Claire Foy Wanted to "Protect" Lisbeth Salander in 'The Girl in the Spider's Web'

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Claire Foy and Fede Alvarez

Foy said she felt "much more confident" than ever before when discussing how she wanted to portray the lead character.

A new Lisbeth Salander — the hacker heroine and title character of the Stieg Larsson-created Millennium book series, which saw its first American adaption in 2011’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo — emerged at the premiere of The Girl in the Spider's Web on Sunday in New York City. But according to everyone from the film’s costume designer to Claire Foy herself, who inherited the role previously portrayed by Noomi Rapace and Rooney Mara, the latest version of Salander is different in more ways than one.

“I feel like everything that’s happened in the past year has made me much more — I couldn’t have played this part without respecting her and protecting her,” Foy told The Hollywood Reporter, referring to the way she advocated for her character when having conversations with director Fede Alvarez about onscreen nudity and sex scenes.

“But I feel much more confident that I’m allowed to say that about a character that I’m playing now,” Foy said. “I don’t feel like I have to do as I’m told quite so much.”

Though other characters returned to The Girl in the Spider's Web, the film is the first to place Salander at the center. Alvarez said the decision to do so was certainly helped by Foy being “one of the best actors working today.”

“Once you put [Salander] at the helm in a way; put her at the wheel of the story, everything changes,” Alvarez told THR. “This is the first time that Lisabeth is what drives the whole story.”

Foy’s Salandar is also slightly subdued physically compared to previous depictions. Costume designer Carlos Rosario told THR this was intentional. “It was more about focusing on Claire’s performance, on the essence of the character, and not as much on the look,” Rosario said. “It’s a much more mature Lisbeth.”

He continued, “It’s not about her going to the bars every night, or the piercings. It’s more about who she is as a person and what she’s supposed to do; what she likes to do — which is, in a way, reestablish balance and fight for vulnerable women.”

Rosario added that the new Salandar is “more approachable,” and that viewers might feel like they can “relate to her a little bit more.”

The Girl in the Spider’s Web opens in theaters Nov. 9.