We catch up with Noomi Rapace who talks about playing travelling gypsy Madam Simza

STUDIO: You play a new character to our story, a gypsy named Sim.  Can you tell us about her?

Noomi Rapace: She's a traveller.  She's a gypsy.  She's from Eastern Europe, but they've been moving around.  When she meets Holmes, the camp is outside Paris.  She's on this lonely journey searching for her brother.  She was a part of an anarchist group in France, in Paris, for a while fighting for the gypsies' rights and she wanted to change things.  She's a very strong person, and she's quite tough.  She's used to taking care of herself and fighting back.  But she's very much a woman.  She likes being a woman, and she has a very good heart; she's very loyal.  So when she let's someone into her life, she will be there to the very end and she will fight and she will stand up for you.  I adore her.  It was so much fun playing her.


STUDIO: She is a very strong woman and she holds her own with Holmes and with Watson in all the action sequences, and there are some pretty impressive ones.  What was your favourite scene to film?

NR: I loved the first scene between me and Robert.  It was really fun.  It was quite intense and it goes from us being really close to each other and it's quite intimate.  Then it goes into this crazy circus with this guy trying to kill me.  I love that scene.  It was really fun.


STUDIO: Was there a lot of training for all the stunt work?

NR: No, not really.  I've been training a lot before.  I did a lot of training for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, for example.  I've been doing a lot of martial arts, kickboxing and Thai boxing.  So I have it in my body.  I can do kicks and things like that.  It was trickier to actually find a way to fight in the corsets in the costume.  I actually stopped training when I knew that I was going to play this role, because I didn't want to look too fit and I don't want to have a body that is really toned because for this movie it doesn't make sense for this character.  I was training with the stunt guys rehearsing with the knives and everything.  I think it's really fun to do fight scenes and action and stuff.




STUDIO: What's it like to work opposite Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law?

NR: Fantastic.  We had so much fun.  They were just incredible.  From the very first day they just grabbed me and supported me and opened up the Sherlock Holmes family.  It felt like I became one of the boys.  Robert always supported me and he always listened to me and asked me, "What do you think, Noomi?"  And if I had some idea that I wanted to try, he was like, "Everybody, I think Noomi has a brilliant idea.  I think we should try it."  They were incredible; it was fantastic.


STUDIO: It sounds like it was a really collaborative environment on the set.  Was it that way with Guy Ritchie, too?

NR: Oh, yeah, definitely.  Guy was so open; he gave me a lot of freedom.  We talked a lot.  I was creating the character with him and we tried a lot of different looks.  We worked really close to each other.


STUDIO: Did you do any research for the character?

NR: I did.  I didn't have time to do everything.  I wanted to go and stay and live with gypsies in gypsy camps in Transylvania.  I had a long list of things I wanted to do.  But I didn't really have time because I came in and I had three weeks to prep and then we started to film.  But I did research. I worked with a woman called Zita Kovac, who came to London and worked with me and taught me how to dance the old traditional gypsy dances and how to sing.  She helped me with the daily life, told me stories about how they lived and how they did things and how they ate and that they were sitting on the floor; they don't use chairs.  I loved it.  I've always been drawn to gypsies and to the gypsy culture.



Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is available to own on Blu-ray and DVD May 14th.

“I've always been drawn to gypsies and to the gypsy culture.”

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