Rooney Mara: Snapshot

Rooney Mara
Date of Birth
April 17, 1985
Birth Place
Bedford, N.Y.
Rooney Mara may play The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but she's become the girl everyone can't stop talking about.

Born into football royalty, Mara opted out of the family business for acting, following older sister Kate's career path to Hollywood in 2006. After several smaller roles, she scored the lead in the 2010 horror reboot A Nightmare on Elm Street, but it was her quick-witted performance as Mark Zuckerberg's scorned ex in The Social Network that earned her early notice.

The role also cemented Mara's standing with director David Fincher, who personally cast the actress in his 2011 adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Her dramatic physical transformation and her gritty portrayal of the trilogy's heroine, Lisbeth Salander, earned the young star her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

Rooney Mara:From the PEOPLE TV Archive

Rooney Mara: Five Fun Facts

  1. To portray Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Rooney Mara fully embraced the character's life for a year. "Before this movie, I didn't even have pierced ears. They put four holes in each ear, and my eyebrow and nipple were pierced," she told W magazine.
  2. Rooney Mara's paternal great-grandfather founded the New York Giants football team, and her maternal great-grandfather founded the Pittsburgh Steelers. "I didn't love football growing up, and I'm not obsessed with it," she told Allure. "Of course I appreciate it because of my family – it's a huge part of my heritage."
  3. Rooney Mara has a soft spot for the 2001 comedy Zoolander. "It's probably a guilty pleasure," she told Vanity Fair.
  4. Rooney Mara's opening scenes in The Social Network took 99 takes to film. "David [Fincher] does do more takes than most directors, but I don't know why there's so much fascination around that," the actress said.
  5. Though she played a character who beats up overweight people on a 2006 episode of Law & Order: SVU, Rooney Mara isn't a fan of the hit NBC drama. "Who would beat someone up because they're fat?" Mara said in her Allure interview. "People are obsessed with that show. I don't get it."

Rooney Mara: Biography


Rooney Mara

Crime Spree

While attending New York University, Mara begins auditioning for roles, eventually landing a guest-starring spot on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. "People are obsessed with that show. I don't get it," she later tells Allure. The actress makes further TV appearances on Women's Murder Club in 2007 and The Cleaner in 2008.


Rooney Mara

October 01

'Social' Hour

A scene-stealing turn as Erica Albright, the fictional ex-girlfriend of Mark Zuckerberg, whose breakup inspires the creation of Facebook, launches Mara into the spotlight after The Social Network's release. "When Rooney walked in, I said, 'There's the girl!'," director David Fincher tells W. The film grosses more than $200 million, and becomes an awards-season favorite.

Rooney Mara

It 'Girl'

Mara beats out bigger-name actresses like Scarlett Johansson for the coveted role of Lisbeth Salander in director David Fincher's adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, based on Swedish author Stieg Larsson's best-selling trilogy. "I wanted her from the beginning," he tells W magazine. "We didn't make it easy for Rooney, and there was no way to dissuade her."

Read More on Rooney Mara's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: Frazer Harrison/Getty

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Merrick Morton/Columbia Tristar; Alex J. Berliner/NBC

Edited by Julia Wang

Rooney Mara

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