50 facts about Rooney Mara: portrayed Lisbeth Salander, the title character in David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

50 interesting things about actress Rooney Mara.

1. Mara was born and raised in Bedford, New York.

2. Mara's mother's family founded the Pittsburgh Steelers.

3. Her father's family founded the New York Giants.

4. Her father, Timothy Christopher Mara, is the vice president of player evaluation for the New York Giants.

5. Her mother, Kathleen McNulty is a part-time real estate agent.

6. She is the third of four children: she has an older brother, Daniel, Kate, and a younger brother, Conor.

7. Her older sister is also an actress.

8. Mara's father has Irish, German, and French-Canadian ancestry.

9. Her mother is of Irish and Italian descent.

10. Her "Rooney" ancestors originated in Newry, County Down.

11. Her paternal grandparents were Wellington Mara and Ann Mara. Wellington was the long-time co-owner of the Giants, who was succeeded in that position by her uncle, John Mara.

12. Her maternal grandfather, Timothy James "Tim" Rooney, has run Yonkers Raceway in Yonkers, New York since 1972.

13. Mara is the great-granddaughter of both New York Giants founder Tim Mara and Pittsburgh Steelers founder Art Rooney, Sr., as well as of Kathleen McNulty Rooney.

14. Her great-uncle, Dan Rooney, is chairman of the Steelers, the former United States Ambassador to Ireland, and the co-founder of The Ireland Funds charitable organization. U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney from Florida is her first cousin, once removed.

15. After graduating from Fox Lane High School in 2003, she went to Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia in South America for four months as part of the Traveling School, an open learning environment.

16. She attended George Washington University for a year and then transferred to New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where she studied psychology, international social policy and nonprofits, graduating in 2010.

17. Mara was inspired to act by seeing musical theatre and classic movies, like Gone with the Wind, Rebecca, and Bringing Up Baby, with her mother.

18. Mara resisted pursuing acting as a child, stating to The Journal News that "it never seemed that honorable to me, and I guess I was always afraid that I might fail."

19. Her first and only role in high school was Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, which she got after being signed up to audition by a friend.

20. Mara acted in a few student films while at NYU, and then began her career in acting, first auditioning at the age of nineteen.

21. Her full name is Patricia Rooney Mara.

22. She made her acting debut in 2005, and went on to star in films such as Tanner Hall, the remake A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Social Network and Trash.

23. In 2011 she portrayed Lisbeth Salander, the title character in David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, based on Stieg Larsson's Millennium book series. She received critical acclaim for her performance and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama.

24. In 2013, she starred in the thriller Side Effects, the independent drama Ain't Them Bodies Saints and the acclaimed sci-fi romantic drama, Her.

25. In 2015, she won the Best Actress Award at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival for her role in the film Carol.

26. Mara is also known for her charity work and oversees the charity Uweza Foundation, which supports empowerment programs for children and families in the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, one of the largest slums in Africa.

27. Mara first appeared as an extra in films which starred her sister, including a bit-part in the 2005 direct-to-video horror film Urban Legends: Bloody Mary.

28. She found work in television, making her professional debut in a 2006 episode of the drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as a girl who bullies overweight children.

29. She guest-starred on the legal drama Women's Murder Club in 2007 and played a drug addict in an episode of The Cleaner in 2008.

30. Mara made her feature film debut Dream Boy in 2008 and guest-starred as Megan for two episodes of NBC's ER in 2009.

31. Mara founded the charity Faces of Kibera, which aimed to provide housing, food, and medical care for orphans in Kibera, a Nairobi, Kenya slum. The charity's goal was to build an orphanage in the region, for which 6 acres of land have been purchased. The charity auctioned memorabilia from the Steelers and Giants, as well as training camp events on eBay to raise money. She visited the area as a volunteer in 2006 and was moved to help the orphans, many whose parents have died from AIDS and HIV-related illnesses.

32. She began the charity due to her frustration with the growing number of nonprofits that are just business opportunities. "The people who need help aren't really getting it. So I started my own", she told Interview magazine in 2009.

33. Mara was not really working yet when she started the charity, so later found it challenging to balance her charity work and acting career. "I need to do both; I can't just do acting," she stated to The Journal News.

34. In January 2011, Faces of Kibera merged with Uweza Foundation which runs community-based empowerment programs in Kibera, including soccer leagues and after-school tutoring. Uweza is a Swahili word meaning opportunity, ability, and power. Mara serves as the president of the board of directors for the foundation.

35. Mara moved to Los Angeles in early 2007 and lived with her sister temporarily.

36. Although the sister do not live together anymore, Mara felt that the experience brought them closer together, and they still regularly discuss the film business and movie scripts.

37. She includes Gena Rowlands among the actors who inspire her, especially her performances in A Woman Under the Influence and Opening Night.

38. She is a vegan.

39. Since 2010, she has been dating American director Charlie McDowell.

40. Mara has described football as "the glue that holds our family together."

41. In early 2012, Mara dropped out of Kathryn Bigelow's action film Zero Dark Thirty due to scheduling conflicts and was replaced by Jessica Chastain.

42. Mara replaced Carey Mulligan in Spike Jonze's film, Her. Variety reported that Mulligan had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts, and Mara was selected to fill in alongside Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Scarlett Johansson.

43. Mara starred in Steven Soderbergh's 2013 crime/thriller film Side Effects, with Jude Law, Channing Tatum, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Vinessa Shaw. She played Emily Taylor, "a woman who turns to prescription medication as a way of handling her anxiety concerning her husband's upcoming release from prison."

44. She starred in David Lowery's 2013 independent film Ain't Them Bodies Saints which is described as a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde story, alongside Casey Affleck and Ben Foster.

45. In May 2013, she became the new face of Calvin Klein new fragrance Down Town.

46. In 2015, Mara played Tiger Lily in the Joe Wright-directed fantasy film Pan, a role for which Lupita Nyong'o and Adèle Exarchopoulos were also considered.

47. In June 2014, she signed on to serve as co-producer for a screen adaptation of the memoir A House in the Sky, and to play the lead role of Amanda Lindhout in the film.

48. At the 2015 Cannes Film Festival she won the award for Best Actress for her role in the film Carol.

49. For her role in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo she also had each of her ears pierced four times, and had her brow and right nipple pierced for the role. Her nose and lip piercings were fake. Mara's eyebrows were bleached, and she wore a temporary dragon tattoo.

50. She began preparing for the role in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by starting to skateboard and kickbox, and underwent dialect and computer training. She also visited Stockholm, the setting of the novel.

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Rooney Mara

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