The lead actors of the Netflix original Bright spent a frenetic day in Mumbai on Monday promoting the alternate fantasy film. Will Smith and Joel Edgerton play policemen in Los Angeles in David Ayer’s movie. The difference is that Smith is human and Edgerton is the first Orc to be inducted into the LA police department. Noomi Rapace, who played Lisbeth Salander from the Swedish The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo series, is Leila, an elf with some impressive stunt moves.

Bright will be premiered on Netflix on December 22.

It can take a while for the audience to wrap their heads around a modern- day Los Angeles populated by elves, orcs, humans and fairies. “It’s true,” Edgerton said. “Will said an interesting thing. He said treat it like it’s absolutely normal and if you believe its normal, then the audience will too.”

Will Smith added, “That’s the hard part with science fiction movies – it’s difficult sometimes with the bizarre nature of things going on to make it feel 100 percent normal, because there are gang-bangers and fairies, and that can throw you off.”


Rapace picked tolerance, love and understanding as the movie’s themes. “We live in a world where people want to draw a line between me and you and us and them,” she said. “For me those divisions don’t work. That old order should be eliminated. We have one planet, different cultures, different skin tones and different beliefs, but it is time for a more tolerant and open world.”

The movie’s examination of social divisions has parallels with contemporary society, Will Smith pointed out. “The idea that my character is judging his Orc partner and the flipping of the social ladder was one of the central aspects that attracted me to making this movie,” he said. “The elves are the one percenters – the haves. The Orcs are the have-nots, and the humans are smashed in the middle. It’s a great exploration for me to play a character that was higher on the social ladder and to realise how everyone is looking for a sense of superiority; everyone wants to be better than someone else.”

It took Edgerton about three hours to get into Orc make up. Over the 50-day shooting period, Smith said that he saw his co-star without make up only once.

It was a day the Australian actor recalls vividly. “That day was quite sad – I had a half day shoot, so I was out of make-up and I remember walking on to set,” Edgerton sad. “People were doing their thing and I walked by and they looked at me and looked away, like I didn’t belong there.”

Bright: Featurette.

For Rapace, playing an elf was less strange. Having grown up in Iceland, she said she has always believed in elves. Learning Elfish was a difficult, though she did pick up Romani for her role as a gypsy in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011). While she did some action scenes in a flouncy dress in the Sherlock Holmes movie, the sequences in Bright were harder.

“I was in a tight suit, platform heels platforms, a wig, and the contact lenses made my vision blurry,” she said. “The false teeth took some time to get used to. At first I was speaking with a lisp, but I was trying to be a cool badass but I was lisping. We just started laughing. At first I trained in a tracksuit and sneakers and the next step was rehearsing in the suit with the heels.”

Rapace most recently played seven identical sisters in the dystopian science fiction film What Happened To Monday. “Nothing is too dark or complicated for me,” she said. “My goal as an actress is to fully understand the character and go as deep as I need to and find a common link and fully melt into the character. Leila, who is cutting people up is further away, but I really did feel connected with her as well. I am drawn to a character whose soul is like a broken mirror. People are complicated in real life, but in movies sometimes they are too simple. I want it to be rich and real – whether outer space with Prometheus or an elf or playing seven sisters – I always start with me and try to build from there.”

Noomi Rapace in Bright. Courtesy Netflix.