20 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Mara Sisters

Photo: Gregory Pace/BEImages.
This week, Pan, featuring Rooney Mara's controversial turn as Tiger Lily, will hit theaters. It takes on The Martian, in which Kate Mara is one member of the Mars crew that has left behind presumed dead Matt Damon. Earlier this year, Kate was part of one of the biggest superhero-fueled flops in recent history, Fantastic Four. That was shortly after Rooney tied for a Best Actress award in Cannes for this fall's hotly anticipated Carol. It's a good thing these two sisters don't ever consider each other rivals.

If they've been up for the same role, elder sister, Kate, recently told Jimmy Kimmel that their agents were wise enough not to tell them. We can't exactly imagine Kate as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo's Lisbeth Salander, or Rooney as House of Cards' Zoe Barnes, so it must be true.

The basic details about these critical darlings' lives are pretty well known: They were born (Kate in 1983, Rooney in 1985) and raised in Bedford, New York, a suburb outside of NYC. They're two of four children from the union of Pittsburgh Steelers owners (the Rooneys) and New York Giants owners (the Maras). Now, how about a few facts that aren't trotted out in every single interview? Read on for some important, and some extremely trivial things, that you might not know about the Mara sisters.
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Photo: Via @katemara.
The Beginning Of A Beautiful Friendship

The girls' paternal great-grandfather Timothy J. Mara and maternal great-grandfather Arthur Rooney were good buddies in the off-track betting business before they got into football. Those family gatherings have to be something.
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How Do You Say It Again?

Kate says their last name is pronounced "MARE-uh," because her grandparents were New Yorkers, even if it probably was once the Irish O'Mara, with a short a sound. She told Jimmy Kimmel that Rooney pronounces it "mawr-uh" just to be rebellious.
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Photo: Gregory Pace/BEImages.
Wait, Who's Tricia?

Rooney's first name is Patricia, and she was called Tricia growing up — but she took her middle name when she began acting. Kate's family and "really close" friends call her Katie. (Happy Sad Confused)
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Photo: AGF s.r.l./Rex/REX USA.
Don't Take That "Pigksin Princesses" Assumption Too Far

"I don't have a trust fund," Rooney told Vogue. "I grew up in a little cul-de-sac in the suburbs and went to public school. I went to Costco on the weekends. ... When my great-grandfathers founded those teams it cost, like, $500. My dad is one of 11 children. I am one of 40 grandchildren. What bothers me about the whole trust fund thing is that it sort of presumes that everything is handed to you. And if there is one thing about my family that I do identify with, it is that everyone is extremely hardworking. Also, the people whom I grew up with all did things they really loved. And I think that's an important lesson."
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Photo: Henry Lamb/Photowire/BEImages.
You Won't Find Pom-Poms Here

After a childhood in the owners' box, Rooney has a very anti-cheerleader stance. "They're so lame. My grandpa was always vehemently against cheerleaders. It distracts the players and takes away from the game. Do you really need these half-naked women running around?" (New York Post)
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Photo: Matthew Baron/BEImages
Kate's The Shy One

"I was very shy in middle school through high school. I dressed to disappear," she told The Los Angeles Times.
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The Animal Activist

Both sisters are vegan, but Kate's the one who's taken her animal activism to the next level, working with the Humane Society to help pass a law to make sure farm animals in California have bigger cages. She's also worked with Oceana to protect whales.
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Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Variety/REX USA.
No, Wait, Rooney's The Shy One

"I've always been sort of a loner. I didn't play team sports. I am better one-on-one than in big groups," she told Vogue, explaining how she related to Lisbeth Salander. "I can understand wanting to be invisible and mistrusting people, and wanting to understand everything before you engage with the world."
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Photo: Courtesy of MGM/Columbia.
Rooney Definitely Had A Dark Side Early On

"When I was three or four, I decided to dress up for Halloween as Clara, the crippled girl in the Heidi books," she told The Guardian. "I wanted to make it authentic so I insisted my mom wheel me around in a buggy; you know, because the crippled girl needed a wheelchair. ... She was totally on board."
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Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures.
The Old College Try

Kate meant to go to college, but she kept deferring because of acting gigs. Rooney spent a year at George Washington University, where "my nickname was Keds, because I wore Keds. I guess it wasn't really a nickname, because nicknames are usually given to you by people who are your friends and who know you. But I didn't know the people who called me Keds. I think that they didn't like me because I didn't want to join a sorority," she told Steven Soderbergh in Interview. After that, she transferred to NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study to study nonprofits and psychology, receiving credit for doing things like travelling to Kenya.
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Photo: Courtesy of NPP Productions/Sony Entertainment.
Get These Girls A Movie Together, Already

The only time they've worked together onscreen was when Rooney used to be an extra, like when she played "Classroom Girl #1" in the straight-to-video 2005 horror flick, Urban Legends: Bloody Mary, starring Kate.
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Photo: Matt Baron/BEImages.
Sisters Doin' It For Themselves

With everyone else all into football, Kate was on her own with the acting thing. So when lil' sis Rooney got in on the act, it was a huge relief. "No one in my family had ever tried acting before, and I didn't have any actor friends, so for a while there I was figuring it out on my own," Kate told Yahoo. "When my sister became an actress, it was awesome to have flesh and blood sharing this intense experience. It's really been this super intense bonding experience for us."
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Image: Via @katemara.
Mara Pups

Kate's two Boston Terriers are named Bruno and Lucius, the latter named after a character in Gladiator. Rooney's little black dog's name is Oskar. This is just one of those things we feel better for knowing. (Vogue)
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Photo: Courtesy of Oxfam America.
The Humanitarian

After her college trip to Kenya, Rooney founded Faces of Kibera, to build a children's facility in a suburb of Nairobi. She's now the president of the board of directors of the nonprofit Uweza Kenya. She's also become active in Oxfam and has visited South Sudan with them three times.
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Photos: Henry Lamb/Photowire/BEImages.
The Family That Shops Together

Kate toldThe Los Angeles Times that she and Rooney have, on occasion, bought the same clothing without even knowing it. "I forget we don't live in the same house, and my initial reaction is the older sister thing of, 'Did you take that from my closet?' But we do like similar things."
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Secret Singers?

Kate said she loved singing for her role in Happythankyoumoreplease, and would love the chance to do a musical. Rooney sang a sweet lullaby in Ain't Them Bodies Saints, but she told VH1 that she really only likes to sing in the shower.
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Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

While Rooney gave the world a good look at her pierced nipples for Dragon Tattoo, Kate was wearing some very special pasties for her sex scenes with Kevin Spacey on House of Cards. To make her co-star laugh, she printed out pictures of Spacey's face and applied them to the stick-on accessories — to no avail (Vulture). He also managed to keep a straight face when she tried the same trick with pictures of Obama's face.
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Photo: Matt Baron/BEImages.
Backup Career

We're not sure if Rooney was joking, but she told The Guardian that if the acting thing ever stopped working for her, "I'd like to flip houses. ... I'm absolutely not buying an apartment. But I go to a lot of open houses. I like to go and watch."
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Did Rooney Know Zoe's Fate?

We're not sure, but Kate did tell Yahoo she had to lie to her friends and family about what would happen to her House of Cards character in season two. “For six months last year, every time anyone asked me about work, I gave the impression that I was going back and forth to Baltimore, when in reality I was done shooting after three weeks and just hanging out at home in Los Angeles. It was fun for a while, but it was nice to be able to tell the truth again.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Marvel/Fox.
One Of These Sisters Has Seen Fantastic Four, The Other Was In It

"Of course I saw it," Rooney told Cinema Blend. "I mean, I think she's great in it, yeah. I don't really want to comment about it, but yeah, I saw it opening night and I thought she was great." That stands as the Fantastic Four's only good review.