The Girl in the Dragon Tattoo franchise has always been about the mystery. Since Stieg Larsson’s introduced Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist in his 2005 novel, the investigative duo has been through the ringer in a series of mysteries, murders and conspiracies. So it’s fitting that the latest on-screen adaptation, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, is shrouded in mystery of its own.
Adapted from the fourth book (which has never been brought to screen before), The Girl in the Spider’s Web reinvents the saga on-screen once again, with Don’t Breathe helmer Fede Alvarez taking over in the directors chair (David Fincher directed the 2011 adaptation) and Golden Globe-winning The Crown star Claire Foy taking on the iconic role of Salander for a tale of trauma, conspiracy and vigilantism that leads Salander back to her own past. The Square breakout Claes Bang stars in the film as a, you guessed it, mysterious villain, who comes gunning for the punk hacker when she digs a little too deep.
Earlier this year, I visited the set of The Girl in the Spider’s Web in Berlin, Germany, where I learned joined a small group of journalists for a behind-the-scenes look. Bang was headed out the door to a flight, but the actor spared a few minutes to sit down with us, and while we can’t tell you everything we learned, the actor describes his character (still unnamed on IMDB) as a combination of two characters from the book (and he says the book isn’t much to go by when it comes to the film anyway), explaining that he’s a “fixer” and a “henchman,” who solves everything with a gun and might just have deeper ties to Salander than meets the eye. “I hardly have any lines but I shoot a lot,” Bang explained. “So that’s sort of what I do, fix things.”
In fact, Bang says he spends more of the film shooting than talking; a role that required extensive weapons training, including “all kinds of machine guns,” along with some stunt training. “I’ve never done anything like this before,” he said. “I’ve never done any action ever, so this is like super good fun to do all this, because it’s so different, and it is quite interesting to sort of go around in a much more- in more physical way or not so much through verbal.”
The actor also discussed working with Alvarez as a director and what the horror helmer brings to the project with his clarity of vision. “He allows you a lot of space, but also you definitely have a feeling that he knows exactly what he wants,” Bang said, “and if he’s not getting it, we’ll just keep going until he has it.”
He continued, “What do you sense on the days that he’s prepared very, very well. Everything is laid out for you. It’s not like you have to stand there and invent everything on the day. He’s very well prepared so when you go there, it’s like putting on a glove. Slipping right into it. Then you do these tiny adjustments and then he has what he wants in mind. He’s quite precise and specific in what he wants.”