- Portia Doubleday, Youth In Revolt, 2008. The role? Sheeni, the girl Michel Cera (as his usual nerdy milquetoast) hoped to lose his virginity with. Instead, Mara played Taggarty
- Roxane Mesquida, Kaboom, 2009. This time, she was up for Loreli and didn’t get anything else. Never mind. Director David Fincher was around the next corner with then double whammy of The Social Network and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. No newcomer could ask for more. (Her replacement in the Greg Araki movie was the discovery of controversial French auteur Catherine Breillat).
- Amy Ferguson, Tanner Hall, 2009. This and not The Social Network was the true breakthrough for Tricia Mara, who finally chose Rooney as her credit for this film- and it won hertheRising Star Award at the Hamptons festival in 2009.She took the name from her sporting great-grandfathers: Art Rooney founded the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tim Mara, the New York Giants She had firstauditionedfor the supportrole of Lucasta, but New York auteur Tatiana von Furstenbergloved what she saw and tested her for the lead, Fernanda.
- Haley Bennett, Kaboom, 2009. Mara was seen by LAuteur Greg Araki for a science-fiction twist on college students discovering sex.
- Emma Roberts, Adult World, 2011. A few years back, the Hawaii-born auteur Scott Coffey had Julia Roberts toying with one of his scripts.Her neicedidn’t toy... when Mara became The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
- Helena Barlow, Great Expectations, 2011. For the ninth screen version across 80 years (in Charles Dickens 200th birthday year), Mara passed Estella to, well, Rose Weasley from Harry Potter country.
- Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty, 2012. When delays meant Mara had to quit, director Kathryn Bigelow immediately called up Chastain after seeing an early cut of her Virgilia in Coriolanus, 2011. Her agents weren’t so keen. Producer Megan Ellison, who made Lawless with Chastain in 2011, came to the rescue, giving the actress’ number to Bigelow and that was that. Chastain became Maya hunting down UBL - Usama bin Laden. To his death in May 2011.
- Mia Wasikowska, Stoker, 2012. For his first English-language film, SouthKorean director Chan-wook Park (Oldboy), was introduced to Hollywood casting. He had to see Mara, Bella Heathcote, Cary Mulligan, Emma Roberts and, of course for a vampire number, Twilighters Ashley Greenee and Kristen Stewart!What a choice for Nicole Kidman’s daughter… besotted with and fretting over the most mysterious Uncle Charlie since Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt some 60 years earlier.
- Elizabeth Olsen, Oldboy, 2012. During the chequered history of re-making Chan-woo Park’s 2003 South Korean international breakthrough, Oldeuboi - as directors switched from the Fast and Furious ace Justin Lee to Steven Spielberg and, finally, Spike Lee - Mara passed on being the young social worker concerned with James Brolin’s titular kidnap victim. Lily Collins and Mia Wasikowska also declined Marie. The 140 minute movie was slashed by Sony to 105 which explains why this is A Spike Lee Film for the first time and and not, as per usual, A Spike Lee Joint.
- Jennifer Lawrence, The Silver Linings Playbook, 2012. “If you really want to go back and do an archeological dig,” laughed director David O Russell, “I wrote it for Vince Vaughn. And Zooey Deschanel.” Then, Jennifer dida reading on Skype with “an enormous amount of confidence that was beyond her years…toughness and a sweetness and charisma… I hadn’t seen anything like that.” JLaw won the Oscar for the film. Her rivals Elizabeth Banks, Kirsten Dunst, Rachel McAdams, Rooney Mara, Andrea Riseborough, Olivia Wilde had been well and truly Skyped!
- Dakota Fanning,Night Moves, 2012. Mara and Paul Dano became Fanning and Jesse Eisenberg - environmentalists on a mission. Blowing up an Oregon dam.
- Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl, 2013. Emily Blunt, Abbie Cornish, Julianne Hough, Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron, Olivia Wilde, Reese Witherspoon were also discussed for Amy, who goes missing on her wedding anniversary. A great Briton won…
- Mila Kunis, Jupiter Ascending, 2013. After Natalie Portman (wisely) quit her second Wachowski siblings’ movie (Cloud Atlas was the first), Mara was seen before Kunis, a Portman pal, and Black Swan co-star, became Jupiter Jones, a toilet cleaner when first met. Hence Houston critic Chris Sawin said the s(l)oppy 2015 release was “more of a motivational video for janitors and housemaids everywhere than a satisfying piece of entertainment.”
- Rebecca Hall, Transcendence, 2013. Christopher Nolan’s usual cinematographer Wally Pfister was spoilt for choice of stars eager about his directing debut. Emily Blunt anf Kater Winslet were also keen on Evelyn. Plus Plus both girls with the dragon tattoo: the American Mara and Swedish Noomi Rapace.
- Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn, 2014. One busy actress replaced by another… as the young Irish immigrant, Ellis Lacey, makes her way in the 1950s Big Apple.
- Lily James, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, 2014. Natalie Portman was set for the revisionist Elizabeth Bennet until delays clashed with her schedule. Portman remained on board as one of seven producers while Mara, Lily Collins, Anne Hathaway, Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis, Blake Lively, Emma Stone and Mia Wasikowska were rung up Jane Austen flagpoles.
- Felicity Jones, Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One, 2015. Also in the running for the first of Disney’s stand-alone Star Wars movies were Mara and Tatiana Maslany. Directed by Gareth (Godzilla) Edwards, the film opened on December 16, 2016.
- Brie Larson, Room, 2015. When her best-seller came out, author Emma Donoghue said every young actress in town wanted to the resilient Ma, protecting her young son when locked-up kidnap victims. From Mara and Mia Wasikowska to Emma Watson and Larson’s good friend, Shailene Woodley. After 20 years of often nearly quitting, Larson broke through and how - Best Actress Oscar, February 28, 2016. Director,Lenny Abrahamson fell for her home-made tape, talking with an off-screen son. “She conjured up that child. I really felt the child was there.” She then lost 15 lbs and avoided sunlight for for a pale, gaunt look. “She doesn’t do that showy intensity thing that we overpraise in film actors. There's just this truthfulness about her and a delicacy to what she does.”
- Hayley Bennett, The Girl on the Train, 2016. Never any question in producer Marc Platt’s mind about who would be The Girl - Emily Blunt, from his Into The Woods. But sexy Megan only became Bennett when Mara had to leave the project. She was lucky to miss the messy Hitchcock wannabe - never came close.