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INT: Kate Mara

03.27.2007

In addition to being smokin' hot, SHOOTER star Kate Mara boasts a pedigree that would make any American football fan drool. Not only do her relatives own the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers, but her great grandfather, Wellington Mara, was actually one of the founders of the NFL.

In addition to feature film roles in BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN and WE ARE MARSHALL, Kate enjoyed a brief stint in last year's season of "24". She recently stopped by the Four Seasons to talk about working alongside Mark Wahlberg in SHOOTER. Say what you will about the movie, but in the very least, SHOOTER director Antoine Fuqua deserves props for finding innumerable reasons to dress Mara in nothing but a bra and panties. Sadly, she showed up for the interview fully clothed. Check it out.

Kate Mara

You seem to play Southern women a lot.

For some reason I've always sort of had this...I just feel this connection to Southern women. I don't know why. I love the South. I don't consider this character to be trailer trash; I think she's a really strong, Southern woman. I like playing those characters because I do feel that, for some reason, certain Southern women are just a little bit stronger and feisty, which is really fun to play. The first time you see her, she's this tough chick and she's got this shotgun behind the door. And then later on, when she's warmed up a little bit, she shows her softer side, which is nice. It's nice to be able to play a bunch of different things, not just cold and guarded the entire time. I just really liked her.

Did you need a dialect coach?

Not on this film. For Brokeback Mountain there was a coach and I sort of learned a few things there. With this, it was just the voice that I felt Sarah should have. When I read the script, that's just the accent that I thought she should have. I didn't have a specific Kentucky accent; just a Southern accent I thought she should have. But it's so much fun. I love doing that because it's so much easier to change and to be an actual character, and not just be myself. You really have to become a character when you're using a different voice. It's sort of like part of your costume.

I like when actors change the way they look and change the way they walk and talk.

Not everybody does that and I don't necessarily always do that, but I want to. I think that's the sign of a really good actor. Cate Blanchett does that in every role she has. No matter how complex people think that her roles may be, she always changes her voice. Even if it's a British accent, it's either lower or higher...it's just incredible to me.

What was the dynamic that you and Mark Wahlberg established?

The good thing about the characters is that they're not supposed to have ever met each other before. Which definitely helps because I didn't know Mark; we met at the screen test and that was it. But we had a few rehearsals, I think a week of rehearsals with Antoine. You don't really get to know people that way, but we really talked a lot about the their relationship and how it's supposed to be. It's not supposed to be an easy relationship; they know of each other but they've never met.

It's all about trust -- her learning to trust him and him putting his life in her hands. So it was actually better for us that we didn't know each other, that we weren't friends beforehand, because I think it helps with the characters. They're not supposed to be that familiar with each other. But we had such a great time. With all the seriousness of the film and the scenes that he and I had together, it was such a fun set to be on. It's not always like that. Even if it's a fun movie...the scenes can be fun. The (Shooter) set was just a ball.

It always has to do with the director and the main actor. Antoine is a really serious director, but he was just fun for me. Very serious about the film and the scenes -- he did so much work on it -- and notices every single detail about everything, which is really intense. But he's also really relaxed, and that's really important on set, to just feel relaxed, like you're not in a rush all the time. And Mark as well. He does his homework more than any actor that I've ever met. He never misses a beat. But in between takes...he's just himself, just a really nice guy.

Did you try to get any Entourage information out of him?

I love that show. It's such a funny show, and it's not that hard to see where it comes from. The guys that work for him on-set are so hilarious. And they actually really helped as well. They were so funny -- and such great guys. I see where all the ideas and things come from. That kept it interesting.

In earlier versions of the script, did you and Mark's character get it on?

In the script that I first auditioned for...the scene where Sarah gives Swagger the gun -- Donnie's gun -- they do kiss. There was never some crazy love scene or whatever. But we shot that version as well and we talked about it before I ever got the role and they asked my opinion on whether or not they should kiss. I really think it's kind of more interesting if they don't. They're relationship is not a typical one. It's not just some romantic relationship in this film. The thing that connects them is her deceased husband and his friend who died in this crazy mission. So I just don't think it should be that easy.

Did you read the book?

No. I knew it was based on a book. I didn't know anything about it. I didn't know anything about the script when I picked it up. My agents told me it was a political thriller, and I went, "I don't know." I'm not normally interested in playing a love interest role. I want something a little more interesting. So when I read it I was pleasantly surprised at the role and how I think she is different from just a regular love interest role in an action film.

Now that you're done, are you gonna read it?

No. Especially now that we're done, I don't want to. What if I hate what I did or something because I made her so different? I don't know. I'd rather just watch the film. The film is a different interpretation of it anyways.

Did you receive any firearms training?

No, I didn't get to do any of that. Sarah wasn't supposed to be an expert in any way. She was supposed to know how to protect herself and that was it. I had never picked up a gun before -- I'd never even held one. So they definitely had to teach me what to do. They basically taught me as much as her husband would have taught her, which was kind of cool because I would never think to do that because guns scare me. It was kind of fun to have to learn how to hold it and stuff like that. But I had it easy -- all the boys had the training. I just showed up. [laughs]

What was it like working on an all-male set?

Well, I went straight from We Are Marshall to this, so it wasn't...I never think of it that way. I got that question a lot on the last film and this film people keep asking that, but if people didn't ask me so much, I wouldn't really think of it. I grew up around guys my whole life. I have two brothers and my family is very much into football. I'm used to the testosterone. It just doesn't affect me. It's not a bad thing being the only girl, because they treat you very nicely. It was fun.

What's up next for you?

Last week I just finished a film. We were shooting in Lithuania, and indie film called Trans-Siberian, which is really a dark...in turns into a thriller, but it's very different than anything I've ever done. Really cool cast. Sir Ben Kingsley, who I've admired for so long, is in it, and Woody Harrelson, who's really funny -- but really a great actor. It's got a big ensemble cast. And the crew was so many different nationalities and colors. It was a really different experience for me. It was fun.

Questions? Comments? Manifestos? Send them to me at thomasleupp@joblo.com.

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Source: JoBlo.com

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2:25AM on 03/27/2007
All that means is she's maybe a little naive. She's still a rising talent who, despite her lineage, is just getting her name out now. But as an actress she really seems to know what she's talking about, role models and whatnot.
All that means is she's maybe a little naive. She's still a rising talent who, despite her lineage, is just getting her name out now. But as an actress she really seems to know what she's talking about, role models and whatnot.
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1:53AM on 03/27/2007

Ummmm... wow

That last paragraph really couldn't make her sound more retarded. The crew was so many different colors? Really? You're lucky you're hot, Kate.
That last paragraph really couldn't make her sound more retarded. The crew was so many different colors? Really? You're lucky you're hot, Kate.
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