Noomi Rapace breaks through in Cannes

'Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' actress eyeing next move

CANNES -- Forget Lars von Trier. The biggest Scandinavian star in Cannes this year is Noomi Rapace, the nearly unknown actress about to go wide on the back of Swedish crime smash "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."

The film already has become the most successful Scandinavian title of all time and, with the UGC-driven release in France on a jaw-dropping 500 screens, Rapace is on the cusp of becoming Europe's next big star.

"My agent has been talking to U.S. and European producers and I've been reading a lot of scripts," Rapace said. "But I'm only interested in complicated roles, like (goth computer hacker) Lisbeth Salander in 'Dragon Tattoo.' I don't want to do a silly romantic comedy."

Complicated is a good word to describe the 29-year-old Swedish actress. "Dragon" director Niels Arden Oplev prefers "explosive."

"She's like a hand grenade with the pin pulled out," he said. "She's unpredictable. That's what makes her so exciting for an audience."

With "Tattoo" set for release throughout Europe this year and Zodiak closing in on a U.S. sale, audiences worldwide might soon get very excited indeed about Rapace.