The Next Audrey: 5 Interesting Things to Know About Rooney Mara - Arts & Culture

Did you know she’s basically NFL royalty?

Last week, it was announced that Oscar-nominated actress Rooney Mara would be playing Audrey Hepburn in Apple’s biopic on the Breakfast at Tiffany’s star.

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The project has tapped Call Me by Your Name (2017) director Luca Guadagnino and The Giver (2014) screenplay writer Michael Mitnick. Although that’s pretty much all that’s revealed about the upcoming film, the internet gave rave reviews on the casting (except for Lily Collins’ fans who think the role should’ve been hers).

Besides her porcelain skin, dark hair, and doe-eyes, Mara’s physical similarities with Hepburn, there are other parallels like both of them being award-winning actresses, humanitarians, and lovers of little black dresses.

While we look forward to more details on the biopic, here are interesting facts about Mara, from being an “ethical vegan” to improving the lives of less fortunate children in Africa.

She’s vegan

The actress has been vegan since 2011 after a friend sent her an “undercover” video of a pig being slaughtered. ‘[It] led me to another horrible video and another horrible video. I went down the YouTube rabbit hole,” she told CoveteurBesides not consuming animal products, Mara only wears ethical clothing not derived from living beings. 

She calls herself an “ethical vegan” and joined Animal Equality in 2019, an organization for protecting farmed animals. 

Her family owns NFL teams

Mara’s from not one but two families that own teams in America’s National Football League. Her father’s side, the Maras, founded the New York Giants. Meanwhile, the Rooneys, her maternal family, founded the Pittsburgh Steelers (Rooney is actually her mother’s maiden name—the actress’s real first name is Patricia). 

Despite basically being NFL royalty, Mara told talk show host Seth Meyers that naturally, she was always in football games as a child. However, she didn’t find it pleasant at times. “Because we would always go after church and I’d have to wear, like, tights and a little outfit, and it was like everyone else was in their sweatpants eating like crappy food, and I was in my little Sunday church clothes,” she explained.  

She’s a philanthropist 

Mara started her own foundation through Faces of Kibera with a passion for charity. It aims to help fight the poverty children from the Kenyan town face. In 2008, she launched a youth counseling program to help kids go through struggles such as drug abuse, sexual assault, and post-traumatic stress disorder, to name a few. 

In 2012, the Oscar nominee joined NGO Oxfam and visited South Sudan to visit refugees and raise awareness for the illegal weapon trade in vulnerable countries.

She method acted in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

In the 2011 film adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Mara played Lisabeth Salander, its leading role. “I think the thing that makes her such a compelling character is that you do sort of fall instantly in love with her, but at the same time you don’t always agree with what she’s doing, and you also question her, and you get frustrated by her,” Mara told Parade.  

To do the role justice, she opted to do things as authentic as possible. Mara got piercings on her face, body, and nipple to help get into character, even though fake ones were offered. In addition, Mara practiced kickboxing to get fit and feel confident to shoot the part to get ready for the nude scene in the film. The work paid off, given she was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in the 2021 Academy Awards.

She starred in two movies with her fiance 

Mara’s been dating four-time Oscar-winning actor Joaquin Phoenix, who’s also vegan, since 2017. However, they’ve collaborated before their relationship when they appeared in sci-fi romance Her (2013) and biblical drama Mary Magdalene (2018). 

They got engaged in 2019 and welcomed their first child River, in September 2020. Mara gave birth during the height of the pandemic, similar to celebrities Ciara, Katy Perry, and Gigi Hadid. 

Banner photo from @rooney.mara on Instagram

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