David Fincher’s Americanized version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, a family friendly story about a young Swedish maiden who falls in love with the Puff the Magic Dragon and gets a tattoo of his face on her back, is coming out in a couple of months and so he and the movie’s Lisbeth Salander Rooney Mara spent a few days creeping out Jonathan Van Meter from Vogue. From reading this mess, it sounds like Rooney licks up the words that dance off of David’s tongue and he’s got her wrapped around his pinky finger. Bitch is directorized! Basically, it’s same kind of relationship I have with Hostess Zingers.
Jonathan went to Sweden, where they filmed that shit, to spend a few days with David and Rooney, and he immediately figured out that if their relationship was sitting in a group therapy session and the therapist asked to say one word that best describes them, everybody in the room would shout the word WEIRD! I mean, if Daniel Craig thinks that shit is weird, then that shit is a new kind of weird.
As Fincher talks about the film, his heroine, Mara—with Salander’s awesomely strange hair, bleached eyebrows, and facial piercings—sits next to him, looking for all the world like a troubled college student who takes too much Adderall. She hangs on his every word, her eyes lit with admiration. Their relationship, it quickly becomes clear, is charged with the electric current of the mentor-protégée crush, which is both touching and occasionally uncomfortable to watch. Or, as Daniel Craig, who costars as a crusading journalist named Mikael Blomkvist, says about their working relationship, “It’s fucking weird!”
Then, at dinner, David and Rooney gave Jonathan a scene right out of Tommy Girl and Stepford Katie’s dining room when he let her eat.
When a waiter appears to take our order, we are all looking at our menus, but I see out of the corner of my eye Fincher nudging Mara. He says with quiet seriousness, “You can eat.” I look up to see her reaction. Mara rolls her eyes, and Fincher laughs. “You can have lettuce and a grape. A raisin if you must.” She orders a piece of fish and barely touches it.
In the book, Salander is described as boyish and awkward, “a pale, anorexic young woman who has hair as short as a fuse. . . .” Noomi Rapace, the magnetic star of the Swedish versions, looked more like Joan Jett. “One of the things that make our version that much more heartbreaking,” says Mara, “is that even though I am playing a 24-year-old, I look much younger. I look like a child.” I ask if she had to get unhealthily skinny for the role. She says, “Umm . . . not really.” “It hasn’t been too hard for her,” Fincher quickly adds.
Motherfucker, what? I don’t care if David was making jokes, you don’t joke about eating. If David pulled that shit on my cousin, he would’ve gotten an under-the-table kick to the crotch and my cousin would’ve asked the waiter for a dessert menu because she likes to stroke it while she eats her main course. I say this with complete confidence because it happened to me when I made an eating joke in my cousin’s presence. Speaking of eating…
Jonathan and Rooney ate on a tomb!
Lunch in hand, we head to her favorite park—which also happens to be a cemetery—only to find every bench occupied. “Is it weird to sit on a tomb?” she says. “It’s kind of perfect, right?” We walk over to one that is big and flat and low. “Is this a good tomb?” Laughing, we spread out our picnic on top of the ancient stone casket.
And finally, David talks about why he didn’t cast ScarJo:
Meanwhile, Fincher was also screen-testing every conceivable Salander on the planet. “We flew in people from New Zealand and Swaziland and all over the place,” he says. “Look, we saw some amazing people. Scarlett Johansson was great. It was a great audition, I’m telling you. But the thing with Scarlett is, you can’t wait for her to take her clothes off.” He stops for a moment. “I keep trying to explain this. Salander should be like E.T. If you put E.T. dolls out before anyone had seen the movie, they would say, ‘What is this little squishy thing?’ Well, you know what? When he hides under the table and he grabs the Reese’s Pieces, you love him! It has to be like that.”
ScarJo as Lisbeth Salander?! Whose brain queefed that idea up? That’s like getting Jessica Rabbit to play fucking Pippi Longstocking. Well, at least ScarJo now knows why at the end of her audition David sat there in silence like he was waiting for her to take her clothes off or something. But I think what David really meant to say is: “But the thing with Scarlett is, the bitch can’t act.” Fixed it for you, David.
And here’s more of Rooney working her Bettie Page mullet for Vogue. You know, I sort of like Rooney’s jacked up bangs, but only because it reminds me of this girl I worked with a while ago. She was a wannabe riot grrrl in the most tragic way and one day she came in with bangs just like Rooney’s. Her hair was a mess! It looked like she was in a cult that doesn’t believe in scissors so they cut each other’s hair with their teeth. I was about to ask her if she burned her bangs while lighting her bong again when one of my co-workers saw her and shouted loud for everyone to hear, “Bitch, why do you have short bus bangs?!” There’s nothing like a co-worker who says some wrong shit, so you don’t have to!