We got a blurry look at Rooney Mara’s Vogue cover this weekend, and we told you it was coming last month. Now Vogue.com‘s posted the real actual cover, as well as Mara’s accompanying editorial and profile. Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott shot the editorial and Jonathan Van Meter traveled to Sweden to profile the upcoming star of the hotly anticipated Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, in a piece that’s as much about breakout star Rooney Mara as it is about her relationship with her director, David Fincher.
It’s a good juicy profile, with lots of telling observations.
Rooney Mara (and David Fincher) on dropping weight to play Lisbeth Salander:
When a waiter appears to take our order, we are all looking at our menus, but I see out of the corner of my eye Fincher nudging Mara. He says with quiet seriousness, “You can eat.” I look up to see her reaction. Mara rolls her eyes, and Fincher laughs. “You can have lettuce and a grape. A raisin if you must.” She orders a piece of fish and barely touches it. In the book, Salander is described as boyish and awkward, “a pale, anorexic young woman who has hair as short as a fuse. . . .” Noomi Rapace, the magnetic star of the Swedish versions, looked more like Joan Jett. “One of the things that make our version that much more heartbreaking,” says Mara, “is that even though I am playing a 24-year-old, I look much younger. I look like a child.” I ask if she had to get unhealthily skinny for the role. She says, “Umm . . . not really.”
“It hasn’t been too hard for her,” Fincher quickly adds.
Mara on that controversial movie poster that shows Mara’s exposed breasts, plus a nipple piercing:
“There’s a certain way people are used to seeing nude women, and that’s in a submissive, coy pose, not looking at the camera,” Mara says. “And in this poster, I’m looking dead into the camera with no expression on my face.” She smiles and flicks a cigarette into the street. “I think it freaks a lot of people out.”
Pat McGrath on Rooney Mara’s transformation into Lisbeth Salander:
“When I saw that it was Rooney,” she says, “and I saw those bony features, those cheekbones, those eyes, I said, ‘I can’t wait.’ I was instantly inspired. It’s like in fashion, when you get a girl who has one of those haunting faces that you can do absolutely anything with.”
Holed up in a tiny studio for two days with Fincher and Mara, McGrath created about 26 different looks. “We went from the white-powdered sick-clown makeup to stitches in the face all the way to greasy, bloody eyes. I instantly knew how I could make her character so different. And then once the hair was cut in that mad shape, I was like, Well, the eyebrows have got to go. And in the end, it would look now and it would look new.”
David Fincher on why Scarlett Johansson didn’t get the part:
“Look, we saw some amazing people. Scarlett Johansson was great. It was a great audition, I’m telling you. But the thing with Scarlett is, you can’t wait for her to take her clothes off.”
Jonathan Van Meter and Daniel Craig on Fincher and Mara’s relationship:
Their relationship, it quickly becomes clear, is charged with the electric current of the mentor-protégée crush, which is both touching and occasionally uncomfortable to watch. Or, as Daniel Craig, who costars as a crusading journalist named Mikael Blomkvist, says about their working relationship, “It’s fucking weird!”
Click through to see Mara’s full editorial in Vogue, all by photos by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.