Noomi Rapace recalls director’s sexual harassment


Noomi Rapace had an “early wake up call” when a director became obsessed with her as she starred in his play at the age of 20.

The Close actress, now 39, opened up about the scary time in an interview with Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, admitting that the man, who she didn’t name, got “aggressive and angry” when she turned down his advances.

“(I’ve) always been very stubborn,” Noomi smiled, adding that she refused to “play that game or become someone’s mistress”.

“I never gave myself to him, which provoked him so much,” she continued. “He became really aggressive and angry. I just thought that was the way it was, because you saw so many situations like that around you.”

It wasn’t only her who was targeted by the director, however, as Noomi added it was “like the actresses were a buffet”. Labelling the situation an “early wake-up call”, the Swedish screen star eventually quit the production.

Now, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, standards in the industry are slowly changing. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t people willing to do whatever it takes to land a part.

“There’s so much desperation in the acting world and a lot of people will do anything to get a part,” she mused. “It’s dangerous.”

Noomi is no stranger to the world of sexual violence. She left her family home at 14 to live with her boyfriend in Sweden, with her nearest city being Malmo – where “the statistics for rape are insanely high”.

In a bid to protect herself, Noomi trained in martial arts, and explained: “I didn’t like feeling scared and like I couldn’t protect myself if something happened. To be aware of your body as a woman and to find strength that isn’t based on how you look was liberating for me.”