Rooney Mara stars as a cover girl for the January 2016 issue of Elle magazine, photographed by Cedric Buchet and styled by David Vandewal.
Here’s the most interesting quotes from the interview:
As an actor, you can’t just be in the film. You’re also in charge of selling it, and so you have to sell yourself, and you have to be very political and make sure to not say the wrong things. It’s exhausting. A lot of pressure is put on the people who were hired to make — not even to make, to be a part of making — the thing.
People think that I grew up going to Barneys for my back-to-school clothes. I went to the Gap. We lived in a nice house on a cul-de-sac, but it wasn’t a mansion. We didn’t have a butler or a maid.
I’ve always been a very sensitive person, and people tell me that if I’m in a certain mood and I go into a room, my mood will permeate the room. It’s not on purpose — I’d
rather be invisible in those moments — but I’m really bad at faking how I feel. Like, my emotions kind of live all over my body at all times, and there’s not a good way for me to hide it.
People don’t really want me to be honest. People want me — people want girls — to be grateful, gracious, poised. Not real. I watch interviews from the 1970s, of Patti Smith or John Cassavetes, and everyone’s smoking, drinking, totally misbehaving, but they’re being completely authentic, and I’m so jealous because that would never happen today. There’s always a pre-interview, so you know what jokes you have to hit, and there’s nothing genuine about it. And I hate that. I hate being a phony. I hate having to censor myself.
If you tweet the wrong thing, you have, like, four different organizations on your ass, asking for an apology. Artists are deeply sensitive, vulnerable people, and when you are supercandid and then you get ripped apart for it, you’re not going to want to do it again.
When you’re starting out as an actress, you have to go to auditions, and you have to have all these outfits, like ‘the slutty girl.’ Even in my family, I’d have to dress a certain way for my grandparents.
I love looking at fashion — it’s a form of art, completely. And I’m very interested in aesthetics. But in my life, in L.A., I’m usually in workout clothes or pajamas, because I hate getting dressed in the morning.
I’m not someone who’s like, ‘If I can’t act, I don’t know what I’ll do.’ If I had to act in things that I didn’t believe in, or that didn’t fulfill me, I’d rather do something else.
There are certain times when I love [acting] so much and I feel so fulfilled by it. But it doesn’t fulfill me most of the time. Like, I feel like an artist without an art
form.” Will she find something else, then? “I hope so. If I did, though, it wouldn’t be for the world. It would be just for me.