Rooney Mara on Her Role in 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' Remake: "I Didn't Even Want That"

Rooney Mara on Her Role in 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' Remake: "I Didn't Even Want That"

Jan 02, 2012

It's a lot easier to win accolades for your performance in a "good" movie, than it is to shine in a "bad" one. Any actor or actress can work with a gifted director and look great, but real talent finds a way to collaborate with all types of filmmakers and still turn in commendable work. Flash to the new issue of Entertainment Weekly and an interview with Rooney Mara where The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo star recalls her breakout role in Samuel Bayer's 2010 remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street — and not very fondly. 

"You kind of learn to self-sabotage with things you don't want to get," she said about her audition. "Sometimes you don't want to get something, but you do a really good job and you get in anyway. That's kind of [what happened] with 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' — I didn't even really want it. And then I went in [to audition], and I was like, 'F*ck. I definitely got that.'" 
This isn't the first time the actress has trashed her earliest screen parts. One of Mara's first appearances was in a 2006 episode of Law & Order: Special Victim's Unit, which she recently described as "stupid" and "awful." She later apologized for the comments, but there certainly seems to be an ungrateful attitude at hand — particularly considering that her roles before Law & Order and NOES were random bit parts that included a direct-to-video horror flick. Any horror film role in Hollywood can mean the beginning and end of a career all at once, but Mara happened to luck out and hooked up with David Fincher shortly after NOES for The Social Network.
The question is: if she knew the role in NOES was so terrible, why did she still take it? She wasn't bound by a contract or obligated to sign on. Why didn't she shine in an otherwise mediocre production if she was above the film? She's perhaps the worst part of NOES. To admit something like this after the fact is also a big slap in the face for horror fans, who spent time and money trying to support a big-name remake in order to convince Hollywood that horror isn't the redheaded stepchild of the film world. Would the movie have fared better without a half-hearted actress at its center? Who knows — but it's too easy to trash your career stepping stone when you've become David Fincher's latest favorite.

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