Piercing Look

Rooney Mara Talks New Look as Lisbeth Salander For ‘Dragon Tattoo’

Director David Fincher gives an intense make-over. W’s exclusive behind-the-scenes look at his big-screen adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo details relatively unknown actress Rooney Mara’s transformation into Lisbeth Salander, the central character in one of the year’s most-anticipated films. Fincher chose Mara from a list including Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, and a host of other non-“name” stars, such as Yo-Landi Vi$$er, the lead singer of South African punk band Die Antwoord, and Katie Jarvis of Fish Tank. The audition included a particularly challenging and shocking scene in which Salander, an androgynous computer hacker, rapes a man and tattoos his chest. "We had to see if they could do it," says Fincher. Mara, whom Fincher had previously cast in The Social Network, passed the test, and the director whisked her off to Sweden where she had her hair dyed and chopped off and her body pierced—ears, lip, eyebrow, nose, and nipple. Fincher’s making some more changes as well: Salander will be more aggressive than she is in Larsson’s books and journalist Blomkvist (played Daniel Craig) will be less promiscuous. Also, the ending is completely different, which, according to journalist Lynn Hirschberg, is for the better.