LOS ANGELES—“I don’t know. Everyone keeps asking me,” Rooney Mara replied when asked recently about “The Girl Who Played with Fire,” the sequel to “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Sony Pictures was also supposed to be developing “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,” the last installment in author Stieg Larsson’s trilogy.
“I wish I knew,” said Rooney, looking strikingly beautiful and elegant in a Givenchy jacket, blouse, pants and boots. “I would love to do them, but I just don’t know.”
Rooney confirmed that she signed on to reprise her Lisbeth Salander role in the next installments. “I’m contractually obligated to do them, no matter what,” shared the soft-spoken, 27-year-old New York native.
On whether David Fincher is returning as a director in case “The Girl Who Played with Fire” does go into production, she commented, “I would be sad to do them without David. But, I know that if we were to do them without him, he’d certainly make sure that we were taken care of.”
Rooney met Steven Soderbergh, who directs her for the first time in the thriller, “Side Effects,” through David. The actress added that Steven encouraged David to hire her as Lisbeth.
Asked to compare David and Steven, Rooney answered, “They’re similar in that they’re both visionaries. They’re great friends, but nothing about the way they make movies is the same. Just watch their films and see the difference.”
“Steven will do one take sometimes,” cited the actress whose clan coowns the New York Giants. “Maybe Steven would do four. He works very fast. There aren’t as many setups. The work day is eight hours long.”
“With David, it’s much more intense and sort of all-consuming,” Rooney described the director, whose diverse credits include “The Social Network,” “Fight Club,” “Zodiac” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” “He’s a perfectionist. But, they both know exactly what they want. They have different ways of going about it. I have great respect for their processes. As an actor, it’s my job to give myself over to the way the director wants to work.”
“Side Effects” has Rooney collaborating with Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Channing Tatum. “Jude and I were just talking about this—Steven has such a light set,” Rooney continued talking about Steven, who has announced his plans to retire from directing. “Most of the time, movie sets are stressful. Everyone’s panicked or nervous. Someone’s always yelling at a PA somewhere. People are always walking into each other.”
She said, “I remember my first day coming to the set. We were shooting in an actual office. Upstairs, people were still working—they didn’t even shut the whole thing down. They were just quietly going about their work. That would never happen in most movies. Steven works with such a tight crew. The set is calm. It’s a very laid-back atmosphere. There was no high tension ever!”
On her nude scene in the movie and nudity in general, Rooney remarked, “That’s an integral part of the story. Also, you’re showing a marriage. I don’t have problems with nudity. I don’t think any of the nudity was gratuitous. I felt very comfortable, and I felt it was necessary. I’ve done other films where I didn’t want to do any nudity, and I didn’t think it was necessary. So, it depends on the story you’re telling, the situation, and the director.”
About her co-star, Rooney gushed, “Jude is fantastic! I’ve always loved his work. Aside from being an incredible actor, he’s very generous. He’s everything you’d want in a person you’re doing a scene with. He’s easygoing and unassuming. He would come to the set, and you wouldn’t even know he was there! He’s just in the corner doing his thing.”
As for her upcoming films, Rooney gave us an update: “I just had a film at the Sundance Film Festival called ‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’ (which David Lowery directed). Then, I was also fortunate enough to work with Spike Jonze on his next movie called ‘Her.’ There’s also the untitled Terrence Malick project that I’ve worked on.” She will also reportedly star in the film adaptation of Colm Toibin’s popular book, “Brooklyn.”
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