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a la Mod:
Wes Anderson: Well, Brian De Palma is a very interesting one. You know, Brian De Palma is one of my favorite directors ever, and such a… the most sophisticated visual style of anybody. And [his] way with a camera. But I think in a way, Brian De Palma is somebody who can take a giant, complicated action sequence, and say, “I know precisely how to execute this,” and he can do it in a way that is completely his, and yet is highly effective as a, you know, suspense and as… [waving his arms] understanding the space and how this action is occurring. And, you know, I’m a completely different kind of moviemaker. The basic crucial talents of that, that Brian De Palma has, are exactly what I lack. Probably.
In the movie a babycall monitor sets off the nerve-wrenching plot. Anna buys it to make sure nothing her 8-year-old son stays safe at night, only to find out that the babycall picks up another child crying somewhere in the apartment building.
“When we had been filming for maybe three weeks my hips started hurting. I felt like an old Labrador that couldn’t walk. I could hardly get out of bed. The doctors and chiropractors couldn’t say what it was. It didn’t get better until the day after we finished shooting. Then the pain disappeared, it was just gone. When I look back at it, it seems like my subconscious picked up on the woman’s story and then my body somehow induced the state psychosomatically. And it was beyond my control.”
Preparing for both Babycall and now Passion, Noomi has regular conversations with Dr Clara Gumpert, associate professor and Director of the Centre for Psychiatric Research in Stockholm.
“Before Babycall I tried to learn to understand what it’s like to live in a world where you know that you can slip into a psychosis that you will experience as reality. I could be sitting here being psychotic and seeing devils and demons but pretending everything is normal and be able to control them. But as soon as we log off Skype I will say to them ‘Why can’t you leave me alone when I’m sitting here talking to Antonia’.”
In Brian De Palma’s drama thriller Passion, Noomi plays the lead character Isabella James, a young ambitious businesswoman who gets into a close relationship - with several intriguing turns - with her boss and mentor, played by Rachel McAdams. In preparation for the film, Noomi has practiced Bikram yoga pretty much every day, but most of all she tries to map James’ psyche, her psychological landscape:
“Now that I’m immersing myself in a new part, I try to understand each scene based on the character’s motivations and goals. How does her mind work? I have to make sure that the actions of my characters are psychologically convincing. If I don’t it becomes almost physically impossible to proceed.”
[Noomi Rapace] Wow, yeah, that was a very different experience. I had never done anything like that. And stepping into his world, we had discussions and conversations about the script and the relationship between my character and Rachel McAdams' character. It was really interesting because it started off and we were on two different islands, me and De Palma, and when I finished, I felt we had moved into the same country and we were sharing the vision and sharing the same dream... I became really influenced and colored by my character, and she has a weird emotional life.
[Moviefone] It seems like you're kind of a lucky charm for these filmmakers returning to their favorite genres, with Ridley going back to sci-fi and De Palma returning to an erotic thriller.
[Rapace] [Laughs] Maybe!
[Noomi Rapace] I think so. I did a movie with Brian De Palma called Passion, and my character’s spirit is so completely disturbed. She has a very weird inner landscape. Her thoughts are pretty far away from my thoughts. Elizabeth Shaw is more close to me. It’s easier for me to step into her shoes. But I always say that I have to find a way to always use myself and translate things from my own life. For example, to find the religious side of her, I really had to travel back to my own childhood to remember what I thought and how I saw things. And I believed in angels. I was always pretty sure that we have two different kinds of angels – dark angels and good angels. So a lot of time, as I tried to find Elizabeth, it was almost like I traveled back into myself. You have to use yourself. Or, that’s what I need to do. I don’t want to pretend. I don’t want to fake it. I want to live it.
Prometheus, directed by Ridley Scott, is said to have themes akin to De Palma's Mission To Mars. It opens Friday in North America. Rapace will be a guest tonight on CBS' Late Show with David Letterman.