Rooney Mara preps for stardom with "Dragon Tattoo"
By Zorianna Kit
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When director David Fincher decided to make a film of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," Hollywood was abuzz with who might play the starring role of abused, vengeance-seeking computer hacker Lisbeth Salander.
Would it be an A-list actress like Scarlett Johansson or Natalie Portman, or someone completely unknown to audiences?
For Fincher, the Oscar nominated director of "The Social Network," the answer was never clear cut. Little did he know that his eventual choice, Rooney Mara, was under his nose the whole time. Fincher had cast her as the girlfriend of Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg in "Social Network."
"Dragon Tattoo" opens across the United States on Wednesday. It is based on Swedish author Stieg Larsson's first novel in his mega-popular Millennium Trilogy series, and Fincher's film follows a Swedish movie version of the book.
To some, it may seem that Mara had a Hollywood "in" to play the troubled Salander, who helps a disgraced investigative journalist (Daniel Craig) solve a case. However, the 26-year old actress told Reuters it was quite the opposite.
"I think he was happy with the work I did in 'Social Network,' but because of that work, I think he thought I wasn't quite right for the part" of Salander, she said.
Her role in "Social Network" was that of a polished college girl, and she hadn't tackled any major starring roles in the movies. Moreover, her upbringing in a large and well-to-do family was far removed from Salander's dark and lonely life.
Admittedly, Fincher told Reuters Mara's casting was "a slow realization," but ultimately he found her to be an "emotional hanger" who wore the character like a suit of clothes. Continued...