Very few actresses can claim that one scene in a move launched their career. Before the release of the award-winning “The Social Network’,” the biopic of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Rooney Mara was an actress struggling to get quality roles, but after her feisty performance in which she tells off Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) in the film she became one of Hollywood’s hottest properties.
Patricia Rooney Mara was born on April 17, 1985. Her father Timothy Christopher Mara works for the New York Giants while her mother Kathleen McNulty is a real estate agent. She has two brothers, Daniel and Conor while her sister is Kate Mara, an actress known for her roles in “We Are Marshall” and “Iron Man 2.”
While Mara’s inspiration for becoming an actress came from her mother’s love of film and theater, it wasn’t something that dominated her younger life. She graduated from Fox Lane High School in 2003 and then traveled to South America to study the environment with a traveling school. She then attended George Washington University for 12 months before transferring to the New York University Gallatin School of Individualized Study where she graduated in 2010.
While studying she got small roles in television series including “ER” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” She then found herself appearing in feature films such as “Dare,” “The Winning Season,” “Friends With Benefits,” “‘Tanner Hall” and alongside Michael Cera in “Youth in Revolt.”
But it was 2010 that was her breakout year. In addition to her critically acclaimed performance in “The Social Network,” she appeared in the modern-day remake of “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” In 2011 her good luck continued when she was chosen by director David Fincher to play the role of hacker Lisbeth Salander in the American remake of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
2013 saw her receive more praise for her performance with Casey Affleck in “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” while Steven Soderbergh included her in his crime thriller “Side Effects” where she played a young girl accused of the murder of her husband.
Mara has always kept her private life secret, and while little is known about her love life it is known that her best friend is her sister Kate. While they no longer live together they do still discuss each other’s careers with each other, especially when they have been asked to read a new film script. Mara has also shown an interest in African charities and after several years of volunteering for a charity that she founded, Faces of Kibera, in 2011 she became the president of the board of the directors of the organization after it merged with the Uweza Foundation.
Mara’s star is about to rise even further as she has recently signed on to work on projects with famous directors such as Spike Jonze and Terrence Malick. She will also soon reprise the role of Salander in ‘The Girl Who Played With Fire.”