The casting for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s Lisbeth Salander was a long and arduous fight for Rooney Mara. She didn’t have the same clout as the big-name actresses circling the role. David Fincher himself wasn’t sure that she was right. Telling off Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network wasn’t enough; the actress had to battle through a series of auditions and prove to the filmmaker that she was right for the role – that she was prepared for the challenging scenes she would have to partake in.
Now Mara’s Americanized Salander is hitting theaters and grabbing rave reviews from American critics enamored with the character’s evolution into a more relatable and tough heroine. But is it really a better, or equally powerful performance? Or, more precisely – since the new Lisbeth Salander is not just a creation of Mara’s, but of director Fincher and screenwriter Steven Zaillian – does the American characterization of Salander really invoke the spirit of Larsson’s creation, or does it fall prey to the pitfalls that plague Hollywood’s artistic output?
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