Who would win the right to be Lisbeth Salander? Last summer, Hollywood was consumed with that question, as some of the biggest names in the business competed to land that coveted starring role in David Fincher's adaptation of the international best-selling crime thriller, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."
Actresses like Natalie Portman, Kristen Stewart and Ellen Page reportedly were eyeing the gig, and yet it went to a relative unknown named Rooney Mara. The fresh-faced Mara seemed an unlikely choice at first to play Salander, an emotionally scarred, motorcycle-driving hacker not adverse to violent confrontations with anyone who crosses her. But our first look at Mara in character assuaged any fan misgivings: Mara has turned into Salander.
And perhaps no one was more impressed by that transformation than co-star Daniel Craig, who plays Mikael Blomkvist, the disgraced journalist hired to investigate a decades-old missing-persons case. Blomkvist then hires Salander to assist in the search.
"Rooney is massively impressive," he told MTV News during a recent "Cowboys & Aliens" press event. "She took [it] on under a massive amount of pressure because obviously there's a lot of expectation. I was massively impressed and she absolutely nailed this. People are hopefully are going to be incredibly surprised and happy with her performance."
"Dragon Tattoo" marks Fincher's first film after the Oscar-nominated hit "The Social Network," in which Mara played a small role. During production on that Facebook-focused flick, Jesse Eisenberg was blown away that Fincher would shoot certain scenes 60 times or more. Craig experienced something similar on "Dragon Tattoo," though he emphasized he expected nothing less.
"Yeah, but I don't count," he said of Fincher's copious takes. "People are always asking me about that, saying, 'Isn't that strange or whatever it is?' but actors live for that. I want to do it over and over again until I get it right. I don't count, so I couldn't tell you what the largest amount of takes are. ... The whole process was great. All of it was great. I had a lot of fun on it."
Check out everything we've got on "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."