Normally, an actor is ecstatic to discuss his or her Oscar nomination, but in an interview with The Telegraph, Rooney Mara could not sound less thrilled.
Up for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “Carol,” Mara answers, “Yeah, yeah, I’ll be there,” when asked about her plans to attend the 88th annual Academy Awards amidst the current racial controversy.
The 30-year-old actress is no stranger to being critiqued for furthering the whitewashing of Hollywood ever since she took on the part of Tiger Lily in the movie “Pan.” In both the book “Peter and Wendy,” by JM Barrie, and Walt Disney’s original 1953 animated film, “Peter Pan,” Tiger Lily is Native American.
Soon after the casting was announced, Warner Bros. received a petition signed by 96,000 people who felt that decision was made in bad taste.
“I really hate, hate, hate that I am on that side of the whitewashing conversation,” Mara says. “I really do. I don’t ever want to be on that side of it again. I can understand why people were upset and frustrated.”
The actress speaks glowingly about “Pan” director, Joe Wright, insisting that he had nothing but “genuine” intentions with the film. However, she does have an issue with the casting: “Do I think all of the four main people in the film should have been white with blonde hair and blue eyes? No. I think there should have been some diversity somewhere.”
Even briefly discussing the topic of race frustrates “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” actress.
“Here is the thing,” she says, “I have a lot to say and I have very strong opinions about it, but it is such a sensitive issue I don’t want to reduce it to a sound bite. I feel like that is what is happening.”
Turning her attention to the media’s coverage, she says, “It is being turned into pull quotes and headlines, and that isn’t opening up a conversation so much as pointing fingers at people and taking their awards out of context. I don’t want to step into the conversation in that way.”
Another part of Hollywood that really grinds Mara’s gears is attending any sort of red carpet event. She says in the interview, “I don’t think it is ever something you look forward to. For me, it is an irritating part of the job. I try and make the most of it and have fun with it. But it is like this weird other thing. It has nothing to do with movies. It has become this thing unto itself.”