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‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’: Claire Foy on Becoming Lisbeth Salander

Before stepping into Lisbeth Salander’s shoes for “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” Claire Foy didn’t watch any of the previous films, which starred Rooney Mara and Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth. “I didn’t watch them ahead,” the Golden Globe winner told Variety on Sunday at the NYC screening of the movie. “I think that would have been quite a cruel thing to do to myself.”

While she purposely avoided seeing any of the films in the franchise, she did dive deep into the books by Stieg Larsson and David Lagercrantz, which the movies are based upon. “The books were my bible, and I think for Noomi and Rooney as well, they were. So that was all I did really was go back to the books,” Foy explained.

Foy, who previously played Queen Elizabeth II on “The Crown,” is nearly unrecognizable as Salander in the film, from her mohawk hair and pale makeup to her tattooed and muscular build. “I had to do quite a lot of physical training for the role,” she told Variety. “I had to do quite a lot of stunt work so there was a lot of choreographed fights to do. There was physical transformation in that I wanted to physically change my body but then there was obviously the hair and makeup and costume as well, which is a huge part of the character.”

Director Fede Alvarez said his favorite part of making “Spider’s Web” was directing Foy. “She’s definitely one of the best actors working today and for directors, that’s a dream come true,” he said. “It makes your job way easier, to point a camera in the right direction and things will be great.”

“The Girl in the Spider’s Web” hits theaters on Nov. 9.

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