Rooney Mara on ‘stuck-up’ label: ‘I think because I’m super-self-possessed’

Rooney Mara covers the new issue of the NYT’s T Magazine, their annual fall fashion issue (Victoria Beckham is also featured in the issue). Get a load of how terrible these photos are. I’m sorry, but Rooney really doesn’t have any presence in still photos. I don’t want to watch her. She’s not compelling or interesting and facially, she reminds me of Justin Bieber. Fortunately, Rooney’s personality is in full view with the accompanying interview, which you can read here. Keep in mind that I already think Rooney is smug, aloof and unprofessional. And now I think she’s passive-aggressively shading her sister too. Some highlights:

On how she’s a woman of mystery: “Yeah. I kind of have a bad reputation, don’t I? Isn’t mystique and the unknown part of what keeps you drawn to someone?”

She’s super-self-possessed: “In high school, people thought I was stuck-up because I didn’t talk to anyone,” she says of growing up in Bedford, N.Y., a bucolic suburb of the city. “It was just because I was shy and scared, but I think because I’m super-self-possessed that it doesn’t come across as scared so much as stuck-up. I would hear what people thought and be like, ‘No! I’m actually nice!’ ” She laughs, rolls her eyes. “But now people can think whatever they want.”

Wanting to act: “My sister started acting when she was young,” Mara says of the elder Kate, who’s currently starring in the Netflix political thriller “House of Cards.” “But I just knew I didn’t want to be a child actor. I knew I wanted to go to school and wanted to start when I was older, so I would be taken seriously.”

She doesn’t want to talk about football: “I hate it when people ask me about my family — my football family,” Mara says of the clan known in sports circles as the founding and current owners of the Pittsburgh Steelers (on her mother’s side) and the New York Giants (on her father’s), an N.F.L. legacy from which she is eager to extricate herself. “It has no relevance to acting.”

Not working adds mystery: “I haven’t worked since last Thanksgiving and I have no plans on working anytime soon,” she tells me. “After a movie I always feel a little lost. While you’re doing it you feel like you’re having some sort of revelation, like it’s real, and then its over and you’re like, ‘That was not real.’ ” Mara acknowledges that this hiatus is something of a gamble but to talk to those close to her is to learn that her ambition is tempered by her instincts toward self-preservation.

Being unemployed: “What’s something I could learn? What’s a new skill I could acquire?” she wonders aloud, before launching into a to-do list of achievements she hopes to rack up by summer’s end: learning a new language, probably French or Spanish; getting a sewing machine and teaching herself how to quilt; maybe dabbling in embroidery; finishing a novel she’s been struggling to get through. But more than anything, she tells me, she has become fixated on the idea of learning ballroom dance. She explains that, like acting, dancing would force her to shed her naturally reticent husk. “I have hidden rhythm — like, I’m a crazy dancer when I’m alone — but I’m a little too shy to let it come out in public.” Mara pauses, and then adds, “But, let me tell you, it’s going to come out.”

[From The NYT T Style Magazine]

I think I’ve figured out one of the big problems with Rooney’s interviews – she’s at a loss for how to dscribe herself without sounding like an a—hole. First it was describing herself as “aloof” and now she says “I think because I’m super-self-possessed…” Who describes themselves as “super-self-possessed”? Someone who spends too much time thinking about how they’re super-mysterious, I guess.

CB and I were debating about whether this is shade: “But I just knew I didn’t want to be a child actor. I knew I wanted to go to school and wanted to start when I was older, so I would be taken seriously.” That last part is the big passive aggressive slam, right? Because Rooney is saying that her sister was dumb for wanting to be a child actor and that’s why people don’t take Kate seriously.

Photos courtesy of NYT’s T StyleMagazine.

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73 Responses to “Rooney Mara on ‘stuck-up’ label: ‘I think because I’m super-self-possessed’”

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  1. Val says:

    She is famous because her family is wealthy and because she shows her mosquito bite breasts whenever possible. But I do like her sister.

  2. kaligula says:

    Sounds to me like she’s parroting a phrase an adult said to encourage her, like her mom or her agent, as a way of reframing the “stuck-up” criticism.

  3. Chutzpah says:

    Urgghhhh very few women make me want to slap them ( apart from Goop) this one could take Goops title any day now.

    And yes she WAS shading her sister!

    • Florc says:

      Total shade! Or she’s one of those people that says the most insulting things and is completely unaware of how she comes off. I’m no fan. 

    • Tessa says:

      She was definitely shading her sister. And what child even understands waiting so that you can be taken seriously when you’re older? I guess a super self possessed one. Kate was cuter. She had a look that casting agents were interested in as a kid, and she was probably more affable and easy to direct, so Kate got work as a kid, and Rooney didn’t… Now Rooney is rewriting it that she was actually aware enough of the pitfalls of child stardom and was avoiding it… as a child. No way. No kid has that much foresight.

  4. blue marie says:

    the more she talks the less I like her.

  5. Leah says:

    Out of all the self important actors in hollywood i dont find her the most problematic, probably because she has some talent. I mean there is Amber Heard and Robert Pattison both crappy actors who think they are better than what made them aka teen franchises and good looks and famous boyfriends. They want to make art but doesnt seem to have dedicated much time to learning the art of acting. At least Rooney has a modicum of talent although i will never understand why she was nominated for an oscar instead of noomi rapace. That was a disgrace.

  6. Chicagogurl says:

    Whatever Kate has more talent.

  7. grabbyhands says:

    It could be that. But it could also be that you sounds like a stuck up, ungrateful asshole in your interviews.

  8. Sisi says:

    Lol. We really have cranked up the snark today in the comment section, haven’t we. Ladies it’s almost weekend! Woot. Almost timefor that umbrella drink.

  9. Danni says:

    Rooney’s interviews get shittier and shittier but, I prefer hers to some other god-sent ‘thespians’who fancy they’re all that.

  10. kim says:

    I don’t find her mysterious lol she’s just another girl that looks like a drowned mouse with nothing interesting to say, or bring into a conversation. She’s very robotic and makes it seem like she’s REALLY REALLY insecure. . . Woot.
    ;-) had to woot lol

  11. lucy2 says:

    That’s a lousy thing to say indirectly about her sister – who happens to be doing just fine, despite being a former child actor no one can take seriously. Ugh.
    I can understand her not wanting to talk about her family/NFL, but to dismiss it because “it has nothing to do with acting” just makes her sound snootier. Why can’t she just say she’s not really involved in it and has her own career and interests?

  12. Daria says:

    I dislike her. She’s one of those who really isn’t as special or talented or beautiful as she thinks she is. As for shading her sister… go sit down somewhere, Rooney.

    One of my college professors told me that I was self-possessed. It’s a fancy way of saying poised. It’s not really something that you’d say about yourself.

    • Emily C. says:

      Yeah, I’ve been told that by multiple people, and I’m like, “huh?” If they could see inside my head, they would realize I was anything but. I think women get told that if they’re not extremely gregarious. And maybe being a brunette has something to do with it too.

  13. raindrop says:

    She says a lot of dumb shit in this interview, but honestly … she might be telling the truth about why she comes across so poorly.

    I’ve had quite a few people tell me they thought I was very stuck-up at first (these are people who came to know me better in time, so I can only imagine what everyone else thinks)… then they realized I was just shy. I’m much better at forcing myself to be gregarious and sociable now, but for years my shyness and awkwardness has been misinterpreted as bitchiness. Just my two cents.

    Rooney Mara is very, very lovely, in that heroine chic way, but Kate is definitely the better actress of the two. I enjoyed Rooney as Lisbeth Salander … but Noomi Rapace did it first, and she did it better. I especially appreciated Noomi’s efforts to become very physically fit for the role — Lisbeth is supposed to be very petite, but she’s also supposed to be quite strong. Rooney was just waifish.

    Kate was ok in American Horror Story and I liked her in House of Cards, but those characters were oddly similar – as if her AHS character was a crazy version of her HOC reporter character.

    • mayamae says:

      I understand her enough to recognize her as painfully shy – as I am. I watched a round table discussion with the cast and director of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and she sat there so stiff and uncomfortable and they had a hard time including her because she kept deflecting attention to the others – a classic move for a shy person. She sat there smiling at what others said. Even when they praised her she would change the subject.

      I’m just as willing to hate the entitled as the next person, I just don’t think she’s “stuck up”.

  14. Keats says:

    “But more than anything, she tells me, she has become fixated on the idea of learning ballroom dance.” the IDEA of learning ballroom dance. UUUUUUGGGGGHHH JUST DO SOMETHING OR SHUT UP ABOUT IT.

    • lisa says:

      it all sounds not so well thought out

      if i had a year off, i’m sure i could do all of those things. it sounds like it is 9 mo later and she still hasnt done one. i mean one is finish a book. not even start a new one, just finish one you already started. c’mon now.

  15. Esmom says:

    I didn’t see her comment about her sister as shade, by all accounts they are very close, it sounded more like she was outlining their two different approaches to starting acting. Like she thought she’d be taken more seriously if she waited, not that she necessarily has.

    She doesn’t bug me as much as she seems to irk others. I like her unique look and style and she doesn’t seem overly famewhore-y.

    • Mazunte says:

      I like her a lot. I don’t understand why this girl gets so much hate on this site. Because she comes from a rich family? Because she is not like the norm? Whatever! When I see her interviews she looks pretty shy and uncomfortable, but that’s all. She is so unique and interesting looking and quite a good actress. And I love her style!

  16. Ashley says:

    I think you have to read the ENTIRE piece to really understand it. The interviewer even confronts Mara with all the negative adjectives used to describe her. Her and her sister are close and I just think that you want there to be some sort of rift for some odd reason. But in all honesty Rooney comes off this interview I suggest reading it instead of excerpting it or reading the excerpts.

  17. mia girl says:

    Kate Mara > Rooney Mara
    All day, everyday

  18. Ginger says:

    I do like the last photo with the cape. I think she makes herself sound boring personally, not mysterious. I wanted to hear more about the football family because that is interesting. And obviously, she’s throwing shade at her entire family in this interview IMO.

  19. Olivia says:

    I think she has a unique look to her!

    Has anyone seen ain’t them bodies saints?

  20. Penelope says:

    What a self-involved, pretentious douche.

  21. sa says:

    Former child actors aren’t taken seriously? I get that child actors that are hired because they’re cute kids that grow up and can’t act may not get taken seriously, but otherwise her comment is absurd. Of course it helps to already have a foot in the door. Some of the most respected actors are former child actors – Jodie Foster, Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeff Bridges, … I’m sure there are a ton more if I thought about it longer, but her comment just makes her sound ignorant about her own profession.

  22. Laura says:

    I liked her in the girl with the dragon tattoo, but That was the first version I saw. My boyfriend who saw and loved the swedish version was all like meh. Then I saw the swedish ver. my self…yep that Namooi knows what she’s doing.
    She does come across so pretentious though. Gah. Between her knitting needles and her alliance francais classes I wish her luck.

  23. Hank Jr! says:

    Ah yes, please don’t ask anything about my family’s wealth because it will embarrass me, and has absolutely nothing to do with how I got where I am today.
    Rich people problems. Entitled much?

  24. DIANE says:

    As a bigtime Giants fan, all I can say is ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you, girlie.’ She needs to do something about those harsh eyebrows. She always looks, well, stuck up. And, just curious, any chance she and Lily Collins were twins separated at birth?

  25. Emily C. says:

    She needs to date James Franco. They’re made for each other. Except I’m not sure their egos could co-exist in the same room without some kind of explosion.

  26. I am Legend says:

    Tom Hiddleston looks better with curly hair. Wait a minute…

  27. taxi says:

    Now she sounds even more conceited. Anyone who calls herself “super self-possessed” reveals more narcissism than most folks can tolerate.. I dislike her even more now.

    After reading the book, I saw the original Swedish GWtDT. Watching Rooney (& Craig) after that was a huge disappointment.

    Properly lighted & with a good stylist, she makes a good model. Leave the acting to sister Kate, please.

  28. Chris says:

    It’s kind of pathetic how she’s constantly trying to convince the public that she’s somehow “interesting”, when in reality she’s probably as boring to hang out with as watching grass grow – as most of those “deep” “emo-wannabe” women tend to be.

    Dear Rooney – maybe the reason people think you’re stuck up is because you are.

  29. St says:

    So… no one invites her to work on their movies? If I understood correct. Wow, her 15 minutes of Lisbeth fame went away really quickly. I suspect that’s because she is boring to watch. She thought she will become big star after that crazy hype around that movie. But promotion stopped and no one cares about Rooney.

  30. linlin says:

    Unless you are a genius, you cannot learn a new language in a summer. Well, maybe if your mother tongue is Portoguese and you spend your whole summer in Spain and really make an effort you might, but an American learning French or Spanish in the US while trying to learn a dozen other things as well….

  31. bettyrose says:

    I’m glad that she wants to distance herself from that football legacy. It is totally unrelated to acting and in no way responsible for her success.

  32. Ann Carter says:

    Pretty girl. Very good in Girl w dragon tattoo.
    I think she and her sister are very close. I cannot decide whether her ears are Vulcan or elfin?? Like the tree living cookie makers??😜

  33. MaraFan says:

    Amazing the differences between this article were you call her smug, aloof and unprofessional and the one you wrote on Robert Pattinson the other day.

  34. hownowbrowncow says:

    a.) Kate’s a better actress
    b.) Rooney sounds like she has some kind of undiagnosed generalized anxiety disorder or social anxiety disorder and trying to pass it off as “self-possession”. Going to great lengths to avoid interaction with other people, especially your peers, is not normal and smacks of mental issues.