Rooney Mara: ‘I don’t think the human body is something to be ashamed of’

Ugh. I just read the full Interview Magazine interview with Rooney Mara, and that’s 15 minutes of my life I wish I could get back. The interview was conducted by Rooney’s Side Effects director Steven Soderbergh, and if I didn’t know any better, I’d say that he kind of hates her. I guess I was supposed to read the thing thinking that they were both being sarcastic and droll, but it genuinely seemed like he found her annoying and she was just playing along. You can read the full thing here, and I’m including some highlights below. All of these photos are from the Interview shoot too – they’re pretty, and Rooney looks old-school beautiful… but there’s a blandness to them too, right? Ugh.

Rooney on nicknames, sororities: “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 nudity in films: “I just do what I’m told, when I’m told. There is a line, though—like when you asked me to do reverse cowgirl with Channing [Tatum, who plays Mara’s husband in Side Effects], and I put my foot down. If the character should be nude in the scene and it makes sense and I trust the person making the film—and I regret my decision to trust you now that I know you more—then I don’t see a problem with it. I certainly don’t want to be involved in anything that is gratuitous, but 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.”

Why she doesn’t eat “normal food”: “By “normal,” do you mean food that has been genetically modified? I try to eat food that hasn’t been washed in ammonia and then packaged in the shape of breaded dinosaurs filled with cheese—even though those are very tasty. I like to eat food that can actually make it through the 20-plus feet of my small intestine.”

Reading reviews: “Do I care about reviews? Yes and no. I tend to not put too much credence in what other people think, but then, of course, you are curious as to what other people think and you want people to respect you. So, I don’t know. At the end of the day, I am so much more critical of myself than anyone else could be, and I know when something I’ve done is really bad or kind of good. I guess sometimes you read a review to see if anyone else picked up on something bad that you already picked up on yourself. So, generally, if I do read them, I do it when I am feeling really bad about myself, and I find the meanest things that people have said so I can validate my own feelings. I don’t read them to fluff myself up. In fact, rarely do you believe it when someone says something nice.”

On whether or not God gives us a report card: “A report card? I can’t even remember what a report card looks like. Is that strange? I literally can’t picture it. But no, I don’t think we get a report card. I do think, though, that the way we live our lives and treat each other matters. I’m quite often paranoid that I am being watched.”

On her style: “I try not to wear color. Ever. Because it’s easier to get dressed in the morning.”

On the iPhone: “I only just got an iPhone two weeks ago. I hate it. Sorry, Apple. I love Mac products—I love them— but I can’t type on the iPhone, so now I just don’t respond to people. The camera is amazing, though. No denying that.”

[From Interview Magazine]

Her “normal food” comment was made after Soderbergh asked her why she’s sick all the time and whether it was because she doesn’t eat “normal food”. I didn’t realize that Rooney was one of those “can’t eat processed food, ever” people, although that explains a lot about how she carries herself and why she’s so tiny. She seems like she’s a physically weak person, like she can barely strum up the energy to stand up straight. Now we know why – she’s like Goop. She’s probably always on cleanses and she finds meager sustenance by nibbling on one organic carrot a day.

Photos courtesy of MIKAEL JANSSON/Interview.

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51 Responses to “Rooney Mara: ‘I don’t think the human body is something to be ashamed of’”

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  1. mel says:

    I like her, she’s smart. Pretentious but smart. But also I get paranoid vibes from her. That food comment was strange.

    • Kaye says:

      “Pretentious” was the same thought I had.

    • Me Three says:

      I’d bet she’s a vegan. She has that lithe and slender look all my vegan friends have. I wish I had it in me to go vegan but, sadly, I’m an almost vegetarian. Just can’t quite kick the chicken habit!

      I guess my problem with the Mara girls is probably unfair to them but I view them as having an unfair advantage because of who their father is. I doubt either one has had to struggle to get to where they’ve gotten. But then, at least they’re not cookie cutter blondes who seem to have taken over Hollywood of late!

    • Becky1 says:

      She does seem intelligent. She’s a good actress, too. I saw “Side Effects” this past weekend and while I wasn’t crazy about the film overall I thought she was great. I didn’t see “The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo”…this was the first movie (aside from her small part in “The Social Network”) that I’ve seen her in. She really has an interesting screen presence-very compelling.

  2. AlexandraJane says:

    She has great skin though…even if she does look very insubstantial

    • Shio says:

      I never noticed it until you pointed it out, but you’re right – she does have great skin.

      And am I crazy and blasphemous, or does she look like she could be Tom Hiddleston’s sister in that second shot?

  3. Hakura says:

    Ugh… Her interview makes me think of one of those little birds outside your window that just-won’t-shut-up. I don’t know why… Just feels like she’s running around in circles in her answers.

    I love those pics, everything but the odd eyebrows.

  4. Toniko says:

    I didn’t know, Soderbergh is so funny. This interview was pretty entertaining, you seems just don’t like the girl. I love what she said when Steven asked her, who would she shoot, him or Fincher. lol

  5. Wallcally says:

    I hate that though. I am very conscious about where my food comes from. Genetically modified food makes me nervous, I try to eat organic (especially meat) as much as possible. When I’m at a restaurant if I don’t know whether the meat is pumped with antibiotics or not I opt vegetarian. That absolutely does not put me in the same category as Rooney or goop. Environmentally concious eating is not the same as disordered eating. And I have the belly fat to prove it.

    • Just me says:

      yes, I also want to know what I eat, so I verify the origin of my food, I don’t eat genetically modified productsand no deep-frozen dishes

    • Eleonor says:

      I didn’t see your comment, but I agree. Someone who doesn’t eat processed food is not that thin (unless is naturally thin of course) my ass can prove it!!!

      • Lexie says:

        she probably doesn’t eat much.

      • wawaweewa says:

        She’s said in a lot of interviews that she “starved” herself for Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I believe it; if you look at her in The Social Network, she looked like a more-or-less average woman, albeit naturally small

    • Sweet Dee says:

      I wonder, how “processed” are we talking about here? I think that the way she said it made sense, she doesn’t like additives or antibiotics but Kaiser interpreted that she doesn’t eat anything that goes through a process, only (raw?) whole foods in their original form. Maybe she is like that.

      I feel the same as you: I don’t like chemicals and antibiotics put into my food, so I avoid that stuff. Still, wine, bread and cheese are all technically processed foods, but they still come from the earth without anything synthetic added, and have been made organically for centuries, long before chicken nuggets and Pop Tarts came along.

      I just don’t think everyone realizes the different levels of opposition there are to unnatural foods.

      • lrm says:

        oh, i LOVE the food comment….cracked me up. I think it was nothing like GOOP….
        she said food washed in ammonia and shaped like dinosaurs fi lled with cheese is ‘tasty’, but she tries to eat stuff her body can actually digest.

        That is SO different than GOOP talking about ‘toxins and cleanses’ et etc

        C’mon-things have shades of grey…
        I agree with others: I don’t have any eating disorders just b/c I want to eat ACTUAL FOOD.

        I love how people consider ‘organic’ the ‘weird pretentious ‘choice….
        organic is the way food actually grows. And real food is the ‘weird’ thing?
        That is so odd to me-how society makes people qualify the choice to eat actual food vs. chemicals.
        And sure, some people are pretentious and judgy about their organic this and that, but that still does not equate with making it out like everyone who prefers to not ingest non food substance, as pretentious. And that it’s ‘abnormal’ will continue to confuse me.

        It’s like when society finally acknowledge smoking to be bad for one’s health, or partially hydrogenated oils, or fast food-when oh when will nutrasweet and bleached chemical fake sugar be added to that list?
        hey, turns out, it does NOT make you lose weight, and in fact is poisonous for you? One day, ‘organic’ will be the ‘new normal’ and everyone will act like ‘duh, of course smoking kills’ type of attidue-same thing… the meantime, ignorance reins supreme in ‘mainstream’ society.

        Anyway, some people simply cannot eat non food without feeling sick.
        And should not have to apologize for it.

    • Me Three says:

      +1. Totally agree with you on GMO food. I can’t believe in the US there was simply no discussion before GMO took over here. In Europe and even in African countries where the lack of food is an issue, people rebelled against GMO and it’s not as ubiquitous as it is here. And we don’t even know what food is GMO because we don’t see a need to label it as such!

      I’m with you. I eat organic whenever possible and I only eat free range and antibiotic free chicken. I never eat farmed fish.

      On that note…I wonder if everyone realizes that more than 95% of the shrimp we eat comes from Asian shrimp farms that are filthy and they are full of antibiotics. My joke with friends is when I’m feeling like I’m catching something I suggest we go somewhere for shrimp…because I need my antibiotics!

      • Nur says:

        Im on the same page with you all and despite that, I have my belly fat too.
        Btw, I did not know about the shrimp. Thanks for that. Oh well, another one of my favourites bites the dust. :(

      • Jenny says:

        GMO is truly terrifying. Honestly, I’m not even sure organic food is always GMO free. Can’t find it now, but just read a scary article about cross pollination between GMO and non-GMO produce. I admit though, I don’t always buy organic, it is SO expensive; I try to stick to organic for the dirty dozen or so of produce and for meats, then everything else when I can afford it :)

  6. allons-y alonso says:

    Ugh….just ugh. I have had more interesting conversations with my dog.

  7. kitkerenina says:

    Soderburgh was prob laughing his ass off silently, while his ears wanted to fall off. Suprized he didn’t pull a Ba-Ba-Wa-Wa. ‘If you could be a tree…? And she would definitely have answered. ‘I would be a Maple tree, and if some people I didn’t know tried to nickname me leafy, though it’s not really a nickname because I would have leaves, then I would have to leave that forest because I don’t want to join their sorority, or take in any processed sun or rain, though I think being a tree that wants those things is a perfectly beautiful and natural thing…’ And she would go on and on.

    • Liv says:

      Kitkerenina, you made my day!! :-D

    • Hoya_chick says:

      Hahahaha this made me laugh! Thanks! And you are probably right. She is so full of herself and her answers made no sense. I bet she thinks she’s super smart and interesting when in reality she is a pretentious twit.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Hahaha. Okay that was funny.

      I still have an inexplicable soft spot for her though.

  8. Liv says:

    Every interview of her makes her look worse. She should stop giving interviews. Seriously, this could ruin her career.

    She comes across as narcissistic and arrogant and self-absorbed. And her claiming that she’s self-critical is a joke. She wouldn’t give interviews like that then.

  9. marie says:

    I still get a blah feeling from her, although she seems like she’d be extremely boring to hang out with..

  10. Heather H says:

    My family and I eat the same way – real food! We are never sick, even our kids who are exposed to all sorts of illnesses in school never get sick. If she is sick a lot it is for other reasons or she is not eating enough food to stay healthy.

  11. GoodCapon says:

    Pretentious photoshoot.

  12. Micki says:

    A bit self-centured and pretentious.

    I get some of her points though.

    Don’t like processed food myself and avoid buying it althogether. Don’t have issues with genetically modified food- there are about 5000 sorts of apples worldwide – are they all natural? No, the genetic engineering in the past was done with the axt and the garden scissors.

    About nudity in film.
    I’d rather see some nudity than flying extremities and blood showers, sorry. Agree with her that sometimes I see screen sex when none is required per se. And on top of it after having it the couple appears still with clothes on.
    I think about the make up sex in MR. and Mrs.Smith. He had his trousers on (buttoned!) and she -her bra. I thought WTF?!

    Her wearing no colour- too much try hard.

    • j.eyre says:

      I agree, if you have no problem ripping an arm off, sex shouldn’t bother you. But I did not totally understand her sex/nude scene comment. I will admit, with the right two people, I have no problem with gratuitous sex in a film because, well, I like gratuitous sex. But I understand her point that it can take away from the scene/film.

      What I don’t understand is why she pointed out the reverse cowgirl scene – to what did she object? The position, was sex not necessary at that moment, Channing? I have not seen the film – can anyone else clarify this?

    • bob says:

      Apples are massive slags. I can’t remember the term but they’ll seed anywhere and germinate with any other type of apple so same types of apples come from grafts from a particular tree. So they’re the cross-bred mess other crops have become.

      It’s pretty interesting, actually.

  13. Eleonor says:

    I berely don’t eat processed food, I usually cook, but I am not as thin as Rooney is.

  14. Jaana says:

    Ugh this girl is so awful why keep featuring her?

  15. I don’t find her attractive enough to be an actress.

  16. Cherry says:

    Did she really say ‘I regret my decision to trust you now that I know you more’ to Soderbergh’s face, or is that a typo??

  17. ChocoChipDstryr says:

    Does she have any other facial expressions?

  18. Maya says:

    I think I’ve already established myself as Celebitchy’s resident Rooney Mara apologist, so I’d just like to say that I still find Rooney more awkward/weird (which is one of the reasons I like her) than pretentious/stuck up, and that I saw Side Effects over the weekend and she’s very, very good in it. It’s a good movie overall; I’m sad if it’s really Soderbergh’s last.

    • Esmom says:

      I like her, too, she seems no more offensive than anyone else in Hollywood. And it definitely seems like she’s more awkward than pretentious. She’s damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t…no matter how she answers the questions people will find ways to pick her apart.

      Seriously, who doesn’t sound at least somewhat self absorbed when answering questions about themselves? It’s the nature of talking about oneself.

      I also like her look and her style, it’s understated and elegant and I’d imagine photographers and directors would find that “blank slate” quality to be appealing.

    • tripmom says:

      Thank you guys! I adore her. I always read her as being self conscious, and not entirely comfortable with interviews and red carpet situations, and her answers always seem to me as though she is trying to be honest, yet diplomatic. Her clothes are always amazing. I really like her.

    • Mazunte says:

      One more here. Rooney Mara is my favorite actress in the 20s range. I find her talented, enigmatic, strikingly photogenic, very pretty and stylish (I love all her outfits, even the dress at the Oscars) and, yes, genuinely awkward and shy.
      And I believe that her comments are sarcastic, not pretentious.

      And I LOVE the food comment. It is actually a pretty smart and funny one.

  19. bns says:

    Of course she hates the iPhone. Must be too 21st century for her.

    Bland girl who got lucky with a great stylist.

  20. Gemini08 says:

    I would not compare her to GP. GP works out and looks strong and healthy. Rooney looks sickly and weak.

  21. Me Three says:

    The feeling I get from Rooney is that she is working really hard to be cool.

  22. Amy says:

    I had no idea that her sister Kate is actually older than Rooney. I always thought that Rooney was years older. Must be her dour appearance.

  23. kate says:

    People are having such a hard time identifying sarcasm. There’s a disclaimer before the interview in the magazine’s website warning the readers that the interview is sarcasm-heavy.

    Chill, everyone who’s taking her answers (and Soderbergh’s questions) seriously!

  24. ??? says:

    I appreciate that Mara isn’t a media whore, doesn’t put on the super-sparkly starlet act, and hasn’t pulled a Blohan, but how exactly do her responses make her savvy/smart/original? She strikes me as the kind of person who believes they’re much more profound and introspective than they really are. I.e., she’s insufferable.

    I’ll cut her some slack because I assume the relationship dynamic between her and Soderbergh dictated the (sometimes sarcastic) tone of this interview, BUT one can be candid without sounding so dour and plaintive all the time. Oh, almost forgot — she’s just another privileged hipster who broods for no apparent reason.

    I don’t get the fuss over her acting, either. It’s blank and internalized. But people somehow interpret this as deep and nuanced and intriguing.

    I’ll say two nice things, though: she is pretty and photogenic.