‘Lamb’ Star Noomi Rapace Jokes About Possible Sequel: ‘Maybe the Next One Is My Head on a Sheep’

The two decide to raise the half-lamb half-human creature as their own child. Noomi Rapace and Hilmir Snær Guðnason star in Valdimar Jóhannsson’s A24 drama “Lamb” as a couple, Maria and Ingvar, who live on a remote farm in Iceland and discover that one of their sheep has given birth to a lamb that is half human. Their life is disrupted when Ingvar's brother Pétur (Björn Hlynur Haraldsson) unexpectedly shows up at their door.
I've never been to Iceland, so is that how life is because that's on the edge?
This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.
You can listen to the full interview above or at Apple Podcasts. You can also find “Just for Variety” wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.” />
At one point, I thought the lamb was going to start talking.
Yeah, it's like you create a spotless order around you because you're so chaotic inside.
Is this the start of a franchise? Are we going to see a movie called “Puppy?”
The producer came to London to my house to have a meeting with me. They brought me the script and this strange kind of moodboard with pictures and drawings and [they were] really quite disturbing. The script was like that. I was hallucinating looking at it. And I read the script and it’s like they don't talk. And then I have this crazy, imaginary, brutal and beautiful look book that is just so… it was almost like a weird trip. And I was so obsessed with this look book. I was like, "Well, I need to do this.” I've been waiting for this since as long as I can remember. I was like, "I need to be brave and just jump into this universe."
The kitchen is spotless. What I found fascinating are the details behind the couple. Everything is so controlled. When you drive in the Jeep and you're making coffee, the Jeep is spotless.
They're around. …So I think in that sense, it's very Icelandic because for Icelandic people, they wouldn't even ask what kind of genre this is. You might not see them, but he's standing right there behind you. It’s like animals and humans and fairies and elves. It's just like, "Oh, it's a story." That kind of 360 awareness of all kinds of life forms, some you might not see, I was very open for that idea as a child. I moved to Iceland when I was five. They're here. I’d be out riding with my grandmother and she was like, "Yeah, we can't cross that hill because that's the elf hill." They live very close to nature and with maybe creatures we don't see.
Yeah, then “Kitten.” Oh my God, we can go so many places. Maybe the next one is my head on a sheep mama.
There's very little dialogue. Maria doesn’t speak much. What did the script look like?
What was it like seeing the lamb baby for the first time?
Is she imagined by them?" And I think when she had lines and she was talking, all of a sudden she just became way more real in a way that broke the possibility for her to exist. She had a few lines in the script and it didn't work because she broke the illusion. She had this weird little voice and then it was like, "Is she really there or no? That’s really interesting because she used to talk. When I saw it, it was in the first cut.
People would be like, “Why did Noomi do this small Icelandic movie with this weird baby human lamb? It was in post, but also, we had Peter Hjorth, an amazing Danish man who was the puppet master. So there was a lamb head and he was walking this strange walk and looking at us in a certain way. But then I remember getting just goosebumps and I was like, "Oh, it's actually going to work." I was scared because I didn't know if it was going to work. But obviously when I finally saw the movie or the first rough cut, it was with a lot of weird green screen effects still. So she was kind of coming to life while we were shooting. It could've really been weird and tacky if it was done the wrong way.
It's a fairytale.
It's a fairytale.
So I'm like, it's just a film. I feel like it's its own genre. And I grew up in Iceland and everything is kind of on the edge there. It's like light horror, drama, but it's very Icelandic.
When people say to you, "What is ‘Lamb’ about?” what do you tell them?
I caught up with Rapace for this week’s “Just for Variety” podcast.
People see different stories in it. And for me, it's almost like two stories going on at the same time. It's a love story. It's the story about motherhood, grief, and how far you'll go to heal and to protect your child, sort of. And what I love about the film is it has so many layers.
What is it? Is it horror? Is it a thriller?

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