stated that she would be interested in seeing what the American version of Dragon Tattoo would be like. I, for one, am not at all interested in the American remake. I doubt any Hollywood director could get it right…and I think Noomi embodied the character of Lisbeth so thoroughly any other attempt could only be a watered down version..

    - Nani,


    • Raymond Norris, says:

      Well and the fact that it’s nice to see for a change unfamiliar faces. It gets tiresome to see the same actors every time. This way The movie has a realistic feel to it and that’s why it’s 10/10. I think Noomi Rapace did a great portrayal of Lisbeth and her experiences. I cheered for her the whole time and that is after I didn’t want to watch the movie. My friend made me.No Hollywood remake will ever measure up to the acting done by the swedish actors. Really made me want to read the books.


    • marty, says:

      we met some swedish salesmen in Hong Kong and spent an hour just talking to them they where delightful. By the way we where old ladies and they could have been our sons but what nice gentlemen they were. You are right Jay about the Swedish people.

      - cb,


    • Harry, says:

      The DVDs are not yet availble with English subtitles.

      - caffeine,


    • Name/signature, says:

      yeah you’re probably right, I guess I just want to prolong the experience of reading the books.

      - Jill, NYS,


    • polapoi, says:

      Why worry about the translation? And why read it in different languages. The story lines must be all the same. Why start looking for negatives in three great books? I read all three books and enjoyed every minute of them. I then recommended them to friends who had just as much fun as i did, without any thought of what they would be like in another language. I am just thankful i had the chance to read these books.

      - lionel/Germany,


    • KP, says:

      Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, look it up, unputdownable plus it’s a real story by the author

      - rodrigo,


  • Frosty says:

    Noomi was the perfect choice, she did an awesome job with the role. As an American, I too get tired of classic films getting remade, “12 Angry Men”, “Fail Safe” by the insufferable Clooney, etc. It is difficult to imagine Hollywood will do it justice when the films are already a 10/10, so anything else will be sub-par. While it is easy to bash America, Hollywood is responsible for producing the majority of mega-films in most all countries. Except for the occasional worldwide hit, the majority of the world would wait years for mega-hits. Therefore, with the 5% great movies, 20% fair movies, and the rest poor to bad (mol) that Hollywood produces, I guess we can occasionally look the other way while Hollywood steps on some toes…badly I might add, but still.

    - Frosty,


    • admin says:

      Hey Benny,What nationality are you? I spent 7 weeks this summer in Sweden and had a lovely time. As a American we were treated very well except one night at a restaurant/bar where some Arab guys made disparaging comments. The Swedes were watching out for us at the bar and called them a name I won’t repeat.So let me know your nationality so I can determine how dumb you and your kind are……Thanks.Jay

      - Jay,


  • alaskandog1958 says:

    Noomi is by far the best actress/actor i have yet to see and i am a nobody but a regular ole redneck country boy that has had a long addiction to action films and computers. She portrays Lisbeth strong, devoted and i admire with appreciation her bringing this completely different aspect of action not seen in a film for many ages. Thanks you Noomi…you are amazing and i wish you the world. So glad you are in the film with Robert and Jude. Those two are great together and in my opinion with the three of you it will be a blast, i cannot wait!

    - alaskandog1958,


  • Frosty says:

    Noomi was the perfect choice, she did an awesome job with the role. As an American, I too get tired of classic films getting remade, “12 Angry Men”, “Fail Safe” by the insufferable Clooney, etc. It is difficult to imagine Hollywood will do it justice when the films are already a 10/10, so anything else will be sub-par. While it is easy to bash America, Hollywood is responsible for producing the majority of mega-films in most all countries. Except for the occasional worldwide hit, the majority of the world would wait years for mega-hits. Therefore, with the 5% great movies, 20% fair movies, and the rest poor to bad (mol) that Hollywood produces, I guess we can occasionally look the other way while Hollywood steps on some toes…badly I might add, but still.

    - Frosty,


    • admin says:

      Hey Benny,What nationality are you? I spent 7 weeks this summer in Sweden and had a lovely time. As a American we were treated very well except one night at a restaurant/bar where some Arab guys made disparaging comments. The Swedes were watching out for us at the bar and called them a name I won’t repeat.So let me know your nationality so I can determine how dumb you and your kind are……Thanks.Jay

      - Jay,


  • Benny says:

    Love love love the movies! I haven’t watched the third movie yet, but oh my gosh! :o I wish I would have known about the books before watching the movies, but oh well :) I’m in love with Lisbeth Salander! <3

    - Benny,


  • Benny says:

    After reading the comments below, I’m not even gonna bother watching the American version. Noomi bombed Lisbeth’s character. And I don’t care if Stieg Larsson shows hatred for Americans or whatever. Plus, I don’t blame him lol Americans really are stupid.

    I just freaking love the movies <3

    - Benny,


    • cb, says:

      It isn’t ludicrous if you believe Stieg’s books: Hollywood wasn’t making any money off the original trilogy…so they had to make their own…pretending it is the first set.

      - Patricia, California,


    • Jay, says:

      which goes to show you how spot on American ignorance goes.what better way to prove the world right.

      - nightmare,