Mara: I had to land Dragon role
Rooney Mara has confessed she "couldn't see forward" in her life without nabbing the lead part in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
The actress undertook two-and-a-half months of preparation and five screen tests to land the sought-after role of Lisbeth Salander in the film - and her tenacity won over director David Fincher.
She said: "It was like I couldn't imagine what I would be doing if I wasn't doing that. I couldn't see forward in my life without doing it."
The 26-year-old added: "I spent over a year at 100 miles-per-hour, just working on pure adrenaline for a lot of it. And it's hard to come down off of that. For someone like me, who really thrives off of having something to focus on, it's hard to lose that."
Rooney said her role in Fincher's previous film, the Oscar-nominated Facebook tale The Social Network, proved to be a real turning point.
"It just felt different than anything else I had done," she revealed. "After that, I got really picky. I didn't work for a year. I didn't work until I got this part because I was just trying to find something that I was really passionate about."