Does life imitate art? That seems to have been the case with actress Rooney Mara, who apparently had a nightmare of her own while filming the remake of Nightmare on Elm Street back in 2010. In that film, she played the leading role of Nancy Holder.
Though she revealed few details about the incident, Mara told Rain Phoenix, an interviewer for the LaunchLeft podcast. that it was “not a good experience” and that she nearly quit acting altogether as a result. (Rain is the sister of Joaquin Phoenix, her fiancé.)
“I have to be careful with what I say and how I talk about it,” she told Rain. “It wasn’t the best experience making it and I kind of got to this place, that I still live in, that I don’t want to act unless I’m doing stuff that I feel like I have to do. So after making that film, I kind of decided, ‘Ok, I’m just not going to act anymore unless it’s something that I feel that way about.’”
Mara attributes her continuing success in the profession to David Fincher, who cast her soon after Elm Street in The Social Network, where she played the role of an ex-girlfriend of Mark Zuckerberg. “He had to fight really hard for me to get the part because the studio didn’t want me for it,” she added. “It was a definite real turning point in my life and my career.”
Fincher next cast Mara in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, for which she received an Oscar nomination and that validated her decision to continue her film career. She can now be seen in Sarah Polley’s film Women Talking, which may yield her another nod by the Academy.
“David really took me under his wing,” Mara added. “He became my mentor in a lot of ways. He took such great care to make sure that I knew that I had a voice and that my opinion meant something. He constantly was empowering me, which I think really affected the rest of my choices thereafter.”
Mara made her film debut in the 2005 horror film, Urban Legends: Bloody Mary, and also appeared in Her, Carol, and Nightmare Alley. In addition to her Oscar nomination for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, she clinched another for Carol in 2015. She and Joaquin Phoenix will next appear as the leads in Pawel Pawlikowski’s upcoming thriller whose working title is reportedly The Island.
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