True Detective Dream Actor: Rooney Mara


If it were to come out tomorrow that creator Nic Pizzolatto had approached Rooney Mara for a role in season two, it would be completely unsurprising. The only surprise would come if we were to learn that she was never on the list in the first place. Mara has been making quite a name for herself as a serious dramatic actor. Most people didn’t take notice of her until her small but vital role in David Fincher’s The Social Network. After working with Fincher again in his adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, it became impossible to ignore her.

Mara’s subtle, sometimes deadly serious acting naturally lends itself to True Detective. If we’re going to continue to assume that season two will continue to involve hard-boiled men and women, Mara is such a painfully obvious shoe-in. Her role as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo rivals the Swedish original while remaining different enough to have its own merits.

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Her powerful screen presence can also be seen in Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects, which invites spoilers simply by bringing it up. Mara’s commanding presence is on full display in Side Effects, creating an icy and haunting feel whenever she’s in sight. Her performance can come down to a love-it or hate-it situation, as her frequently cold demeanor is more of an acquired taste in both this and many of her other roles.

True Detective has so far proven to be more about the detectives themselves rather than the actual cases. Rooney Mara is just the actor to carry around that level of emotional trauma. While it would be a dream come to true to see Mara’s skills on display in True Detective, she’s been very busy lately. With three films coming out in 2015, not including a rumored reunion with David Fincher, it’s unlikely that we’ll get to see Mara this season.

But there’s always hope for season 3.