In this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, actress Rooney Mara and director David Fincher discuss the intense physical and mental trials Mara had to undergo in order to play the role of Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. In what almost sounds like a dare, when he first offered her the role, Fincher laid out what it was going to entail. “I told Rooney, ‘You’re going to be emaciated, you have to be naked, you have to get raped [on screen], get pierced, smoke cigarettes, ride a motorcycle,’” he told EW. ‘”I need you to really concentrate and tell me this is something you want.’”
For her part, Mara was up to the challenge, although some parts of it scared her more than others:
The motorcycle was the thing I really didn’t want to do. You know, you’re going to be raped, be naked… But as soon as he was like, ‘You’re going to have to ride a motorcycle,’ I was like, ‘Oh, really?’
Personally, I find it interesting that out of all the really unpleasant sounding things she had to go through (including a super restrictive diet), driving a motorcycle was what freaked her out the most, when to most rational people (or at least to me?), it’s the only thing on that list that actually sounds like fun. It’s a sad state of affairs for Hollywood when starvation and nudity are so commonplace they don’t really bother actresses anymore, but something as bad ass as driving a motorcycle seems terrifying and weird. Or maybe Rooney Mara just has a deep-seated fear of motorcycles stemming back to childhood? I don’t know.