David Fincher’s take on Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo opens December 21st, and with Swedish-rape-crime fever just starting to heat up, the latest issue of Vogue has a feature on Rooney Mara, the actress who would be Lisbeth Salander. There are a few interesting tidbits in the article, including Fincher’s explanation of why Scarlett Johansson wouldn’t work as Lisbeth Salander, even though she’s Scandinavian (half Danish), and I think we all can agree she would’ve been a pretty great choice for that bare-tittie poster.
“We flew in people from New Zealand and Swaziland and all over the place,” he says. “Look, we saw some amazing people. Scarlett Johansson was great. It was a great audition, I’m telling you. But the thing with Scarlett is, you can’t wait for her to take her clothes off.” He stops for a moment. “I keep trying to explain this. Salander should be like E.T. If you put E.T. dolls out before anyone had seen the movie, they would say, ‘What is this little squishy thing?’ Well, you know what? When he hides under the table and he grabs the Reese’s Pieces, you love him! It has to be like that.”
“See, Scarlett Johansson is squishy. Gloriously squishy, like you can’t wait to get your hands on her. Rooney, she’s more like E.T. She gets naked and no one even notices unless she’s under a table trying to feed you Reese’s Pieces, you know?” Uh, cool story, David Fincher?
Meanwhile, I’d say Kirsten Dunst has been vindicated, at least in regard to her theory about her boobs being too big for Antichrist. I don’t know if I agree with her and Fincher that big-breasted actresses shouldn’t be cast in certain parts, but I will say this: fret not, voluptuous ladies. You’ll always get a fair shake when I’m around. (*mimes boob squeeze, bike horn sound*)
But that’s not the only interesting thing to come out of the profile. There’s also some stuff about rape and David Fincher as stern taskmaster. Hmmm, I made those two things sound much more related than I meant to.
[Rooney Mara and David Fincher's] relationship, it quickly becomes clear, is charged with the electric current of the mentor-protégée crush, which is both touching and occasionally uncomfortable to watch. Or, as Daniel Craig, who costars as a crusading journalist named Mikael Blomkvist, says about their working relationship, “It’s f*cking weird!”
“I was only on The Social Network for four days, so I didn’t really get to know anyone,” says Mara.
“Twenty-four hundred takes,” says Fincher.
“Twenty-four hundred takes but only four days,” says Mara.
“It was a foundation,” says Fincher. “It was a, Wow, here’s someone who just keeps trying. Try this, try this, try this. . . . ”
I had a mentor-protégée relationship that was charged with an electric current once. I didn’t mind that part so much. It was the stiletto heels on my testes that really kept me from coming back.
And so began an agonizing period for Mara. “It was like, ‘Come in. We need you to do this, we need you to do that.’ That’s all I thought about and all I did for weeks.” She mentions a time Fincher said, “Go out and get really, really drunk and come in the next morning so we can take pictures of you.” He wanted to show Sony that she could look strung out. “And I did it!” says Mara. “Threw up all night!”
Oh, actors. So gullible. Then again, it’s not that hard to convince most 24-year-olds to get drunk all night and come to work hungover. I would’ve been great for this part.
As for the film, Fincher declined to show the writer a rape scene, but he did allow this:
“I’ll show you this,” he says. “It’s pretty heartbreaking.” It is the scene in which Salander goes to the office of her new social worker, Nils Bjurman, played with shuddersome menace by Yorick van Wageningen, and it slowly dawns on her that he is a monster who has total control over her money and her life. The scene is agonizing to watch as it slowly becomes apparent that he is going to sodomize her. Nothing is left to the imagination. [Vogue via CinemaBlend]
Oh, David Fincher, you had me graphic sodomy. I’ve been saying, that’s what’s missing from most Hollywood movies these days. It’s like, look, bro, I’m not paying you twelve bucks to leave the sodomy to my imagination. I can imagine sodomy at my house.