Rooney Mara on trusting her instincts
The A-list actress introduces us to her new love, Givenchy L’Interdit, which is available now at duty free.
Rooney Mara’s resumé is pretty spectacular. Born in Bedford, New York, Mara got her big break in 2011 playing Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, based on the phenomenal Millennium series of books written by the late Swedish journalist, Stieg Larsson. The role earned her Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations, and made her a household name almost overnight. Further starring roles opposite Cate Blanchett in Carol and as Mary Magdalene alongside Joaquin Phoenix, have cemented her status as one of the most talented actors in Hollywood. Here, she talks to us about the evocative properties of perfume and working with famed Parisian fashion house Givenchy. If you’re planning on picking up a new bottle of perfume at the airport, read on…
What does perfume represent for you?
RM: I think scent has great power. Certain fragrances can evoke all sorts of memories and feelings.
What is your vision of the Givenchy woman?
RM: A woman who is confident, intelligent and classic, but also someone who pushes boundaries and marches to the beat of her own drum. A beautiful woman is self-possessed and passionate.
Why did you decide to become the new face of Givenchy Parfums?
RM: They approached me knowing I had been a great admirer of the brand for so many years. Givenchy has always been my favourite brand, and I’ve always felt I could really be myself wearing their clothes. It seemed like a perfect partnership. And obviously the fact that the original L’Interdit was Audrey Hepburn’s perfume fascinated me. It felt very special to be asked to be part of bringing the fragrance back to life.
What does the L’Interdit perfume evoke for you?
RM: It evokes the past because it is rooted in the brand’s history, and the scent is solid and classic. But it also represents the future ‒ how far we've come, and how much farther we need to push boundaries and break taboos and step into the new. So, for me, the fragrance feels quite rooted in something storied – an age-old desire to be bold and to push forward – but it is also quite modern. Everything about the Givenchy brand has always felt like that to me.
What was it like shooting the advertising campaign?
RM: Honestly, I normally loathe photo shoots and tend to feel quite uncomfortable! But because I know and love everyone at Givenchy, and have for years, it was really fun and felt easy and companionable, and exciting to be a part of.
How would you describe the atmosphere on the TV shoot and working with director Todd Haynes on the campaign? Could you tell us more about this collaboration?
RM: Obviously, working with Todd was wonderful. I hadn’t seen him in a while and it was so nice to spend a few days in his company again. I was absolutely delighted he came and did it with us. As we had already worked closely together, it made everything so much easier and more laidback.
What is your daily beauty ritual?
RM: I don’t have much of a beauty ritual! But I always wear sunscreen. And I use mostly natural products and oils. My favourite products are True Botanicals Calm Pure Radiance Oil, Rosewater, Everyday Oil, Carasoin Cold Fusion Intense Moisture cream, Olio E Osso, and Virtue hair care products.
You often attend the Givenchy fashion shows or grace the red carpet dressed in Givenchy. What do you love, or what particularly impresses you, about Clare Waight Keller’s fashion designs?
RM: Clare’s designs are utterly romantic and feminine, but also feel quite modern and edgy. I love what she has been doing. Her Couture collection was amazing.
Can you tell us more about the beautiful dress you wear in the advertising campaign, which was specially designed by Givenchy?
RM: It was inspired by the Couture collection. It was so incredibly beautiful and intricate that I felt terrible dragging it through the subway and the rain!
How do you choose a role? Would you be able to play any role?
RM: I can't say how I choose roles – it’s just a feeling or instinct about certain things. I am sure a lot of it is subconscious, choosing things you want to explore or get out of your system. I wouldn’t say I could play any role. Not well anyway.
Which of your films is your favourite?
RM: I don’t have a favourite. I like different things about different films. Ghost Story was the most enjoyable to watch. Probably because I am not in a lot of it! But also because it was so meditative and strange and beautiful.
What causes are closest to your heart?
RM: Animal rights is probably one of the closest to my heart. Also, in Africa specifically, Uweza and Hekima Place, foundations that help orphaned and vulnerable children in Kenya, and any organisation that gives assistance to refugees.