Tattoo Sites Biography
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Rooney Mara was born in Bedford, New York in 1985. Christened Patricia Rooney Mara when she made her debut on the world stage, she is one of four children of NFL football team New York Giants executive Timothy Christopher Mara and Kathleen McNulty, the granddaughter of Art Rooney, Sr., the founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers football franchise (Her mother's maiden name is Rooney).
Her grandfathers were Wellington Mara, co-owner of the Giants, and Tim Rooney, owner of Yonkers Raceway, and her great-uncle is Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney, the former Ambassador to Ireland. Her father has Irish, German, and French-Canadian ancestry, and her mother is of Irish and Italian descent.
After graduating from Bedford's Fox Lane High school, she enrolled in the Traveling School, which took her to South America to study. She spent a year at George Washington University before transferring to New York University, where she studied international social policy and psychology. She took her degree from NYU in 2010. Her studies focused on non-profit organizations, as her family has a tradition of involvement in philanthropic causes.
She had thought of acting after watching old movies and attending musical theater, but did not think of it as a serious vocation and was afraid she might fail at it. As a result of her reservations, she appeared in only one play while in high school.
She began seriously focusing on acting when she was at New York University, appearing in student films. Inspired by her older sister, actress Kate Mara, she began to pursue the craft, auditioning for acting jobs at the age of 19. She appeared with her sister Kate in the video horror movie Urban Legends: Bloody Mary (2005), billing herself as "Patricia Mara". As "Tricia Mara", she had guest roles on TV and won her first lead in the movie Tanner Hall (2009), which was shot in the fall of 2007.
She originally auditioned for the supporting role of Lucasta in "Tanner Hall", a $3-million independent film, but director Tatiana von Furstenberg was so impressed by the young actress, she had her return to audition for the lead role of Fernanda, which Mara won. Furstenberg was delighted with her nuanced performance, saying, "Still waters run deep".
Continuing to call herself Tricia Mara, it was during the making of "Tanner Hall" that she considered changing her professional name to Rooney Mara, soliciting the advice of the cast and crew. After premiering at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival, her performance in "Tanner Hall" brought the rechristened Rooney Mara a "Rising Star" award at the 2009 Hamptons Film Festival and a "Stargazer Award" at the 2010 Gen Art Film Festival.
In 2010 she got her first lead role in a major feature, in the $35 million remake A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010). The movie proved disappointing at the box office, grossing only $63 million domestically and racking up a world-wide gross of just under $116 million. However, that same year, she was noticed by critics in the small but pivotal role of the Boston University undergrad Erica who dumps Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network (2010). Director David Fincher subsequently cast her as the lead in his The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) trilogy.
In the spirit of her family's philanthropic endeavors, Rooney created Faces of Kibera, a charity that provides food, medical care and housing to orphans in Nairobi, Kenya's Kibra district, a small slum that houses a million people. There are many orphans as AIDS is rampant in the slum.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood
Younger sister of Kate Mara.
Considers Gena Rowlands to be her favorite actress and A Woman Under the Influence (1974) to be her favorite film.
Great-granddaughter of Art Rooney.
Granddaughter of Wellington Mara and Timothy Rooney.
Great-grandfather Tim Mara founded the New York Giants. Great-grandfather Art Rooney founded the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Daughter of Timothy Christopher Mara, a scout for the New York Giants and Kathleen McNulty, née Rooney.
Uncle John Mara is CEO of the New York Giants since 2005.
Rooney Mara founded the non-profit organization Faces of Kibera. It provides housing, food, and medical care for orphans in Kibera, a slum in Nairobi, Kenya. The charity's goal is to build an orphanage in the region, for which 6 acres of land have been purchased. The charity auctions memorabilia from the Steelers and Giants, as well as training camp events on eBay to raise money.
Rooney and her sister Kate Mara both appeared in Best Picture Oscar nominated films in 2011. Rooney was in The Social Network (2010), Kate in 127 Hours (2010).
Several sources, including Vogue and Entertainment Weekly, reported that the piercings (including multiple ear, eyebrow, and nipple piercings) that Rooney Mara sports, as "Lisbeth Salander", in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) were real, not cosmetic simulations. Mara got the piercings in a series of sessions in Brooklyn and Sweden.
Voted #3 on Ask Men's top 99 'most desirable' women of 2012.
Learned to play the guitar for her role in Untitled Terrence Malick Project (2014).
Turned down the role of Estella in Great Expectations (2012). Holliday Grainger was eventually cast.
Her paternal grandfather was of Irish descent and her paternal grandmother was of half German, as well as of French-Canadian and Irish, ancestry. Her mother is of Irish and Italian descent.
Grandfather Dan Rooney was the US Ambassador to Ireland (2009-2012).
Cousin of John Mara Jr..
Personal Quotes (14)
[on the poster for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)] 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. And in this poster, I'm looking dead into the camera with no expression on my face. I think it freaks a lot of people out.
[on portraying Lisbeth Salander] I spent over a year with the character and there are so many different things that I love about her. I think the thing that makes her such a compelling character is that you do sort of fall instantly in love with her, but at the same time you don't always agree with what she's doing and you also question her and you get frustrated by her. She's just an incredibly multi-layered character.
[on her The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) character] She's unlike any character I've read before, and I think there's a reason the whole world has fallen in love with her. It's hard not to. I felt like I really understood her. I went in for Erica Albright never thinking I'd get it because I couldn't really relate to her. Playing that character was actually much more foreign to me than playing Salander, but they loved me, which was a shock.
I refuse to engage in anything until I'm fully sure that I'm capable of it.
[on Lisbeth Salander] There aren't many interesting and diverse parts out there for women. There seem to be a few different stereotypical roles that get recycled, so it was refreshing to have this complex character for a woman; very rare.
My favorite thing about acting isn't necessarily the acting part. It's that you never stop learning, you're constantly learning new skills and new things about people. To me that's really interesting and fun.
When I was at college, my nickname was Keds, because I wore Keds. I guess it wasn't really a nickname, because nicknames are usually given to you by people who are your friends and who know you. But I didn't know the people who called me Keds. I think that they didn't like me because I didn't want to join a sorority. I left that school.
[on her The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) character] It's certainly hard to sort of embody such a dark place for that amount of time. I felt as though it was much harder to come out of it than it was to go into it. Going into it was really easy for me.
I don't know if it's so much a movie that has a lot of money versus a movie that has no money. I think every film you do has its differences. It's about the combination of people that you're with.
I don't think the human body is something to be ashamed of. Every other person on the planet has the same parts as I do. So seeing them shouldn't be a huge shock to most people.