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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Costumes, Hair and Makeup

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Costumes, Hair and Makeup

The task of dressing Stieg Larsson’s wide-ranging characters, who run the gamut of Swedish society, fell to costume designer Trish Summerville. Summerville joined with hair stylist Danilo and makeup artist Pat McGrath to forge the elements of Lisbeth Salander’s intentionally off-putting style, replete with chopped hair, dark makeup, studded eyebrows and cloaked outfits consisting of hoods, leather armoring and shredded denim.

The key to it all was allowing Lisbeth to be transgressive but also real – someone who might stand out in the corporate security world in which she works, but could also easily disappear at the margins of society. “We didn’t want to make her flashy and loud, but really, really authentic,” states Summerville. “We didn’t want her to look like she’s in a punk or Goth band, but to make her look really cool in a way that is kind of worn-in and used. We saw Lisbeth as someone who can just fade into the shadows if she chooses to do so.”

Her wardrobe of dark hues includes moto jackets, combat boots, high-tops, pronged belts, leather bracelets, thick “spacer” earrings, and t-shirts with provocative declarations (often in Swedish) – with every item washed, sanded, bleached and abraded to give them the essence of heavy use. “And then there are the hoodies,” notes Summerville of one of Lisbeth’s most metaphorically rich fashion choices. “She always has a hoodie and she also wears this over-sized snood – which David called the ‘Jedi Knight’ – when she’s hacking.”

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Costumes, Hair and Makeup

For the initial design of Lisbeth’s hair, Summerville brought in her friend Danilo, who has worked with such artists as Lady Gaga and Gwen Stefani, because she thought he had the right aesthetic. “He’s an authentic punk from back in the day who has lived all over the world, so I was like, ‘If this guy can’t get it, no one’s gonna get it.’”

Fincher wanted Lisbeth’s hair not only to be expressive but fluid and changing. “David’s big thing was that this story takes place over a year, so it can’t be the same hair style the whole time,” Summerville explains. “Danilo gave Rooney, who then had hair to the middle of her back, an extreme cut. It has micro-bangs, the underneath is shaved, the back is chopped off and there are long pieces in the front – but there are so many ways to wear it. You can pin it up, let it down or Mohawk it out.”

It was also Danilo who bleached Mara’s eyebrows. Summerville recalls watching the metamorphosis. “It just made her face so amazing and changed her look completely,” she says. “Rooney was so affected that she asked if she could have a few minutes alone. Then we went over to a tattoo-and-piercing salon and she got her eyebrow pierced that same day. It was like this instant transformation, and in one day, she suddenly emerged into the character of Lisbeth.”

Summerville worked with Fincher on the design and specific bodily locations of each of Lisbeth’s tattoos, including the definitive image of the story’s title, which adorns Salander’s shoulder. “The dragon was definitely the hardest,” she comments.

On the set, the scene-to-scene shifts of Mara’s hair, makeup and tattoos were overseen by hair & makeup designer Torsten Witte, a long-time collaborator with Summerville, who had earlier worked with Fincher during the screen tests to find the film’s Salander. “Even then I knew that David had Rooney in mind,” he recalls. “For me, she was the perfect palette to paint on.”

She also endured a lot in Witte’s chair. “I would often feel so bad meeting Rooney at 4:30 in the morning to cut, shave, bleach and tattoo her,” he says. “There was a huge amount of maintenance involved for each of her looks. David and Trish were very specific about what they wanted to see in each scene. In general, David wanted there to be a back and forth between Lisbeth being attractive and pushing people away – so that you think, ‘Oh, she looks interesting’ but at the same time you wonder, ‘What is that?’ But the look was never static. If Lisbeth had been up for 36 hours on the computer, smoking cigarettes and not eating, she’d have bags under her eyes and her hair was a mess. Her look could change from very strong to more innocent and simple, depending on the situation.”

Her haircut helped create that flexibility. “The dark, chopped hair really made a great frame for this pale, fragile face that never sees sunlight,” Witte observes. “We could do a lot with it. I loved the braided look, a Mohawk looked really strong on Rooney and I also loved it just simply slicked back or in a beanie. The one bottom line was that David had to be able to see her face at all times.”

For Mara’s makeup design, producer Ceán Chaffin suggested bringing in British makeup artist Pat McGrath, named by Vogue magazine as the most influential makeup artist in fashion, to do a brainstorming session. “Ceán really admired her work and so she came out to Sweden and for two days tried out a great variety of looks,” recalls Summerville. “She did beautiful work. And then she conceptualized the makeup for the entire film, with more than 30 different character looks. She and Danilo and the rest of the crew were a dream team. David was able to throw us any idea – crazy, crazy stuff – and get so much creativity.”

Witte’s day-to-day makeup for Lisbeth was based on her likely disdain for a complicated beauty routine. “Trish and I talked about ways to make her very real, and one thing we talked about is that she probably would have only have a few makeup products she uses every day, like a black eye-liner and dark eye shadow and we stuck to about five products for each of her looks,” he explains.

Each day, Witte also applied seven fresh tattoos to Mara’s skin. “We used a real ink transfer and when I thought about them shooting with the RED camera and that the tattoos would be as big as a house on the screen, it was important that we do them every day,” he says.

In addition to the eyebrow piercing, Mara also went further. “It is difficult to fake a nipple piercing, so Rooney just decided one day that she needed to do this for her character and we all went together to get it done,” he recalls. “The other piercings of her nose and lips we were able to replicate. But it was all a lot of work for Rooney and she was amazing in her commitment. It was a great team effort with her, Trish and David all figuring out what was needed for the character in the moment.”

While Lisbeth’s internally-motivated style is a centerpiece, it was equally essential for Summerville to create a stark contrast with Daniel Craig’s Mikael Blomkvist. “I had such a great time with Daniel because he’s so much fun to dress,” the costume designer notes. “We worked in a lot of sweaters and layers to make him look a bit heavier and slouchier. Everything Lisbeth wears is very worn in, but his clothes are more fitted, more of a uniform. Yet, they are still quite relaxed. He doesn’t iron his shirts and he wears them open at the collar and kind of half tucked-in. He always has the same jeans – these Scotch & Soda jeans that we bought 30 pairs of for Daniel.”

Summerville especially enjoyed the broad scope of the movie, with its dozens of characters from disparate walks of life. One of her favorites is Erika Berger, Blomkvist’s lover and magazine partner, played by Robin Wright. “I saw Erika as a more mature, professional version of an older, gentler Lisbeth Salander,” she explains. “Like Lisbeth, she has a very strong female intention, and I think that’s also the reason that Blomkvist is so attracted to her. It was great fun to work with Robin.”

As for working with Fincher, Summerville calls it the best experience of her career so far. “You really have to bring your A game,” she notes, “but why would you want to bring anything else?”

Read full production notes for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo >>

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Is Dragon Tattoo career turning point for Rooney Mara?

Is Dragon Tattoo career turning point for Rooney Mara?

When director David Fincher decided to make a film of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” Hollywood was in turmoil with which could play the main role of abuse, Salander vengeance among hacker Lisbeth.

Would it be an A-list actress like Scarlett Johansson or Natalie Portman or someone completely unknown to the public? For Fincher, the director of Oscar-nominated “The Social Network”, the answer was never clear. He did not know that his final choice, Rooney Mara, was under his nose all the time. Fincher had cast as the little Facebook friend of billionaire Mark Zuckerberg in “Social Network”.

“Dragon Tattoo” opens across the U.S. Wednesday. It is based on Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s first novel in his series of mega-popular Millennium trilogy, and Fincher’s film follows a Swedish film version of the book.

For some it may seem that Mara was a Hollywood “in” play Salander disorder, which contributes to a disgraced investigative journalist (Daniel Craig) solve a case. However, the 26 year old actress told Reuters it was just the opposite.

“I think he was happy with the work I did in” Social Network “, but because of this work, I think he thought I was not quite right for the part” of Salander she said.

Is Dragon Tattoo career turning point for Rooney Mara?

His role in “Social Network” was that of a polished college girl, and she had not discussed the key roles in feature films. Moreover, education in a large, well-to-do family was far from dark and lonely life is Salander.

Of course, Fincher told Reuters casting Mara was “a slow realization,” but eventually he found it was an “emotional suspension” as the character who wore a suit.

Salander, with its dramatic plot and seek complex has many piercings, tattoos and short hair, is definitely a breakout role in Hollywood Mara. Last week, she was nominated for her first Golden Globe Award for best dramatic actress.

Yet Mara reluctant to call “Dragon Tattoo” her big break.

“I think everything I did led me to the next thing, so I can not say that I have something I feel is a big break as the rest,” she said.

Career Turning Point

However, the role Salander is the most high-profile Mara never addressed, and it may be the most challenging, too.

It required him to learn to ride a motorcycle and skateboarding, and underwent a physical transformation when she cut her long hair, colored in black, white eyebrows and has undergone many piercings all over his body.

In addition to the physicality of the role there was as much – if not more – to display an emotional trauma, including scenes of Salander being assaulted by her legal guardian.

But there is a reward. The actress is now in the enviable position of being on the list filmmaker projects for many of the major studios. It is already committed to play alongside Ryan Gosling and Christian Bale in director Terrence Malick “Lawless” to be shot next year.

His Hollywood career is far from the sport in which his family is steeped. His grandfather Art Rooney Mara and Tim founded Pittsburgh Steelers professional football and the New York Giants, respectively. Both his uncle and father work for the Giants.

Mara said of his family background does not inform which sport it is today, even though she abandoned her first name Patricia for her middle name Rooney. But she acknowledges that her family and its history in football is unique.

“I doubt it very much appreciates. I grew up surrounded by people who knew what they liked to do and I worked very hard for this, so that was really instilled in me, “she said.

Mara recalled a childhood of going to the theater and watching old movies, more than football. She moved to Los Angeles after her older sister, actress Kate Mara (“127 hours”), was already living and working there.

Small parts came his way in guest star roles on television in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “ER” Roles of the film included “Youth in Revolt” with Michael Cera, “Tanner Hall” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street “with Jackie Earle Haley. ”

Twenty-five days after Fincher shot in the final version of “Social Network”, he flew to Sweden and Mara to begin shooting “Dragon Tattoo”.

“This film, in particular, I feel like I learned a lot from it,” said Mara. “First of all, he turned for much longer than anything I’ve ever worked. And between all the players and the things I learned from David, I have grown so much.”

Although it is too early to say whether the film’s producers plan on filming the next two installments of the film, the actress is already mentally on board.

“I look very forward to it,” she says with certainty.

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David Fincher talks about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

David Fincher talks about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

As most of you know, Dragon Tattoo is the first in Stieg Larson’s Millennium trilogy and it centers on a disgraced journalist who’s hired to investigate the mysterious 40-year-old disappearance of a young woman. Rooney Mara plays Lisbeth Salander, a brilliant young hacker who teams up.

I heard that your original cut on this was over three hours.

David Fincher: It was three hours and seven minutes.

Exactly, and you’re releasing a…

Fincher: Two hour and forty… well, again, I have to count titles contractually. But if you’re talking about the movie, the movie’s two hours and thirty-three minutes.

Either way, there was a lot of talk about you debating how to cut twenty minutes out of the movie.

Fincher: Somebody asked me, “At what point did you decide the movie should be two hours and thirty three minutes?” And I said, “At the point in time where it was three hours.” It was pretty obvious when you looked at it that we could sustain a lot of interest, but I didn’t think we could sustain three hours worth of interest.

Are you going to release the additional footage?

Fincher: Nope.

So that footage is never going to see the light of day?

Fincher: No, I don’t believe in that. I’m a final cut director. Oliver Stone’s a final cut director. Why would JFK, the one we saw, be different from the one that’s on the DVD? Tell your story, man.

David Fincher talks about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

100%, except that studios today release extended cuts and unrated editions.

Fincher: I don’t believe in that. I think that’s like jerk-off land. Put your best foot forward.

Okay, let me ask you this, Lord of the Rings, the theatrical versions are fantastic; the extended versions for the fans are amazing.

Fincher: I’ve never seen them, the extended versions.

I would argue that the extended version of Fellowship of the Ring is better than the theatrical version because you get more character stuff and it’s an amazing extended edition. I would imagine for fans of the book, and fans of yours, they would really love to see twenty more minutes of your material. I would argue that a lot of people would like to see the footage.

Fincher: And they may, but I took out stuff that I thought was weak. I took out stuff that I didn’t think was as good as the other stuff. There were moments that I would have wanted to have had, but it either killed the pace of the thing or it gave you an impression that the movie was starting again. I’m happy with this version of it. I won’t be re-opening this thirty years from now and re-digitizing it in 8k.

What’s funny is that you get to my next question, which is: a lot of people have been talking about how George Lucas changes his movies on every release.

Fincher: I’m not into it.

With previous films of yours, would you ever go back to any previous film that you’ve done and alter something?

Fincher: No.

So it’s always going to be the way you originally made it?

Fincher: For the Blu-ray of Fight Club, there were a couple of shots that once you went to a higher definition, higher resolution delivery system, they just seemed dirtier; they stuck out like sore thumbs. We did a little bit of noise reduction, a little bit of matte painting clean up on a couple of things, but we didn’t change the shots; the shots were what they were. They’re doing a Blu-ray of The Game and there’s a lot of stuff I would love to fix, but I just think a movie’s an expression of a time and a place. It’s where you are in your career, it’s where all the actors are in their careers, it’s San Francisco that fall. I just don’t believe in changing that.
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Dragon Tattoo earns $1.6 million from Tuesday screenings

Dragon Tattoo earns $1.6 million from Tuesday screenings

Sony Pictures decided to roll out its highly-anticipated adaptation The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo early last night, and it took in a solid $1.6 million.

The adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s novel, directed by David Fincher, opened in 2,914 theaters last night, getting a head start on the crowded holiday week at the box office. The Adventures of Tintin opens in theaters today, and Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol goes wide starting today, after its limited early release in IMAX theaters. We Bought a Zoo also opens on December 23, with War Horse and The Darkest Hour hitting theaters on Christmas Day.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was released December 21st, 2011 and stars Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Robin Wright, Stellan Skarsgard, Christopher Plummer, Joely Richardson. The film is directed by David Fincher.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first film in Columbia Pictures’ three-picture adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s literary blockbuster The Millennium Trilogy. Directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, the film is based on the first novel in the trilogy, which altogether have sold 50 million copies in 46 countries and become a worldwide phenomenon. The screenplay is by Steven Zaillian.

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The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Trailer

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first film in Columbia Pictures’ three-picture adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s literary blockbuster The Millennium Trilogy. Directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, the film is based on the first novel in the trilogy, which altogether have sold 50 million copies in 46 countries and become a worldwide phenomenon.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a 2011 Swedish-American psychological thriller film based on the novel of the same name by Stieg Larsson. This film adaptation was directed by David Fincher and written by Steven Zaillian. Starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, it tells the story of journalist Mikael Blomkvist’s (Daniel Craig) investigation to find out what happened to a woman from a wealthy family who disappeared forty years prior. He recruits the help of computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara).

Sony Pictures Entertainment began development on the film in 2009, the year the first, highly acclaimed adaptation of the novel entered cinemas. It took the company a few months to obtain the rights to the novel, while recruiting Zaillian and David Fincher. The casting process for the lead roles was exhaustive and intense; Craig faced scheduling conflicts and a number of actresses were sought for the role of Lisbeth Salander. The script took over six months to write, which included three months of analyzing the novel.

Pre-release screenings occurred in London, New York City and Stockholm. Critics gave the film favorable reviews, praising its bleak tone and lauding the performances of Mara and Craig. With a production budget of $90 million, the film grossed $232.6 million over its theatrical run. In addition to being included in several publications’ best-of lists, the film was a candidate for numerous awards, ultimately winning nine accolades including an Academy Award for Best Film Editing.

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The Social Network wins big at Golden Globes

The Social Network wins big at Golden Globes

The Facebook film takes home awards for best drama, director, score, and screenplay.

The Facebook tale “The Social Network” won top honors Sunday at the Golden Globes with four prizes, including best drama and director, solidifying its prospects as an Academy Awards favorite.

Winning the dramatic lead-acting prizes were Colin Firth for the British monarchy saga “The King’s Speech” and Natalie Portman for the psychosexual thriller “Black Swan.”

Lead-acting honors for the Globes’ musical or comedy categories went to Annette Bening for the lesbian-family story “The Kids Are All Right” and Paul Giamatti for the curmudgeon tale “Barney’s Version.”

The boxing drama “The Fighter” earned both supporting actor Globes, for Christian Bale and Melissa Leo.

David Fincher, directing winner for “The Social Network,” said he thought it was strange when “The Social Network” script came to him, since he usually makes dark character studies about misanthropes or films about serial killers. His films include the murder tales “Seven” and “Zodiac.”

“I’m personally loath to acknowledge the kind of wonderful response this film has received for fear of becoming addicted to it, so suffice it to say, it’s been really nice,” said Fincher, whose film also won the Globes for screenplay for Aaron Sorkin and musical score for Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

Sorkin, creator of TV’s “The West Wing,” had kind words for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, played by Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network.”

“Mark Zuckerberg, if you’re watching, Rooney Mara makes a prediction at the beginning of the movie. She was wrong. You turned out to be a great entrepreneur, a great visionary and an incredible altruist,” Sorkin said.

The win by Portman for her role as a ballerina coming unhinged amid a production of “Swan Lake” sets her up for a two-woman showdown for best actress at the Feb, 27 Oscars with Bening, who won for her role as a stern lesbian mom in “The Kids Are All Right,” which also won for best musical or comedy film.

It’s familiar territory for Bening. She won the same prize at the Globes 11 years ago for “American Beauty” and went in as the best-actress favorite at the Oscars, where she lost to Globe dramatic actress winner Hilary Swank for “Boys Don’t Cry.”

Portman thanked the film’s choreographer, her fiance Benjamin Millepied, with whom she’s expecting a child. He also appears in the movie, and his character doesn’t want to sleep with hers. “He’s the best actor! It’s not true, he totally wants to sleep with me,” Portman said, giggling.

Related Link: The Social Network Full Production Notes

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