Prometheus: Noomi Rapace plays Elizabeth Shaw.

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a) Noomi Rapace played Elizabeth Shaw
Noomi Rapace played Elizabeth Shaw, a researcher and archaeologist. The character Elizabeth is English but grew up in Africa because her  father was a missionary. Her faith in God came from him and she has a strong inner self, an inner light and is very stubborn and determined. She was probably the most whole person that Noomi Rapace had played. However the character lost her parents when she was a child and so from early times has been a loner. But she is very intelligent. Noomi understood that when one has survived a long time, so will also be strong, but she will also be fragile, for the wounded child in her has not developed properly. She is full of hope, a dreamer who is a little naive. However in the middle of the movie is a lot of things and she transforms into a warrior, another side of her awakening to life

b) Meeting Ridley in LA
Noomi, in August, 2010 was in LA for three, four or five days, and she came in for a group of meetings with Ridley Scott. She went into his office, as far as she was concerned, she was meeting with the producer, Michael Costigan and then five minutes before the interview, she was informed that Ridley was coming along as well and she was shocked. Normally Noomi wore black but that day she wore a pale Helmut Lang blue dress to look more feminine and nice but suddenly began to sweat and it could be seen in her dress and it embarrassed her. 

Then he came in, she froze in awe of him, it was as if Ridley told her the words "You don't have to prove anything. You don't even have to audition for me. You have done everything already. I've seen your performances. I want you." Already he had seen The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo three times,  he loved her work and so he wanted to work with her.
They talked about a couple of different scripts that Ridley was thinking about making. He told her about his prequel script for Alien but didn't tell her that he wanted her for a role in that movie.

But he thought that she had to do something about her accent, and if she could work on that, you could be the biggest if that was her goal, but she had to work on that and be completely free, if she only worked with a dialogue coach and did the lines perfect, she couldn't really live then, she couldn't improvise.

The language barrier was an issue with her. When Girl With The Dragon Tattoo came out in Sweden, there were a lot of journalists from all over Europe coming to Sweden and she found it horrible to sit in front of all the people, like being a monkey in a zoo and she couldn't express herself.

The meeting went on for an hour. For her it was almost as if everything else disappeared around her, she forgot the world around her, she forgot that she was in LA. She thought it was completely unreal. She found Ridley to be very funny and down to Earth considering he was one of the world's biggest film makers. She was happy enough that she had that hour to talk to him even if she never got to work with him

After meeting Ridley, she took this situation serious, she watched movies without reading subtitles, she read books and newspapers,  and she worked on getting her head around the accent.

She was starting to film Sherlock perhaps several weeks later in London, and Ridley approached her again, he said to her that she wanted her to play the lead in his next movie which would be the Alien prequel and she was very shocked

c) The role of Elizabeth Shaw
Noomi played the role of Elizabeth Shaw,  who is a researcher and archaeologist. She is English but grew up in Africa because her father was a missionary, and from him she inherited a faith in God and a strong sense of inner self with an inner light. She is very stubborn and determined. Perhaps as far as Noomi was concerned, she was the most whole character she had played. And so she lost her parents when she was a child, and from early times had been alone. 

She is strong but fragile because the wounded child in her had not developed naturally. She is full of hope and is slightly naive. However in the middle of the movie , a lot of things happen that transform her into a warrior, and another side of her wakes up to life

She and with Dr Holloway played by Logan Marshall-Green were the two main leaders and were a couple. They were the ones that convinced people to put money into this expedition to make this happen. Her character was the believer, the one with passion who was driven on the quest. They had been on a journey around the world collecting pieces that would make them realise that they had proof of an extra-terrestrial civilisation and they could go on an expedition to find them. She was the boss and together they are in charge. The rest of the team are hand-picked because as far as Noomi understood about these character, they're supposed to be the best in the world

d) Further Understanding
Noomi understood that there was a form of kinship with the character Ellen Ripley. She saw Alien as a teenager and was completely blown away, she felt that Ridley Scott has awakened dreams and hopes of many through Alien and Thelma and Louise

e) Resemblance to an Enki Bilal Illustration?
Enki Bilal the comic book artist had been one of the major talents along with Moebius of the early Heavy Metal comic books that captured Ridley's interest. Bilal's work has been an influence on the shadowy look of Blade Runner. When I watched Noomi Rapace in the movie The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo, she reminded me a little of the type of faces drawn by Enki Bilal, and later it turned out that Ridley had become very interested in her for a role in a film that was to be a prequel to Alien and was soon to become a film called Prometheus. So I ask the question is the fact that Noomi resembles a sort of woman drawn by Bilal, if this was one of the contributing factors for Ridley Scott taking an interest in her for the film role.

Illustration from Bilal's La Femme Piège next to Noomi Rapace

Source quotes
  1. Noomi Rapace: My character, together with Dr Holloway [Logan Marshall-Green] are two main leaders. They are the ones that convinced people to put money into this expedition to make this happen - my character the believer, the one with the passion, who's driven, and they are a couple. They've been on the journey through the world collecting pieces that kind of makes them realise they have proof, so they can go out [on this expedition]. She's the boss, in a way. Together with him, they're in charge - the rest of the team are hand-picked because they're the best in the world. (Scifi Now #67, p20)
  2. Noomi Rapace: I was in LA for four or five days a year and a half ago, and I came in for a bunch of meetings. I went to his office, and he was there! I was really shocked, and he told me he'd see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo three times, that he loved my work, and that he wanted to work with me. It felt completely unreal, because I remember seeing Alien when I was young, and it changed thing in me quite dramatically. It was the first time I saw a woman doing the things that Sigourney Weaver did. We don't have so many role models - at the time, it was all the men's world, and I always saw myself as a boy or a man, then all of a sudden, wow, here comes something else completely different. (Scifi Now #67, p20)
  3. Noomi Rapace: The he said, 'By the way, I'm doing a prequel to Alien, let's talk about that later'. [I said] 'OK' Then a couple of months later, he told me that he wanted to me to be his girl, and to do the lead in the next movie. (Scifi Now #67, p20)
  4. Of the five major roles to be cast, Noomi Rapace is the first actor signed to star in the film. The young Swedish actress landed the role of scientist Elizabeth Shaw after Scott saw her portrayal of fictional Lisbeth Salander in the film The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo, for which she was lauded by Time magazine as a 2010 Performance of the Year. Rapace starred in all three entries of the breakout global franchise based on Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy of books (The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest are the other two entries), which have collectively grossed more than $212 million worldwide.  (Fox press release) 
  5.  She was interviewed by MTV,  and asked about her character in relation to Ripley from Alien "She's a scientist and is very bright," she continued. "She's a believer. I think there are some similarities, but she's very much her own. I don't think people will compare her so much to Ripley once they see the movie."
  6. Aftenposten also interviewed Noomi about her role                                                                  Alien og Terminator                                                                                                           Samarbeidet med Ridley Scott er i Alien-universet, men ikke en egentlig en del av Alien-serien. Rapace får ikke lov å røpe handlingen, hun får bare lov å snakke om sin rollefigur.- Jeg spiller Elizabeth Shaw, forsker og arkeolog. Hun er engelsk men oppvokst i Afrika for faren var misjonær. Fra ham har hun fått troen på gud, og har et sterkt indre. Hun er nok det mest hele mennesket jeg har gjort. Hun har et indre lys. Hun er veldig sta og målbevisst. Hun mistet foreldrene da hun var barn, så hun har fra tidlig av vært alene. Men hun er veldig intelligent. Jeg vet jo at når en har klart seg lenge selv, så blir en sterk. Men også skjør, for det sårede barnet i henne har ikke fått utvilke seg naturlig. Man er emosjonelt lettbrekkelig. Hun er full av håp, en drømmer, litt naiv. I midten av filmen skjer en masse ting og hun forvandles til en kriger – en annen side ved henne vekkes til liv.                                                                         - Det høres ut som hun har en del til felles med actionheltinnenes gudmor, Ellen Ripley?-
    Ja absolutt! Det finnes et slektskap her. Jeg så Alien som tenåring og ble helt ”blown away”. Kan det virkelig være sånn! Det var jo den første kvinnelige hovedrollen! Ridley har, med både Alien og Thelma & Louise, vekket drømmer og håp hos mange. 
    GoogleTranslation                                                                                                                             Aftenposten :The collaboration with Ridley Scott in the Alien universe, but not really a part of the Alien series. Rapace are not allowed to reveal the action, she is only allowed to talk about her character. 
    Noomi- I play Elizabeth Shaw, a researcher and archaeologist. She is English but grew up in Africa for her father was a missionary. From him she had faith in God, and have a strong inner self. She is probably the most whole person I have done. She has an inner light. She is very stubborn and determined. She lost her parents when she was a child, as she has from early times been alone. But she is very intelligent. I know that when one has survived long myself, so be strong. But also fragile, for the wounded child within her has not been'll develop naturally. One is emotional lettbrekkelig. She is full of hope, a dream, a little naive. In the middle of the movie is a lot of things and she transforms into a warrior - another side of her awakening to life. 
    Aftenposten- It sounds like she has a part in common with the action heroines godmother, Ellen Ripley? 
    Noomi: Yes, absolutely! There is a kinship here. I saw Alien as a teenager and was completely "blown away". Can it really be that way! It was the first female lead! Ridley has, with both Alien and Thelma & Louise, awakened dreams and hopes of many. 
  7. Noomi: Shaw is a scientist  together with Holloway , they want to explore then go further out than anybody else. She wants to find some answers. Ridley's very, you know he has a very clear vision. He wants it to be real. They find things quite destructive and dark things that happen. She kind of realises like, "maybe I was wrong". In the end, she becomes more of a warrior, it's like her fighting instinct wakes up, and she has this kind of inner strength that keeps her going ( (Is this from the Blu-ray set?)
  8. Empire interviewer: If you can take us back to your first meeting with Ridley in LA when he kind of pitched it to you. Could you tell us what that experience was like
    Noomi Rapace: Yuh, I was um, I was in LA for like 3 - 4 days, um in August, one and a half, yuh, two years ago almost, one and half then, and er, I was not supposed to see him actually, I was supposed to meet with his, um, Michael Costigan, his producer and and erm, err. They run, I think they run Scott Free together. So I was supposed to meet Michael and then I heard like five minutes before the meeting was supposed to happen that Ridley was coming as well. And I was like "Oh my god" and I started to sweat and I in this light blue dress and I was like oh my god, you can actually see that I was sweating and I was really nervous erm,  but he's so, what's so amazing with him, is that he's not, he's one of the biggest you know directors in the world, but he doesn't ever point that out, he doesn't care, he's so much into the work, he just, so he just started to talk to me straight away he was like, I've seen the girl in the dragon tattoo three times or four times, i don't remember, I love it, I think you were absolutely brilliant, and then he just started to talk to me and ask me, you know, how was it working on the movie and how did you prepare, you know, and and and then we were just talking for like an hour, and then he said he wanted to work with me and he said he had like this prequel to Alien that he was kind of working on but he didn't say that he wanted me to do that, he actually, we were talking about two other scripts, erm, and then, I, he was he was weird, it was almost like everything else disappeared around me, i forgot the world around me, I forgot that I was in LA, I forgot, it was just a very creative, inspiring meeting and I stepped out from that meeting, I was like, this is enough, even if I never work with him (laughter) I am so happy that I had this hour to talk to him because, because he's so, the way he thinks and the way his brain works, and he's very very funny as well, so he , it's, um, I I adore him
    Empire Interviewer: And when you did start talking about Prometheus
    Noomi Rapace: Yuh
    Empire Interviewer:You said you had one particular kind of disturbing scene
    Noomi Rapace: Mmm. Well, many but yeah. Like a sequence actually that er is quite
    Empire Interviewer: So did he, how much did he tell you about that
    Noomi Rapace: Nothing
    Empire Interviewer:  Did he like
    Noomi Rapace: No (laughter). No actually, what he said the first time I met him, he said to me, you can work on your accent and and erm, because, because I didn't really speak English, my English was really bad, I was so like, when when when the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo opened in Sweden, there were a lot of Journalists from all over Europe that came to Stockholm, and erm, and I panicked because I couldn't speak English then and it was really horrible, so I was sitting in front of all those people, I couldn't express myself, erm, and he , and that was like six months before so and then i kind of started to watch movies without reading subtitles, and I'm trying to, you know, I have to do something about this and then he said to me, you know, if you can work on that, you can do anything, you can do whatever you want, you can be the biggest or whatever, if that's your goal, but you have to work on that and be completely free, not only work with the dialect coach and do the lines perfect, because you can't really live then, erm, and you can't improvise, you know, and I was like, I really took it superseriously, the day after I started kind or read books and you know newspapers and I was really kind of concentrated about, you know the accent, and kind of getting my head around the language, erm, so that was kind of the only very concrete specific thing he said you know, on that meeting and then he came back like maybe six weeks seven weeks later, when I was in Sherlock, in London, when I was, when we just started to film Sherlock and then he said to me he wanted me to play, you know the female lead in his next movie, you know his first scifi movie in so many years, you know, I was, I was really shocked. (Published on 30 May 2012
  9. David Letterman: Tell me about the Prometheus, what is the film, what is Prometheus, a greek god holding up the w... or is that Atlas
    Noomi Rapace: No, that's... Prometheus, that's the god who stole the fire, no, it's a half god and he stole the fire from the gods and gave it to the mortals. For that he was endlessly punished, there he was kind of tied and there were an eagle eating his liver every night
    David Letterman giggles
    Noomi: So he was caught up in that. Evey night
    David Letterman: Every night
    Noomi: Every night,
    David Letterman: So it's like he doesn't get Saturday nights off.
    Noomi: No, not even that
    David Letterman: And on Sunday's there's a Matinee. Oh my god. Was it a big action thing, a tough, a lot of physical things to do in the movie
    Noomi: Yuh
    David Letterman:Yuh
    Noomi: Yuh. It was um, so it's the ship that is called Prometheus, and my character Elizabeth Shaw, she's an archeologist,  and a scientist, and I was doing lots of training because I want to do my stunts, I want to do as much as they'll allow me to do.
    David Letterman: But why why is that. One, you'll risk injury
    David Letterman: And two, there are other people, who, you know, we don't care if they're injured .
    Noomi:I know, and you know what, honestly, I have that discussion with my directors quite often, just a week ago, I had that with my director now. We were doing this fight sequence and he was like, I wanted to do it, and he was like, you have to promise me that you got, you don't get hurt, and I was, I promised and I of course I get hurt, and I can't show it, so
    David Letterman:Well, see that's what I'm talking about
    Noomi: I know, you have to be careful.
    David Letterman: But what if you would snap an ankle or something. They would shut down the movie
    Noomi: But I don't do. I don't know, I'm quite, I've been doing lots of you know stunt stuff and and
    David Letterman: You're in good shape then
    Noomi: I am yeah (David Letterman Show, 16th November 2012)
  10. David Letterman: Did you study English when you were a kid
    Noomi: That was the thing, my step dad started a school for me because he didn't want to put me in an Icelandic public school, but I was his worst student so he so he kind of had to gave up, he gave up that dream and we moved back to Sweden and he put me in a normal school, but I was not really a good student, so I didn't speak English a couple of years ago
    David Letterman: Yeah
    Noomi: Erm and then, erm, when I had my first press conference with the girl with the dragon tattoo in Sweden, I felt like, ah, you know, a monkey in a zoo, I could not express myself, it was just horrible. So then I made a decision to make this language mine and then I started to watch movies without you know, reading subtitles, watching, you know, BBC, CNN and watching you, to be honest, so you could say that you're one of my teachers.
    David Letterman:Well, thankyou very much, god bless you (David Letterman Show, 16th November 2012)
  11. Noomi; Thankyou

    Charlie: So tell me how Ridley who I wish was at the table but he's somewhere else today. How he called you and what did he say to you about this.

    Noomi. Yuh, actually, I was um, I was in LA, um, one and a half year ago and I was, having lots of meetings. I was supposed to meet Michael Costigan, Ridley's um producer, and then just um, just before the meeting, they told me that Ridley was going to come and that he wanted to see me, and um, and I was always wearing black at the time, and I but, just that day, I was wearing bluish like a Helmut Lang dress, trying to look a little bit more feminine and nice you know, and then I started to sweat and then thought, Oh no, this is, because I got really nervous, I don't really get nervous, but then I started to sweat like heavily and then I got these big marks and I was like no, and then Ridley came into the room, and I was just, I was kind of just froze, because he's one of my heroes and then he kissed me and he said I watched the girl with the dragon tattoo three times and I want to work with you. And then I forgot that I was nervous, you know and we started to talk about movies and he asked me lots of questions, and then he kind of mentioned this movie, that he was working on something and he wanted to come back to me about it, erm, and then he came back like a couple of weeks later, and erm and he said he was doing the scifi movie, there was not, there was not a script ready yet, but erm, then he wanted me to do his erm to be erm, you know (Charlie Rose show,  published November 12th 2012,, )
  12. Noomi Rapace: Ridley Scott made a huge mark in my life. He said to me: "You don't have to prove anything. You don't even have to audition for me. You have done everything already. I've seen your performances. I want you. " I kept his word with me. I realised he doesn't want a product. He wants me. I can't be technical, or practical, as a product or a brand. Brand Noomi! I'm an artist, I would lose my magic. I can be charming when I want to be. But if I adjusted, if I let the industry change me into a likeable, plastic-surgery enhanced girl, I would lose my power and my talent. I don't mean to criticise anybody. I would rather just do what I can to improve our situation as women.  (Wylde #12, 2018)

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