Rooney Mara on Interviews: “There’s Nothing Genuine About it”

The actress reveals that she is never really honest or herself in interviews, because they are certain expectations for actresses in particular and she believes interviews have become very fake and unauthentic. She explained that she thinks celebrities today have lost their spark and are just doing what’s expected of them:

“People don’t really want me to be honest. People want me – people want girls – to be grateful, gracious, poised. Not real. I watch interviews from the 1970s, of Patti Smith or John Cassavetes, and everyone’s smoking, drinking, totally misbehaving, but they’re being completely authentic, and I’m so jealous because that would never happen today. There’s always a pre-interview, so you know what jokes you have to hit, and there’s nothing genuine about it. And I hate that. I hate being a phony. I hate having to censor myself.”

She comments that she doesn’t easily hide her emotions, which has both positive and negative aspects. She says it helps with her work, but it also means she can be highly sensitive:

“I’ve always been a very sensitive person and people tell me that if I’m in a certain mood and I go into a room, my mood will permeate the room. It’s not on purpose – I’d rather be invisible in those moments – but I’m really bad at faking how I feel. Like, my emotions kind of live all over my body at all times, and there’s not a good way for me to hide it. Because I’m highly empathetic, it’s easy for me put myself in the character’s shoes.”

She feels pressure to sell a film and she understands that she has to control what she says in order to convince people which she says is exhausting:

“As an actor, you can’t just be in the film. You’re also in charge of selling it, and so you have to be very political and make sure to not say the wrong things. It’s exhausting. A lot of pressure is put on the people who were hired to make – not even to make, to be a part of making – the thing.”