Famous for essaying Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher`s
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Rooney Mara is an American actress, and humanitarian. Mara gained further recognition with the romantic drama film Carol
, received both Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations, for her character of Therese Belivet.
Belonging to a family of social activists, Rooney Mara is the founder member of Faces of Kibera, a charity that provides livelihood to the downtrodden in the Kibera slum, one of the biggest slums in Africa.
Born Patricia Rooney Mara to Kathleen McNulty (nee Rooney), a real estate agent, and Timothy Christopher Mara, the vice president of player evaluation for the New York Giants, Rooney Mara hails from a family of football enthusiasts. Mara`s paternal great-grandfather, Tim Mara, founded the New York Giants, a professional American football team located in the New York metropolitan area, while her maternal great-grandfather, Art Rooney Sr., founded the Pittsburgh Steelers, a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Rooney Mara has more than often described football as "the glue that holds our family together.". Mara has three siblings- an older brother, Daniel
, an older sister, Kate, also an actress, and a younger brother, Connor.
The Carol actress was born in Bedford, New York and attended Bedford`s Fox Lane High School. After her schooling, in 2003, she enrolled in a travelling school and visited several countries over a period of four months. Mara read psychology and nonprofits at New York University, graduating in 2010. While in college, she started auditioning to become an actor and also appeared in a lot of university films.
She has been in a long-term relationship with the American director Charlie McDowell, the son of celebrated actors Mary Steenburgen
and Malcolm McDowell.
Charlie McDowell is known for directing films like Bye Bye Benjamin (2008), and The One I Love (2014).
After appearing as an extra in her sister, Kate Mara
`s films, Rooney Mara credited as Patricia Mara, featured on TV shows like Law & Order, The Cleaner, and ER. Her maiden role as a lead was in the 2009 independent film Tanner Hall. Premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, the movie received tremendous critical acclaim, establishing Mara as the actress to watch out for. Following this success, She was listed in Filmmaker Magazine`s "25 New Faces of Independent Film" list. Mara then starred in the American Slasher film A Nightmare on Elm Street
(2010), which was a remake of the 1984 film of the same name. Directed by Samuel Bayers, the movie was a huge commercial success but also a major critical failure.
Her second release in 2010 was David Fincher`s The Social Network. Based on the founding of the social networking site Facebook, the film features Jesse Eisenberg
as founder Mark Zuckerberg, along with Andrew Garfield
as Eduardo Saverin and Justin Timberlake
as Sean Parker, the other involved in the creation of the site. In 2011, she did a starring role in the psychological thriller film The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
. Based on Stieg Larsson`s bestselling novel of the same name, Rooney Mara portrays Lisbeth Salander, a genius hacker, who helps a journalist to trace a woman, untraceable for forty years. Directed by David Fincher
, the movie along with Mara stars Daniel Craig
in the lead role. For Mara`s critically acclaimed performance in the movie, she received her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.
The Social Network actress had three releases in 2013- Ain`t Them Bodies Saints, Side Effects
, and Her. Directed by Spike Jonze
, Her follows the story of a man who falls in love with computer operating system personified by a female voice. Alongside Rooney Mara, this Oscar-nominated film also features Joaquin Phoenix
Amy AdamsOlivia Wilde, and Scarlett Johansson
. Another role which defined her career was as Therese Belivet in the American drama film Carol
. Chronicling the impermissible relationship between two women (Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett
, as Carol), the movie opened to widespread critical acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival.
In 2015, she appeared in the crime-drama film Trash
. Her 2016 release includes the drama film, Lion
. Directed by Garth Davis
, the movie also features Dev Patel
, Nicole Kidman
and David Wenham
in lead roles.