Noomi Rapace talks about Child 44 and working with Tom in The Independent:
Child 44 is the first part of the spy trilogy written by the British author Tom Rob Smith.
First published in 2008, the books are based on the crimes of Andrei Chikatilo, the Rostov Ripper, who was convicted and executed for committing at least 52 murders in the Soviet Union between 1978 and 1990. Transplanted to the Stalin era, the thriller sees an idealistic, pro-Stalin security officer and his wife investigate a series of child murders despite the wishes of the state.
If the plot sounds like it could be a job for the girl with the dragon tattoo, Rapace insists she was attracted to the role because it was a very different part for her. “She is not tough, not cool, she’s very feminine and normal. She’s a school teacher and quite cold, not fiery at all. Nonetheless, I think that all the characters that I play always bleed into my life and take over my life a lot. I find that I can’t do things even halfway or tactical. It feels like the character moves in and stays there for the whole shoot. It’s not like people need to call me the character name, but I can’t really distance myself.”
The script for Child 44 was first handed to Rapace by Ridley Scott. The British-born director was due to direct the project before deciding to serve the film as a producer. Like most of Hollywood, the director was determined to cast the actress after he saw her Bafta-nominated turn in the Millennium trilogy. “I met Ridley and he said, ‘I’m a fan of yours and I loved The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and I would like to work with you,’ and I was like, I’m going to die now! He gave me the script for Child 44, so it was the one of the first American scripts that I read.”
Directed by Daniel Espinosa, Child 44 also stars the British star Tom Hardy. Hardy and Rapace can also be seen working together on the upcoming The Drop, based on the Dennis Lehane short story “Animal Rescue”. “I met Tom two years previously and we were looking for something to work on,” she says. “What was really great was that we know each other really well, and we really trust each other, so we don’t need to be polite, we don’t need to start from zero. We could just melt into the next one. We had so much for free. It felt like we were this gypsy family coming from New York with all our family and the next stop was Prague.”
During the early summer, no doubt fuelled by their having worked together on two films consecutively and their friendship, there were rumours that Hardy had left his long-term girlfriend, the actress Charlotte Riley, and fallen into the arms of Rapace. These were unsubstantiated and quickly killed off as Hardy attended several high-profile events, such as the recent British Independent Film Awards, with his fiancée.
“Sunday, then.” Bob said the words with a conviction he actually felt. “Sunday, definitely.”
“Yeah?” She smiled, and it was a spectacular smile, and Bob saw that the face behind the pockmarks was as spectacular as the smile. Wanting only to be seen. She touched the puppy’s nose with her index finger.
“Yeah.” Bob felt crazed. He felt light as a communion wafer. “Yeah.”
[Animal Rescue by Dennis Lehane]
“Do you remember the first time we saw each other? You thought I was rude, staring at you. I got off at the wrong metro stop just to ask your name. And you refused to tell me. But I wouldn’t leave until you did. So you lied and told me your name was Lena. For an entire week all I could talk about was this beautiful woman called Lena. I’d tell everyone, Lena’s so beautiful. When I finally saw you again and convinced you to walk with me I called you Lena the entire time. At the end of the walk I was ready to kiss you and you were only ready to tell me your real name. The next day I told everyone how wonderful this woman Raisa was and everyone laughed at me saying last week it was Lena this week it’s Raisa and next week it’ll be someone else. But it never was. It was always you.” [Child 44]