Rooney Mara Almost Quit Acting Following Her Experience On A Nightmare On Elm Street

Credit: A Nightmare on Elm Street movie

The Nightmare on Elm Street series is iconic in the world of horror. Wes Craven created a villain so unique and entertaining that Freddy Krueger will always go down as a fan favorite. The series has made over $300 million (adjusted for inflation then its over $600 million), so naturally, executives want to milk the franchise for everything it’s worth. Cue to A Nightmare on Elm Street remake in 2010. Before her Oscar nominations for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Carol, Rooney Mara starred in the 2010 reboot.

Unfortunately, A Nightmare on Elm Street wasn’t met with the same praise as the original was back in 1984. Many deemed the reboot boring, unoriginal, and lost what originally made the franchise special. However, the financial returns of the film were pretty strong. It garnered $117 million worldwide based on a $35 million production budget. However, there hasn’t been another film from that entry since. Even if there was, it’s quite possible that Rooney Mara would’ve never returned.

Credit: A Nightmare on Elm Street

Rooney Mara Has Mentioned Her Dislike Of A Nightmare on Elm Street In The Past

The Oscar nominated actress hasn’t been shy about her dislike of A Nightmare on Elm Street before. In fact, Mara stated an interview with Entertainment Weekly that she didn’t even want the role to begin with,”You Kind of learn to self-sabotage with thing you don’t want to get,” she told the magazine. “Sometimes you don’t want to get something but you do a really good job and you get in anyway. That’s kind of [what happened] with A Nightmare on Elm Street – I didn’t even really want it. And then I went in [to audition] and I was like, [whispering] “F-. I definitely got that.”

Mara likely did the role to pay bills and get noticed. She wouldn’t be the first actress to take a role she didn’t care about and she won’t be the last. The problem was that it was clear that Mara wasn’t into the role in the film itself, with critics making note of her rote performance.

Rooney Mara in A Nightmare on Elm Street

Credit: A Nightmare on Elm Street

The Oscar Nominated Actress Speaks About Her Experience On Set

Nevertheless, Mara’s performance may have been also been due to her treatment on set. She doesn’t go into detail about what happened, but it’s clear that the experience still haunts her, “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 on a recent LaunchLeft podcast. “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.”

Interestingly enough, Mara hasn’t starred in another horror film since the 2010 reboot. Usually, up and coming actors get their start in horror movies so that isn’t much of a surprise. However, one does have to wonder exactly what happened that traumatized her so much to nearly quit acting. Nevertheless, it’s great that Mara remained in Tinseltown as she’s truly a gifted performer. The 40-year-old stated on the same podcast that David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is ultimately what kept her going in films.

It’s a shame that Fincher never continued on with the series, though Rooney Mara has seen tremendous success outside of it regardless. Recently, the Oscar nominee was in Women Talking, thus the reasoning behind her media rounds as of late.

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