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Rooney Mara: The Girl with the Strawberry Merkin

Recently, Metro had separate one on one interviews with Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, stars of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Our full interview will run in Metro New York on December 21st. (Be sure to pick up an issue. They’re free, like the Internet!)

But we wanted to share this exchange early, especially for fans worried that the film is disloyal to the book. According to Mara, she and director David Fincher took every detail very, very seriously.

Metro: What’s the one part of Lisbeth that’s depicted in the movie that might get overlooked, a detail that you hope people catch?

Rooney Mara:I can’t think of a serious answer to that question, but I can think of a ridiculous answer to that question.

Ridiculous answers work, too.

Well, her merkin. There was a lot of discussion that went into my merkin for the movie, because I was naked quite a lot. And I don’t think a lot of people will notice all of the attention that went into that. But there was a lot of discussions around that.

What sort of discussions are we talking about?

Well, you know, in the book she’s meant to have strawberry-blonde hair originally and she dyes it, so we had a special merkin made that was, you know, strawberry-blonde so that it would fit. [laughs]

Source: Metro


Rooney Mara Interviews With LA Times

Reporting from New York City— — In a pleated white dress, her jet-black bangs neatly trimmed, Golden Globe nominee Rooney Mara looks nothing like Lisbeth Salander as she relaxes in the drawing room of New York’s Crosby Street Hotel. But it doesn’t take long for the 26-year-old to show the resolve that helped land her the coveted lead role in the U.S. version of Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” vaulting over a scrum of top Hollywood actresses. Mara previously was best known for her opening tête-à-tête with Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network.” Now, her multiply-pierced face as the fierce hacker is everywhere. The piercings in her eyebrow and ears are gone now — though she has said one other, seen in a topless teaser poster released earlier this year, is still in place — but there’s plenty of steel still in her even and unflinching gaze.

There’s a debate about whether Lisbeth has Asperger’s syndrome. What do you think?

People ask me, “What did you decide?” As the character, she doesn’t know, so I didn’t make a decision either way. It’s clear from the book that everyone is diagnosing her with that, and on paper it sounds like she does. I went to a school in Sherman Oaks called the Help Group for kids with autism and Asperger’s, just to see. I got to talk to one girl in particularly who was around the same age and who people said reminded them of the character. It was incredible talking to her. When she was done talking to you, she was done. There was no sign of it; I just wasn’t there anymore. I think Lisbeth does that a lot.

One aspect of the story that can be hard to swallow is when Lisbeth decides to sleep with Daniel Craig’s character shortly after she’s been raped. How do you understand her actions?

There’s certainly a lot of discussion about that. People were horrified by the teaser poster, like, “How can you show her in that way? This is a rape victim.” I think Salander is a character who’s incredibly comfortable with her sexuality. Most of the time, it’s on her terms. This horrible thing happens to her, but I think she has a hard time with intimacy, period. Every once in a while, she needs a fix, friction and human contact. That’s why she goes to the club and meets Miriam and ends up in bed with her. When Mikael comes into her life, he’s one of the first people to just appreciate her for her. He’s honest and straightforward, and he does what he says he’s going to do. She sees someone that she can trust in him. It’s on her terms. It’s not like he gets her into bed.

You got pierced in a number of places to play the part. Did going through that painful process teach you anything about Lisbeth?

Not really. The piercings were one afternoon. It hurts for a second, and then it’s over. It didn’t really faze me. I did a lot of kickboxing and, early on, I would make a face that I was in pain. My trainer would say, “Now do it to me, and try and hurt me.” I would try and try and try, and he wouldn’t show anything, and it was so frustrating. He was like, “You’ve never really experienced pain. If you’re someone who is used to that, you don’t show it, because if you show someone that you’re in pain, it gives them a sense of pleasure.”

As I was working with him more and more, he’d be like, “Does this hurt? Am I working you hard enough? Because I can’t tell anymore.” I’ve kept that, not on purpose. I went on a haunted hayride over Halloween, and people would come up and scare me, and I wouldn’t even flinch. My sister and my friends would be, like, “What is wrong with you?” When you’re used to people being abusive, you find a way to turn it off. It’s not like [Lisbeth] was born not asking for help. She tried to go through channels, and no one helped her. After a while, you stop screaming.

David Fincher said your four-day shoot on “The Social Network” involved 2,400 takes, which was a joke, but he is famously meticulous, which is not something every actor warms to. How did you get along?

I love the way Fincher works. That’s not to say I wouldn’t want to work with someone who does two takes. But I really respond to it. We really work well together. Continue reading Rooney Mara Interviews With LA Times


Stylist UK Interview: Rooney Mara

Stylist meets the girl who won Hollywood’s most coveted role

In Stockholm, the sun went down half an hour ago. It’s 3pm. I’ve just completed the Millennium Tour – an hour-long walk around the city where parts of Stieg Larsson’s bestselling trilogy (65million copies sold in 46 countries) were set

The darkness and the medieval beauty of the city, along with the memory of the books’ violence, have unnerved me as I return to the hotel where I’ll be interviewing Rooney Mara; the relatively unknown actress cast as Lisbeth Salander in the upcoming, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Fans of Larsson (who died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 50 in 2004, shortly before the books were published) will know what I mean when I say Rooney is “very Salander”. For those of you who don’t, let me explain. Salander is a slight, tattooed, multi-pierced, social outcast deemed legally incompetent by the state. Sitting before me now, Rooney is neither tattooed, nor multi-pierced and seems entirely capable of looking after herself; but she is very guarded. She’s petite and her short hair dyed jet black makes her look even paler. When she shakes my hand, her touch is so delicate, I fear I may have broken her fingers. We start the interview; her arms are folded. She’s prone to one-word answers – and don’t even think about asking her about her boyfriend, Curb Your Enthusiasm director Charlie McDowell. The room is eerily quiet; I’m starting to worry this won’t go well.

After three very successful Swedish film adaptations of the trilogy – starring Sherlock Holmes 2’s Noomi Rapace – were made just two years ago, it was surprising when The Social Network’s director David Fincher announced in 2010 he would make an American version. Apart from one omission, Fincher’s much slicker version takes in every twist and turn of the novel, something which nudges the film towards the two-and-a-half hour mark …but which keeps you spellbound for every minute. And Rooney is brilliant. Emotionally (and physically) naked for much of the film, she deserves an Oscar nod. Maybe that’s what’s worrying her. The 26-year-old’s life is set to change dramatically. Continue reading Stylist UK Interview: Rooney Mara