GIRL_FIRE_27x40_6Director Statement

It was pure coincidence that I read the manuscript of Stieg Larsson’s first book before it was published. This was shortly after his death. Already after reading this first book in the trilogy, I knew that this was something special. I had never heard of Stieg Larsson, but I had read EXPO, the magazine that Stieg wrote and edited.

Initially, what captivated me was the character of Lisbeth Salander. Stieg Larsson also achieved a compelling combination of complete authenticity and heightened realism. The world of Mikael Blomkvist is utterly authentic. I have personally walked these streets. Drunk coffee in these cafes. Admired the view from Fiskargatan and Södermalm in Stockholm. For me, this was the challenge. How to transpose to cinema this realistic fairy tale.

I consider Lisbeth Salander a contemporary fairy tale heroine and know that Stieg Larsson had Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren as inspiration. I imagine that he wondered how Pippi would be in the 21st century. And if Lisbeth is a super human character, her father and half-brother are almost surrealistic characters, yet Stieg Larsson has managed to make them all believable and engaging. This was the balancing act that we were faced with when we turned the books into films.

A key piece in this puzzle was of course the casting. With Noomi Rapace in the role of Lisbeth, the rest of the pieces fell into place. She succeeded in making Lisbeth authentic and believable, at once super human and deeply human. A perfect Pippi Longstocking for a Stockholm in the 21st Century.


~ Daniel Alfredson Director