Rooney Mara Nearly Quit Acting After Bad ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ Experience: ‘I Have to Be Careful With How I Talk About It’

Rooney Mara said on a recent episode of the “LaunchLeft” podcast (via IndieWire) that David Fincher restored her faith in acting after she nearly quit the profession following a bad experience making the 2010 “Nightmare on Elm Street” remake. The Oscar-nominated actor did not disclose what happened on the set, but she described it as “not a good experience.”

“A few years before [‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’], I had done a ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ remake, which was not a good experience,” Mara said. “I have to be careful with what I say and how I talk about it. It wasn’t the best experience making it and I kind of got to this place, that I still live in, that I don’t want to act unless I’m doing stuff that I feel like I have to do. So after making that film, I kind of decided, ‘Ok, I’m just not going to act anymore unless it’s something that I feel that way about.’”

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Fortunately for Mara, she quickly got on Fincher’s radar following “Nightmare on Elm Street.” The duo first joined forces for “The Social Network,” where Mara left a huge impression in the opening scene as the ex-girlfriend who rips into Mark Zuckerberg. Mara wasn’t a household name at the time, so Fincher had to go to bat to cast her.

“He had to fight really hard for me to get the part because the studio didn’t want me for it,” Mara said. “It was a definite real turning point in my life and my career.”

Fincher would then cast Mara in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” which earned her an Oscar nomination and set her career on a better path.

“I worked on it for a year straight,” Mara continued. “David really took me under his wing. He became my mentor in a lot of ways. He took such great care to make sure that I knew that I had a voice and that my opinion meant something. He constantly was empowering me, which I think really affected the rest of my choices thereafter.”

Mara is currently earning Oscar buzz for her role in Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking,” now playing in theaters.

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