On the occasion of the world premiere of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", we spoke with Swedish actors Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace about their thoughts on being the ones to embody the expectations of at least ten million readers. Michael Nyqvist plays the dethroned, ideal-driven journalist Mikael Blomkvist, whom many have perceived as Stieg Larsson's alter ego. No easy task, Nyqvist says, to live up to the books' runaway popularity:"One million copies in Denmark. Two and a half in France, and the same in Germany. In all, ten million copies of Larsson's books are sold, and people borrow them from each other. That makes, let's say, twenty million readers and twenty million interpretations. How can it not go wrong?" Important to listen to yourself
Especially the character of computer-hacker whiz Lisbeth Salander is up against difficult odds, as many readers are bound to have quite strong opinions on this oddly extravagant personality. Noomi Rapace took the decision early on not to listen to people's expectation, but stay focused on her own experience of the character – and take the heat later. "It's impossible to satisfy everybody. I have to make up my own truth about Salander. Although I must admit, now that the film is out, it's suddenly quite scary, and I'm sure everybody will have something to criticize."Locked up for six months
"You have to look inside yourself to be able to play roles like these," Nyqvist agrees. "It's impossible to ask everybody what they think, so I took the liberty of creating my own version.""We locked ourselves in the studio for six months, and during the whole period I didn't discuss my work with anybody in order to stay focused. You know there will be a lot of reactions later on, but you simply have to block it out of your mind."
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