This kicks those fuzzy paparazzi shots in the teeth. Four months after images emerged of actress Rooney Mara partially done-up as "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" hacker-heroine Lisbeth Salander, we're finally getting our first bona fide look at the pierced, tatted titular character on the cover of W magazine. And it's signature Salander all the way—blood-drenched fingertips, closely cropped raven locks and enough inky black leather to upholster a love seat. In the mag's inaugural movie issue, the "Social Network" star talks about landing the much-talked-about role and the extreme measures she took to embody the tough-as-nails Lisbeth.
Rooney's history with "Dragon Tattoo" helmer David Fincher is no secret—David directed Rooney in the critically acclaimed "Social Network" in which she delivered arguably the most memorable movie kiss-off ever as Mark Zuckerberg's love interest Erica Albright. Despite their previous working relationship, David—who considered everyone from Scarlett Johansson to Die Antwoord lead singer Yo-Landi Vi$$er for the part—didn't cut Rooney any slack during the audition process. "I wanted her from the beginning," David said. "Rooney may be a trust-fund baby from football royalty, but she’s levelheaded and hardworking. It’s so odd how who people are comes out in auditions. We didn’t make it easy for Rooney, and there was no way to dissuade her."
For her part, Rooney wasn't always so gung-ho about the part. In fact, she didn't think she had a chance of landing Lisbeth. "Before I read the book, I didn’t think I could do it," Rooney said. "I locked myself in a room for a week and read all three books, and decided I really wanted to be Lisbeth. But I thought I had no shot at it."
A rather daunting audition process followed, which included one of the book's most chilling moments: Salander raping her one-time rapist and tattooing the words "I Am a Rapist Pig" on his abdomen. "David added the rape scene at the last minute, and I said, ‘Ohmigod! They must be really serious,'" Rooney remembered. "They did one test, then another a week later. They shot me in the subway in L.A. in full hair and makeup with a motorcycle. Every day they had a new request. On a Monday morning, David called me in, and I said, ‘What do you want me to do to my hair now?’ I was at the end of my rope. He told me I had the part. I hadn’t even read the script yet."
Of course, she landed the part and began the arduous makeover process, which included chopping and dying her locks, bleaching her eyebrows and piercing her lip, brow, nose and nipple (um, ouch!). "I didn’t even have pierced ears," Rooney said. "They put four holes in each ear, and, weirdly, that hurt the most. It was all very organized. With David, everything is measured and carefully considered. He wants what he sees in his head."
Apparently, David's been snooping around in our heads too, because Rooney couldn't look more like our Lisbeth if she tried.
What do you think, Crushers? Does Rooney look like the Lisbeth you pictured? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!