Noomi Rapace has said there is still an impetus for female action stars to be sexy.
The Swedish actress, who first found fame with her portrayal of Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo films, said it continues to be rare to see realistic portrayals of women in the action genre.
Rapace will next be seen playing a female bodyguard in the Netflix movie Close, directed by British filmmaker Vicky Jewson, and told the Press Association: “We are still fighting that battle, because now more and more there are female action stars and female fight scenes and stuff but it’s always sexy, it always needs to look good and needs to be hot at the same time.
“I think that was so liberating with Vicky, that she wants it to be real and raw and authentic and that is always where I’m coming from so it was a perfect marriage with our two intentions.”
She added: “Every movie I end up arguing for reality more than you see, if she has been hit in the face it will show and it will stay, it doesn’t disappear after two days, and if you have been asleep and you wake up you won’t look perfect and stuff like that.
“I grew up watching all these amazing movies, movies were my oxygen, but it was always men and all my heroes were men, so now when young girls come up to me and have seen What Happened To Monday or Prometheus or The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, that makes me so happy because I wish there were more films like this when I grew up.”
Jewson said there is still a squeamishness when it comes to showing the effects of action on women.
She said: “I feel there is a nervousness about seeing someone punched that bleeds when it’s a woman, and I felt like I wanted to change that.
“I think there is a huge appetite now for female-led content and it’s proven to be very commercially successful in recent years, so that dialogue is changing, but when we were putting the film together I sat in a lot of rooms where I was told, this is very hard to finance because it’s all about women and it stars women, and girl with gun movies don’t work, and I haven’t heard that since so I’m hoping that is changing.”
Close will stream on Netflix on January 18.