Inside the Making of “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” | Created with Columbia Pictures & MGM Pictures


I would have loved to have done
the whole six months of training where, I became really sinewy
and kind of tough. But also that wouldn’t be
really be true of Lisbeth, she doesn’t go to the gym everyday. So if I was there like-
it would just be a bit of a lie really. And she eats a lot of junk food.
So that’s why in preparation I’ve done no physical exercise
and eaten lots of junk food. And I think I’ve achieved really interesting… -physique.
-Seems like you’re getting into character. The Girl in the Spider’s Web is the
fourth installment in the Millennium Series. The story features the protagonist, Lisbeth Solander,
played by Claire Foy. A tech savant, who uses her skills to seek vengeance on
corrupt people and companies. This time around she gets entangled
with the NSA and a secret society of underground hackers. All while trying to outrun her past. I sat down with the writer/director,
Fede Alvarez and Claire Foy to see how the film came together,
and to learn more about what makes Lisbeth a revolutionary character. I think Lisbeth is just different,
she doesn’t conform to any kind of idea of what her sexuality is,
she doesn’t judge anyone for their sexuality,
she doesn’t judge anyone for their political– She doesn’t have any interest in
politics or the working of society. She just lives her life the way she
wants to live it, and doesn’t really play by any of the rules that
society puts on her, or that we all feel we have to. I think she’s someone that has
a really good heart. She really has a good sense of what’s fair,
which is completely different to having a sense of what’s just.
So there is an aspect of her that makes it fascinating.
She just goes after things that she really thinks
are worth fighting for. She’s been so failed by every
single institution that she’s ever been part of. So I just think she thinks
it’s all nonsense really. Which is why I love her.
And I think why other people love her. Time has moved on in the years since
the books have been written, and since the other movies have been made.
But I think that everybody has always been interested
in this character. It was a massive
challenge for me, purely because
it was so physical and, it’s not just stunts so much,
there is a lot of stunts, but it’s more the physicality side of it.
The physical side of coming to work and actually moving. Her inner strength is
far greater than her physical strength and I think that’s true of most,
you know, you always hear those stories of people who are able to lift cars
all of a sudden because their child’s under it or something,
that sums her up. And I really identified with that, the idea that you’re underestimated
because of your physicality, or the way you are that people
think you’re easy prey, but she’s not.
She’s tough as old boots. The role of Lisbeth in
The Girl in the Spider’s Web is an unexpected departure from
any of Claire Foy’s previous characters. Most notably, Queen Elizabeth in The Crown. How did you choose
and why did you choose Claire Foy for this role? First of all, I think
she’s an amazing actress, right. And that was the main thing for me
to find the best actress I could for the role. And then also the fact that I wanted
someone that you would like, who? That playing this?
Obviously going from playing the queen to this. I couldn’t think of anything more apart.
And that was fun for me. On the whole for me, it’s been a
different kind of process. I found the character as I’ve been
working more than I have in anything else I’ve ever done really,
because so much of it is about being in her body and moving the way she
moves, and having all the stuff around her that she has. The outer world
has been much more important on this than anything else I’ve ever done. The design is amazing
and it’s an amazing world that Fede has made.
It’s really beautiful. You spoke a little about Fede Alvarez.
Talk to me a little bit more about his creative process
and what it was like working with him. I think Fede is really interesting. He’s very musical and so
it comes across in his work. He understand rhythm
and how to pace a film. He’s just a very instinctual director. He only knows if it works
when he sees it. And everyone has had to work that
way in a sense that, if we turn up on the day
and it’s just not working then they have to change it,
or, if it is working and you want to see something else,
then that’s what you have to do. He’s just a bit of a genius. Fede Alvarez has been given the
reins of this franchise, as both the director and writer. Known for horror films
like, the remake of Evil Dead and Don’t Breathe,
Fede is adding even more suspense to Lisbeth’s story. I think it’s just this concept for me
is there’s a door there that is kind of ajar, and beyond
that door is something very dreadful. The most optimistic movies where they say,
that if you go ahead and you have to go and open that door because
probably what’s on the other side is not as bad as you think. In my movies on the other hand,
what they say is like, what’s on the other side is
beyond what you could imagine, and it’s really dark and really bad.
But that you have to face it, and it’s not until you face it that
that the door won’t exist anymore, right. And obviously her fears,
the things that she’s terrified of are things that I think are pretty
common for the audience. It has to do with family and she’ll have to
face things, that are very close to her. It’s the right time for a new installment. Today more than ever, there’s the
constant threat of political manipulation, cyber security breaches and espionage. When we started writing it, we were
like, do people care about this? It’s kind of too hacky
and tools of cybersecurity, who cares… There was a little bit of that
at the beginning. And as we started
getting deeper into the script, a lot of things started happening in the world, and suddenly it was like,
whoa, it’s straight out of the movie. It’s a lot of those elements that
suddenly legitimized a lot of the ideas that we thought were
kind of silly in our story. It’s not like a James Bond thing
where you get a lighter-pen that can kill someone. The technology works.
And the thing is she’s up on it and she uses it, and so it’s pretty
interesting and exciting to see someone who doesn’t really care
about destruction, doesn’t really care about the consequence of things really. She just does what she wants
for a challenge and then realizes
that she’s created mayhem and goes “Oh dear.” When Stieg Larsson wrote the books,
he was writing about someone that we all recognized.
The person who’s on the fringes of society and he’s identified by being a part of a
group that you’re able to sort of dismiss. And then you say, that’s what that
person’s like, but you don’t know really what they’re like at all.
I just think that there’s a new generation of people who are
coming forward, who have been brought up not believing that you should judge
someone by what they put on the outside not what the color of their skin is,
what their sexuality is. And people are throwing away
stereotypes a bit. And I think Lisbeth, take away the
vengeful behavior, take away the violence and the criminality
of some of the things she does, at her core, she’s just a really
accepting person. And I think the world could do with people
who are more accepting, and less judging,
and more themselves really. If only I could be Lisbeth. We can all be Lisbeth!

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