“I never want to repeat myself”: Noomi Rapace on playing María in indie thriller Lamb
Lamb is the genre-bending, eerie debut feature from writer-director Valdimar Jóhannsson that follows the story of a childless couple, María and Ingvar, living on a remote Icelandic farm. When a lamb is born to one of their sheep, they decide to bring it into their home to care for it. As time goes on, they virtually adopt the offspring as their own. And things only get stranger from there.
Rural Iceland has never looked so stunning yet so bleak. The film absorbs the audience into the hard everyday reality of working on a farm, but also imbues all with a subtext of meaning, from the perennial mist to the expressive eyes of the herds of sheep. With a streak of black humour and an unsettling tone throughout, it feels more reminiscent of fable or folklore with a horror edge than straight drama, and explores themes from the anxieties of becoming and being a parent to the formidable nature of nature itself. It’s not hard to see why the indie thriller won the Prize of Originality in the Un Certain Regard category at Cannes 2021.
Starring as Maria is Noomi Rapace, known for her unforgettable turn as punk-badass Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish-language adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its sequels (as well as roles such as Elizabeth Shaw in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus), opposite Hilmir Snaer Gudnason as Ingvar. Rapace’s performance is more than committed, undoubtedly channelling the Swedish actor’s own connection to the country, having lived on an Icelandic farm as a child.
The Upcoming had the pleasure of speaking to Rapace ahead of the film’s release about what appealed to her about the script, the highlights and challenges of the shoot and what she thinks people will take away from watching Lamb. Speaking about taking on the role she said: “I never want to repeat myself. I try to challenge myself and be brave and take on parts and go into projects where it feels a bit uncomfortable”.
Lamb is released in select cinemas on 10th December 2021.
Watch the trailer for Lamb here: