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”

  • American_swede says:

    I just watched all three movies today and I do not honestly believe Hollywood can do any better they can’t capture the emotions created in the films. I myself am an actress and know that there are just some things you just dont redue!

    - American_swede,

  • Noreen Phelps says:

    I am surprised that Americans are surprised by the American hatred posted here. I am an American also, read book one and considering putting book two down and not finishing it due to the obvious hatred of Americans in this book. Why would his avid readers in other countries feel any differently? Book 2 continously discusses “stupid American tourists’, ect., then goes on to describe all the American products enjoyed by it’s characters. A possibly good story has been ruined for me due to prejudice and I won’t bother watching either version of any move-Swedish, American or otherwise.

    - Noreen Phelps,

    • nightmare, says:

      I can’t believe it can be any better ten the original . However I loved Steig Larson books so much I will watch it anyway.

      - cb,

  • Julie says:

    I’m an American and totally agree with you guys. It is ludicrous to re-make the perfect trilogy already made. We are idiots and, yes, it is the money! Noomi Rapace is outrageously stunning and perfect! As much as I like Daniel Craig, I think Michael Nyqvist is also perfect. No one really gives him the kudos. The balance between him, Noomi, and his sister are very impelling. I’m sad that this is being re-made. However, with enough press, most will be drawn to the originals to compare and see for the themselves. Quality is quality.

    - Julie,

    • Patricia, California, says:

      what am i misingout dora

    • cb, says:


      - hilodave,

  • Lynda says:

    I was really shocked to hear that there was going to be an Amerian version of the Trilogy….my my is nothing sacred!! The Swedish version will out shine the American. They will probably pull together a good movie but it will lack something in the translation.

    - Lynda – Canada,

    • admin says:

      Because they are popular. Look at the reaction from everyone that has commented to what is going on with the series. Yes, Hollywood is going to ruin it but they’ll make money because as many people have said, silly Americans can only watch Hollywood. I don’t think that they’ll grasp the sense of the characters and setting very well. But it’ll be pretty and polished, unfortunately. And, they’ll(Hollywood) will give them an Oscar.

      - Leo,

    • hilodave, says:

      I have no idea. They have a lot to live up to with this trilogy.

      - Catherine & Kim,

  • admin says:

    Is it true that Noomi was asked to reprise her role as Lisbeth in the American movie, and told them that she had given everything she had to the original?

    • admin says:

      Thank you hilodave for the interesting insight into the men behind the American version. I will now be very interested to check it out.Lynda – Canada

    • hilodave, says:

      Actually other than Rooney Mara’s difficult job of living up to Noomi Repace the Hollywood version has some potential. There were inexplicable rewrites and gaps in the Swedish version and Academy Award winning screenwriter Steve Zaillian (Schindler’s List) has said he will be faithful to the book…and then David Fincher is directing.

      - hilodave,

  • Samara says:

    noomi brought lisbeth to life and in the perfect manner…it’s gonna be difficult to top her..

    - Samara,

  • ShayKaye says:

    I was not too thrilled with the idea that America was remaking the movies but after seeing the trailers I think it will be really good. I am still waiting to see what kind of Lisbeth Rooney Mara will be. Noomi Rapace just rocked as Lisbeth and is how I pictured Lisbeth when I read the book. Her performance will be very hard to top. I cannot hardly wait til Dec 21st. 2011. My heart aches for Eva, she is being treated unfairly. I hope she can eventually turn out the 4th book. I really think she DID help Steig write the books. I think Erika Berger was based on Eva. It seems so unfair too what happened to Stieg. He was so talented and had so much to offer the world and was trying to do good in the world.

    - ShayKaye,

  • hanog says:

    Hi! I’m from Hungary and totally agree swedish version are the best. Why make a remake? I don’t understand. Possible for the money… Shame. Daniel Craig very good actor my one of the favorites but these trilogy originally the best.

    - hanog,

  • Kathleen Leonard says:

    Does anyone know what it is that Lisbeth is laughing at when she realizes Fermat’s answer to his equation? I still cannot figure out what is mean’t by this riddle. Help please. Kathleen Leonard

    - Kathleen Leonard,

    • Rebecca, says:

      You are right and I agree I don’t understand why they cannot promote the swedish version instead of making a remake, they don’t want to call it like that but that is what it is.

      - Mari,

  • olive says:

    It pisses my off imensely that they are making a US version. Out of respect for the original I will NEVER watch the new one. Noomi was the perfect Lisbeth and I hope the US version bombs

    - olive,

    • admin says:

      I agree. I hate the American version, it was boring and dull. Rapace’s performance was always 110% and I bought all 3 Swedish DVDs. Mara looked so different and her acting wasn’t anywhere near as good as Noomi’s. and the American version didn’t keep to the book as much, and changed lots of parts, it left the movie feeling really washed out and boring.

    • Jason, says:

      Not at all, Ray.Usually I am not a fan of Hollywood remakes; in fact I often quite dislike them and avoid watching them altogether.But I have to say that in this case they did a better job than on the original in terms of casting (although I did not like how they changed the ending, revealed secrets of Lisbeth’s character which you only find out in the 2nd book and which she never personally reveals to Blomkvist, and the silly MTV style sequence in the credits at the beginning)

      - Joseph,

    • Labor Shall Rule, says:

      OK, how many of you know Eva? How many know Stieg’s family? Let it go. Stieg was raised by his grandparents, not his biological parents. Perhaps they should have been the executors. I am not sure, other than the legal issues, why so many people are critical of their never having married? Most of you should realise from Stieg’s work, fiction and non

      -fiction, that he didn’t put a lot of faith in conventional societal mores. Many, myself included, would say that marriage is, in fact, an easier way to cheat someone out of their assets and a very complicated way to ‘simplify’ post

      -mortem legalities. Married or not, a simple will would have solved much of this.

      - Vance, Canada.,

    • PN from Canada, says:

      in the Hollywood version, Craig and Mara don’t even call each other By their movie role names, as if they are embarassed to be the characters. I think they remained Hollywood actors and did not become Sakander and Blomquist. The only better acting was Christopher Plumber.

      - Gina Buenaventura,

    • Labor Shall Rule, says:

      If any of you had read anything about the couple, you would know that they were under constant threat from Neo

      -Nazis and had to protect themselves (thus not being seen together in public) but it was a well

      -known fact that they were a couple.

      - Stephan,

    • america idiots? or swedish, nobodies?, says:

      I agree – the American version has just come out here in Australia but I always prefer the original and have bought all three Swedish DVD’s – Like original Japanese The Grudge and Dark Water – all remade with famous actresses. Noomi rules. I hate that they have sexualised Lisbeth in the US version, putting her topless on the new posters. Lisbeth would set fire to them! Wasp rules!

      - June Colbert,

    • Jason, says:

      hell, yeah!

      - Boba,

    • Labor Shall Rule, says:

      Surely this guy John is the brother posting under a fake name.

      - Connan Doyle,

    • Labor Shall Rule, says:

      Anyone, that read the books, has to realize they couldn’t do it exactly like the book. That investigation went on for a whole year and a lot of things are happening and it not like Hollywood is going to do it exactly like the book either, I heard is going to more about Lisbeth Salander, rather men who hate women. I enjoyed the Swedish versions and in my mind, there is no need to make a re

      -make. Yes, it is a re

      -make. When you remaking a film that is already been done, it’s re


      - Crystal,

    • Mari, says:

      Oh grow up

    • Labor Shall Rule, says:

      This is silly…yes, Nazism is a right wing ideology. The fascist movement in Germany was against what the Left is for…such as a strong social safety net, free education, universal health care, and anti

      -racism and anti

      -sexism.Making Hitler out to be a real “socialist” has been a good PR trick by the Tea Party. But it does not hold any historical ground whatsoever.

      - Labor Shall Rule,

    • Ben Werling, says:

      Håkan Nesser books about crimeinspector “Barbarotti” (Italian Father) is a another coffedrinking caracter that will keep you ocupied for many hours.

      - Jarmor,

    • Treewizdom from USA , says:

      Henning Mankell

      - caffeine,

    • KMP, says:

      peter hoeg, ruth rendell are both great

      - willow wench,

  • Esth,Malaysia says:

    hi, im from Malaysia, i’ve finished reading all 3 novels of Larsson, and i think they’re magnificient!……

    And Noomi Rapace acted Lisbeth Salander really good in the movie….2 thumbs up for Larsson!!

    - Esth,Malaysia,

  • boy-cott says:

    I too have enjoyed the Millennium Trilogy movies, the Swedish version with subtitles. Just another way for Hollywood to make a buck.

    - boy-cott,

    • admin says:

      I hope they can find a talented author to continue the stories. They found a guy for James Bond; as I understand it he did a fair job in following up Ian Fleming’s style. So….here’s hoping. And hoping for a TV series in the US –NOT replicating the already perfected features starring the amazing Swedish talent as Ms. Repace. All who were cast in the movies (and so far I’ve seen the first two) are not to be beat.

      - Lew,



  • Jax/antwerp says:

    A masterpiece of tattoo-art as well !

    - Jax/antwerp,

  • Christine says:


    Noomi is a splendid actress!

    - Christine,

  • bob says:

    To everyone bashing Hollywood: Noomi Rapace has been embraced by Hollywood.

    The Movers and Shakers in Hollywood loved her performances as Salander, and they like her as a person — she is charming the pants off everybody!

    She is in the new Sherlock Holmes movie, coming out later this year, playing opposite Robert Downey, Jr.

    - bob,

  • Raq says:

    Noomi is THE Lisbeth no one can and no one will replace her!

    - Raq,

    • Liz, says:

      Dubbed!? the horror the horror. can´t read?

      - foh,

    • PN from ., says:

      amen to that. i totally agree!!!

      - TheMollyM,

  • Vawn says:

    I fell in love after reading the first book in the series. My husband and I watched all 3 movies and are waiting on our own copies of them. I am not looking forward to the American version of these films, but I do want to watch them out of curiosity. Noomi Rapace is the only Lisbeth I picture while reading. She did a beautiful job on the character.

    - Vawn,

  • bizzo says:

    I too am American and will definitely not see an American version of Larsson’s movies. After watching Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth, I have no desire to see her “replacement”.

    - bizzo,

  • Nanaqsmh says:

    I agree that Noomi is in essence Lisbeth and Michael Nyqvist is Mikael. Neither Hollywood nor any American actor or actress can do justice to these roles.

    And why would anyone want to watch a Hollywood version when you already have access to the Swedish films dubbed in English.

    - Nanaqsmh,

    • foh, says:

      You’re the Swedishness of the Swedish version made it more believable, because author of the books wrote it from Swedish point of view, which I think will make the American version not so strong, because there is a culture difference that needs to made clear for the American version to be as strong. Which hollywood will not do and I see it in the trailers for the American version. The actor playing Lisbeth in the USA version is acting very American and rolling her eyes at Blumann. Which Lisbeth doesn’t do.

      - Crystal,

  • Sarah says:

    Though American, I 100% agree that no American film could touch this one, or come close to the brilliance of Noomi’s acting.

    - Sarah,

  • mia says:

    Rapache is fearless and vulnerable in this role. Superb performance and satisfying entertainment.

    - mia,

  • ikpay says:

    these movies and lisbeth salander just got into my system !! :)… thanks to the author for such briliance that happened to have enabled a phenomenal actress like noomi rapace shine like she did. well done!!

    - ikpay,

  • Diane says:

    i cannot see any other actress, especially American, duplicating the incredible performances of Rapace.

    - Diane/ California,

  • M. Launius says:

    Hollywood simply won’t produce movies that measure up to the Swedish masterpieces. I agree with others that Noomi Rapace played the definitive Lisbeth to perfection. And Hollywood won’t emulate the pacing of the Swedish films – they’ll want to pack everything into 95 minutes so whole dimensions and subtleties of the Swedish versions will be lost. And I feel that one of the major “stars” of the original films is Sweden, the urban and rural landscapes add much flavor to the film and the cultural differences with the US are critical to the subtle critique of aspects of Swedish society embedded in the stories of the original films. But remakes are usually about money, not art. More American should watch the Swedish originals and see what great films can be made without constantly blowing things up.

    - M. Launius,

    • Crystal, says:

      Rapace looks like Kris Angel.

      - IHateEMO,