Rooney Mara complains about red carpets: ‘I’m not a model, and I don’t want to be’

After her Oscar campaign for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was over, I’ve grown to like Rooney Mara a little bit more. It wasn’t even the Oscar campaign per se… because Rooney didn’t really “campaign” and her victory was just getting a nomination last year. No, Rooney rubbed a lot of people the wrong way when she began promoting GWTDT by aloof-ing all over the place and bad-mouthing all of the early TV shows and dumb horror movies that paved her way into the Hollywood world. She just seemed to lack grace and humility, and she seemed pissed off that everything wasn’t handed to her right away as soon as she decided to become an actress – the bitterness of entitlement. The smugness of a rich girl who always had everything handed to her. But, as I said, I like her a little bit more since she sort of disappeared for a while and as it turns out, she really isn’t some famewhore hungry for any kind of attention. Good for her.

Rooney covers the February issue of Vogue because she’s promoting Side Effects, the new Steven Soderbergh thriller also starring Channing Tatum, Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones. I’ll admit it – I want to see this movie. I think Rooney looks sort of miscast, but I’ll still give her a chance. As for the Vogue article – you can read the whole thing here – she’s not bad-mouthing her early jobs, but she is definitely still “aloof-ing”. Only the word she uses now is “shy”. She kind of reminds me of 2009 Kristen Stewart – she just seems awkward and unwilling to learn how to promote her work like a professional. I’m not saying she has to give us a song and dance, but I’m sorry… I don’t believe anyone who is so super-duper painfully “shy” would go into acting.

Seeing her own movies: “I’m hypercritical of myself… Anytime I see anything I’ve done, I wish that it had gone differently because you figure it out as you go along, and you’re always discovering new things. I’d probably feel that way about anything that I did.”

She’s not a trained actress: “It’s all intuition for me,” Mara confesses. “I never really studied-studied.” Instead, she works privately with the acting coach Bob Krakower (“I didn’t love being in a class—that’s very hard for me”) and otherwise learns by doing. “I think every job I do, I learn something new and get better,” she says. “I hope, anyway, that I keep evolving. . . . I wouldn’t want just one technique, because I don’t think it would work for every job.”

Studying clinical depression and depressed people for Side Effects: “I think everyone has at some point in their lives been depressed, or at least sad. I had a lot of anxiety growing up because I was so shy, so I could relate to that part of it. But severe clinical depression is a whole other thing, and I guess I never really knew how bad it can get.”

Dressing up is annoying: “For Dragon Tattoo, I had eight different premieres, this many different photo calls. It’s a lot to plan for. It’s not like you can just show up. The thing is, it’s kind of an annoying part of the job—because I’m not a model, and I don’t want to be. I didn’t try to be a style icon. I’m just not that interested in that world. But it does matter, and either I can fight that or I just have to accept that it is a part of my job, and I may as well wear things that I like and that represent me.”

The red carpet: “A nightmare! It’s a panic attack waiting to happen. I don’t even like people to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me. When we wrap a film and everyone claps and cheers, I turn red. And then I have to walk out onto the middle of this carpet and there are all these photographers, and they’re all screaming at you. And usually there’s a party at the other end of it, so it’s not even like I have solace at the end of the carpet! It’s like then I have to walk into my other nightmare!”

She hates being photographed too: “Why should I ‘fake smile’?” she asks. “It feels disingenuous to me. I want to smile when something happy happens, so if I do smile, you know it’s real.”

[From Vogue]

As Adele would say, “Nah, that’s enough now. Cheer up.” Rooney is definitely hyper-self-aware, as I think most actors are. Deeply committed to exploring, defining and talking about themselves. Still, I guess Rooney is improving. Maybe she’ll be on the Kristen Stewart trajectory too – which means in another few years, Rooney will be calling herself a “miserable c—t” and Mini-Coopering married directors. Something to hope for.

Photos courtesy of David Sims/Vogue.

 

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92 Responses to “Rooney Mara complains about red carpets: ‘I’m not a model, and I don’t want to be’”

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  1. bea says:

    Just another young person who is under the impression the universe rotates around HER. Boring.

  2. marie says:

    I want to see the movie too, even though I’m not entirely sure what it’s about-I’m guessing Jude did a bad, bad thing.

    And I’ll take Rooney over Kristen any day, at least she can act, don’t care one way or the other for her as a person though.

  3. Amelia says:

    She looks very, very pretty in that second photo.
    Girl might be miserable, but she’s got killer cheekbones.
    Was this the film she pulled a Blake Lively on Blake Lively?

  4. T.Fanty says:

    She’s right. We elevate the red carpet to such significance that it becomes a major fashion event, then turn right around and complain that actresses tinker with their bodies until they don’t look like real people any more.

    Although I’m not sure a magazine spread is entirely the place to make that point.

    • alc says:

      Agreed. I hardly bothered with the Globes because I think I’m almost over it all. It isn’t about the acting or the job, it is all about “who they’re wearing”. And the endless coverage just dilutes the work even more. Having said that, I have to agree that Ms. Mara just rubs me the wrong way. When you are too entitled and aloof to even realize it, I’d say you’ve got a bit of an issue. And she isn’t that great an actress given that there are a million other people out there who are probably as talented or more but just don’t have the introduction clout that she has. Poor little Rooney, I hope her life looks up for her.

  5. stellalovejoydiver says:

    I still like Rooney, I think she is just akward in general and kind of a misanthrop, and I like Jennifer, but I buy the “I am so shy and hate the red carpet” a lot more from Rooney than JLaw.
    I also think a lot of shy, akward people get into acting because it is easier, relieving pretending to be another person than being themselves all the time, just the duties that come with acting (in movies)like promo, red carpets seem to be really stressing. But then they get paid millions so, suck it up.

  6. Missy says:

    She’s right, just because you’re an actress doesn’t mean you instantly like all the crap they think you need to have to do, men aren’t expected to become interested in fashion and become these fashion icons, some women are interested, some just aren’t but now every girl is expected to be, and it just comes off as unnatural and stupid, like with Kristen stewart and Emma stone, they should just let them wear their jeans and tshirts.

  7. daisydoodle says:

    “you’re not a model”, yet you’re on the cover of Vogue? Yeah another child born on third and thought she hit a triple….

  8. Hannah says:

    “It’s not like you can just show up.” So many actresses keep saying this, and I just think: “Yes, you can?!” Who is forcing anyone to do anything? “Oh, it’s all about dressing up. People don’t ask you about your movie, they just want to know who you’re wearing.” Well don’t f-ing participate in it then. If you enjoy clothes and fashion and dressing up, go for it. If you don’t, wear whatever the hell you want and don’t give a damn what anyone writes about you.

    • Nina W says:

      As she said in this excerpt it is part of her job and she does it and btw it IS a requirement for her profession. She signs contracts that obligate her to appear at these events whether she likes it or not. I think it’s okay not to like that aspect of her work, I wouldn’t enjoy it either and it is completely different from the job of acting on film or stage.

      • Hannah says:

        I understand that you have to go to certain events, premieres etc. Although I am not sure actors are contractually obliged to do that. I guess it depends on whether you’re the lead or not and your overall profile, leverage etc. But surely you can wear whatever you want.

    • Amy says:

      But but but!

      Anytime Kristen Stewart wears – godforbid – flats to sign stuff for her fans at premieres etc, she gets widespread censure from the writers and the commenters on this website, as well as on other similar sites (although this appears to be one of the worst for this criticism).

      It is all well to say all this when Rooney Mara is talking about how she doesn’t enjoy the fashion aspect of promoting her films, but it’s kinda hypocritical when Kristen Stewart, or any other actress for that matter, doesn’t wear what is expected on the red carpet, they get criticised for thinking they’re being “rebellious” andhow they have “no respect” etc etc. While you do not have a problem with this, others saying similar things as you do in other instances, and I think this is a bit hypocritical. The general train of thought seems to be “Wear whatever you want” but not this, this, this, this, this etc. etc.

      (see the article written this very day about Kristen Stewart wearing jeans and flats to a VIP event where NO PHOTOS WERE TAKEN and read the comments)

      • Hannah says:

        I think that’s an accurate observation. When you’re in a “limelight job” (just made that term up…) you will always be criticised for whatever you do by some people (and always be praised by others). So all things being equal, I figure do what you wanna do.
        And to give her some credit, I think Kristen Stewart does largely that. Sometimes she complains a little (from what I perceive, not being a huge follower of all things KStew), but mostly she just rolls with the punches and does her thing.

      • Diana says:

        @Amy: SO TRUE!!!

        I don’t like Kristen anymore but I do think she can do no right for commenters on this site. It is so hypocritical! if this interview would have been Kristen’s it would have been presented like the worse sacrilege. I do not enjoy double standards.

  9. Mew says:

    Rooney: If the job is too horrid, stop doing it. Get a degree and become a nurse. No need to look pretty then, no worries, right? So stop complaining and trying thus make yourself relevant.

  10. ramona says:

    Meh. I thought she was pants in TGWTDT compared with the astonishingly talented Noomi Rapace. But she does look slightly like Fiona Apple in photo #2, n’est-ce pas?

  11. CC says:

    She’s a Plain Jane that doesn’t even appreciate it all that much. That makes it very unsympathetic in my eyes. If it weren’t for her connections she would never have made it.

  12. Mira says:

    I understand her red carpet dilemma. I would be miserable if I had to dress up for so many events and in such detail. I also hate wearing stilettos/high heels. Moreover, all this promotion crap has gained unnecessary significance. The best part about a movie is the movie itself. I always watch movies based on directors and trailers are more than enough to pique my interest. I don’t mind promotion through media but why go on endless promotions, press junkets etc?

    • flor says:

      THIS! Some people just don’t want to be famous and are not there for the fame. She wants to be an actress and make movies, not be on red carpets. It’s her choice and it’s fine!

      • marie says:

        she’s paid to be on those carpets though. If she wants to continue making movies she needs to suck it up.

      • Mira says:

        @marie – I agree she has to suck it because she’s paid in millions. Still, it’s difficult to reconcile with the promotional/red carpet aspect of being an actor just because one is paid in millions. I would sulk big time too. I hate attention but I would do something about it than just sulk I guess. It requires a certain amount self-awareness and confidence, rather fuck-it attitude to not give in to the pressure of glamour and celebrity and that’s possible if one is clear about their objectives. Only few learn that they can call the bluff and still do great. Others suffer and complain.

        I have done six years of stage and I’m still shy. I don’t like small talk and it’s not arrogance. I just don’t know how to initiate a conversation with someone who I don’t know very well. It has taken me years to accept this and now I’m very comfortable maintaining a low profile. I don’t feel pressurized to network or get to know people because I have to or because it’s good for my career. I’m a riot once I get to know people. That unfortunately is a long process…lol.

  13. Erinn says:

    I feel like… some of this ‘Oh gee, I’m really shy, don’t look at me!’ schtick is because people got so pissed off at her last year for the lack of humility and outright ungratefulness. They’re trying to win back the people that ditched her.

    She’s an actor after all, it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch. Like Kaiser said, she went away and she doesn’t mind her as much.

  14. She’s beautiful and an amazing actress. Comparing her to KStew is a joke.

  15. flor says:

    What I dislike the most is all the commenters bashing her for saying exactly what other young actresses say (but if someone bubbly says it, it’s fine). Stop with the double standards, people and try to understand actresses a little bit. Rooney wants to be an ACTRESS. After TGWTDT she could have easily gone on to make BIG studio movies but she chose the indy path because she wants to concentrate on the artistic side of the business and not front two big franchises. She got into the business because she likes movies not because she wanted to become America’s sweetheart.

  16. Skipper says:

    Jennifer Lawrence should follow her advice. Quit fake smiling. I can appreciate that sentiment.

    I’ve disliked her since I heard an interview where she explained that she decided to pronounce her last name differently than the rest of her family. They pronounce is Maira and she pronounces it Marra. Who does that? Well, other than Stephen Colbert.

  17. mia girl says:

    Fellow CBers, sorry, but I need to rant!

    Dear Rooney,
    Why do you have to fake smile, you ask? Let’s start with the obvious answer…
    Because you are paid to do a job which involves, a) acting (which you like) and b) promoting the film so the public knows about it and wants to see it (like it or not). So, until you personally fully finance and produce your own film as well as put up all the money to distribute and market said film, you are in the service of those who are doing these things, not to mention your fellow film makers. So yes, part of the reason you are being paid is to “fake smile”. That is why you have to do it, even when you are not happy. Gah!

    Which leads me to the less obvious answer (for you anyway who doesn’t seem to get it). “Fake smile” can be a euphamism for the toil in everyday human life. Be sure to know my special snowflake,that you are not alone as most of us in this world have to “fake smile” several times a day. At our jobs, in our relations, for the benefit of our children, etc. We regular folk don’t have the luxury of smiling “only when the happy is real” and so why do you think you are entitled to this luxury? None of us LIKE to fake smile, but there are greater things at play in daily life than doing only what we want. That’s reality (it can suck, and certainly does always make me want to smile).

    PS you are a pretty good actress, but I actually prefer your sister… who by the way, has a lovely smile.

    • daisydoodle says:

      lol, we’re all special snowflakes…yes, sometimes, I’m not in the greatest mood at work, and guess what, I smile to put the patient/client at ease and sometimes, it gets me out of my funk….as a good friend of mine says, “suck it up buttercup!”

  18. MSL says:

    You can’t compare her to K-Stew. At least Rooney tries on the red carpet by dressing up, posing, and wearing heels. She shows up with washed hair too. K-Stew can’t bother to keep her heels on the whole time which is an insult to the designers who lend her dresses. I’m sure the designers love seeing their thousand dollar clothes with old dirty converse (sike!).

  19. Amanda says:

    I just thought of my new nickname for her – Complainey Mara

  20. lucy2 says:

    It’s hard to take someone seriously saying “I don’t want to be a model, I don’t want attention” when they’re on the cover of Vogue.

    If she is that shy and uninterested in attention, why go for a major film career? Why not do theater, or smaller roles that don’t require the promotion?
    I can totally understand not wanting to do promotion and red carpets, but these are the results of choices SHE has made, such as taking a much coveted role as an insanely popular character, in a big budget adaption of an insanely popular book. What did she expect would happen?

    • Esmom says:

      But she’s promoting a movie and doing press is part of the deal. I’m sure she didn’t just call up Vogue and ask to be on the cover.

      Plus it seems like a photo shoot lets you be a bit more in control than on the red carpet where people are just screaming in your face and hoping to catch your bad side.

    • stellalovejoydiver says:

      I said before she has to suck it up and be grateful for the opportunities that were given to her, for which other actresses would have fought hard for it. I think she comes across pretty well this time, I personally like it she is not aw shucks material and trying really hard to adjust herself that everyone likes her.
      If I was really shy, anxious and had to force myself doing red carpets, then being a stage actor would be intimidating because your are so close to your audience and can tell if they hate it.
      I can´t hate on her for wanting great roles, if I was an actress playing Lisbeth Salander would be one of my ultimate dream roles.

  21. bns says:

    If you don’t want to model then don’t pose for the cover of Vogue. Problem solved.

  22. Esmom says:

    I think she’s beautiful and I like her personal style. I also like what she said about working to improve her craft and evolve as an actor. She seems to take her work seriously, unlike many others who seem to care more about the celeb trappings than the quality of their work.

    Maybe I can relate because I tend to be shy. I didn’t even want to have a wedding because it meant being the center of attention! I also wouldn’t try acting for the same reason.

    But I get where she’s coming from and am not sure why people seem so determined to hate on her. She’s not more insufferable than most of Hollywood, imo.

  23. bella says:

    i went to college with her mom.
    her mom was very sweet and unassuming, though she did wear a full length mink coat with her jeans to class : )
    hey…her grandfather owned the pittsburgh steelers for cripes sake.
    she also wore a superbowl ring.
    these kids born into well to do families, no matter how kind they may be, are effed up from the get go.
    it’s not her fault…they live on another planet.
    i will say that she is lovely, like her mom, and i think the kid can act.
    she’s not like the rest of us and never could be…we can’t compare that world to the average one.

  24. Marianne says:

    I used to do acting as a kid (just some stage work) and I was very very shy. Still am. I think with acting, you becoming someone different. A lot of people who stuttered have also been recommended into acting. Besides, once you really get to know someone you do open up more. It’s just initially meeting people and public speeches that make it super hard.

  25. JL says:

    I’m not a model nor do I want to be either. However I’m dressed appropriately for my career today even though it’s not what I would prefer. i attend social functions that I’d love to get out of, such is life – grow up and either do your job or drop out, run a non profit and live off Daddy.

    Simple choice, just quit bitching it is quite unbecoming.

  26. Donatella says:

    OMG! She reminds me of me! YES!!!

  27. Mouse says:

    I still don’t like her after reading this. I think she’s pretentious, plain as hell, and boring as shit. She’s just one more bland actress who got into the business through family $$ and connections, and instead of being gracious, she whines. Pass.

  28. TheOneAndOnly says:

    Agree with everyone She’s not a model and she shouldn’t be on Vogue; she lacks the style, panache, and verve of the 90s supermodels – now that the conglomerates own publishing the fashion mags are just commercials for the hollywood studios – give me Naomi, Linda, and Christy, etc. on VOgue anyday over this simpering girl.

  29. smitty5er says:

    ya know, the older i get the more i realize sometimes “painfully shy” just means “narcissistic” people who are obsessed with what people think of them think they are the center of the universe.

  30. vic says:

    I like her and understand her pov. She and other actresses who choose a different path and think differently are vilified for not just shutting up and smiling pretty. These women are young and smart and still finding their way. Not everyone wants to be “America’s Sweetheart” and good for them. We don’t need another generation of Romcom fakers.

    • Mazunte says:

      ^ THIS!

      I really like Rooney. She has an unique beauty and style, photographic cameras like her, she is talented, and I believe she is being honest, even considering that honesty does not exactly fit Hollywood molds. Everybody’s jobs have aspects we hate and she is confessing what she doesn’t like about her job. What’s the big deal? I have seen videos while she was filming with Terrence Malick, Fassbender and Gosling and she does look shy. But, like many people, she has to put up with a fake aspect of her job.

      This excerpt of her interview excluded the part where she says why she enjoyed working with Terrence Malick. It’s my favorite part.

  31. Thiajoka says:

    So, during the interview with “Vogue” on which she’s featured in a cover photo, she announces that being a model is a pain in the ass? If that’s not one of the definitions of ‘irony’ it should be.

  32. j.eyre says:

    I am having a hard time with “I think everyone has at some point in their lives been depressed, or at least sad”

    Not to put too fine a point on it but being sad and clinical depression have a bit more than a crowbar’s wedge separation between them.

  33. mercy says:

    Give her a break. If that’s who she really is, that’s who she really is. My initial reaction is to say ‘Thanks for sharing’ and move on if it’s not someone I find appealing or can relate to.

    She’s also in the position of having to set herself apart from every other actress. As much as I love fashion and respect it as an art and expression of self, I don’t think it’s that important for an actress to a care about it. I would, but if she doesn’t so what?

    I can believe she’s shy, but there comes a point where you have to grow out of it. Or at least most of us do. If you come from money and can hide behind characters in your work, maybe that’s not something you have to deal with until it’s time to promote your movie.

  34. happyhomo says:

    I sometimes can’t decide which Hollywood type I am more annoyed with. The Anne Hathaway type:young,rich famous movie star who loves being the center of attention and loves talking about how terrific she is and how much she loves herself.Or the Rooney Mara,Kristen Stewart type:rich famous girls who act like they hate themselves and love to talk about how much they hate being rich and famous.If I had to choose I would say the Rooney Maras and K.Stews are worse because they seem ungrateful for their success and have no idea how lucky they are to do what they do for a living.Atleast Anne H. is genuine.

  35. KLO says:

    This woman bores me to death. Seems like a nice enough person though…

  36. taxi says:

    I like her eyebrows.

    Didn’t she get body-pierced to put her in the mood for TGWTDT?

    There were rumours about her& Fincher having a thing too.

  37. Tig says:

    I was so surprised to see references to KS in this article- seriously, why? To my knowledge, Rooney has never held herself up as being “above” other actors- “toolbox” quote- nor has she hawked a perfume after publicly dismissing other actors who have done the same.

    In short, go shill KS on sites that deal with her.

    Rooney makes some valid points- but, at the end of the day, you get made up and get to choose from designer clothes that 99% of humanity will never wear and get your pic took- how bad can it be??

    • A says:

      Kristen Stewart and Rooney are both pretentious, is what Kaiser is getting at…and they just aren’t particularly likeable. They have little to no warmth. Both have said stupid, ridiculous things, too. That said, Rooney is far more talented…I think Rooney is leaps and bounds better than Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, and most of her late 20s contemporaries.

      That said, while I have no idea what you mean by toolbox, acting like Kristen Stewart is the only celebrity to ever have done some of the dumb things she has done is a bit ridiculous. Emma Watson mocked celebrity designers and such, and now she hawks make-up and used to hawk vegan shoes. I have no idea what KStew said or supposedly said about perfumes, but she certainly wouldn’t be the first one to claim they would never do it and then do it. I don’t know when KStew has every directly said anything that she was above others, although her quotes/attitude could definitely imply that. That said, again, there are plenty of actors/actresses that have gone off on other celebrities or implied that..even Rob Pattinson and Natalie Portman. I get criticizing her for hooking up with a married dude (although, again some people act like she is only person in Hollywood to ever do that), her see through fashion or sloppy fashion choices, her awkward twitching, some of the dumb things she has said, etc…but it’s a little weird to me when people act like she’s the only one to have ever said/done something stupid in Hollywood or that she slept with people to get roles. She was caught way after the film was done with that guy. Twilight got Ashely Greene and Taylor Lautner roles, it certainly helped her too and she’s only been legal for what, four years? Plus, I don’t know about all her non-Twilight films that’s she has done since she’s been 18, but I’m fairly sure Salles is in glass closet (also said he cast her when she was like 15/16, so no on that) and The Runaways was directed by a woman. So it seems pretty dumb to speculate on that to me, considering Twilight propelled Lutzy to a few roles along with Greene and the minor characters…so it would definitely result in KStew landing more than a few roles too.

  38. ??? says:

    Nope. I still can’t warm to her. She is really, really not that deep. I find her dull, vacuous, ignorant, and ungrounded. She strikes me as being far too brooding and plaintive for someone who has always had so much in terms of opportunity, comfort, connections, and, of course, wealth.

  39. Faye says:

    Eh, she’s kind of low-level annoying. I don’t like her, hate her, or find her overly talented, but she’s okay, I guess. Just your average spoiled, navel-gazing hipster with a very limited worldview.

    I did have to laugh at her explanation of why she doesn’t laugh or smile. “Why should I smile if *I* don’t feel like it?” Um . . .because you’re in the public eye, and it might be more pleasant for other people not to see you scowling? But I guess that would require some examination of things from someone else’s point of view – not a strong suit for many of these K-Stew, Mara-type actresses.

  40. LittleDeadGirl says:

    She does come off as alot better this time but I still don’t buy her so called shyness and anxiety attacks. I had mild social anxiety and would throw up before going to a party … if you’d asked me to be in a play or stand up in front of people I’d have looked at you like you were insane and run screaming the other way. I worked through it … I could see her saying she had issues and acting helped but to make it seem like she has mild panic attacks when people clap at the end of the shoot … I roll my eyes a little …

    I just don’t buy the whole “I’m so shy so I become an actor” thing actors keep perpetuating … it honestly makes no logical sense to me. They all seem to enjoy giving interviews and talking endlessly about how much they hate being in the spotlight …

  41. Kate says:

    “I’m not a model, and I don’t want to be. I didn’t try to be a style icon. I’m just not that interested in that world.”

    You can f off, then. Nobody is pointing a gun at your head to be famous.