'I was obsessed with their world,' the actress tells EW of her latest role

By Shirley Li
January 03, 2019 at 09:30 AM EST

A world-class hacker. An Alien-battling archaeologist. Seven identical twins living in a dystopian nightmare. When it comes to choosing roles, Noomi Rapace has always been drawn to tough characters — so it should come as no surprise that her latest, that of steely bodyguard Sam in the Netflix thriller Close, also fits the description.

“I’ve always been so fascinated by female bodyguards,” Rapace explains. “I was obsessed with their world and how good they are at leading people and blending in and basically not taking up any space. They’re behind you or in front of you, but they walk with you. It’s almost like a dance. It’s just a very intriguing, kind of hidden and secretive world.”

Her Close character, as seen in the exclusive trailer above, definitely knows how to stay out of the spotlight. Directed by Vicky Jewson, the film begins with Rapace’s Sam hired to protect an heiress named Zoe (Sophie Nélisse) in what seems like a straightforward job — until a mysterious group attempts to kidnap Zoe and forces the two women to go on the run.

“She would die for the people she protects, but she also has a lot of ghosts from her past that she’s not really dealing with, and she doesn’t have a lot of personal relationships,” Rapace says of Sam. “She doesn’t let people in.”

That complexity drew Rapace to the role, which is based on that of Jacquie Davis, one of the world’s leading female bodyguards, whose clients have included J.K. Rowling, Nicole Kidman, and members of the British royal family. Rapace met with Davis, who also served as a consultant on Close, and trained in London with The Circuit — the British organization for close protection officers — in order to perform her many fight brutal scenes.

“[Jacquie] has seen the dark side of humanity several times, and her heart is heavy but also strong,” Rapace says. “I’m obsessed with digging into the human psyche and discovering how different things will change you as a person, and I feel like my peek into this world stayed with me. It left a mark on me.”

Below, EW can also exclusively debut the film’s poster:

Netflix

Close hits Netflix on Friday, Jan. 18.

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