Wes Craven’s A Nightmare of Elm Street stands as one of the greatest slasher movies of all time; the 2010 remake… not so much. It wasn’t only the audience who had a bad time with the Nightmare on Elm Street remake, but Rooney Mara herself.
Rooney Mara starred as Nancy in the Nightmare on Elm Street remake, but while speaking on the LaunchLeft podcast, her experience on the set was so bad that she nearly quit acting altogether. She wouldn’t elaborate on exactly what went down, but it doesn’t sound pleasant. “A few years before [The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo], I had done a Nightmare on Elm Street remake, which was not a good experience,” Mara said. “I have to be careful with what I say and how I talk about it. It wasn’t the best experience making it and I got to this place, that I still live in, that I don’t want to act unless I’m doing stuff that I feel like I have to do. So after making that film, I decided, ‘OK, I’m just not going to act anymore unless it’s something that I feel that way about.’” Mara had previously said that the Nightmare on Elm Street remake wasn’t what she had signed up for but thankfully her love for acting was rejuvenated when she started working with David Fincher.
Rooney Mara had a small part in David Fincher’s The Social Network and knew that she wanted to work with the director again. Although Fincher didn’t think Mara was right for the part of Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, she fought hard for the part until she got it. “It was a definite real turning point in my life and my career,” Mara said. “David really took me under his wing. He became my mentor in a lot of ways. He took such great care to make sure that I knew that I had a voice and that my opinion meant something. He constantly was empowering me, which I think really affected the rest of my choices thereafter.” Mara’s performance in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.