You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Rooney Mara: Clicks in ‘Social Network’

10 Actors to Watch

10 Actors to Watch
Bow Wow | Cecile De France | Garrett Hedlund | Jennifer Lawrence | Logan Lerman | Rooney Mara | Lucy Punch | Edgar Ramirez | Andrea Riseborough | June Temple


“I have an attraction to playing complex characters, and they don’t come around that often, especially for women.”

Rooney Mara shares this piece of info from the set of her next film in Sweden. The film, of course, is “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” David Fincher’s adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s bestselling posthumous book. And her role is the much-hyped lead: Lisbeth Salander.

Clearly, Mara has struck “complex character” gold. The twentysomething Salander is a world-worn, tough-as-nails computer hacker. She has crude oil-colored hair, a plethora of piercings and a short fuse of a temper. As a child, she was beaten by her father, and only later did she enact her revenge.

Outside of the book (the first in a trilogy), the character of Salander has been interpreted by a Swedish film adaptation of “Dragon Tattoo,” which made its Stateside debut earlier this year. But Mara is quick to set this upcoming version apart from the previous film.

“I don’t categorize it as a remake,” she says. “We are making our interpretation of Stieg Larsson’s book. I don’t plan on ‘borrowing’ anything. I plan on giving my interpretation of the character.”

When it was announced that Mara would be playing Salander, there was some skepticism. At the time, Mara was a relative unknown. That was only two months ago.

It’s amazing how quickly things change in this industry. Mara recently appeared in the Fincher-directed “The Social Network.” Her character kicks off the film by breaking up with Mark Zuckerberg, appearing sporadically throughout, sometimes simply as a Facebook page. Her screen time was brief, but found Mara flawlessly chewing Aaron Sorkin’s savory dialogue.

Mara certainly had a strong track record prior to “The Social Network.” She appeared in “Youth in Revolt,” “Tanner Hall,” and this year’s reboot of the “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise. Her work on indies “Dare” and “The Winning Season,” both premiering at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, earned her a spot on Filmmaker’s list of “25 New Faces of Independent Film.”

“She has depth and wisdom beyond her years,” says Tanner Hall director Francesca Gregorini. “She has so much going on behind her eyes.”

“The Social Network” is clearly a boost in Mara’s profile — others can notice what Gregorini knew all along — and marks a turning point in her career.

Says the actress: “After ‘The Social Network,’ I was re-inspired to give it my all.”

LUCKY BREAK: “The Social Network”
FAVORITE FILMS: “Can I only pick one?”
THE CAREER I’D LIKE TO EMULATE: “Daniel Day-Lewis. Though I don’t think that’s humanly possible.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Jon Voight'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' film

    President Trump to Award Jon Voight the National Medal of Arts

    President Trump will present actor Jon Voight, musician Allison Krauss, and mystery writer James Patterson with the national medal of arts. Voight is one of few in Hollywood who has been vocal about his support of President Trump in the past, calling him “the greatest president of this century.” The White House announced four recipients [...]

  • Zack Snyder arrives at the 2018

    'Justice League': Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, Zack Snyder Support Release of 'Snyder Cut'

    Zack Snyder, Gal Gadot, and Ben Affleck have taken to social media to request that Warner Bros. release the Snyder cut of “Justice League.” Snyder, who helmed “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman” and was “Justice League’s” original director, had to leave production on the film partway through after his daughter died, with Joss [...]

  • Whose Side Is 'Marriage Story' On?

    Whose Side Is 'Marriage Story' On? (Column)

    Do we choose sides when we watch “Marriage Story,” Noah Baumbach’s brilliant and wrenching drama of divorce? The question, on the face of it, sounds facile in a dozen ways the movie isn’t. Rarely are there winners in divorce, and there are two sides to every breakup. “Marriage Story” is a movie that reflects that [...]

  • The Letter

    IDFA: Kenyan Documentary ‘The Letter’ Debuts Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety has been given access to the trailer for Kenyan documentary “The Letter,” by producer-director duo Christopher King and Maia Lekow, which world premieres Nov. 23 at IDFA. The film follows a young man who travels to his grandmother’s rural home when he learns she’s been accused of witchcraft. He soon discovers that the threatening letter she [...]

  • Warner Bros. Box Office

    With 'Good Liar' and 'Doctor Sleep,' Warner Bros.' Box Office Misfortunes Mount

    When Warner Bros. was crafting its 2019 slate, the studio took pains to offer more than just superhero movies. To be sure, there were lots of masked vigilantes too, but more than any of its big studio brethren, Warner Bros. was willing to take a risk on the kinds of thrillers, adult dramas, coming-of-age stories, [...]

  • Constance Wu

    Will Constance Wu Ever Watch 'Hustlers'?

    Despite her leading role, Constance Wu has never seen “Hustlers” and, spoiler alert, it’s very unlikely that she will. Wu explained why she doesn’t want to watch the film to Mindy Kaling (“Late Night”) during a conversation for “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.” “This is crazy,” Kaling said in the beginning of the interview. “I [...]

  • Ford v Ferrari

    'Ford v Ferrari' Outmatches 'Charlie's Angels' at International Box Office

    Disney and 20th Century Fox’s “Ford v Ferrari” sped ahead of fellow new release, Sony’s “Charlie’s Angels,” at the international box office. Director James Mangold’s racing drama collected $21.4 million from 41 foreign markets, representing 67% of its overseas rollout. “Ford v Ferrari” also kicked off with $31 million in North America, bringing its global [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content