After filmingÂ Tanner Hall, the debut film by writing/directing team Tatiana von Furstenberg and Francesca Gregorini, actress Patricia "Tricia" Mara took on a new identity, dropping her first name to become Rooney Mara. "I never really liked my first name," Mara says.Â (Rooney is her middle name.) "I never felt like a Tricia. And Rooney is more memorable."
As Patricia growing up in the tony Westchester town of Bedford, Mara says she was a "loner" who shied away from team sports, even though in her family, football was everything. (Her great-grandfather Tim Mara founded the New York Giants.) "I was dragged to football games every week," she says. "I just started liking it a few years ago, but I really hated it growing up."
For a different, less all-American experience, after highschool Mara lived in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. From there, she headed to Kenya where she started a non-profit children"s relief charity called Faces of Kibera. "I needed to get out of the bubble of Westchester. I wanted to finish high school and experience other parts of the world before I tried acting." Mara moved to Los Angeles two years ago, staying at first with her sister Kate Mara (also an actress).Â And since then, she"s been working non-stop. After she sexes up Tanner Hall as the precocious teen Fernanda, she"ll star in Youth in RevoltÂ (with Michael Cera) and The Social Network, David Fincher"s buzzy Justin Timberlake-starring feature about the creators of Facebook. "In the movie I break up with Mark [Zuckerberg], which is the inspiration for him to start Facebook," she explains.Â Good luck finding Mara on the social networking site. "I do have a Facebook account, but I very rarely use it," she says. "I have my profile on private -- so no one can find me."
Stylist: Christine Baker Makeup: Amy Chance for Chanel/CelestineAgency.com Hair: Stephen Lewis/Exclusive Artists/Bio-Ionic.
Rooney wears a jacket by Nicholas K and a dress by Kova & T.