Rooney Mara Hates Being A Part Of Hollywood Whitewashing

Photo: Rob Latour/REX Shutterstock.
For someone so famously careful and reserved with her words, actress Rooney Mara is not the most likely candidate to be at the center of a controversy. And yet, she's found herself to be part of two — first, when she was cast to play Native American Tiger Lily in last year's Pan, and then as one of the many white actors nominated for this year's Oscars. In an interview with the London Telegraph, though, she's clear that she is not happy with this state of things.

"Here is the thing, I have a lot to say and I have very strong opinions about it, but it is such a sensitive issue I don’t want to reduce it to a sound bite," Mara told the Telegraph of the #OscarsSoWhite protest. "I feel like that is what is happening. It is being turned into pull quotes and headlines, and that isn’t opening up a conversation so much as pointing fingers at people and taking their awards out of context. I don’t want to step into the conversation in that way."

But she does, however, seem to want to step back in to the conversation about being a Caucasian actress playing Tiger Lily. When the movie was released in October, she did tell People that she "felt really bad about it." In this latest interview, she goes further.
"I really hate, hate, hate that I am on that side of the whitewashing conversation," she said. "I really do. I don’t ever want to be on that side of it again. I can understand why people were upset and frustrated... Do I think all of the four main people in the film should have been white with blonde hair and blue eyes? No. I think there should have been some diversity somewhere."

Despite her desire for more diversity in film and awards show nominations, Mara told the Telegraph she is still planning on attending the Academy Awards this Sunday as a nominee for her role as a shop girl in love with an older woman in Carol. Not that she's looking forward to the red carpet.

"I don't think it is ever something you look forward to," she said. "For me, it is an irritating part of the job. I try and make the most of it and have fun with it. But it is like this weird other thing. It has nothing to do with movies. It has become this thing unto itself."
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