Rooney Mara Career Milestones
Born: Patricia Rooney Mara
Birth Date: April 17, 1985
Birth Place: Bedford, New York, USA
Patricia Rooney Mara is an American film and television actress. Mara made her acting debut in 2005 and has gone on to star in films including A Nightmare on Elm Street, the remake of the 1984 horror film, and The Social Network. Mara will portray Lisbeth Salander, the title character in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first of three Sony Pictures films based on Stieg Larsson’s Millennium book series.
Mara is also known for her charity work. She oversees the charity Faces of Kibera, which benefits orphans from the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, one of the largest slums in Africa. She is also the younger sister of actress Kate Mara.
Mara made her professional acting debut in a bit-part in the 2005 direct-to-video horror film Urban Legends: Bloody Mary, which starred her sister. She found work in television, appearing on the New York City-based drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2006, as a girl who dislikes fat people. She guest-starred on the legal drama Women’s Murder Club in 2007, and played a drug addict in an episode of The Cleaner in 2008. Mara appeared in the feature films Dream Boy and Friends (With Benefits) that year, and guest-starred as Megan for two episodes of NBC’s ER in 2009.
Mara landed her first lead role in the coming-of-age film, Tanner Hall, starring Amy Sedaris and Tom Everett Scott, a story of four teenage girls set in a New England boarding school. Mara played Fernanda, who has an affair with a married family friend (Tom Everett Scott). The feature was the debut of filmmakers Tatiana von Fürstenberg and Francesca Gregorini. Tanner Hall debuted at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival and had a limited theatrical release in September 2011. Mara dropped her first name, Patricia, to be known professionally by her middle name after working on the project. “I never really liked my first name,” Mara stated to Paper magazine. “I never felt like a Tricia. And Rooney is more memorable”.
Mara’s experience lead to other film work. She appeared in the comedy Youth in Revolt in 2009, starring Michael Cera and directed by Miguel Arteta. Mara played Taggarty, the love interest of Cera’s best friend. Her character tries to sleep with 50 guys before she goes to college. The film was based on the 1993 cult novel of the same name by C.D. Payne. Mara had auditioned for the starring role, but was offered the smaller part when the lead went to Portia Doubleday.
Mara appeared in the independent film Dare in 2009, starring Emmy Rossum. She played Courtney, a high school senior set on expanding her life experience. Mara also filmed The Winning Season that year, starring Emma Roberts and Sam Rockwell, playing a high school basketball player in a story similar to The Bad News Bears. Her character has an affair with a 40-something year old shoe salesman (Kevin Breznahan). Dare and The Winning Season premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Mara was included on Filmmaker magazine’s list of “25 New Faces of Independent Film” that year.
Mara starred in A Nightmare on Elm Street in 2010, a remake of the 1984 horror film of the same name. She played the protagonist Nancy Holbrook, a teenage girl who is eager to leave town after graduating from high school. Mara began shooting the film in Chicago on May 5, 2009, directed by Samuel Bayer. Mara told Filmmaker that she felt that her Nancy was “completely different from the original” and “the loneliest girl in the world”. Mara was signed on to continue her role if a sequel was made, but stated to Vogue that she disliked the experience of making the film so much, that it made her question if she wanted to be an actress.
Mara appeared at the Hamptons International Film Festival in October 2009 as part of its Breakthrough Performers Program, where she was tutored by Sharon Stone. She appeared in the 2010 film The Social Network by David Fincher, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and Justin Timberlake. Her character breaks up with Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, which inspires him to start the social networking website.
In August 2010, Mara was cast as the lead in an upcoming film adaptation of the Millennium book trilogy by author Stieg Larsson. She plays Lisbeth Salander, a damaged bisexual computer hacker who helps journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) attempt to solve a series of murders. Mara won the role over several other actresses, including Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Lawrence and Katie Jarvis, after performing multiple auditions and screen tests. David Fincher will direct the first of three films, based on the novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, with Scott Rudin producing. The other books of the trilogy, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, will also be adapted. Fincher convinced executives at Columbia Pictures to cast Mara for the part.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo began shooting in Sweden in September 2010, and has a release date of December 21, 2011. Mara stated to Variety that she doesn’t consider the film to be a remake, but an interpretation of the novel: “I plan on giving my interpretation of the character.” Mara’s long brown hair was cut short and dyed black, in a style reminiscent of 1970s punk and 1980s goth fashions. She also had each of her ears pierced four times, and had her lip, brow, nose, and nipple pierced for the role. Her eyebrows were bleached, and she wears a temporary dragon tattoo.
Mara will again work with filmmaker Francesca Gregorini in the independent drama, Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes. Mara will play a troubled teenager, hired to babysit a lifelike doll in the film. The project will be Mara’s first time co-producing, and was scheduled to begin shooting in mid 2011.