Directed by Michael Apted and written by Peter O’Brien, the action-thriller Unlocked follows Alice (Noomi Rapace), a sidelined CIA agent who is called back into action by her mentor (Michael Douglas) to help stop a terrorist attack. But when Alice discovers that her mission has been compromised, she must fight for her life at every turn while trying to save the lives of the citizens of London.
During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, actress Noomi Rapace talked about why she likes to be a part of a story that keeps her guessing, what made her want to play this character, why she likes to do her own stunts, hiding her fears from her co-workers, and her experience working with Michael Douglas, who she’s a big fan of. She also talked about why she wanted to be a part of Bright, working with David Ayer, and playing a villainous elf.
Collider: There are a lot of twists and turns in this, and a lot of unexpected ways the story ends of going in. Is that something you really respond to, when you’re reading a script? Do you like a story that keeps you guessing?
NOOMI RAPACE: Oh, God, yeah! I find it so much more fun when I can’t figure it out and I’m like, “I know where this is going,” and then I’m like, “Actually, I don’t know at all!” I love to be surprised. I love to go on a journey and be on a ride, trying to keep up. When I read the script and I came to the last scenes, I was like, “Oh, wow, I didn’t see that coming, at all!” I love that!
You got this script early, before a director was even attached. What was it that stood out to you and made you want to sign on?
RAPACE: I really loved the character of Alice. She’s real, she’s a real woman, and she’s gone through a lot. She’s strong-minded and she has a good heart, but she also has a lot of demons. I just loved the complexity of her. It has an old school spy movie format to it, but still with a very modern twist. It felt very fresh. Also, the way it was written was raw and real. When I came onboard, I spoke to the producers and said, “If I do this, I want to do my stunts and do it real. I want it to feel very authentic and realistic.”
You’ve talked about the fact that you got injured on this, so when you do your own stunts and something happens and you end up injured, do you ever regret doing your own stunts?
RAPACE: Well, my nose will never look the same. I had a straight nose before, and now I have a big bump. I can look at myself in the mirror and be like, “Oh, that looks like shit!,” but at the same time, I’m not doing what I’m doing to look good. That’s not my main goal. With my job, there’s a little bruising, pain and sometimes broken bones, but I can live with that. I’m a fast healer.
You’ve also talked about being a perfectionist. Is that why you like to do the stunts yourself, instead of letting a stunt person take over?
RAPACE: No, it’s actually not that. I just love doing it. I’ve been doing martial arts since I was a teenager. When I see the actor doing the stunts, it just gives another dimension to the character because it’s the same body doing it. For me, it makes it stronger. It helps me, in my performance. If I come out of a fight scene and I’m in a little bit of pain, it helps the other scenes because it’s organic and it’s all in my system. I want to do it all because it makes more sense for me. Also, as an audience, you can see and feel that it is me and it gives that dimension to it.
You’re definitely very good at being a bad-ass!