Fincher, who is contrary by nature, is allergic to garlands. While critics were heralding The Social Network as, hands down, the best movie of the year, a meditation on the inability to emotionally connect in today’s increasingly mechanized society, Fincher was scouting locations in Sweden.
“The timing was lucky,” Fincher said as he sat down at a candlelit table in a room next to the photo studio. In November there are only a few hours of daylight in Stockholm, and although it was 3 p.m., it was like the middle of the night. The constant darkness and deep freeze were difficult for Fincher. “But nothing is truly hard after Benjamin Button,” he said. “I put Brad Pitt’s head on somebody else’s body. That was hard.” Fincher poured a glass of red wine. “I hate the awards part of the moviemaking process,” he continued. “And besides, on Social Network, I didn’t really agree with the critics’ praise. It interested me that Social Network was about friendships that dissolved through this thing that promised friendships, but I didn’t think we were ripping the lid off anything. The movie is true to a time and a kind of person, but I was never trying to turn a mirror on a generation.”
Mara turned up in a party frock at the Palm Springs Film Festival last week to accept an award for best ensemble for The Social Network. More photos and another excerpt from the Hirschberg piece below.
Five days later Mara moved to Stockholm. She began training—learning to ride a motorcycle and kickboxing. The (temporary) dragon tattoo proved to be tricky: Fincher did not want it to look Asian or like it came out of a comic book. He finally settled on a dragon that could have been drawn by Escher—more like an engraving and quite beautiful. In one “very intense” day, Mara’s eyebrows were bleached, her hair chopped, and her lip, brow, nose, and nipple pierced. “I didn’t even have pierced ears,” Mara said, still sounding a little shocked. “They put four holes in each ear, and, weirdly, that hurt the most. It was all very organized. With David, everything is measured and carefully considered. He wants what he sees in his head.”
[Photos courtesy Palm Springs Film Festival and W Magazine.]