Rooney Mara Says She Almost Quit Acting After Filming "A Nightmare On Elm Street" Because It Wasn't A "Good Experience"

Rooney Mara is an incredible actor. She's been in tons of stuff that you've probably loved, and she's been nominated for two Oscars too.

A close-up of Rooney Mara who's rocking a top-knot bun and dark lipstick an an event

Rooney received a Best Actress nomination for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in 2012 and was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 2016 for Carol.

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You might also remember that she starred in the reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street that came out back in 2010.

Rooney in a bathtub as Freddy Krueger's hand emerges from the water
Warner Bros / courtesy Everett Collection

Well, it turns out that the experience of making that film was enough to briefly convince Rooney that she should quit acting completely.

Rooney wears a long-sleeved turtleneck dress on the red carpet for an event
Axelle / FilmMagic / Bauer-Griffin / Getty Images

In a new interview with the LaunchLeft podcast, Rooney said that filming A Nightmare on Elm Street wasn't a "good experience."

Rooney at a red carpet event wearing a spaghetti-strap dress that fall just below the knee in a ruffled bottom
Cindy Ord / Getty Images for FLC

She also said that she has “to be careful with what I say and how I talk about it. It wasn’t the best experience making it and I kind of got to this place, that I still live in, that I don’t want to act unless I’m doing stuff that I feel like I have to do.”

A close-up of Rooney
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“After making that film, I kind of decided, ‘OK, I’m just not going to act anymore unless it’s something that I feel that way about.’”

  Amanda Edwards / Getty Images
Amanda Edwards / Getty Images

Rooney also explained that when she met director David Fincher while starring in the classic 2010 film The Social Network, she changed her mind about her career trajectory.

  Columbia Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection
Columbia Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

“I got an audition for The Social Network, which was a small part but it was an amazing scene, and then I didn’t work again from that until I think Dragon Tattoo,” she said.

Rooney outside wearing round sunglasses and her hair pulled back
Vivien Killilea / Getty Images

“David didn’t want to audition me for [Dragon Tattoo] because he didn’t think I was right for it based on what I did in The Social Network and I kind of insisted they put me on tape anyway so I did, and then he had to fight really hard for me to get the part because the studio didn’t want me for it."

A contemplative Rooney sitting in a scene from Girl with a Dragon tattoo
Columbia Pictures / Merrick Morton / Courtesy Everett Collection

"It was a definite real turning point in my life and my career.”

  Columbia Pictures / Merrick Morton / courtesy Everett Collection
Columbia Pictures / Merrick Morton / courtesy Everett Collection

Rooney went on to say that, during the yearlong process of making Dragon Tattoo, Fincher became her "mentor" and inspired her to continue with her acting career.

  Columbia Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection
Columbia Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

“He took such great care to make sure that I knew that I had a voice and that my opinion meant something. He constantly was empowering me, which I think really affected the rest of my choices thereafter.”

  Columbia Pictures / Baldur Bragason / courtesy Everett Collection
Columbia Pictures / Baldur Bragason / courtesy Everett Collection

Listen to the entire interview here.